News Charities say drug users are switching to alternative drugs created in laboratories because they know they are not breaking the law if they are caught in possession

Proposals "fetter UK's discretion", insists crime minister Norman Baker MP

UK says a resounding 'NO' to AV

Campaigners against changing the way MPs are elected claimed a "resounding" victory tonight as the No camp gained an unassailable lead in the UK-wide referendum.

Cameron 'committed' to coalition

The coalition Government "is as good today as it was a year ago", Prime Minister David Cameron insisted today as the Liberal Democrats suffered heavy defeats in the local elections.

The Sketch: Normally I wouldn't dream of voting. It just distorts the result

Decision day. Fifteen hours to change the world. Did you feel the electricity in the air? Ed Miliband had sent his postal ballot to Doncaster. The very words crackle on the screen as they're typed.

Leading article: Banish apathy and vote to change politics for the better

Optimism is the appropriate mentality. We will see bottom-up politics in action

Row over campaign tactics sours Cabinet meeting

Chris Huhne, the Liberal Democrat Cabinet minister, declared that the Conservatives are still “the nasty party” after an unprecedented bust-up over their tactics in the referendum campaign during yesterday’s Cabinet meeting.

AV referendum 'will change coalition' says Clegg

This week's referendum on voting reform will change the nature of the coalition Government, regardless of its result, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said today.

For the future of the Coalition, leaders play down the AV vitriol

Co-ordinated show of unity by Cameron and Clegg is undermined by continued sniping in the lower ranks

Leading article: Make this the last time you vote with an X

How often have politicians padded out speeches with phrases like these? "People should have more control over their lives"; "People rightly demand greater choice"; "Open up politics to give people more of a say"; or even, "Power to the people". On Thursday, we the people really do get our chance to have a say, and to take more power to ourselves.

Coalition feels the strain as AV argument heats up

The strained relations between the two Coalition parties over electoral reform took another nosedive yesterday when the Liberal Democrat president attacked both Margaret Thatcher and David Cameron.

Lib Dems: 'Corrupt system elected Thatcher'

The war of words over electoral reform flared up further today as a senior Liberal Democrat branded first-past-the-post a "corrupt" system which had allowed Margaret Thatcher's Conservative government to practise "organised wickedness" in the 1980s.

Andrew Grice: Miliband finds he has little room for manoeuvre on AV

Labour sympathisers cannot simply vote against the Coalition

Mary Ann Sieghart: Vote Yes for evolution, not revolution

The anger and scaremongering is so disproportionate to the reform you wonder if they're all looking at the same voting system

Child benefit cuts will hit not only affluent but low-income families as well

The Government's squeeze on child benefit will hit families on low to middle incomes as well as the better off, according to a new analysis for The Independent.

No more policy concessions to Lib Dems, Tories warn Cameron

David Cameron has been given a stark warning by Conservative Party activists not to offer any new policy concessions to Nick Clegg if the Liberal Democrats suffer big losses at the local elections next month.

Voting referendum neck-and-neck as Yes campaign gains support

The battle between the Yes and No camps before next month's referendum on the voting system is still wide open, according to a poll for The Independent. The findings will come as a relief to supporters of a switch to the alternative vote (AV) after recent surveys gave the No camp a lead of more than 10 points.

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us