News The man behind the all-important shift of David Cameron’s parting from the left to the right has been awarded an MBE.

David Cameron pays £90 a time; Nick Clegg has gone to £45. But for many MPs it’s a point of pride to pay as little as possible. We comb Westminster to find out whose haircuts cost what

Andy McSmith's Diary: Why do these troughers in ermine have a legal right to line their pockets?

The House of Lords has published details of expenses claimed by their lordships during August 2013. Since they convened for only one day that month, most peers claimed no expenses, but among the minority who did you will see – inevitably – the names of that trio of troughers in ermine, Lord Hanningfield, Lord Taylor of Warwick, and Baroness Uddin.

Ed Miliband has argued that the package could not go ahead during the biggest cost of living crisis for a generation

PMQs: Miliband gives tour-de-force demonstration of how not to do it

A growing economy is bad news for Ed's 'cost of living crisis'

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron signs the book of condolence at the South African Embassy in central London

MPs to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela in Parliament

The leaders of Britain’s three main political parties will lead tributes on Monday, as normal parliamentary business is suspended

Andy McSmith's Diary: One sympathetic Tory sought to co-write leader’s biography

Of all the people David Cameron might choose to write his biography, Michael Ashcroft must surely be near the bottom of the list.

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Tristram Hunt throws the (EngLit) book at Michael Gove

It is a truth universally acknowledged that an ambitious minister possessed of a large department tampers with the legacy of the country’s most celebrated woman novelist at his peril. A point not lost on the new shadow Education Secretary Tristram Hunt, who today challenged Michael Gove to confirm that pupils studying only English Language will be “excluded from studying great works of English literature”.

Andy McSmith's Diary: Lord Leveson admits he made one big slip-up

Our man in Westminster

Simon Burns insists he can forge a good working relationship with John Bercow

'Stupid, sanctimonious dwarf': Ex-minister Simon Burns who abused Commons Speaker John Bercow could be his deputy

Former Transport minister favourite to be new No 2 to man he criticised

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Up close and personal: Evans’ resignation speech was tough on everyone

Even crusty journalists have displayed a heart which I have never before witnessed

Parliamentary tradition should not hamper efficiency and progress

Walking into Parliament is like stepping back in time. Men in tights, the odd way in which MPs address each other in the Commons, and a voting system that requires Parliamentarians to physically walk through a lobby to cast their ballot. Harmless, if arcane, traditions.

John Bercow, foreground centre, said that in future ministers should not have control over what the House of Commons debated.

Beyond the Commons: John Bercow calls for new age of e-democracy

Speaker flouts convention with public claim that Parliamentary politics is becoming ‘irrelevant’

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Commons chamber awash with the blood of scapegoats

In what seems like another age, but was actually February this year, David Cameron made a sober, non-partisan Commons statement on the Francis report’s exposure of the gruesome failings of the Mid Staffs Hospitals Trust.

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: How David Cameron and William Hague got caught up in a battle of the sexes

David Cameron and William Hague got into similar trouble, but for exactly opposite reasons. If the Foreign Secretary had said “stupid person” or (admittedly a bit of a mouthful for an impromptu sedentary aside) “stupid Honourable Member”, he’d be home free. As the lip reading consensus was that he muttered “stupid woman” while Cameron was answering, or more accurately not answering, a hostile question from Labour’s Cathy Jamieson, he quickly became Twitter villain of the day.

Donald Macintyre's Sketch : Danny the axeman cometh of age – and sets about rebuilding the entire nation

It was all rather touching. The Lib Dems (though not Nick Clegg) were out in force, like an extended family supporting a member on his big day – proud but a little worried. How did the unassuming highlander join the “quad” with Dave and George and Nick? And be the one to get a congratulatory pat on the shoulder from the Chancellor, slipping out after hearing his Big Statement? And how did any relative of  ours turn out to be the Cabinet’s axeman? 

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: The cuts were bad, but the jokes that accompanied them were even worse

Dr Osborne did not say the economy was  ‘healing’ but ‘moving out of intensive care’

Andy McSmith's Diary: PM’s slip of the tongue was more like Putin his foot in it

David Cameron made an unfortunate slip of the tongue at Prime Minister’s Questions when he referred to “the Russian regime” – at a time when he is striving to improve relations with Vladimir Putin, whom he will meet in Belfast at the weekend, in the honourable hope that he can be persuaded to stop arming the Syrian regime. When he met Putin in Sochi last month, he did not so much as mention Alexander Litvinenko, who was murdered on British soil.

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Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker