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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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Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones