Voices

Khodorkovsky’s release may well have been intended to further those goals by sending a positive signal about Russia's future business climate

Leading article: Lords reform must be delayed no longer

For longer than any of us can remember – for nearly 150 years, in fact – politicians have said that something needs to be done about that museum piece called the House of Lords. Occasionally a government has tinkered with it, as when the Labour government cut the number of hereditary peers to 92. But no government has taken a clear position on what the House of Lords is for, how many members it should have, and how those members are to be chosen. Consequently we still have this hotchpotch of a chamber, of indeterminate size, some of whose members are there by right of birth, some are ex-politicians in semi-retirement, and some are valuable additions to Parliament, appointed for their experience and expertise in other fields.

Pension plan 'hits poorest'

Nearly a fifth of Britain's poorest men die before receiving their state pension and extending the working age will affect them disproportionately, an MP has warned.

Video: Cameron: NHS 'is the envy of billions'

Prime Minister David Cameron says he is passionate about the NHS but sticking with the status quo is not an option.

The Sketch: With Devine on the wrong side of justice, sympathy's hard to find

There's a little grille four inches square set into the fortified door at the side of the Old Bailey. It's a different world on the other side of the grille and if you've had a glimpse of it – speaking as someone who's had 24 hours in the slammer – you'll rather not have another.

Lying ex-MP Jim Devine jailed over expenses

An expenses cheat MP who "carried on regardless" in the face of public anger over the practice was branded a liar by a judge as he was jailed for 16 months today.

Mary Ann Sieghart: If he picks his fights well, Clegg can still deliver for his Party

Talk of what the third party had achieved in power was banned at the start of the Coalition,but is now allowed in the run-up to May's elections

Diary: All the King's men...

Colin Firth has been filming on the set of a gay porn movie. Once you've forgiven/sued me for that misleading opening sentence, let me explain: a series of photos acquired by the website QueerClick (best viewed – if at all – at home, using a computer for which you have administrator rights and can swiftly clear your browser history) appear to prove that the shabby office inhabited by Geoffrey Rush's character, Lionel, in The King's Speech, has also been the setting for a number of graphic mano-a-mano celluloid encounters. The owner of the location used in Firth's film, Edward Davenport, has already admitted to hosting sex parties there, while the walls and windows of the room in the aforementioned snaps are identical (though I don't recall that billiard table being there during The King's Speech). Remarkably, given the ripe-for-pornification male friendship at its core, there appears to be no "porn version" of The Kings Speech (à la Shaving Ryan's Privates) in circulation just yet. But might this online leakage – as it were – be yet another elaborate attempt to sabotage the film's substantial Oscar chances? The people behind The Social Network have both motive and expertise...

Village People: Clegg's remote control

Nick Clegg earned plaudits from the former Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown for his masochistic decision to appear in a television debate with an audience of 20 students.

MP Devine denies expenses conversation

Two MPs did not advise a former colleague accused of fiddling his expenses to take cash from an allowance to pay his staff, a court heard today.

Steve Richards: Egypt is a reminder of the errors that drove the Iraq war

Blair was convinced that war is justified to liberate people. The uprising in Egypt demonstrates that attempts at regime change can take many forms

Ex-civil servants dispute Blair's Iraq war claim

Two former heads of the civil service today disputed Tony Blair's claim that the Cabinet knew military action against Iraq was likely a year before the war began.

Paul Vallely: Blair's glinting eye turns to Iran

A glimpse of the old messianic mission returned when the former prime minister appeared before Chilcot

Banks dig in heels over £7bn payouts

Bankers and politicians are to debate the level of bonuses being paid this year and to talk more about bank lending, mainly to small- and medium-sized businesses, later this month.

Adrian Hamilton: Cooper hasn't learnt from Labour's mistakes

With the euro teetering on the verge of collapse, a new report by the European Council accusing the Prime Minister of Kosovo of murdering Serbian captives and trading in their body parts, and total uncertainty overhanging Afghanistan's future, foreign policy is no longer a matter of vague principles. It is about what stand you take on the specifics.

Video: Bercow shouts at Tory MP in bust up

Speaker John Bercow loses his cool with a protesting Tory Chief Whip, Patrick McLoughlin, as he walks out of the Commons.

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University Edible Garden, Leeds – a sustainable garden in the centre of the university, passers-by can help themselves to the home-grown produce
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
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Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz