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.

The Vote of Confidence: MPs survive rebellion that was a 'matter of principle': The Constituencies

IF GRASS-ROOTS Tories were angered by Thursday's rebellion, few were prepared to show it in the constituencies yesterday, even before the rebels redeemed themselves by supporting the Government's vote of confidence.

EC anger at currency traders

BRUSSELS - While the European Commission formally declined any comment on the state of the European Monetary System, there was increasing anger behind the scenes yesterday that the ideal of monetary union risks destruction at the hands of speculative traders, writes Sarah Lambert.

The Maastricht Debate: Former MP firm in casting vote: The Speaker: Rare intervention keeps Boothroyd in spotlight

THE DRAMATIC use of the casting vote from the Speaker's chair, as employed by Betty Boothroyd in the first of last night's votes on the Maastricht treaty, is rare but not unprecedented, writes Andrew Gliniecki.

The Maastricht Debate: Kinnock savours a fine revenge amid Labour jubilation

LABOUR MPs punched the air and cheered as if they had already won the election that was threatened by the Government's defeat.

The Maastricht Debate: Major 'driven to confidence factor': Commons Exchanges: Treaty issue 'cannot fester any longer'

THE Prime Minister had 'been driven to use the confidence factor' because he could not win a vote on the Social Chapter in any other way, John Smith, the Labour leader, told the Commons, amid the tumult which followed the Government's defeat by 324 votes to 316 last night.

The Maastricht Debate: Major faces the ultimate challenge: Today's Commons motion: This House has confidence in the policy of the Government on the adoption of the protocol on social policy

JOHN MAJOR put his leadership on the line and pushed his party to breaking point last night after he had crashed to Commons defeat on Maastricht, stripping him of the immediate parliamentary authority to ratify the treaty.

The Maastricht Debate: Waverers met with more subtle methods: The Whips: Ministers and MPs are brought in from sick beds to take part in vital vote

THE SIGNAL that the Government was in trouble came at 7.55pm when Michael Heseltine, recovering from a heart attack, was taken from his London home for the knife-edge votes in the Commons, writes Colin Brown.

Treaty Tightrope: Major's head on the Maastricht block: How the ratification votes tomorrow could add up to a triumph for the Prime Minister or precipitate his downfall

MUCH OF the Maastricht debate is double-Dutch to all but the most assiduous MPs, and hundreds of Tory MPs are still not certain how they are going to vote in the two Commons divisions tomorrow night; they will be at the disposal of their whips.

Go to the country? Help, let's go to the Queen]

HE HAS NOT lost yet. Some of the rebels may have human frailties (though it seems unlikely). The Chief Whip, Richard Ryder, has privately advised Government colleagues that he expects a defeat, but he and his team are exerting maximum pressure for victory. Propelling pencils will be driven up nostrils, the existence of mistresses revealed to wives, wives revealed to sobbing mistresses. Quite right: given that this may be their last chance of saving Mr Major's leadership, it is the whips' high duty to behave abominably. Let them gouge and flay away.

Rebels threaten to vote Major out: Tories say they will support a censure motion to prevent ratification of Maastricht in defiance of the House

HARD-CORE Tory rebels warned last night that they might vote against John Major on a Commons censure motion - and force his resignation as Prime Minister - if he threatened to defy a Social Chapter defeat in the House on Thursday.

Labour's Maastricht timebomb primed to detonate next week: Anthony Bevins looks at the parliamentary amendment that may yet wreck the treaty

THE CONCEPT of the ticking timebomb, a killer Labour amendment that could be planted at the heart of the Maastricht legislation, was the creation of George Robertson, the Opposition frontbench spokesman on Europe.

Inside Parliament: Thatcher: 'Surrender no more': 'The people's turn to speak', says former PM - Referendum call 'tactical ploy', says Jenkins

Conservatives defying the Government with Baroness Thatcher and Lord Tebbit included Lord Beloff, former chancellor of the University of Buckingham; Lord Donaldson of Lymington, former Master of the Rolls; Lord Parkinson, former Tory party chairman; Lord Rees-Mogg, former editor of the Times; Lord Spens, former managing director, Henry Ansbacher; and Lord Hamilton, brother of Archie Hamilton, the former defence minister.

Denham denies 'backwoodsmen' have Lords role: Anthony Bevins hears former Tory chief whip nail 'a mythical beast'

THE ROMANTIC picture of Lords backwoodsmen being rallied to save or cook the Government's goose in tonight's vote on a Maastricht treaty referendum has been scornfully dismissed by Lord Denham, former Government chief whip in the upper House.
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In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

The young are the new poor

Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

Greens on the march

‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

Through the stories of his accusers
Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

The Meaning of Mongol

Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible