David Cameron spent three hours in Oldham East and Saddleworth, scene of a by-election where some people suspect the Tories are pulling their punches to avoid hurting the Lib Dems. The Prime Minister's visibility was so low at times that reporters on the scene starting wondering what he might be doing.
The last time Pandora heard from Jonathan Aitken he was in darkest Kazakhstan, inspecting prisons. This time it's Russia, where he is up to "all kind of things". So he can't talk at length, you understand. But he has this much to offer: his backing for Diane Abbott as leader of the Labour Party.
Stephen Twigg, the symbol of New Labour's 1997 landslide, lost his seat in 2005. Now he returns as a Labour candidate in Liverpool West Derby. Rob Hastings meets him
The man tipped as Gordon Brown's successor faces an uphill struggle to win his seat. Andy McSmith reports from the battleground
When everybody hurts
In an age of philistinism, the shadow Education Secretary is a rare politician who will own up to being knowledgeable
A shortlist of "page turners" was announced today for this year's Man Booker Prize For Fiction.
Let's get the annual squall of outrage over first. Kieron Smith, Boy by James Kelman deserved at least a shortlist place in this year's Man Booker contest. Indeed, the beautifully observed, deeply affecting first-person portrait of a Glasgow childhood outshines Roddy Doyle's Dublin equivalent, Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha – which won the prize in 1993.
Michael Portillo, 54, is a broadcaster and regular commentator on BBC1's This Week. He made his name as a Conservative MP and minister and was one of Margaret Thatcher's keenest admirers and champion of her poll tax. Under John Major he became the Defence Secretary. Tonight he rekindles his admiration for the Iron Lady on BBC4, in Portillo on Thatcher: The Lady's Not For Spurning, at 10pm.
To his critics, he's just an over-coiffed mediocrity. To his fans, he's a living rock god. To himself, he's just a kid from New Jersey who got very, very lucky. But one thing's for certain: Jon Bon Jovi's latest world tour is the quintessential rock'n'roll experience. Ed Caesar joins the man and his band on the road