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.

Liberal Democrat Conference: Welfare State: New pension urged to beat `time bomb'

RADICAL PROPOSALS to reform the welfare state, including compulsory second pensions and the taxing of child benefit, were overwhelmingly endorsed by the conference, in spite of fierce protests that they went against the very principles of the Liberal Democrat Party.

Leading Article: The strange death of liberalism under Paddy Ashdown

PADDY ASHDOWN this week opens the most uneasy Liberal Democrat conference since he became leader 10 years ago. His situation is a paradox. He has the elixir of electoral reform - the one thing his party really, really wants - poised between cup and lip, and yet his party seems determined to jog his elbow.

Cabinet split over electoral reform

A CABINET split over electoral reform deepened yesterday after Jack Straw gave a clear warning to the Liberal Democrats that the Government did not have to buy a "pig in a poke" by accepting the recommendations of the Jenkins commission on proportional representation.

Poll shock: all men are mortal, even Tony

THE NATION has finally rumbled that Tony Blair, though an avowedly sincere Christian, is not actually the duo-millennial reincarnation of Jesus Christ the Saviour himself. Until recently, Blair's poll ratings were of a magnitude usually given only to political leaders who have just unleashed a bomb or an army. But an annual survey published last week showed that the percentage of respondents who agree that Mr Blair "has lots of personality" has fallen from 80 per cent to 60 per cent over the year. His "tough" quotient is down from 57 to 42; his "more honest than most politicians" factor is slashed from a triumphal 54 to a tragic 34; and his "arrogance" rating is up from 21 to 29, now standing a full 10 per cent higher than Paddy Ashdown's.

Ashdown retreats over electoral reform on eve of conference

PADDY ASHDOWN is willing to water down the Liberal Democrats' commitment to wholesale proportional representation as part of a deal with Tony Blair, which he hopes will get his party into a coalition government.

Right of Reply: Mike Gapes

A Labour MP responds to Ken Livingstone's case for proportional representation

Right of Reply: Djordje Mijalkovic

The Counsellor

Leading Article: Kosovo cannot wait

WHAT WILL it take to force Nato to act over Kosovo? Two hundred thousand civilians have been forced to flee their homes in the Serbian province. This ethnic terrorism must be stopped. Russian and German objections must be faced down.

MPs wait in wings to succeed Madam Speaker

THE LIMBERING up has already started for a candidate to replace Betty Boothroyd, as the Speaker of the House of Commons, although her last curtain call is likely to be some years away.

Parliament & politics: Sketch: An Old Labour warhorse springs to Lilley's defence

A TASTE of what might have been was given to the Tory party yesterday afternoon when Peter Lilley, the new deputy leader, stood in for William Hague, whose mum wouldn't let him come out to play as he was still laid up with flu. Mr Hague, the dynamic youngest Tory leader this century - personal trainer Seb Coe, expert in judo, careful with his diet - proved that good old-fashioned heavy smoking and drinking, to excess, is the only way to get through a career in Parliament.

Union leader attacks reform

TONY BLAIR'S vision of a new electoral system for Britain comes under fire today from one of his closest allies in the union movement.

Politics: Blair targets Tory peers

Tony Blair is planning to make inroads into the Tory majority in the Lords by announcing a working list 25 new life peers after the Queen's Birthday Honours List at the weekend.

Politics: Tories warned on Lords reform

THE THREAT of a constitutional crisis was stepped up last night after the Government warned it would use the Parliament Act to force through legislation to reform the House of Lords if Conservative peers used their majority to block it.

Londoners vote for a mayor by three to one

LONDON is to have an elected mayor for the first time after voters in the capital voted by three to one in favour of the move in yesterday's referendum.

A day from which all parties took comfort

ALL three parties were claiming victory last night as election results came in from 166 local authorities across England.
football This was Kane’s night, even if he played just a small part of it
travel Dreamland Margate, Britain’s oldest amusement park, is set to reopen
Founders James Brown and Tim Southwell with a mock-up of the first ever ‘Loaded’ magazine in 1994
Threlfall says: 'I am a guardian of the reality keys. I think I drive directors nuts'
voices The group has just unveiled a billion dollar plan to help nurse the British countryside back to health
The Westgate, a gay pub in the centre of Gloucester which played host to drag queens, has closed
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
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3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
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The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss