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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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
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?