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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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Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment