Life and Style ban would only affect England

Health campaigners say ban could protect nearly half a million children who are exposed second-hand smoke every week

Nick Clegg: Chamber is affront to democracy

As you read this I am with statesmen and dignitaries from more than 100 countries at the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development. There are leaders from countries with a wide range of different democratic systems and almost overwhelmingly they are united by one belief: that the people who make the laws should be elected.

'Sizeable' donation of £3,000 confirmed by card company

Lord Fink said that there was never any intention or chance of him profiting from hosting the hospitality night in the House of Lords for American Express and that he had only agreed to sponsor the dinner because AmEx was offering a, "sizeable charitable donation to a major hospital".

Lord Fink says there was never any possibility of him profiting from sponsoring the private dinner

Lord Fink: Top Tory treasurer faces standards investigation over AmEx dinner

The Conservative Party treasurer was facing a parliamentary standards investigation last night over his role in sponsoring a private dinner in the House of Lords for paying American Express cardholders.

Labour peer Lord Archer dies

Former MP and minister Lord Archer of Sandwell died today aged 85, it has been announced.

Lords sleaze watchdog to investigate Baroness Warsi

The Lords Standards Commissioner has begun a formal inquiry into Baroness Warsi's expenses claims.

House of Lords investigation launched into Baroness Warsi's expenses

The House of Lords Standards Commissioner launched a formal investigation into Cabinet minister Baroness Warsi's expenses claims today.

Lord Adonis warns against 'HS2 dither and delay'

High speed rail between London and Birmingham might not be achieved in the 2020s because of "endless dither and delay" by the Government, former transport secretary Lord Adonis warned today.

Tory co-chairman Warsi asks for probe over expenses claims

Under-pressure Conservative co-chairman Baroness Warsi today referred herself to the Lords Commissioner for Standards amid allegations over her expenses.

Diary: MPs are silenced by a masterpiece of mandarin-speak

To be a successful Whitehall mandarin you need to learn never to lose your cool or rise to provocation, and to make your point without exaggerating. Sir Jeremy Heywood, who has reached the very pinnacle of the civil service, as Cabinet Secretary, exhibited these qualities to the full when questioned by MPs yesterday about Steve Hilton, the recently departed Downing Street adviser and friend of David Cameron, whose farewell gesture was to suggest that 90 per cent of civil servants should be sacked. "The way Steve operates is to challenge, he is a very challenging person," said Sir Jeremy, in classic mandarin speak.

Simon Hughes said the Lib Dems and Conservatives would be locked in government together for five years

Tories 'think they're born to rule' says Simon Hughes

Liberal Democrat deputy leader Simon Hughes today hit out at Tory MPs - accusing them of acting as if they were "born to rule".

Conrad Black kissing his wife, he was convicted of fraud and obstruction of justice in 2007

Conrad Black walks free, but faces a tough climb back to respectability

The disgraced former media magnate Conrad Black was heading to a home in Toronto, Canada, last night after being released from a prison in Florida where he had been serving time stemming from his 2007 convictions for defrauding investors in his now defunct newspaper conglomerate, Hollinger.

Conrad Black released from prison

Former media mogul Conrad Black was released from a federal prison in Miami today after serving about three years for defrauding investors.

David Cameron opens door for Lords referendum

Prime Minister David Cameron held the door open for a referendum on an elected House of Lords today, as a parliamentary committee said the public should be given a say.

Britain's Liberal Democrat party leader Nick Clegg stands with his wife Miriam Gonzalez Durantez

Mary Ann Sieghart: Clegg needs a way out of Lords reform

What is the problem to which this is the solution? It's a question that all politicians should ask themselves before they embark on reform. David Cameron and Andrew Lansley should have asked it before turning the NHS upside down. Nick Clegg should be asking it now before putting the Coalition at risk for a piece of legislation that ranks at zero in voters' priorities.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried