News

Professor Robert Coe, from Durham University:  “This seems to underline the view that improvements in GCSEs and some other examinations have had more to do with grade inflation than real sustained improvements over time.”

John Bercow re-elected unopposed as Speaker

John Bercow was returned as Commons Speaker today after an attempt to remove him was cast aside by the vast majority of MPs.

The election action unfolds

6.40am Nick Clegg, looking deflated despite having comfortably held his seat in Sheffield Hallam, acknowledged that the Liberal Democrats "simply didn't achieve what we hoped".

Protest votes speak volumes for Bercow

Although Ukip's Nigel Farage remained in hospital after the light-aircraft crash that almost killed him on polling day, scenes at the Buckingham count, where he stood for Parliament, remained decidedly colourful.

John Bercow's wife loses bid for council seat



The wife of the Commons speaker and former Tory MP John Bercow lost her bid to win a council seat for Labour today.

Speaker John Bercow fends off Nigel Farage

House of Commons speaker John Bercow has held his seat in Buckingham, beating off a challenge by Ukip's Nigel Farage.

Lucky escape for UKIP's Nigel Farage as banner plane crashes

Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage tonight spoke about his "miraculous escape" from a light plane crash after an election stunt went dramatically wrong.

Alan Smithers: Why will no party be bold on school admissions?

Soon after I arrived at the University of Buckingham, the vice-chancellor affectionately dubbed me Comrade Smithers. On hearing this, an old friend snorted, "God, if they think you are left wing, what does that say about the rest of the university?" But in this election I find that I am to the left of all three main parties in wanting a simple, clear, centrally set structure for secondary education. The key to this is the admissions process.

In Buckingham, the Bell tolls for Blair

The man with a mission to clean up politics is campaigning on the former PM's doorstep. Andy McSmith joined him

The Sketch: Ukip if you want to, he's in the pub by half ten

John Bercow is to be banned from all public buildings in Britain. Brilliant! A bit un-British, but a bold stroke in the Ukip manifesto. Clear, clinical, a little brutal, popular with all right-thinking people who regarded the Speaker's election as a stain on the Constitution.

Party to step aside for anti-EU rivals

Labour and Tory candidates in some marginal seats are to receive the surprise support of a rival, after the UK Independence Party announced it is to back the campaigns of Eurosceptic MPs at risk of losing their seats.

Selective schools not more socially exclusive, says study

Top comprehensives take less than their fair share of pupils from deprived homes

Village People: Aren't you that woman off the telly?

It will be an election rich in faces off the television. The title of most glamorous new MP of 2010 will surely go to Labour's Gloria De Piero. She was political editor of GMTV until she surprised colleagues last month by resigning to fight Ashfield, Notts., a safe Labour seat vacated by Geoff Hoon. Tory Esther McVey, also formerly of GMTV, missed becoming MP for Wirral West in 2005 by just 1,097 votes, but is in with a very good chance of success this time. Then there is Esther Rantzen, an authentic household name in her day, running as an independent in Luton South, where the Labour MP, Margaret Moran, was forced out by the expenses scandal. At 69, Rantzen is probably not on the verge of a new career, but it will be fun to see the veteran campaigner back on the stump – with or without vegetables that look like genitalia.

Minority parties - From fringe to centre-stage

Opportunities for single-issue groups have never been greater, explains Michael Savage

Letters: Soldiers' votes

Soldiers need to be told they have a right to vote

Man held on suspicion of poisoning soup at Stowe public school

Was it the porter, in the kitchen, with the ladle? This is the question puzzling police investigating the poisoning of a batch of carrot and coriander soup that was due to be fed to 760 pupils at a £27,000-a-year public school.

Latest stories from i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 12 March 2015
War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?