Briscoe was asked about Chris Huhne's 'liaisons with men' by reporters

Barrister Constance Briscoe says she was asked about Chris Huhne's ‘liaisons with men’ by reporter

The high-profile barrister accused of lying to police about her contacts with the media over a plot to bring down the politician Chris Huhne claimed to have been approached by a reporter investigating the former minister’s alleged “liaisons with men”, a court was told.

Lynton Crosby has told ministers to stop announcing minor policies which distract from the party's core messages

Tories’ election guru Lynton Crosby tells ministers: Stop announcing minor policies

Government departments have effectively been banned from promoting initiatives that are not central to the party’s key election themes of crime, the economy, immigration and welfare

Liberal Democrat peer Lord Rennard will not face any further action over allegations of sexual harassment against female activists

A close friend of mine was involved in an encounter with Lord Rennard. Now I feel I ought to speak out

The House of Lords is now pulling rank to protect this man

DWP to offer new support for separating couples

This month is the worst for struggling couples but a new initiative aims to ease the pain, reports Simon Read

Former minister Sarah Teather announced she is quitting Parliament

Nick Clegg has a woman problem

Having only seven female MPs is not liberal or democratic

Conservatives condemn Ed Miliband's plan to break up high street banks

As much as £1bn knocked off the taxpayers' stakes in RBS and Lloyds

Labour wins key Manchester council seat at Trafford Borough

The win indicates there will be a tense battle in the May polls

London Mayor Boris Johnson said the UK should not

London Mayor Boris Johnson warns UK should not 'slam the door' on super-rich foreigners

The London Mayor's remarks came after the Chancellor announced an "oligarch tax" in the Autumn Statement last year

The man behind the all-important shift of David Cameron’s parting from the left to the right was awarded an MBE the New Year's Honours.

David Cameron's number one priority for 2014: 'Keeping the bald spot under control'

Mr Cameron was speaking at the first Westminster Correspondents' Dinner for 40 years when he made the tongue-in-cheek comment

Nick Clegg speaks with inmates during a visit to the Cookham Wood Young Offenders Institution in Rochester

Government to trial 'fortified school' concept in an attempt to reduce rate of teenage reoffenders

Secure college will house up to 320 young troublemakers

Donald Macintyre's Sketch: Profumo evidence - now you see it, now you don’t

It’s a British first! While it may have been commonplace in the days of Glavlit, the dreaded Soviet censorship organ of the Stalin era, the UK Government may be the only one in modern times to make secret what had previously been public. Labour’s Lord Dubs discovered this when he asked for the release of the transcripts of the 1963 trial of Stephen Ward – the osteopath who introduced Christine Keeler and her lover, the married War Minister John Profumo, and was convicted on what a historian of the period has called the “tainted evidence” of police and others.

George Osborne says he wants the national minimum wage to increase to £7 an hour

Chancellor surprises Vince Cable with call for above-inflation increase to minimum wage

George Osborne pre-empts Ed Miliband speech on economy, but  Lib Dems say Treasury ignored repeated calls for increase

Andy McSmith's Diary: Conservative candidate’s racial sensitivity falls flat as a pancake

“One thing I have become very sensitive about is this accusation that Conservatives are somehow racist,” Edward de Mesquita, who is standing as a Conservative candidate in West Hampstead, in London, told the Camden New Journal. “Conservatives are not racist. So many of the Conservatives have foreign wives, after all.

Nick Clegg was warned he would face a rebellion by Liberal Democrat peers in the House of Lords if he tried to remove the whip from Lord Rennard

Nick Clegg faces revolt by Lib Dem peers if he removes whip from Lord Rennard

Nick Clegg was warned he would face a rebellion by Liberal Democrat peers in the House of Lords if he tried to remove the whip from the party’s former chief executive Lord Rennard over allegations of sexual harassment against the peer.

A YouGov poll predicts that the Lib Dems will lose all of their MEPs in the May election

YouGov poll: Tories to come behind Labour, while Lib Dems may lose all their MEPs

The poll showed that Labour could gain seats in May's EU elections

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform