Arts and Entertainment Ed Miliband told Kirsty Young his relationship with brother David was 'healing'

Forget policy proposals, it is the choices made by political leaders on Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs that really give the public a chance to see into both their souls and their desire to be seen as accessible.

Cook adds voice to `fair' votes system

ROBIN COOK is ready to signal his support for a compromise over electoral reforms which could give Tony Blair's government the prospect of two decades in power.

Blair paves way for Labour losses

THE Prime Minister yesterday prepared the ground for Labour losses in tomorrow's local elections with party fears that complacency would keep the voters at home.

Plan to deal with freed paedophiles

A NATIONAL committee is to be set up to handle the release and supervision of high-profile paedophiles like Sidney Cooke.

Letter: Government of Scotland

Letter: Government of Scotland

Party leaders unite to condemn racism in Britain

PARTY leaders last night united in an attack on the scourge of racism after The Independent urged them to join forces with Tony Blair to celebrate the multi-culturalism of Britain. Their unity is a direct response to deep-seated concerns over racismand underlines a growing determination to tackle it head-on.

Paddy Ashdown speaks of his life on the dole

PADDY ASHDOWN will today tell of the worst moment of his life - the day when he had to sack himself and 30 people who worked under him, writes Paul Routledge.

Backbench threat to Brown's tight rein

THE CHANCELLOR is facing a fresh Labour backbench rebellion over his refusal to abandon the spending limits inherited from the Tories to boost the health and education budgets.

Demanding job that has to bring its own reward

As leader of the Conservative Party, William Hague is permitted the comparative luxury of a private secretary, two assistant private secretaries, a diary secretary and a personal secretary in addition to his team of press secretaries, researchers and volunteers. But as former Conservative Cabinet ministers have recently been reminded, such back-up is well beyond the means of the ordinary MP, for his or her modest salary will stretch only to one Commons secretary and a researcher. The average Commons secretary can expect long hours and a punishing workload. Her role tends to be an all-consuming, highly sensitive and in many ways precarious one, requiring a level of dedication and devotion which to many may appear nothing short of a labour of love.

Politics: MPs in Murdoch challenge

THE LIBERAL Democrats last night leaked the outline of a high- level Labour Party discussion, attended by Tony Blair, agreeing that "representations" should be made to ministers about predatory pricing in the newspaper industry.

Politics: Lib Dems get female shadows

Every one of the Liberal Democrats' 46 MPs is to have a female "shadow", the party announced yesterday.

Unwanted house guests: Paddy Ashdown killed my guinea pig ...

Guess who's coming to dinner? If you live in Newcastle-upon-Tyne forget seeing your mother-in-law, it's more likely to be a leader of a political party. Yesterday, Paddy Ashdown's aides let it be known that the Lib Dem leader was off on a fact-finding mission spending the night with a family that knows what it's like to live on benefits.

On a mission

Paddy Ashdown was the guest last night of a family living on a rundown estate in Newcastle upon Tyne who have survived on benefits.

Tory Scandal: Web of secrecy cloaks the truth about policy on donations

The Tories have "very strict rules" banning anonymous donations to party funds, Sir Norman Fowler, chairman of the party, told a Commons investigation in June 1993. Anthony Bevins, Political Editor, explores the tight secrecy that surrounds party funding.

Politics: Blair tightens grip on levers of power

The Prime Minister tightened his grip on Government policy yesterday, taking charge of a public campaign for welfare reform and setting up a new ministerial control unit in No 10. Anthony Bevins, Political Editor, examines moves that could squeeze the Chancellor's power base.

i wish they would ...

Debbie Barham suggests how the great and the good could make themselves even greater and better in 1998.
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Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence