News The refurbished residence of Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst in Limburg, Germany

As a concession to belt-tightening, the decision by a sybaritic German bishop to take a budget airline flight to Rome, is looking like too little, too late.

Maastricht rebels fight '1922 plot'

RIGHT-WING members of the Tory backbench 1922 Committee executive are preparing to fight back against a plot to replace them with John Major loyalists during revolts on the Maastricht Bill, writes Patricia Wynn Davies.

Federalist warning to Euro candidates

WOULD-BE Tory candidates for next year's European Parliament elections must stick to a strictly anti-federalist stance or risk being deselected, Michael Portillo, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, made clear yesterday, writes Patricia Wynn Davies.

Leader of Strasbourg Tories warns of 'suicide'

THE LEADER of the Conservative MEPs warned the party not to repeat its mistakes of 1989 by going into the European Parliament elections with a negative message about the community.

Threat to deselect rebellious MPs

CONSERVATIVES should have no compunction about deselecting rebel MPs who persistently vote against the Government, the conference was told yesterday.

The Major question

What does Majorism mean? Independent readers are invited to devise a better definition than the Oxford dictionary has offered. The best answer, in no more than 20 words, will win a weekend for two in Maastricht. Entries may be sent on a postcard or by fax; they should be marked 'MAJORISM'. Postcards to The Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB. Faxes to 071-956 1435. Entries should reach us by Wednesday 1 September.

Tory rebels scorn currency scheme: Tension in party rises despite call for unity

TORY party disarray over Europe remained as wide as ever yesterday as backbench rebels poured further scorn on any idea of reviving a common European currency, or 'hard ecu', favoured by John Major.

The ERM Crisis: Triumph or Tragedy: Crisis reopens Tories' Maastricht wounds: Tebbit and Howe at loggerheads over 'jumping on the grave' of currency system

THE threatened collapse of the exchange rate mechanism reignited the highly damaging Tory conflict over Europe yesterday, with Lord Tebbit urging the Government to celebrate on its grave.

Top awards for bastards, bores and ditherers: The 'Independent' honours stars of a stormy year

JOHN MAJOR will sit down with his Cabinet colleagues today for the first time since he referred to the 'bastards' who opposed him over the Maastricht treaty.

Letter: When ministers are in contempt

Sir: The Law Lords' decision on the Baker case ('Law Lords assert authority over Government in landmark ruling', 28 July) is indeed, as Michael Beloff QC argued, of immense constitutional importance. Ministers of the Crown must indeed be subject to the rule of law. It is therefore legitimate that injunctions should be placed upon the exercise of executive power - this is especially important now that such power is exercised in an increasingly cavalier fashion.

SNP anger over 'deal'

(First Edition)

Stop pretending and join the rest: Edward Heath, who took Britain into Europe, looks beyond the Maastricht saga

THE MAASTRICHT treaty has now been embodied in an Act of Parliament by substantial majorities in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. It is ready for ratification by the United Kingdom, subject to the stop placed upon it by the Prime Minister pending the legal case now before the High Court. To use the fashionable phrase, can we therefore now 'put Maastricht behind us'?

Reigate's shocked middle classes learn to love a rebel

IF HE had travelled back over the North Downs with foreboding, Sir George Gardiner will have been reassured by gin and tonic time today. Reigate welcomes rebels, writes Jonathan Foster.

Major 'says three in Cabinet are bastards'

JOHN MAJOR's leadership was plunged into a new crisis last night after claims that he described three Eurosceptic Cabinet colleagues as 'bastards' in comments accidentally recorded after a television interview.

The Vote of Confidence: National tensions 'threaten unity'

WHILE Parliament and the courts dispute the Maastricht treaty, the fate of European union is being fought out on other battlefields.

The Vote of Confidence: EC partners mystified by Britain's behaviour: The View from Europe

THE ANTICS of the British government are a mystery to the UK's 11 other EC partners.
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Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness