The Commons chamber was visited with a  welcome onset of  grown-upness on Iran

Straw announces launch of crime victims service

Families of murder victims will be the first to benefit from a new £8 million service to help victims of crime.

The Sketch: Time was called – and Blair breathed again

Is the Committee going off the boil again? They must know what Jack Straw's like but they didn't get anywhere near making him sweat.

PM 'dithering' over electoral reform

Gordon Brown has been accused of reducing the prospects of a "Lib-Lab deal" in the event of a hung parliament by "dithering" over plans to reform the first-past-the-post voting system.

Village people: 12/12/2009

Why the veto, Jack?

*Thursday was a good day for burying bad news, as every journalist in the Westminster Village was immersed in MPs' expenses, so a highly contentious decision by the Justice Secretary Jack Straw announced that day, received less attention than it might have.

The Sketch: A public need to find a truth too secret to reveal

Secret inquests went to the Lords and yesterday came back. Poor Jack Straw regards himself as a champion of coroners' juries but has to introduce this new way because there are things too secret for ordinary people to hear.

Knife killers to serve at least 25 years

Knife killers will spend at least a quarter of a century in prison, Jack Straw announced today.

Leading article: Closed justice

The Government's dismal push for greater secrecy in public life trundles on. A backbench amendment that would have thrown out the Government's proposals for the replacement of open inquests with secret "inquiries" was narrowly defeated in the Commons yesterday evening.

Simon Carr: Trust him, he's the Justice Secretary ... Oh, if only we could

Sketch: We know that ministerial assurances at the despatch box aren't worth the air they're breathed into

Nick Griffin: 'Question Time will be a political blood sport'

BNP leader Nick Griffin predicted that tonight's Question Time would be "political blood sport" but said it could propel his party into "the big time".

'Bigoted' BNP will be exposed on TV, says Gordon Brown

The appearance of British National Party leader Nick Griffin on Question Time this evening will present a good opportunity to expose his "unacceptable" views, Gordon Brown said today.

Commons protest as Trafigura gag lifted

Carter-Ruck, the most feared firm of libel lawyers in the country, beat a retreat yesterday as information that its client had hoped to suppress was spread across the internet by bloggers and tweeters.

Rosalind Nashabishi/ Richard Wright, ICA/ Gagosian Gallery, London

Lights, camera, action... almost

Rosalind Nashashibi, ICA, London

Film-maker Nashashibi knows all the tricks of her dishonest trade ... and she uses them to unnerving effect

Campaigners celebrate football fan's release

Supporters of Michael Shields were jubilant at today's news of his pardon and release.

Jack Straw statement on Biggs' release

Here is the full statement by Justice Secretary Jack Straw on the release of Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs:

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