Obituary: Simon Wingfield Digby

IN February 1974 Simon Wingfield Digby decided, a general election having been called, not to stand for the West Dorset seat in the House of Commons which he had represented for a quarter of a century. It was assumed by his friends - and by many of the beneficiaries of his hard work and financial benevolence in the West Country - that he would be rewarded with a peerage. But the outgoing Prime Minister, Edward Heath, declined to recommend him.

The Investment Column: Hodder books a 24% rise in profits yes

HERE'S an ironic story. Thrusting chief executive of a publishing company leads campaign to break price-fixing in stuffy industry. Despite vociferous opposition his efforts succeed, and three years on industry experts estimate the move has expanded the market by as much as 11 per cent. However, the spoils go elsewhere, the company stumbles and is forced to issue a profit warning and, over the same three-year period, the company's shares lose a quarter of their value.

Rivals pay tribute to Enoch Powell

The Prime Minister yesterday led the tributes to one of the most controversial Tories in post-war politics, Enoch Powell, who died in hospital at the age of 85.

Obituary: Ian Hay

John Albert Hay, politician: born Brighton 24 November 1919; MP (Conservative) for Henley 1950-1974; PPS to President of Board of Trade 1951-56; Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Transport 1959-63; Civil Lord of the Admiralty 1963-64; Under-Secretary for Defence for the Royal Navy 1964; married 1947 Beryl Found (one son, one daughter; marriage dissolved 1973), 1974 Janet Spruce; died 27 January 1998.

The Agreeable World of Wallace Arnold: Revealed: my one and only encounter with Ms Lewinsky

WHAT a rumpus! President Clinton's hobby of undoing his fly-buttons, dipping into the murky depths of his trousers, sifting through his "Y- Fronts" (dread word!) and unleashing his "private parts" on the world is further proof, if proof be needed, that the Americans are a very different kettle of fish to us.

Heath attacks 'intolerant' Hague as Tory rift over Europe deepens

The Tory war over Europe was stepped up yesterday, with Sir Edward Heath attacking the intolerance of William Hague, while the party leader stiffened his opposition to a single currency. Anthony Bevins reports on the continuing split.

Letter: His own image

IN HIS "Comment" on 21 December 1997 Alan Watkins wrote on my sailing: "It could be argued, however, that these expensive nautical activities, which were mysteriously financed to provide him with a different 'image', were equally remote from popular concerns." This can only be taken to imply that I was induced by outsiders to take up sailing and financed by them in all probability from abroad. There is not one scrap of truth in any of this.

Tories never could work out percentages

THERE has always been a certain resistance to questions of procedure in politics. This was so well before the present time, when newspapers no longer carry parliamentary reports and, should you want to know the members of, say, the Standards and Privileges Committee, you have to find out for yourself, because the papers are certainly not going to tell you. Rules and definitions have always had a restricted market, even in a more spacious age.

La Digue, a perfect winter break for a new puritan

Tony Blair quietly slipped away from his little local difficulties over cuts in benefits yesterday, and took his family to soak up the sunshine in the Marxist paradise of the Seychelles. Jack O'Sullivan and Colin Brown investigate prime ministerial holiday precedents.

Foreign Office opens secret files on the Cold War spies

The dramatic secret consultations that led to the expulsion of 105 Soviet spies in 1971 are to be released by the Foreign Office in advance of the 30-year rule in an unprecedented gesture of `open government'.

Politics: Hague stands firm behind Euro-sceptic campaign

William Hague has taken on the mantle of Jack the giant-killer in his battle against the single currency. Anthony Bevins, Political Editor, inspects the big battalions lined up against him.

Hague should be himself, not try to be Blair

Listening to the howls of execration that went up last Wednesday whenever Conservative MPs were mentioned, I was reminded of a similar occasion at a Labour conference. It was at Brighton in 1979, five months after Margaret Thatcher had won her first victory. The MPs were conveniently corralled (as they were not last week) in a kind of pen to the left of the platform looking outwards. So confined, they could be pointed at and jeered at, denigrated and denounced, as if they were the defendants in a Moscow show trial of the 1930s. One of the most ferocious speakers from the floor, a veritable tricoteuse, was Ms Patricia Hewitt, who, however, quickly made her peace with the subsequent leadership of the party and now sits decorously for Leicester West. When I feel in need of mental refreshment I sometimes re-read her speech.

Of nights, naves and nickerbockers

I am very glad to welcome back the greatest living authority on modern English usage, Professor Wordsmith, who has agreed yet again to drag himself out of the saloon bar and tackle your queries about this wonderful language of ours and the way it works, or very often, of course, the way it doesn't work properly at all.

Euro will go ahead on time, say economists

The European single currency will go ahead on schedule on 1 January 1999 with a broad membership, according to a survey of 12 eminent economists carried out by the European Movement (EM), writes John Willcock. A majority of those polled expect the currency to be broadly successful.

PM aims to win wavering voters in Uxbridge

Tony Blair will become the first Prime Minister in more than three decades to visit a by-election when he goes to Uxbridge tomorrow to give Labour the chance of winning the seat from the Tories, completing the rout from the general election.
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Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

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