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.

Tory Europhiles may be heroic but they are stuck in a terrible hole

IT CANNOT be much fun being a pro-European Conservative at the moment. Probably it has not been a bundle of laughs for many years, but at least until the last election the Tory Europhiles occupied some of the big offices in government. Now the leadership, with the support of most members, marches the party further towards an unswerving Euroscepticism. What is more, the most likely successor, when not charming television viewers on the joys of Spanish railways, takes an even more inflexible position on Europe, accompanied by the doting approval of the newspapers. The present is bad, but the future looks even worse.

At last, we can all start to fight for our principles again

THE THING I most like about being a politician is that you never know what's going to happen next. You wake up one morning to hear on the radio that Saddam Hussein has invaded Kuwait, and in the space of just a few hours the things you had planned to do with the next six months of your life are dumped while you get into the campaign to stop the war. Most often it's international affairs that transform a political situation but occasionally a domestic crisis has the same effect.

Quotes Of The Week

When I look at some of the inner-city schools, it is no wonder parents feel they have to move their children out.

Focus: Why he went quietly

No fanfare for Paddy Ashdown as Lib Dem MPs grew wary of the project with Labour

Monitor: Paddy Ashdown's resignation

Escape from a bed of nails Verdicts on the announcement by the leader of the Liberal Democrats that he will be resigning from his post in June

After Ashdown: Still a hero to Tinkers Bubble folk

IN A damp wood a mile or two up the valley from Paddy Ashdown's house, Bob Baehr was coppicing hazel trees. "Yes, I'll be sorry to him go," said Mr Baehr, offering a mug of home-pressed apple juice. "I think he is a popular person - people around here like him."

AFTER ASHDOWN: Village hall rejoices at quick return

THERE HAS always been something a little theatrical about Paddy Ashdown. So the fog that swirled like dry ice on a movie set was a more than suitable backdrop as he arrived back in Somerset last night.

Lib Dems' pact with Blair is falling apart

TONY BLAIR and Paddy Ashdown were struggling last night to keep alive their policy of closer co-operation between their parties after the Liberal Democrat leader's decision to resign. Although they insisted Mr Ashdown's departure would not affect their strategy, senior figures in both parties said privately that it was now in jeopardy.

Letter: Graceful exit

Sir: I hope Paddy Ashdown's graceful, indeed fragrant, resignation from party leadership and Parliament will not lead journalists to a rash of "nothing became him like his end", as though he were a Richard III, or Sidney Carton.

Ashdown Resigns: Prospect of a big job in Europe

PADDY ASHDOWN said that his decision to stand down was a "very personal" one which he had taken with his wife, Jane, before the last general election.

Comment: A battle too far for Paddy

Those of us working for him found him difficult to keep up with, physically and intellectually

`This was the best ocean I've sailed'

PADDY ASHDOWN strode into committee room 11 of the Commons yesterday with a simple message to his MPs: he did not want to be one of them when he was 65. He had fought his last general election .

Ashdown Resigns: Blair in tribute to `outstanding leader'

TONY Blair described Paddy Ashdown last night as "one of the outstanding party leaders of his generation" and claimed that his decision to resign would not affect the party links the two had tried to forge.

Ashdown resigns: Village salutes its local hero

IN THE Lord Nelson, an imposing pub 100 yards from Paddy Ashdown's stone-built home, the conversation stopped for News at Ten last night.

Letter: Unfair exchange

Sir: In 1876, Bismarck noted that the Balkans were not worth the bones of a single Pomeranian grenadier. Could Paddy Ashdown ("We cannot allow the Serbs to attempt a `final solution' ", 20 January) or you kindly convert this into British soldiers at the 1999 rate of exchange?
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That's a bit rich

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