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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Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine