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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
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis