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Westminster Outlook Michael Fallon is Westminster's – and the world's – first land-dwelling, four-limbed octopus, his tentacles wrapped around Whitehall, circular suckers incapable of being removed from powerful ministries of state.

MP quits aide role over mail privatisation plan

A ministerial aide quit today in protest at Government plans to partly privatise the Royal Mail.

The Lord who put the bounce into Brown

Lord Mandelson says his new role at Gordon Brown's side is to make the Brownites and Blairites laugh together again. Others insist the 'Prince of Darkness' is no jester, but really the new Deputy Prime Minister, reports Andrew Grice

Mandelson denies suggesting joining euro

The Business Secretary Peter Mandelson today denied that he was responsible for suggestions that the Government could consider taking Britain into the euro in the face of the economic downturn.

Mandelson warned not to backtrack on flexibility rights

Peter Mandelson has been warned not to back down from giving flexible working rights to millions of working parents by the woman who came up with the Government's plan to extend the scheme.

Mandelson urges Obama to resist US protectionists

The Business Secretary Peter Mandelson last night urged Barack Obama not to retreat into trade isolation and protectionism.

Brussels rules out Mandelson investigation

The European Commission today attempted to draw a line under the growing clamour for full disclosure about Peter Mandelson's official contacts during his four years as the EU's Trade Commissioner.

Mandelson admits he met tycoon two years earlier

Peter Mandelson faced renewed calls to detail all his meetings with Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska today after admitting their contact went back two years further than previously publicly stated.

Voters lose confidence in Osborne after row

Fewer than one in six voters believes George Osborne has the judgement necessary to handle the economy, according to a new poll underlining the fallout from claims that the shadow Chancellor was involved in discussions about a donation from a Russian billionaire. Nearly one in three people questioned said Mr Osborne should resign from the Tory front bench, according to a ComRes poll conducted for the BBC in the wake of the affair.

Leading article: Instant return

Now we see what Britain has been missing these past four long years. Peter Mandelson only rejoined the domestic political fray 20 days ago and look at what splendid drama he has already delivered for us: betrayed confidences, broken friendships and a good old-fashioned political scandal. And what a luxurious backdrop: a sun-kissed Greek island, the yacht of a Russian oligarch, the villa of a Rothschild. It sounds more like a James Bond film than a Westminster bun fight.

David Randall: Tally ho! Why has the press pack got it in for Peter Mandelson

The hunt is on, the press pack is in full cry, and the columnists won't be happy until they draw blood. But what is it about Peter Mandelson that attracts such bile?

Julian Clary: My advice to Lord Mandy? Flaunt it, sister

Lots of people are having a go at Peter Mandelson these days. He's too "silent" say some, meaningfully. His lips are too thin, declare others. He walks with clenched buttocks, accuses someone called Quentin Letts, whose own buttocks flap manfully in the breeze, no doubt. Poor Peter might be forgiven for thinking he'd entered Mr Gay UK, rather than the political arena.

Mandelson defended over billionaire claims

The European Commission's most senior trade official has defended Peter Mandelson over claims of a conflict of interest during his time in Brussels as Trade Commissioner.

Matthew Norman: Welcome home Lord Mandy

It might be Awakenings, with Gordon reviving the narcoleptics

I'm a practical moderniser, says Cameron

The needs of society must come first, Tory leader tells Woodstock Literary Festival

<a href="http://blogs.independent.co.uk/openhouse/2008/10/gordon-on-the-c.html">Ed Howker: Gordon on the couch</a>

According to psychologist Lucy Beresford, Gordon Brown is 'deeply insecure' and bringing Peter Mandelson back was "Freudian" bordering on "self-mutilating behaviour".

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Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

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Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
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20 best days out for the summer holidays

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All the wood’s a stage

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Self-preservation society

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