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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Jeremy Clarkson has rejected criticisms of his language, according to BBC director of television Danny Cohen
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A polar bear’s diet is rich in seal blubber and half of its own body weight is composed of fat
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fashion David Beckham fronts adverts for his underwear collection
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Judi Dench appeared at the Hay Festival to perform excerpts from Shakespearean plays
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Exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Metz - 23 May 2012
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Ronahi Serhat, a PKK fighter, in the Qandil Mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan
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Day In a Page

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Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year