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
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
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Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us