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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Ben Little, right, is a Labour supporter while Jonathan Rogers supports the Green Party
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The 91st Hakone Ekiden Qualifier at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, 2014
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Life and Style
Former helicopter pilot Major Tim Peake will become the first UK astronaut in space for over 20 years
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Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
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Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
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An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
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Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
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Buyers of secondhand cars are searching out shades last seen in cop show ‘The Sweeney’
motoringFlares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
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Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
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Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

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Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
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Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own