News Office politics: Mr Ortikov’s troubles began as a British embassy employee

Guard who refused to be a spy says UK turned its back on him

Queen's Birthday Honours: Gay marriage opponent Edward Leigh knighted

Edward Leigh, a right-wing Tory MP and opponent of gay marriage, has been knighted. His opposition to David Cameron’s line on gay marriage is only the latest of a series of public disagreements he has had with successive party leaders from John Major onwards.

EU referendum: A rabbit from a hat... or is it just a dead duck?

The Prime Minister’s aggressive European gambit has prompted a furious debate about Britain’s future. Here, influential figures tell The Independent whether he’s done the right thing...

If the bald look is a boon in business, why doesn’t it work in politics?

The bald head apparently now represents potency and decisiveness, but shiny-headed men are still on the sidelines

MPs including Sir Menzies Campbell and Richard Drax will attend the Games as VIP escorts

Politicians prepare to mix business with pleasure at London Olympics

It is a tough job but, as they say, somebody has to do it. More than 60 ministers and MPs have been drafted in to act as escorts for foreign VIPs coming to watch the Olympics, The Independent has learnt.

Olympic tickets may be cancelled in black market touting scandal

Allegations of black market touting by foreign Olympic committees could see thousands of tickets cancelled, but an inquiry into the scandal may not be completed before the Games begin.

Heywood: said he felt safe

David Cameron 'likely' to raise Neil Heywood case at Li Changchun meeting

Prime Minister David Cameron is "likely" to raise the death of British businessman Neil Heywood when he meets a senior Chinese Communist Party official in Downing Street tomorrow, aides said today.

Nick Clegg urges 'no' to Scottish independence

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has urged Scots to say "No" to independence before working to achieve more devolved power within the United Kingdom.

Ed Davey who has replaced Chris Huhne as Energy Secretary

Ed Davey takes over as Energy Secretary

Ed Davey has replaced Chris Huhne as Energy Secretary, Downing Street announced today.

Richard O'Dwyer faces being sent to the US for trial

Clegg is silent over computer student facing deportation to US

In opposition, he condemned 'lopsided' extradition laws. But he has said nothing to help this Sheffield programmer

Blair attacks Cameron's reaction to looting

Tony Blair made a rare return to domestic politics yesterday to dispute David Cameron's claim that we live in a broken society, as cracks in the Coalition showed over human-rights law.

After 17-year fight for justice, families of Chinook pilots win MoD apology

Insufficient evidence led the inquiry to determine it was impossible to find that the pilots had been negligent

Southern Cross collapse leaves elderly care in limbo

The grim truth about the demise of care home company Southern Cross was confirmed to its shareholders yesterday in an extraordinary meeting which followed news of its closure on Monday.

UK 'should review relations with Rwanda'

The British Government faces demands to review its close relationship with Rwanda, following the revelation that Rwandan expats living in the UK have been warned that they are the target of assassins sent by the African government.

James Corrigan: With all his troubles does Woods need a coach who thinks he can save the world?

Nobody should doubt the sincerity of this Robin Hood in a Nike-sponsored visor; least of all a cynical Brit. But what can be queried is Tiger's need for all this

William Hague dismisses resignation claims

William Hague has dismissed claims he has lost his "mojo" and is ready to resign as Foreign Secretary.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?