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

Brown wheels out the weak and wounded

Even wheeling out the walking wounded was not enough. Gordon Brown was forced to resort to blatant bribes and an alleged deal with the nine Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) members to save his skin in the biggest Commons cliffhanger since the days of John Major's government.

Poll deepens Labour gloom as MPs return to Commons

The Conservative Party enjoys a 14-point lead over Labour, enough to give David Cameron an overall majority of 102, according to the latest poll by ComRes for The Independent.

Revealed at last: leading MPs' expenses claims

Gordon Brown once claimed £15 for light bulbs, Peter Mandelson spent nearly £3,000 on a shower and Tony Blair lavished nearly £11,000 of taxpayers' money on a new kitchen, according to the most detailed account of MPs' expenditure ever published.

Anger at lack of No. 10 invite for Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama arrived in Britain today amid growing concern that he is not being received at Downing Street.

John Curtice: Tories are finally banishing ghost of Black Wednesday

Labour's heartlands seem to have been keen to give the party a kicking

Speaker bars MPs from querying expenses appeal

The authority of Michael Martin, the Commons Speaker, was challenged again yesterday after he barred MPs from discussing the High Court action to block the disclosure of their expenses.

MPs try to block expenses details

The Speaker of the Commons has lodged an appeal in the High Court to stop details of MPs' personal expenses and the addresses of their second homes being disclosed to the public.

Letters: Gay rights in Iran

Logic and courage needed to save gay Iranian from dire peril

Business leaders losing faith in Brown and Darling, survey shows

Business leaders have lost confidence in Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling to lead the British economy through difficult times, according to a new survey.

Steve Richards: Clegg could be an engaging and effective leader. But how much does that matter?

Leaders of the Lib Dems come and go. The dilemma remains the same

Clegg: 'Power and privilege keep us out of government'

Lib Dem leader attempts to reassert his authority with attack on the two-party system

Leading article: Mr Clegg and a question of authority

If there was one party leader who should have come out of the Commons debates on the European Reform Treaty smiling, it was Nick Clegg of the Liberal Democrats. Gordon Brown was saddled with Tony Blair's cynical promise of a referendum, which had been enshrined in the party manifesto. David Cameron leads a generally eurosceptic party that numbers some highly articulate pro-Europeans among its MPs. This week's referendum debate was going to be comfortable for neither leader.

Clegg faces Lords rebellion over his abstention policy on Lisbon Treaty

Nick Clegg is facing another damaging rebellion against his stance on the Lisbon Treaty, this time by Liberal Democrat peers who hold strong pro-European views.

Campbell denies spat with Clegg over Commons stunt

Sir Menzies Campbell, the former Liberal Democrat leader, is said to be furious over claims that he privately criticised his successor, Nick Clegg, for "childish" behaviour by staging a Commons walkout.

Alan Watkins: A very curious way of tying us in to Europe

The great Liberal Democrat Commons walkout was not only trumped by the roof protesters – it fell victim to its own folly
News
Oscar Quine takes a stroll along High Street Kensington yesterday in ‘his’ electric blue stilettos
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The temples of Angkor, where tourists have been stripping naked
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Terry Sue Patt pictured in 1995
peopleTerry Sue-Patt played Benny Green in the classic children's TV show
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The coffin containing the remains of King Richard III is carried on a procession for interrment at Leicester Cathedral on 22 March 2015 in Leicester, England.
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The Queen and the letter sent to Charlie
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Eurovision Song Contest 2015
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Two lesbians hold hands at a gay pride parade.
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Arts and Entertainment
<p>
<b>Kathryn Williams</b>
</p>
<p>
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>
<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>
<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>
booksKathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
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Liz Kendall played a key role in the introduction of the smoking ban
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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
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

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
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?