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Cabinet meetings under Margaret Thatcher were “miserably disappointing” gatherings devoid of debate and filled with “unctuous self-satisfaction”, one her most senior ministers said in 1984.

Satyajit Das: Fiscal cliff not big enough to solve US debt problem

Stateside View: What is needed is a review of all spending to better target it and align it with tax revenues
Ukrainian lion tamer Vladislav Goncharov, at a circus
in Budapest

Circuses blow their top at lion licensing plan

Owners say proposal is 'disrespectful' and could drive them out of business

Disabled crossbench peer Lady Campbell of Surbiton becomes first person in 305 years to be allowed to speak in the House of Lords with the aid of a personal assistant

A member of the House of Lords made parliamentary history by becoming the first person in 305 years to be allowed to speak with the aid of a personal assistant.

Obama with John Kerry in 2008

Barack Obama prepares to build bridges – but first he needs new allies to help him do it

Urgent work to avert the 'fiscal cliff' as key figures from first term get ready to leave President's team

David Cameron and Jeremy Hunt join critics of Nadine Dorries' appearance on 'I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here'

David Cameron today warned Nadine Dorries she should be representing her constituents rather than appearing on I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!

Olympics chief Paul Deighton takes seat in House of Lords

London 2012 chief executive Paul Deighton took his seat in the House of Lords today.

Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell after he met Police Federation members at his constituency office on Friday

Labour MPs keep heat on Andrew Mitchell

Embattled Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell returned to the Commons front line for the first time since his foul-mouthed row with Downing Street police and was soon reminded of his troubles by Labour MPs.

Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell after he met Police Federation members at his constituency office on Friday

Tories fail to draw line under 'plebgate' row

As some MPs rally round Andrew Mitchell, others ask why Cameron has not sacked him

David Blunkett on why our political class are despised

As the Labour Party conference gets underway, former Home and Education Secretary David Blunkett has issued a stark warning in today's Daily Mail about the decline in trust towards the political class. His analysis is not so far off that off Independent founder Andreas Whittam Smith, whose response was Democracy2015.

Todd Akin and his wife Lulli, have attracted support and protest

'Legitimate rape': two words that could cost Republicans everything

Mitt Romney isn’t just battling against Obama –he has to deal with the fallout from Todd Akin’s toxic campaign in Missouri

Palace of Westminster reopens after fire alert

Parts of the Palace of Westminster were closed off this morning after smoke detectors in the basement of the historic building were activated.

Warsi cleared over claims for expenses

The Conservative Party said its co-chairman, Baroness Warsi, had been cleared by a House of Lords investigation of expenses irregularities.

'He was a great Yorkshireman': Singh in 2007

Marsha Singh: Politician who championed the people of Bradford

There are some – not very many – parliamentary constituencies where the demands of constituents are so pressing, and casework so overwhelming, that the MP just cannot play a significant part in broader national politics. Bradford West was one of them. Marsha Singh was a softly spoken colleague of great intelligence, careful judgement and an impressive knowledge of world affairs who could have made an even greater impact in Parliament had he represented a normal constituency.

Cameron brushes off clash with backbencher Jesse Norman

David Cameron today brushed aside reports that he was involved in an angry confrontation with the ringleader of Tory rebels on House of Lords reform as “tittle tattle and rumour”.

Coalition shaken as Cameron ducks out of vote on Lords

Rebels shoot down 'dead duck' Lords reform as 91 Tories vote against Bill

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Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
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The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
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Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

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Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum