Blair's charity hopes to strike gold in California

Tony Blair's post-Downing Street empire is to lay foundations in California, after the former prime minister's charitable foundation won official backing to raise money on the Golden State's lucrative "charity circuit".

Tony Blair defends 'helpful' Prince Charles

Tony Blair has defended the Prince of Wales as "immensely helpful" after the former prime minister was quoted as saying Charles was "screwing" his government.

When lampooning New Labour's no joke

The Comic Strip are returning with a satire targeting Tony Blair. Their timing couldn't be worse, says Gerard Gilbert

A Journey, By Tony Blair

"The gene pool going into politics is now frighteningly limited," laments the former PM in a 40-page essay that fronts the paperback edition of his memoir. But does this relentlessly upbeat "third-way progressive" (the new intro still uses that formula, and still gives zero credit to its architect, Tony Giddens) count as a mutant monster or a creative evolution of the Labour line?

Video: Miliband: 'The Blair-Brown era is over'

Labour leader Ed Miliband says the era of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown is "ancient history".

Tony Blair's EU president plan dismissed

Tony Blair's vision for an elected president of the European Union was dismissed today by Foreign Secretary William Hague, who insisted its members had more pressing priorities than further "constitutional tinkering".

Choose Your Weapons, By Douglas Hurd

Focusing on a dozen Foreign Secretaries from the last 200 years, this book starts with a bang. In an 1809 duel, an ex-Foreign Secretary shot a holder of the post in the thigh.

Mandelson criticises 'too quick to criticise' Miliband

Lord Mandelson today condemned Ed Miliband for being too quick to "criticise his own side".

Why We Lie, By Dorothy Rowe

You're never going to believe this...

Lessons from the past: why Tories oppose AV

The conservatives would have been reduced to a rump of just 70 MPs in Labour's 1997 landslide victory if that election had been fought under the Alternative Vote (AV) system, according to research based on answers given by voters at the time.

Labour to consider A-level reform

Labour is poised to reverse one of the most controversial decisions taken as Prime Minister by Tony Blair over its schools policies. Andy Burnham, education spokesman, plans to "look again" at rejected proposals to scrap the GCSE and A-level system and replace it with an overarching diploma covering both academic and vocational qualifications. A-level and vocational qualifications such as engineering and healthcare would be recorded side-by-side as part of a new diploma certificate.

Second Iraq inquiry date for Tony Blair

Tony Blair is to make his second appearance before the Iraq Inquiry on Friday January 21, it was announced today.

Book Of A Lifetime: The Interpretation of Cultures, By Clifford Geertz

If you mapped out a novelist's history in books, beloved and influential fictions would have to loom large in the foreground. But books of ideas can be significant in a novelist's formation too - history or science or philosophy or whatever, depending on taste and training and accidental encounter. From those books we derive the framework of our beliefs, the underpinning convictions thatform our mindset and play through and around the witnessing, empathetic, dreaming parts of our perception. And these shaping beliefs will always be at work in the stories we write, however obliquely, or at whatever level of conscious or unconscious deployment.

Tony Blair's sister-in-law converts to Islam

Tony Blair's sister-in-law, Lauren Booth, has become the latest in a long line of Western Islamic converts. From Chris Eubank to Jermaine Jackson to Alexander Litvinenko, she joins an eclectic list, yet she is markedly different from most of its names, for one key reason – she is female.

Blair's coupling with Cherie is up for a Bad Sex Award

"That night she cradled me in her arms and soothed me; told me what I needed to be told; strengthened me ... On that night of 12 May 1994 I needed that love [she] gave me, selfishly. I devoured it to give me strength. I was an animal following my instinct ... "

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there