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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Dennis Rodman has confirmed he is not going to the Middle East to 'talk to with the leaders of Isis' as claimed in a recent satirical report
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'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
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Uh-oh, winter is coming. Ouch, my eyes! Ygritte’s a goner. Lysa’s a goner. Tywin’s a goner. Look, a dragon
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The Independent's live blog of today's Premier League action

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Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
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Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam