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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.”

Harman apologises for 'ginger rodent' jibe

Labour's deputy leader Harriet Harman was today forced to apologise for branding a senior coalition minister a "ginger rodent".

The Sketch: Bercow just keeps on disappointing his many enemies

What his enemies had wanted, expected and prayed for most devoutly was an 18th-century morality tale along the lines of the idle apprentice. John Bercow would be led by his prejudices desires and defects into situations he couldn't control and would be dismantled by them.

No knockout, but the Ed corner celebrates a PMQs points victory

His brother chose to stay away, but Miliband surprised Cameron and reassured his own party in his first big test

Miliband selects 22 new MPs for frontbench team

Ed Miliband handed a fast-track promotion to 22 new MPs yesterday as he sought to show the public Labour is run by a "new generation".

Joan Smith: Don't listen to the carping comments. The best man won

For the past couple of years, I've been telling anyone who would listen that the next leader of the Labour Party would be Ed Miliband. He's clever, warm and very modern, a fact that's sent much of the media into a state of comic incomprehension since his surprise victory over his elder brother last weekend. Who is this guy? Why isn't he married? Is he really an atheist? Ed hasn't been in frontline politics as long as David Miliband, which accounts for some of the bewilderment. But he's stood up to a bruising first week – everything from an invitation to propose to his partner on live TV to accusations of political fratricide – in a way that speaks volumes about his confidence and sense of purpose.

Harriet Harman pledges Labour unity in support of Ed Miliband

Harriet Harman today pulled down the curtain on a "roller-coaster" Labour conference which has seen the party gain a new leader and lose one of its brightest stars.

Tom Sutcliffe: Labour's loss could be the Boden catalogue's gain

I don't know if Boden are looking for new models right now but David Miliband may be available – and his appearances yesterday suggested he might be a good fit for their products. He is the better looking one, and he doesn't seem averse to rapid costume changes either. Earlier in the day he'd appeared on the doorstep of his London home in a floral shirt. A little later he was inside again – now in a purple V-neck sweater and matching shirt – and sitting alongside what looked like a photograph of the family he's going to be spending more time with.

Family tensions set to continue as Mr and Mrs Balls vie for jobs

The scramble for a place in Ed Miliband's shadow Cabinet officially began yesterday, bringing with it the prospect of another tense family contest at the top of the Labour Party.

The leader's in tray: Shadow cabinet poll is the first worry

Ed Miliband faces an early test of how best to deploy his team - once his backbenchers have decided who's in it

Harriet Harman: So, farewell then, acting leader of the Labour Party

After a long career, the radical bluestocking made it to the top job – but only for 137 days. She talks about challenges, personal and political. Brian Brady meets Harriet Harman

Brown vows 'tireless support' for new leader

Gordon Brown today promised his "full, unequivocal and tireless support" to his successor as Labour leader.

Leading article: The task for Labour's new leader in the age of coalition government

Today the Labour Party will know the identity of its new leader.

Livingstone will use cuts to spearhead Mayoral bid

Ken Livingstone promised to put the impact of spending cuts on London at the heart of his campaign to oust Boris Johnson as he was confirmed as Labour's candidate for the mayoralty in 2012.

Harriet Harman to question PM over Coulson

Labour's acting leader, Harriet Harman, is to confront David Cameron for the first time over the appointment of the former News of the World editor Andy Coulson as Downing Street's communications chief.

John Rentoul: The brothers will keep Balls at bay

David's confidence and Ed's desire to appear confident may pave the way to No 11 for Yvette Cooper
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Jeremy Paxman has admitted he is a 'one-nation Tory' and complained that Newsnight is made by idealistic '13-year-olds' who foolishly think they can 'change the world'.
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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game