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

Lord Sugar*: Losers and prima donnas need not apply

Tips from the top...

Tory MPs scorn Clegg's House of Lords reforms

Nick Clegg's flagship plan for an elected House of Lords ran into an immediate storm of protest which cast doubt over whether he would be able to force it through Parliament.

I was out of pocket, claims Lord Hanningfield

A Tory peer accused of fiddling his House of Lords expenses said he was "out of pocket" for taking on the peerage and had tried to balance out his expenditure using his expenses claims, a court heard.

Lord Hanningfield 'on plane at time of expenses claim'

A Tory peer accused of fiddling his House of Lords expenses was on a plane to India when he claimed for overnight accommodation in London, a court heard today.

Now Cameron turns attack on Lib Dem plans for elected House of Lords

Nick Clegg's hopes of resurrecting his constitutional reform agenda in the wake of yesterday's disastrous AV defeat will be scuppered by his Conservative coalition partners.

Cameron creates 117 new peers at a cost of £18m

David Cameron has broken his manifesto promise to cut the cost of politics by creating an unprecedented number of peerages, Labour claimed last night.

Last past the post: Cameron told to stop flood of new peers

The House of Lords has been over-run by an "avalanche of not-so-distinguished peers" which has turned the chamber into a "very unpleasant place" to be, the leader of Britain's independent peers has warned.

Andy McSmith: This insidious practice has been going on for years

The best argument for having an unelected House of Lords is that it can draw into public life the talented and the highly qualified who would be unlikely to go through the grind of standing for election.

Rise in number of peers 'has damaged Lords'

David Cameron has created so many new peers since becoming prime minister that the effectiveness of the House of Lords has been damaged, a cross-party group of senior parliamentarians warned today.

BBC 'needs complaints ombudsman'

The BBC needs an independent ombudsman to deal with complaints against it, the corporation's former chairman Lord Grade said today.

Soldiers with chaotic pasts 'prone to abuse'

Many members of the Armed Forces have "chaotic backgrounds" and lack morals when they join up, the former Army chief Lord Dannatt has said.

Leading article: Britain's chance for a fairer voting system

First-past-the-post has created a malign empire of safe seats that are unlikely to change hands

Labour peers could lose their holidays if they block AV Bill

Peers are being warned they could be forced to sit through the night – and have their half-term break delayed – if they continue to thwart moves to hold a referendum on electoral reform.

Lords deadlock over vote reform is broken

A 15-day stand-off in the House of Lords over the Government's constitutional reform plans appeared to be at an end last night after the Coalition announced a "package of concessions" to break the deadlock.

Threat of scuppered voting reform referendum eased

The threat of a voting reform referendum on May 5 being scuppered by political deadlock in the House of Lords was eased today after Tory and Labour peers struck a deal.

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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

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Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game