News Norman Baker is at the top of the members' list of good performers

Home Office Minister has joined Vince Cable at the top of the members’ list of good performers

Leading article: A welcome blow against discrimination

Less than 50 years ago, homosexuality was illegal in Britain. The last half-century has seen a revolution in social attitudes since a pioneering Labour home secretary, Roy Jenkins, pushed through the decriminalisation of homosexuality in the Sexual Offences Act in 1967. This week, the Coalition's equalities minister, Lynne Featherstone, is expected to knock away another pillar in the ancient and unlovely edifice of institutionalised prejudice by announcing legal changes enabling gay men and lesbians to marry.

State and church clash on civil partnerships

The government risked a clash with the Church of England last night by backing calls to lift the ban on homosexual couples holding civil partnership ceremonies in places of worship.

Resistance mounts to gay couples being allowed to marry in church

Gay couples will be able to get married in churches under radical government reforms that risk divisions with the Tory right and faith groups.

Cowboy clampers pocket £55m a year

Cowboy clampers take up to £55 million from drivers every year, the Home Office said.

Vetting plan for shop staff is scaled down

Retail pharmacists and opticians will win a reprieve after it emerged the Government is poised to scale back the reach of its controversial Vetting and Barring Scheme, which would have covered some 100,000 staff.

Tom Sutcliffe: Secularism is the word Cameron is looking for

Social Studies: The only practical way to make the system fair is to make it equally unfair to all

Danish pastries all round, advises handbook for first-time ministers

A new manual offering the top ten tips for new members of Government reads like something from The Thick of It. Brian Brady investigates

Diary: Craig Oliver's special spin on the Sound of Music

As the two halves of my torn betting slip lay forlornly in the wastepaper basket, I wasn't the only one scratching my head and wondering who Craig Oliver is. Even Westminster's most experienced hacks described Andy Coulson's replacement as a man without a past. Yet how swiftly such a past can be cobbled together when Fleet Street's finest are on the case. Here, for your continued enjoyment, is a picture you'll surely be seeing more of: Oliver in lederhosen at a so-called "BBC charity event".

At last, the stigma of 50 years is removed

Gay men convicted for something no longer an offence win right for criminal records to be expunged

Ceri Goddard: Publicising pay differential is key to tackling it

The persistent gap in pay between men and women is one of the starkest examples of inequality in the UK today. Nationally, women can expect to earn roughly a sixth less than men, but the gap varies according to location and field.

Thousands set to protest against tuition fee rises

Thousands of students and lecturers up and down the country are expected to take to the streets today to demonstrate against the Government's proposals to treble university tuition fees.

Simon Carr: Timely gaffe provides welcome distraction from tuition fees vote

Sketch: However, ministers who abstain won't get a hospital – they'll find their jobs given to their PPS

Government scraps Labour's planned rules on equal pay

The Government has scrapped plans to force big businesses to disclose the difference in pay for men and women they employ, on the day it emerged that little progress had been made in bringing women into the boardroom.

David Prosser: A strange way to promote equal pay

Outlook Lynne Featherstone, the equalities minister, picked a curious venue to announce the Government is reversing plans for compulsory audits of what companies pay their male and female staff. The announcement came in a speech at Cranfield University's School of Management, as part of an event to promote its latest research into the progress of women in the boardroom.

Why are Asian women aspiring to Western ideals of beauty?

Asian and African women are aspiring to Western ideals of physical perfection – and the results are far from pretty
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Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific