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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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
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?