News The Prime Minister's authority was challenged by his own backbenchers as they demanded a tougher line on deporting foreign criminals from Britain

More than 80 backbenchers had demanded a tougher line on deporting foreign criminals from Britain

Gay or lesbian UK asylum seekers told to 'prove' their sexuality

Gay and lesbian people seeking asylum in the UK to escape persecution abroad are being told they must “prove” their sexuality, a committee has found.

Norman Baker is happy to be the odd man out at the Home Office: Immigration, surveillance, drugs... the new minister differs with Theresa May on all of them

Liberal Democrat has brief to 'make sure there is a liberal voice clearly heard' in the government department

UK immigration queue for members of the EU

Public sceptical of need for tougher immigration rules as Theresa May is set to publish new bill

Finding comes ahead of Tories’ plan to deter foreign nationals

Protesters heckle Enrico Letta in Lampedusa

Lampedusa disaster: EC President Jose Manuel Barroso and Italian PM Enrico Letta jeered during visit to boat disaster mortuary

As death toll hits 298, the head of the European Commission announces £25m fund to help with refugee crisis

The Home Secretary, Theresa May

Humiliating defeat for Theresa May in Supreme Court appeal over 'stateless' former terror suspect stripped of British citizenship

Former Iraqi refugee Hilal Abdul Razzaq Ali Al-Jedda granted British nationality after fleeing from Saddam Hussein’s regime

A Crimson Speckled moth

On a wing and a heatwave: Exotic butterflies and moths from the continent colonising UK

Exotic butterflies and moths from the Continent have begun to colonise Britain following the hot summer, the Butterfly Conservation charity reports.

The Home Secretary, Theresa May

UK e-Borders scheme: 'Catalogue of chaos' as 649,000 border alerts about possible drug and tobacco smuggling deleted

Home Secretary, Theresa May, accused of presiding over a 'catalogue of chaos' at ports and airports

Abbott: 'I have long despaired of the downward spiral of Labour’s rhetoric on immigration'

Diane Abbott attacks Labour’s stance on immigration

Diane Abbott, the Labour leftwinger, suggested that  Ed Miliband is  “pandering to anti-immigrant sentiment” after she was sacked from the Opposition's frontbench team.

Italian soldiers with the bodies of migrants killed off Lampedusa

Lampedusa migrant boat disaster: Tunisian suspected of causing shipwreck is arrested by Italian police

35-year-old detained after witnesses in refugee centre claim he was captain who started fatal fire on vessel

Once a firebrand, Diane Abbott has now paid the price for going off message

The Hackney MP criticised Ed Miliband for lacking courage

Lampedusa disaster: Death toll hits 250 as Italian divers recover more bodies

The death toll from the Lampedusa disaster has hit 250 after Italian divers recovered more bodies from the wreck of the smugglers' ship that sank off the tiny island's coast.

Lampedusa disaster: Bad weather delays rescue operation as hopes fade for victims of migrant boat tragedy off Italian island

With 111 bodies recovered from the waters off the Italian island of Lampedusa after a boat carrying 500 African migrants capsized, search and rescue teams had to abandon their efforts amid poor weather conditions.

Calais standoff: Syrian asylum-seeker threatens to jump from ferry terminal roof

A Syrian asylum-seeker attempted to throw himself from the roof of the ferry terminal in Calais today after a day of negotiations with French and British authorities failed to satisfy 50 Syrians who have been squatting on a gangway at the channel port since Wednesday.

Armando Iannucci puts The Thick of It to bed as Washington comedy Veep apes US government shutdown

Viewers are used to Whitehall scandals which appear to have been lifted from The Thick Of It. Now Armando Iannucci has repeated the trick with Veep, his Washington comedy, which returns with an episode depicting the catastrophic results of a US federal government shutdown.

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: We Borisologists know better than to take this stuff too seriously

There were lots of references to ‘my friend the Prime Minister, David Cameron’

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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital
In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty