News Labour leader Ed Miliband will put his final proposals to a special Labour conference on 1 March

Labour MPs to lose their one-third share of the vote in leadership elections, while one-member-one-vote reform will also apply to trade unions’ portion of electoral college

Mr Starmer stood down last month and has gone back to private practice

Labour ‘keen for Keir Starmer to stand for election’ as former DPP works on new 'victim's law'

Former Director of Public Prosecutions  already advising party on a victim’s law’ for manifesto

Dr Maggie Atkinson, the Children's Commissioner, believes a greater proportion of welfare spending needs to go to children

Smacking children should be illegal, says Children’s tsar Maggie Atkinson

Children’s Commissioner condemns current law for giving pets more rights than children

A third of gay voters now back Tories, poll finds

Tory support among the gay community has soared since David Cameron backed same-sex marriage, according to a poll.

The News Matrix: Friday 27 December 2013

Yasser Arafat 'not killed by radiation'

Nearly three-quarters of the British public are either 'angry' or 'bored' with politicians or politics in general

Three quarters of British voters are either 'angry' or bored' with politicians

Nearly three-quarters of the British public are either “angry” or “bored” with politicians or politics in general, according to a new survey.

A recent investigation into Serco and G4S found evidence of 'inconsistent managemen' in 22 government contracts

Exclusive: Labour would strip controversial firms G4S and Serco of lucrative contracts

Party said it will try to ‘unpick’ £6bn in outsourcing deals

Ed Miliband has been warned the party cannot expect to win on the basis that cuts will continue to make the Coalition unpopular

Blair ally Patrick Diamond tells Ed Miliband: cost of living will not win Labour the 2015 election

There is a common belief Labour can somehow coast to victory

The Refugee Council has said only about 0.1 per cent of Syrians fleeing the violence had found safety in the UK

Former Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell joins Labour in condemning UK for turning its back on Syria's refugees

The Government’s position has been criticised by aid agencies who said it was akin to stating that “there’s no room at the inn”

The News Matrix: Thursday 26 December 2013

Lib Dem attacks law on fox hunting

Let them in: Britain has a moral duty to help Syria’s refugees

It doesn’t take an excess of charitable feeling to recognise this is an exceptional case

'Selfie': One of the peculiarities of the past few months has been how the idea of taking a photograph of your own face has become something new and interesting

Terence Blacker: The top 13 words and expressions to be excluded this 2014

'Banter', 'Aspiration', 'Selfie'? Not this year, thank you very much

Love it or hate it, 2013 will be remembered as the year of the selfie.

Year of the Selfie: The birth – and death – of 2013’s biggest star trend

From Beyoncé and Kim Kardashian to President Obama and Pope Francis, everyone has been getting in on the narcissistic portrait action

The Conservative Cabinet Minister told the Trussell Trust he denied claims that benefits reforms were linked to the rocketing number of people turning to it for help

Iain Duncan Smith accuses food bank charity the Trussell Trust of scaremongering

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has refused requests to meet the leaders of a major food bank charity and accused them of “scaremongering”, it has emerged.

Lord Mandelson warns Ed Miliband and Ed Balls over Labour's links with unions

Former Business Secretary also said the party needed to spell out a clear economic message

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.

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The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

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Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
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How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
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Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on