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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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
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
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
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel: