Speeches in the House of Commons by the Tory Jacob Rees-Mogg are an erudite comedy turn. As MPs debated the European Union (Approvals) Bill (Lords), which writes into British law two draft regulations passed by the Council of the European Union, only he thought it necessary to read into the official record part of what one of the regulations actually said.

The past comes back to haunt John Bercow – and his other half

She was a ‘ladette’. He penned a politically incorrect dating guide. It’s not been a good week for the Speaker, says Andy McSmith

Best Seat in the House, By Frank Johnson Edited by Virginia Fraser

How, one wonders, would Frank Johnson have reviewed this book of his collected columns? His style is infectious, but very much his own, and other political satirists, essayists and commentators who have tried to imitate him over the past 30-odd years have never come close.

Tories threaten to tear up Lord Reith's BBC legacy

Conservative government would abandon royal charter

The perils of privilege: why class remains Cameron's Achilles' heel

The Tory leader is sensitive to questions about his wealth and background. Andy McSmith explains why

Norman Tebbit: 'Margaret and I both made the same mistake. We neglected to clone ourselves'

I meet Norman Tebbit, that old icon of the Right, loyal keeper of the Thatcher faith and now Baron Tebbit of Chingford, in the central lobby at the Houses of Parliament.

Pandora: Don't play the PR game with Tebbit

Quick, fetch the sous chef! Word reaches us of an almighty culinary row threatening to bubble over between staff at Norman Tebbit's office and an upmarket restaurant, over what appears to be an attempt to rope the former Conservative cabinet minister into a bizarre publicity stunt against his will.

Will Brighton bomber return for anniversary?

The man who planted the Brighton hotel bomb has been invited back to the seaside town to attend a commemoration marking the upcoming 25th anniversary of the IRA's most deadly attack on mainland Britain, The Independent has learnt.

The young ones: Is this the future of politics?

With Parliament's public image at an all-time low, and the stench of scandal in the air, who'd choose a career as an MP? Simon Usborne meets the Westminster wannabes

Stephen Glover: With fewer friends, the BBC may yet be reined in by the Tories

The Tories’ attempt to freeze a £3 increase in the BBC licence fee was easily outvoted by Labour and the Lib Dems last week in the House of Commons. The Tories do not seem particularly upset, and one could easily regard the episode as a bit of sabre rattling that will soon be forgotten.

'I forgive my dad's killer'

After her father was murdered in the IRA bombing of Brighton's Grand Hotel in 1984, Jo Berry began a remarkable journey that has culminated in her working alongside the man sentenced for the attack

Investment Column: Go for bicycles, if you must hold retailers

May Gurney Integrated Services; Powerleague Group

Rushdie attacks censorship – while trying to stifle criticism of himself

Sir Salman Rushdie has accused his publisher of censorship at the same time as trying to prevent the release of a book that criticises him. The novelist, who spent nearly a decade under a fatwa from the Iranian government after the publication of The Satanic Verses in 1988, attacked Random House for pulping a historical novel about the Prophet Mohamed for fear of offending Muslims.

Sir Benjamin Slade: 'I am going to be a mega, mega-star'

Sir Benjamin Slade has attracted world-wide publicity with his search for an heir to his £7.5m country pile. But is he really the eccentric, impoverished (and furiously right-wing) aristocrat that he claims to be?
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General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'