John Reid - latest news, breaking stories and comment - The Independent
News Nosratollah Tajik: 'Somebody should have to accept responsibility for the deterioration of my health'

For six years the former Iranian ambassador battled accusations he was an arms dealer. Now, he tells Paul Peachey that the political brinkmanship by the UK and the US over his extradition cost him his health

Leading article: Yes to an amnesty, but not yet

The Commons Home Affairs Committee used some colourful language to describe the backlog of failed migrants who remain in Britain illegally. Its latest report said the figure was equivalent to the population of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. The committee chairman, Keith Vaz, accused the UK Border Agency of creating something akin to the Bermuda Triangle, that was easy to get into, but impossible to get out of. A Conservative chairman might have been still more damning.

Last Night's Viewing: The Plot to Bring Down Britain's Planes, Channel 4

You're sure it was Thursday night, and not Sunday? There were moments last night when you wondered if you were watching Homeland on Channel 4. Glib as it may seem to compare that confection with an important documentary about a plan to kill 2,000 people, the makers of The Plot to Bring Down Britain's Planes had evidently plundered the terror-thriller playbook to create a film that was as challenging to the fingernails as anything Sergeant Brody has delivered.

Kim Sengupta: The latest killings prove that nowhere is safe anymore

Locals were guarded but welcoming. You could move around in relative safety

Ex-Met chief says Labour government knew about hacking

MPs last night demanded to know what Scotland Yard told the Labour government about its failed phone-hacking investigation into the News of the World six years ago.

Leading article: Bordering on the farcical

That so little has improved since the immigration system was described as "not fit for purpose" six years ago is a glitch in the functioning of the British state that must be rectified forthwith. But the Government is going about it the wrong way.

Police apologise for missing racist attack

Police in Edinburgh yesterday apologised for failing to investigate a fatal attack by white youths on a Chinese takeaway worker as a racist killing.

Neil Lennon signs new Celtic deal

Celtic manager Neil Lennon has signed a new 12-month rolling contract, the Glasgow club have confirmed.

Leading article: An amnesty would be sensible

A report from the Commons Home Affairs select committee suggests that there has been a "silent amnesty" to reduce the backlog of cases of refugees whose status has been left unresolved for years. Since 2006, when the Labour Home Secretary John Reid declared that the UK Border Agency was "not fit for purpose" that much maligned organisation has been working its way through 450,000 unresolved cases.

Bitter AV campaign causes cabinet 'bust up'

The increasingly bitter AV campaign spilled over into Government business for the first time today after Chris Huhne raised Conservative tactics in a meeting of the Cabinet.

'This is our chance to hurt Cameron'

Peter Mandelson enters the AV debate and tells Labour voters, use your noddle to defeat Tories.

Diary: Ross says he's no Yes man

What with hostilities having already gone up several notches this week in the AV debate, who better to drop behind enemy lines than television's favourite hard man Ross Kemp?

Leading article: The referendum campaign on voting reform has begun. Does it matter?

Yesterday, the curtain was raised on the official campaign in support of a Yes vote in the referendum on the alternative vote on 5 May. Many will be tempted to ask: why should we care? The headlines are crowded with urgent matters of life and death. Japan is experiencing a nuclear emergency. The rebellion in Libya is reaching a crucial stage. There is turmoil across the wider Arab world. And here at home, we are about to experience the most severe spending cuts in a generation.

Sean O'Grady: In this together – but Mr Osborne should put women and children first

You can call it a patriarchal offensive if you wish; I would say it was an unfortunate accident of the way the economy happens to be structured

Cameron and Clegg face off over reform to voting system

David Cameron and Nick Clegg will today go head to head on plans to reform Britain's voting system – but with speeches that have been seen by each other's teams in advance.

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
Arts and Entertainment
Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel are bringing Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street to the London Coliseum
theatre

Returning to the stage after 20 years makes actress feel 'nauseous'

News
peopleThe Times of India said actress should treat it as a 'compliment'
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
property
News
The programme sees four specialists creating what they believe are three perfect couples, based on scientific matchmaking. The couples will not meet until they walk down the aisle together
tvUK wedding show jilted
Arts and Entertainment
US pop diva Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan
musicCorporate gigs become key source of musicians' income
Arts and Entertainment
You've been framed: Henri Matisse's colourful cut-outs at Tate Modern
artWhat makes a smash-hit art show
Career Services

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Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week