Oliver Letwin

Lansley 'was shut out of NHS reform meetings'

Andrew Lansley was excluded from key meetings at which the Government's highly controversial plans to reform the NHS were first drawn up, a new book serialised in The Independent reveals today.

Diary: Milestone on the long road to recognising Alan Turing

The centenary of the birth of that brilliant mathematician Alan Turing, the man who broke the Germans' Enigma code, is less than a month away, with no sign that the thousands who have supported calls for him to be given a free pardon will get their way. Turing underwent chemical castration to avoid being imprisoned for being gay.

Julie Burchill: The unions have been demonised, so the bullies have

As I think I might have mentioned before, I come from a trades union family, and while my dad had the theory down and wasn't above a bit of secondary picketing, my mother lived and breathed the struggle for workers' rights. Or, as we call it today, Going Off On One Big Time.

Diary: No hero's welcome for Ricky

Connoiusseurs of comedy will recall the excruciating sight of Ricky Gervais, sent to California to interview his comic idols for Channel 4, and squirming under the hostile glare of Garry Shandling (aka Larry Sanders of The Larry Sanders Show).

More headlines

Birmingham Diary: Tory fringe despair at antics of Coalition Cameroons

Representatives at the Conservative conference are not all seething with rancour over the compromises they have had to make through being in coalition with the Liberal Democrats, but a lively minority are. Nearly 150 gathered in a side hall yesterday to hear the Tory MEP Roger Helmer and the Daily Mail's Melanie Phillips denounce David Cameron for not setting Britain on a course that would get us out of the EU.

Independent Live at the party conferences

This year, Steve Richards and Independent Live have been putting on events on the fringe of the party conferences, supported by John Lewis Partnership. Stream the podcasts below or download them from this page or iTunes to listen to at your leisure.

Coalition ministers plan united conference front

The Liberal Democrats have traditionally been forced to scream – or beg – for attention when they hold their annual conference. But it could not be more different this year with an unprecedented spotlight about to be trained on the Coalition Government's junior partners.