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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
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Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate