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Parliament: The Sketch: Tory stamp of approval delivers blow to Labour benches

I DON'T suppose Stephen Byers expected quite such a warm welcome for his statement on the Post Office. Members hear-heared with gusto, greeting almost every clause with mutters of approval and ostentatious nodding.

Parliament: Interests register may be extended

CANDIDATES STANDING for Parliament might have to declare their interests before election day so that voters know their financial connections, the Home Secretary, Jack Straw, said yesterday.

Letters: Benn's legacy

Sir: Tony Benn's most memorable political achievement was, I'm afraid, a negative one. He was the major influence in the forces that made the Labour Party unelectable for almost 20 years. Even when the party had begun the long haul back under Neil Kinnock, it took a decade for the public perception of a party under the influence of Bennite extremism to be changed.

Letter: Backing Benn

Sir: For Gerald Kaufman to blame 18 years of Labour in opposition on Tony Benn is breathtaking. Remember, Benn lost the deputy leadership election - it was the leadership, that of Kinnock, that was the face of Labour that the electorate rejected.

Labour MPs' anger at new poll rules `control'

LABOUR OFFICIALS dismissed renewed accusations of "control freakery" yesterday after it emerged that all the party's MPs would be subject to tough new reselection rules.

Right of Reply: Mark Seddon

The editor of Tribune responds to Gerald Kaufman's assessment of Tony Benn's career

Letter: Benn's Law

Sir: Tony Benn is an admirable relic of the heyday of Westminster democracy, when we were grateful that our betters represented us and we had no chance of participating. Today we are consumer citizens with direct and global and increasingly interactive media, not to mention an all-pervasive democracy of information, NGOs and the other bits and pieces of politics without politicians.

Parliament: The Sketch: If air power wins wars, why is the airport unimportant?

THE VICTORIOUS forces had arrived with good morale and they didn't look too interested in any notions of magnanimity towards the defeated. After a period of great trial and anxiety, the Tories had finally pushed back the hated Europhiles.

Benn Jr may join father in House

A HISTORIC father-and-son partnership in the Commons looked certain last night after Hilary Benn was selected as Labour candidate for the Leeds Central constituency.

John Smith made mistakes, but at least he was trusted

In comparison with him, the Millbank Tendency characters have yet to develop backbones

Parliament The Sketch: Benn blazes away at targets all around the world

FOR THOSE armchair warriors happily anticipating an extension of the war in Yugoslavia, yesterday's debate on Kosovo was an object lesson in how a small force of highly motivated guerrillas can pin down a much larger body of men.

Europe: Failings in EU tolerated 'far too long'

"ROOT AND branch reform" of the European Commission was demanded by MPs from all sides yesterday as Tony Blair called for an entirely new framework for fighting fraud and financial irregularities in the EU. Opening his Commons statement, Mr Blair said it was "absolutely right" that the whole Commission had resigned because the inquiry report revealed a "sad catalogue of negligence and mismanagement".

Kurd Protests: Hostage-takers start hunger strike

THE KURDISH protesters occupying the Greek embassy in London announced they had started a hunger strike yesterday in an effort to secure their demands.

Parliament: The Sketch: Will Tony Benn find himself in one of Straw's gulags?

JACK STRAW did not quite suspend habeas corpus but he made several dramatic strides in that direction to enhance his authoritarian reputation as a "tough" home secretary. Tory home secretaries talked tough but Mr Straw acts tough and yesterday he became the first one in living memory to propose measures to incarcerate people who have not actually been convicted by any court.

The Week In Westminster: Citizen Blair leads mob as Tory shadows fade away

IT WAS A wretched week for parliamentary democracy which began with the Prime Minister determined to forsake the Commons Punch and Judy show for the soft sofa of the Richard and Judy television show.
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Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada