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The MP for Tottenham spoke to The Independent about a short film project on social housing in the capital

Tony Benn admits in his latest memoir: “I’ve been so obsessed with myself all the time ... but I’m just not interesting”

From ‘bossy boots’ to Benn – and Ann Widdecombe too: Political books for Christmas

Farewell, then, to the unequal opposites of the 1980s, Margaret Thatcher and Tony Benn. Charles Moore’s biography of old bossy-boots, Margaret Thatcher: The Authorised Biography Vol 1: Not For Turning (Allen Lane, £30), is solidly definitive, with new letters that add colour if not character. I would still recommend John Campbell’s two-volume biography (2000 and 2003) for a more accessible account. Updated with Gillian Shepherd, The Real Iron Lady: Working With Margaret Thatcher (Biteback, £16.99): a quirky collection of reminiscences of life on Team Thatcher.

The National Portrait Gallery has commissioned a portrait of Tony Blair by Alastair Adams

National Gallery unveils 'uncompromising' portrait of Tony Blair by Alastair Adams

Oil painting is a dramatic close-up of the former Labour leader

Prince Charles in a right royal selfie

Photo features the Prince of Wales looking a tad confused by it all

Camp Delta which is part of the U.S. military prison for 'enemy combatants' in Guantanamo Bay - Sir Peter Gibson's investigation looked into whether the Government should have done more to obtain the release of UK nationals locked up at the Guantanamo Bay

Gibson report: British role in al-Qa'ida renditions exposed

MI6 agents in Afghanistan were told they were not obliged to intervene if they witnessed suspected terrorists being harmed by their American captors, an official inquiry into allegations Britain was complicit in torture has disclosed.

Andy McSmith's Diary: Ed Miliband breaches the spin doctors’ rules - he does good on the quiet

Ed Miliband has breached a basic rule of politics, which is that if you do good, make sure people know. For some years he has spent part of each Christmas Day delivering lunches on behalf of a charity, and will do again next Wednesday.

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: The last PMQs before Christmas. Thank goodness it comes round only once a year

Ah, the last Prime Minister’s Questions of the year. MPs always find it impossible not to overdo the festive references, as though they had just been given uniquely privileged inside information that Christmas was only a week away. There is the frankly obsequious kind, such as Therese Coffey’s: “Thank you for calling me, Mr Speaker, and a merry Christmas to you and your family. The people of Suffolk have enjoyed a cracker of a Christmas present with the excellent news on the A14 [not becoming a toll road]...” Then there is the beseeching, as in her fellow Tory Stewart Jackson’s: “Will the Prime Minister give an early Christmas present to Peterborough people by giving his personal support to our bid for a university technical college.”

British surgeon Dr Abbas Khan was imprisoned in Syria for over a year

Family of 'murdered' doctor Abbas Khan fight for return of his body from Syria

Relatives criticise Foreign Office for lack of action

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'

UK border control at Heathrow Airport

David Cameron rushes in curbs on the rights of migrants to claim benefits to head off backbench revolt

Rebel Tory MPs are demanding that Britain defy the EU by delaying the introduction of the 'right to work' for Romanians and Bulgarians

Chancellor George Osborne has repeatedly insisted that the task of clearing the deficit is not completed

Voters prefer growth to higher wages: Poll suggests Conservatives have won the argument over the economy

The competing visions of the two main parties will be a crucial battleground at the 2015 election

Andy McSmith's Diary: A Christmas-card character mash-up from Parliament

Most Christmas cards from MPs are worthy, if dull, but one or two try to break away and do something notable, usually landing their senders in trouble in the process.

Boris Johnson's term as Mayor of London runs out in 2016

Boris Johnson rules out standing as a Conservative MP - for now

Mayor of London’s comment come after protracted speculation he is plotting a return to Westminster at the next election

French troops patrol in a street of the Muslim PK-5 district in Bangui

EU divided over French plea for CAR military aid

No direct pledges of military intervention in Central African Republic after Brussels meeting

Nick Clegg has accused Theresa May of 'illegal' plans to limit EU migrants

Nick Clegg accuses Theresa May of ‘illegal’ plans to cap EU immigration

Leaked Home Office paper suggests lower-skilled workers would only be allowed to take up jobs suffering shortages in the UK

Experts warn of a ‘notably strong’ property market and the creation of a new bubble

Government hides risks of controversial Help to Buy scheme

A secret paper on the house-buying scheme reveals officials’ concerns

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us