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

Armed forces: Ulster-sized force needed for Kosovo

BRITAIN MAY have to deploy armed forces in Kosovo numbering "very close" to the 15,000 now in Northern Ireland, the former Tory defence secretary Tom King said yesterday. The Defence Secretary George Robertson side-stepped that question and said the operation would "continue as long as it takes".

The Sketch: Sniping continues in foothills of Westminster enclave

THE WAR is over but skirmishing continues in outlying areas. At the beginning of his statement on the G8 summit, the Prime Minister seemed to suggest that the moment for modesty had passed - either because he can now stand confidently on conquered ground or because things have been getting a little gloomy recently and he thinks it might be timely to bring his light out from under its bushel.

Campbell accuses leadership candidates of blind ambition

MOST CANDIDATES in the Liberal Democrat leadership contest have been blinded by personal ambition and are out of touch with reality, Menzies Campbell suggested yesterday.

KENNEDY AHEAD OF HUGHES AND RENDELL IN LIB-DEM LEADERSHIP RACE

THE Liberal Democrats' most senior parliamentary figures are planning to throw their weight behind Charles Kennedy, the 39-year-old Skye MP, putting his leadership bid on a cast-iron footing, writes Marie Woolf.

Tyler to run for Lib Dem leader

THE BATTLE for the leadership of the Liberal Democrats descended further into farce yesterday after it emerged that the MP responsible for policing the contest was himself preparing to run.

Kennedy: I'll put social justice first

CHARLES KENNEDY, the front-runner to succeed Paddy Ashdown as leader of the Liberal Democrats, is planning to trump Labour's caring credentials by making concern for the underprivileged, disabled and vulnerable a key aim of his leadership.

The week in Westminster: A man of few views and fewer opinions

JUST WHAT the attraction is of Sir Alastair Goodlad - the Tory MP who has secured a plum retirement job as High Commissioner of Australia - escapes most colleagues. His monosyllabic utterances led him to be one of the worst Commons performers at the despatch box and Baroness Thatcher dumped him as a minister in 1987.

Prime Minister draws up battle plans for the looming euro war

THE PROJECT is dead! Long live the Project! Within hours of the inconclusive election results in Scotland premature obituarists declared Tony Blair's worst fears had been realised: proportional representation does not work, coalitions are a nightmare, New Labour should be allowed to get on with it and rule alone at Westminster.

Parliament: Embassy bomb `act of gross incompetence'

WAR IN THE BALKANS

Voting For a New Britain: Blair under pressure to reveal Lib- Lab `vote pact' for Scotland

TONY BLAIR was under pressure last night to disclose details of a secret deal between Labour and the Liberal Democrats which could lead to a coalition in the new Scottish Parliament.

Lib Dem Leadership: Foster denies quitting contest

DON FOSTER, the Liberal Democrats' education spokesman, has dismissed speculation he is poised to pull out of the party's undeclared leadership race.

Comment: If you really want to understand this war, listen to Parliament

The Government has been unnecessarily petty in refusing a vote on the Balkans conflict so far

Harvey pulls out of Lib Dem race

THE BATTLE for leadership of the Liberal Democrats took a twist yesterday when Nick Harvey, the party's campaigns chief, indicated he was pulling out of the race, saying he wanted to narrow the number of potential candidates.The man said to be the favoured choice of Paddy Ashdown is likely to back Menzies Campbell as the best candidate.

Parliament: The Sketch: Marshall Tito's houseguest tells of crockery shortage

IT IS A broadly dependable rule of thumb that the more questions there are answered in a session of Oral Questions, the more boring that session has been.

Mandelson's Part In The Coalition That Never Was

AT THE turn of the year 1995-6 Mandelson had been among those who attended a secret meeting at Lord Irvine's handsome house in north London. The Liberal Democrats were Ashdown, Lord Holme, Bob Maclennan, Archie Kirkwood and Menzies Campbell. On the Labour side, besides Donald Dewar, Mandelson and Irvine himself, were Tony Blair and Robin Cook. This was an interesting selection: the gathering was heavy with Scots; even more important, all the Labour participants were by now either open to, or outright enthusiasts for, electoral reform.
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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