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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.

59% of voters back Lords reform bid

Almost three in five voters (59 per cent) support reform of the House of Lords to ensure a majority of its members are elected by the public, according to a poll released today.

Tory fundraiser Lord Fink faces inquiry into Lords dinner for Amex clients

The Conservative Party treasurer is to face a full Parliamentary inquiry into allegations that he broke anti-sleaze rules.

Nick Clegg: Chamber is affront to democracy

As you read this I am with statesmen and dignitaries from more than 100 countries at the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development. There are leaders from countries with a wide range of different democratic systems and almost overwhelmingly they are united by one belief: that the people who make the laws should be elected.

Murdoch pressured Blair to rush into Iraq war, says Campbell in diaries

Spin doctor's claims in latest book contradict media mogul's evidence at Leveson Inquiry

Labour peer Lord Archer dies

Former MP and minister Lord Archer of Sandwell died today aged 85, it has been announced.

Former Gabrielle Giffords aide Ron Barber wins Arizona election

A US congressional aide who almost lost his life in the Arizona shooting rampage that wounded former representative Gabrielle Giffords has won a special election to fill her seat.

Tory co-chairman Warsi asks for probe over expenses claims

Under-pressure Conservative co-chairman Baroness Warsi today referred herself to the Lords Commissioner for Standards amid allegations over her expenses.

£38 billion defence 'black hole' filled

A £38 billion black hole in the UK's defence budget has been eliminated, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond confirmed today.

Republican Richard Lugar lost by a 20-point margin

Defeat of Indiana’s veteran Republican senator Richard Lugar reveals return of partisan far-right

The crushing primary defeat of Indiana’s veteran Republican senator Richard Lugar not only shows the Tea Party movement is alive and well. It is also a pointer that the next Congress will be even more partisan and less inclined to compromise than ever.

David Cameron opens door for Lords referendum

Prime Minister David Cameron held the door open for a referendum on an elected House of Lords today, as a parliamentary committee said the public should be given a say.

PETER SLIPPER: The Speaker faces charges of ‘unwelcome suggestions’ to a male adviser

Australia's Speaker Peter Slipper (and ordained priest) hit by sexual harassment claims

Australia's minority Labour government was embroiled in a crisis last night after the Speaker of the Federal Parliament agreed to step aside, pending an investigation into allegations he sexually harassed a male member of his staff and misused travel entitlements.

Rupert Murdoch and the cover of the book by Tom Watson and Martin Hickman

Murdoch's media empire was a 'toxic shadow state', says MP in new book

Rupert Murdoch's media empire was yesterday labelled a "toxic shadow state" as it was accused of launching a campaign of intimidation to blunt MPs' investigations into its alleged law breaking.

Romney will face a better organized, better financed Obama campaign backed by the power of the presidency

Front-runner Mitt Romney closes in on Republican nomination after winning three more primaries

Mitt Romney tightened his grip on the Republican presidential nomination last night, sweeping primaries in Wisconsin, Maryland and Washington DC, and shifted his focus to the general election with a sharp attack on President Barack Obama.

Queen vows to continue serving

The Queen has vowed to serve as head of state, now and into the future, in a landmark speech to mark her Diamond Jubilee.

Mitt Romney goes into tomorrow’s “Super Tuesday” boosted by his wins in Michigan and Arizona last week

Romney aims to regain aura of inevitablity as 'Super Tuesday' electoral contest looms

Exasperated with a primary process as protracted as it has been vicious, Republican Party grandees are looking to see if Mitt Romney can at last regain an aura of inevitability in tomorrow's "Super Tuesday" contests across 10 states.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night