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The party would also add more than £100 a week to match the minimum wage

A 2004 painting of MP Diane Abbott which cost £11,750, by Stuart Pearson Wright

MPs splurge £250,000 of public money on 'expensive' portraits

Tax payers' fund the ultimate MP vanity project – having specially commissioned portraits of themselves painted by the UK's leading artists

Boris Johnson TFL information sign mocks Mayor ahead of planned tube strikes

Criticism comes as tube workers prepare for protests and two 48-hour industrial action

Secret networks of Freemasons have been used by organised crime gangs to corrupt the criminal justice system, according to a bombshell Metropolitan Police report leaked to The Independent

Revealed: How gangs used the Freemasons to corrupt police

Gangsters able to recruit police officers through secret society, says investigation for Scotland Yard

William Hague, left, with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, right, said there had been no ‘systematic’ torture by British troops

Pressure grows for inquiry into UK role in Iraq 'war crimes'

Senior UK military and political figures could end up in the dock as 400 victims denounce 'systemic' use of torture and cruelty

Israel's president Shimon Peres prepares to lay a wreath on the coffin of former prime minister Ariel Sharon

Ariel Sharon’s body lies in state outside Knesset as Israelis come to pay their respects

There will be a state memorial service for the former prime minister tomorrow before he is buried in a private ceremony at his ranch

A small triumph for democracy

Defence procurement has been one of the biggest machines for wasting money

Labour plans to license teachers with 'classroom MoTs' that could see them sacked if they fail regular checks

Regular checks would 're-professionalise' teaching, according to shadow Education Secretary Tristram Hunt

The actor Daniel Kaluuya is suing Scotland Yard

Metropolitan Police releases 'alarming' strip-search figures

People from black and minority ethnic backgrounds account for more than half of those strip-searched by the Metropolitan Police in the past three years, according to “extremely alarming” figures collected by the force.

House of Lords warned not to 'ignore the public's wishes' on EU referendum debate

The House of Lords has been warned that it would be “ignoring” the wishes of ordinary people if it blocks a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU.

British director Steve McQueen

Steve McQueen to make epic BBC drama about black British experience

The series will follow black Britons from the Sixties to the present day

Labour slam Royal Mail's 'botched' privatisation

Labour has accused the government of a “botched privatisation” over its controversial sell off of Royal Mail, saying taxpayers have been short-changed by hundreds of millions of pounds.

Bill Grimsey to advise Labour over high streets and business rates

The former chief executive of Wickes and Iceland Bill Grimsey has been made an adviser to the Labour party and will help draw up the opposition’s strategy over business rates for small businesses – one of the hottest topics for retailers.

Goggins: he served in the Home Office and Northern Ireland Office

Paul Goggins: Respected and admired Labour MP whose politics and social activism were fuelled by his Roman Catholic faith

The unusually subdued and non-partisan mood that came over MPs during Wednesday's Prime Minister's Questions was partly attributable to the shock caused by the early death of the conscientious and popular Labour MP, Paul Goggins. "He was a kind, brilliant man who believed profoundly in public service," David Cameron told the House, while Ed Miliband described him as "someone of the deepest principle."

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.

Ben Miles as Thomas Cromwell and Lydia Leonard as Anne Boleyn in Wolf Hall
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Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence