News Paul Sykes has promised to do 'whatever it takes' to help UKIP top the polls in the European elections according to the Daily Telegraph

One of the country's wealthiest businessmen has announced a multi-million pound boost to the UK Independence Party.

The Sketch: New generation, old ways of sparring

MPs standing five deep at the bar of the House, the galleries packed, an intent audience looked down at the Dispatch Box adversaries. We had all sensed the possibility of carnage, I'm sorry to have to report. What sadism lurks in our respectable hearts.

Happy returns to No 10 for Thatcher's 85th birthday

Lord Heseltine is not on the list. John Major is out of the country, and Nick Clegg has "another engagement". But Lord Howe, whose resignation speech ended Margaret Thatcher's reign in Downing Street, will today be a guest of honour at the former prime minister's 85th birthday party in Downing Street.

Tim Montgomerie: Don't mistake grumbles for rebellion... the Tories now love their leader

Protests from unions will only endear Cameron to Tory members who see him as 'their man' in the battle for the economy

Downbeat but determined, the Tories' conference message

Triumphalism is out, consensus in for the party's annual gathering, says Andrew Grice

Simon Carr: Note to Ed... you're much better when you keep quiet

Sketch: Maybe a hero is born, with a new superpower. Invisibility, perhaps

Clarke prison pledge 'inspired by Churchill'

Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke's pledge to stop sending thousands of criminals to prison, which so angered Tory right-wingers last month, was inspired by Winston Churchill, the Justice minister Crispin Blunt will say today. He will tell an audience in London that Mr Clarke's claim that prison doesn't work was based on the war-time prime minister's penal reform policy. Many will interpret Mr Blunt's comments as a direct attack on the former Tory home secretary Michael Howard, who criticised Mr Clarke by repeating his famous political catchphrase "prison works".

Stephen Glover: Who in Fleet Street will defend the BBC?

Media Studies: Mark Thompson has contrived to leave the organisation over which he presides almost friendless

Born to rule? The charmed life of a class act

David Cameron has long been spoken of as a future prime minister. His biographer, James Hanning, charts his relentless rise

Winston Churchill's grandson took fight to the backbenches

Winston Churchill, grandson of Britain's war leader and a former Conservative MP, never achieved high political office despite his illustrious pedigree.

There's a UFO over Michael Howard's house...

The MoD is releasing details of reported possible alien sightings

Five ministers among 70 MPs in expenses appeal

30-page Legg report on abuse of allowances due to be published on Thursday

Tim Montgomerie: Key test for Cameron's belief in localism

The most important thing that happens today is that Liz Truss is confirmed as the candidate for South West Norfolk. Liz is exactly the kind of MP who will enrich the Commons: intelligent, an independent thinker, she doesn't come from a conventional Tory background but is nonetheless a champion of grassroots Conservatives. I hate to think how many good people have been discouraged from political service because of the intrusive public examination she has put up with over recent weeks.

Lady Tumim: Campaigner fearless of authority in her efforts to reform charity law

Lady Tumim, who died suddenly last Thursday, was a formidable public campaigner for changes in the management of charities and reform of the law respecting charities, but she was also an ebullient, vivacious and fun-loving person who enhanced and enriched the lives of her friends and family. Winifred's courage was her most obvious trait, but even when her movements were restricted because her husband, Sir Stephen Tumim, was discovered in 1990 to be on an IRA hit-list, she refused to behave with what she thought was undue solemnity. Life presented her with plenty of challenges to her sunny disposition, but despite her upright carriage and high-mindedness, she never lost her sense of humour or her sense of proportion.

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Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

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Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

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Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

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Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

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Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

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