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

Peers drop equality bill challenge

Peers today dropped a challenge to the lifting of a ban on gays and lesbians holding civil partnership ceremonies in churches.

Single-parent plan 'will hit poor'

The Government is being pressured to reconsider a plan to charge single parents fees to obtain child maintenance payments from ex-partners.

Second U-turn over the 'bonfire of quangos' saves Youth Justice Board

The Government has reversed plans to scrap the Youth Justice Board as part of its much-publicised "bonfire of the quangos". In a second U-turn in as many days, the Department of Justice said that the board – which oversees the detention and rehabilitation of young offenders – would be reprieved.

Errors & Omissions: Some words should never leave the backwoods of America

The foundations of formality are shifting.

Lords report calls for new drive to curb spread of HIV

Twenty-five years after the first national campaign against Aids warned "Don't die of ignorance," a Lords committee has called for a new drive to curb the spread of the disease.

Fertility chief's scathing attack on anti-abortion campaigners

Pro-choice campaigners are fearful about a step-by-step attempt to tighten up service provision

The Sketch: Salvoes on reform bring out lordly left's conservative side

There may be new readers unfamiliar with the remark of that toriest of Tories, Lord Salisbury, so here it is again: "What do we need change for," he said. "Aren't things bad enough as they are?"

Labour delivers blow to Clegg's Lords plans

Nick Clegg's plans to create an elected House of Lords suffered a big setback last night when Labour vowed to oppose the shake-up and peers from all parties lined up to attack it.

Baroness Cox: 'If we ignore wrongs, we condone them'

When Baroness Cox takes up a cause, she invariably courts controversy. Her latest – a campaign against sharia law – is no exception. Jerome Taylor meets her

Revealed: 137 'silent peers' who make the case for reform

Nearly 140 members of the House of Lords have not spoken or asked a question in Parliament for at least a year. The presence of dozens of silent peers, who are all entitled to the privileges of membership, is one of the arguments used to counter those who say the House of Lords works well and does not need reform.

Restraint used on young offenders is 'too harsh'

Ministers will be put under unprecedented pressure this week to outlaw forms of physical restraint currently used against young offenders, when the Chief Inspector of Prisons will insist painful control techniques should never be used again.

The Earl of Onslow: Colourful hereditary peer who advocated reform of the House of Lords

It is a measure both of Michael Onslow's courage and tireless sense of duty that within weeks of his death from cancer he was still active in the Lords; his last speech was made only three weeks before he died. Paradoxically, although he served it well, he thought the House of Lords was well past its sell-by date.

'Horrified' Lord Hanningfield defends expenses claims

A Tory peer accused of expenses fraud said today he believed he was entitled to the money because most other members of the House of Lords claimed the full amount available.

Andreas Whittam Smith: A more 'democratic' Lords can only damage the Commons

If we believe we have a legitimate system of government - and the evidence is that we do - then there is no case for major constitutional change
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The party's potential nominations read like a high school race for student body president

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Cold case: Aaron McCusker and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
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voicesPolitics is in the gutter – but there is an alternative, says Nigel Farage
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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