Michael Howard

Clarke cuts back on automatic prison sentences

Minimum sentences for murder are set to be abolished and thousands of people will escape prison altogether as part of the largest shake-up of the criminal justice system in decades.

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.

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

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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