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Late in PM’s Questions the (very) right-wing Tory backbencher Peter Bone rose to deliver his magisterial verdict on Nick Clegg’s substitution for the absent David Cameron. “Hasn’t the acting Prime Minister been outstanding today?” he asked, adding that “anyone listening on the radio” would have thought it was Cameron himself. (This wasn’t a huge compliment since Bone is hardly the PM’s greatest fan). But then the only half-sarcastic pay-off: “I think that the Right Hon Gentleman is turning into a Tory.”

Village People: Party's power plan: on a wing and a prayer

At the party conferences...

Testosterone to blame for banking crash, say Tory MPs

Male domination of City gives rise to 'risky and irrational' behaviour

Best state schools add £77,000 to the value of nearby homes

A top-performing state school can add up to £77,000 to the value of a house within its catchment area, according to new research, with the cost of properties near the 50 best-performing state schools 35 per cent higher than in the rest of the UK.

Diary: Undress for electoral success

One naturally imagines that the Scandinavians are a civilised bunch, and that Denmark's population would not be prone to prurience. Yet, according to the FT, it has been obliquely suggested by a number of Danish newspapers that the front-runner in the country's forthcoming elections would have an even better chance of becoming Prime Minister if she took her clothes off. Social Democrat leader Helle Thorning-Schmidt, 44, is best known in the UK as Neil Kinnock's daughter-in-law (she's married to his son, Stephen). A Danish news agency has now produced a widely reported study claiming that the word most Googled next to Ms Thorning-Schmidt's name is "naked" – which means, presumably, that many Danish web users are keen to see her in her birthday suit. This column has conducted its own thoroughly unscientific survey to discover the terms Googled alongside our own leading women politicians, and I'm happy to report no such unseemliness. "Theresa May" yields nothing dirtier than "shoes"; "Baroness Warsi" the more abstract "egged"; and Labour deputy leader "Harriet Harman" is sought alongside the stiflingly dull "surgery" (presumably as in "constituency", not "cosmetic").

Diary: Groupies scent their man as Assange sweats it out

According to former New York Times executive editor Bill Keller, Julian Assange always used to smell like "he hadn't bathed for days". But even the ripe scent of week-old sweat won't deter the ladies. Assange has been living under "mansion arrest" at Ellingham Hall in Norfolk for some eight months now, and the enigmatic Australian has attracted not only journalists, says his host, Vaughan Smith, but groupies, too. "We definitely had a problem with groupies," Smith tells The Times. "They rented a house in the village, a groupie commune, mostly Germans or Austrians, who just felt they could turn up at this house and Julian would take them in. Julian is hunted by a certain type of woman... who can be quite pushy. They are mainly from Eastern Europe. It's extraordinary." That it is.

Video: 'Morgan may have to face MPs questions'

Deputy Leader of the Labour Party Harriet Harman says allegations made by Heather Mills over phone hacking at MGN need to be looked into.

Labour 'heading in right direction'

Labour's shadow ministers have been forced to defend the party's direction amid claims of arrogance and fears over its finances.

Jane Merrick: Let's take Dave's advice and move on

He may be haughty but he's not sexist

Village People: Eagle has (crash) landed

Sometimes it is a good idea to leave things to the spin doctors.

'Calm down, dear': PM's jibe sparks fury in House

David Cameron was accused of being patronising to women after telling a senior Labour MP to "calm down, dear" during Prime Minister's Questions. Mr Cameron rejected Labour's demands for an apology for deploying the catchphrase used by the film director Michael Winner in a television commercial for car insurance.

The Sketch: Irritating Eds finally succeed in upsetting Cameron's composure

That may be the end of the PM's lordly ease at the dispatch box. It was a lovely act while it lasted. Week by week we had an exhibition from another era as Cameron showed us the upper-class skill of manners being the art of making other people feel uncomfortable.

Cameron criticised in 'calm down, dear' row

Labour has accused David Cameron of sexism after he told a female shadow cabinet minister to "calm down, dear" in noisy exchanges at Prime Minister's Questions.

Lib Dems face grassroots backlash in May elections

The Liberal democrats face a double blow at next month's council elections, when they will field fewer candidates than usual and could be the main victims of a Labour recovery.

The Sketch: Parliament's upwardly mobile get to grips with obstacles to progress

The niece of a countess sitting next to the son of a hereditary peer faced a baronet and an international banker's Oxbridge son educated at the third of Britain's four major public schools (and who defeated for the party leadership another old boy from his school, who himself had a double-barrelled name when I knew him at Oxford).

Labour turn on Clegg's aside to Cameron

The Labour Party last night threatened to pull the plug on three-way televised debates at the next General Election after Nick Clegg was inadvertently recorded telling David Cameron that the pair “won’t find anything to bloody disagree on”.

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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee