News Bridget Harris, left, a former Clegg aide, has quit over the Lord Rennard affair

The Liberal Democrats’ calamitous handling of the Lord Rennard sexual harassment allegations looks set to be arbitrated by the courts after the peer’s supporters indicated he would if necessary take legal action to retain his position in the House of Lords.

Leading article: Too grave an error of judgement to ignore

LORD NEILL, QC, has done the right thing for the wrong reasons. As chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, he must avoid any hint of controversy. Having accepted a brief from Dame Shirley Porter, he has now dropped it. He should not have taken it in the first place. Dame Shirley is, of course, entitled to the best legal representation available as she takes her case to the Court of Appeal. But she will have to do without Lord Neill, formidable as his legal reputation may be. Dame Shirley is no ordinary client. Judgement has already been given after an exhaustive investigation into her antics at Westminster Council. For Lord Neill to have acted for her would have been a bizarre spectacle - the nation's "sleaze-buster" standing up in court in defence of someone at the centre of one of the greatest sleaze scandals of the day.

Letter: Legal fat cat?

Sir: Is the Lord Chancellor, in pursuance of his commendable objective for freedom of information, prepared to disclose the fees he received in his last year of practice at the Bar?

Industrial claims up

Industrial claims up

Letter: Jesus loves us

Joan Smith quotes the "eye for eye, tooth for tooth" bit from Exodus, then remarks that, fortunately, since the Christian church has lost its moral force in the West, such immoral rough justice is on the decline ("Justice like this only bloodies the relatives' hands", 28 September).

Acas plans quick-fix system for job grievances

Britain's government-funded industrial peacemakers are planning a fast-track route to resolving grievances as the number of individual employment rights cases reached a new record.

Letter: Let this be the last absurd `landslide'

Letter: Let this be the last absurd `landslide'

Letter: Yes, sleaze is the real election issue

Letter: Yes, sleaze is the real election issue

Letter: If juries manage to do justice, it must often be by accident

Sir: I share Glenda Cooper's concerns about juries (Rough justice from the court jesters", 27 March), having been a juror myself several years ago.

Complaints at all-time high

Complaints at all-time high

`Ancient' right dates from 1855

While it has undoubtedly passed into our constitutional framework, the right of a defendant to elect trial by jury is not as ancient as sometimes believed.

Minister in gay marriage plea

A Government minister has called for gay couples to be allowed to enter into a legal contract similar to marriage.

Lord Chancellor goes to court

Lord Mackay, the Lord Chancellor, is being taken to court over the controversial hike in court fees introduced last month. Lord Justice Simon Brown, the judge in charge of judicial review cases has directed an expedited hearing of the case, believed to be the first of its kind, on 5 March.

Lord Chancellor stands up for rights

The right of consumers of public and private services to stand on their legal rights got firm backing yesterday from the Lord Chancellor, Lord Mackay of Clashfern, in a rebuttal of claims that Britain is adopting a United States-style litigation culture.

Letter: Mistake that hanged Hanratty

Sir: Your report on the Hanratty case (27 January) mentioned that the only eye-witness to the crime, Valerie Storie, "failed to pick him out on the first identity parade". The reality was worse than that: James Hanratty did not take part in the first ID parade, and Miss Storie picked out someone wholly unconnected with the case.

Letter: Jury rationing

Sir: It might help Margaret Withers (letter, 3 September) and many others if jury service were rationed. I have been called four times, and am eligible for several more before being disqualified by age. The first occasion is instructive, leaving an admiration for our legal system. Further periods can be a burden and could surely be more usefully and fairly distributed. As for eliminating the useful contribution which the over-70s could make, does not this amount to "selection"?
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Arts and Entertainment
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Arts and Entertainment
<b>Kathryn Williams</b>
When I was supporting Ray La Montagne I was six months pregnant. He had been touring for a year and he was exhausted and full of the cold. I was feeling motherly, so I would leave presents for him and his band: Tunnock's Tea Cakes, cold remedies and proper tea. Ray seemed painfully shy. He hardly spoke, hardly looked at you in the face. I felt like a dick speaking to him, but said "hi" every day. </p>
He was being courted by the same record company who had signed me and subsequently let me go, and I wanted him to know that there were people around who didn't want anything from him. At the Shepherds Bush Empire in London, on the last night of the tour, Ray stopped in his set to thank me for doing the support. He said I was a really good songwriter and people should buy my stuff. I was taken aback and felt emotionally overwhelmed. Later that year, just before I had my boy Louis, I was l asleep in bed with Radio 4 on when Louis moved around in my belly and woke me up. Ray was doing a session on the World Service. </p>
I really believe that Louis recognised the music from the tour, and when I gave birth to him at home I played Ray's record as something that he would recognise to come into the world with. </p>
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Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

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12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?