Novichoc: From Russia with Love

The gift of chocolate models of Salisbury Cathedral to well wishers by Russian state TV must be the sickest message sent out in the season of goodwill.

The Downing Street state pension robbery

An investigation reveals successive governments have raided and underfunded the National Insurance Fund and the 50s generation of women pensioners are paying for it

Fight to save the iconic Gay Hussar

A battle has started to save the iconic Gay Hussar restuarant in Soho,London – one of the capital’s infamous venues for Left wing plots and meetings between journos and their sources.

Britain: Sleep walking into the valley of death

Since the coalition in 2011 both the annual death rate and the number of deaths have increased reversing a trend lasting 50 years. And the growth in life expectancy is slowing. Is austerity to blame?

Time to bin Keep Britain Tidy

England has had the worst problem of litter among developed nations for over a decade – time to ditch the rump of a charity leading the campaign and go for policies that will force big companies who cause the problem to pay to solve it.

Hillsborough Families:Patronised to death by the disdain of the powerful

A highly critical and moving report by the Rt Rev James Jones, former Bishop of Liverpool,calls for cultural change in Britain to deal with tragedies like Hillsborough and Grenfell Tower and is highly critical of the patronising disposition of a powerful elite to families’ pain and suffering.

Time for MPs to take back control of Parliament

MPs should give John Bercow, the Speaker, the full support for an important Parliamentary reform to give them a much greater say over government legislation particularly as Theresa May does not have a majority and Brexit must be properly examined.

Sir Edward Heath: Paedophile or No Paedophile?

Wiltshire Police were right to investigate the allegations of child sexual abuse against Sir Edward Heath and their inquiry is both fair and proportionate. But it has left the issue in limbo.

Edintfest: 70 years of challenge and innovation

The Edinburgh International Festival – often overshadowed by the more famous fringe – is 70 years old this year. This is why it is worth going to see their productions as well going to the fringe.

Will May’s terrorism clampdown restrict freedom of speech?

The recent terrorist atrocities has led Theresa May to say she may curb some civil liberties to defeat terrorism. People should scrutinise the Queen’s Speech to see what happens as this Commons research paper shows grave difficulties in doing this.

Towering Inferno: Grenfell Tower Fire

There must a full national investigation into this appalling tragedy and heads must roll – the council’s role in ignoring and threatening residents who warned of fire safety concerns must be put under vigorous scrutiny

Election 2017: Prim Headmistress v Cool Grandad

There has been a perceptible shift from the Tories to Labour during the campaign. How much of it is non political vibes now the voters can see both leaders in action? And do the young count?

Tony Blair’s top donor goes Bercow

On the very last day of Parliament the speaker John Bercow has declared he has just received £20,000 in donations to fight his re-election campaign- two of them come from figures close to Tony Blair and Ed Miliband and were involved in the infamous ” Cash for Honours” scandal that went nowhere.

Lake Como’s little piece of paradise

For those wanting a break in beautiful and luxurious surroundings – this was a great place to stay- and forget the grim national and international situation. More pictures on my own blog site

Journalists v Journalists: Daily Mail suing Byline

Why is the Daily Mail suing Byline: is it in danger of becoming an enemy of the people itself or is this an attempt to stamp out a new kid on the block that investigates journalism and raises questions ignored elsewhere?

Britain: A nation of paedophile voyeurs

The controversial remarks of police chief Simon Bailey that we should not prosecute people viewing child sexual abuse images on line because they are so many of them – suggests there is something very sick in British society if that is the case.

Has Theresa May got it wrong over the Brexit negotiation plan?

Theresa May may have a cunning plan to try and reconcile border controls and free access for industries to the EU but according to Labour peer and former Gordon Brown special adviser Stewart Wood, she is making a colossal mistake by reading across a special deal for justice to the whole of Brexit

By-election horrors:Labour’s dilemma and the faux fear of UKIP

Labour has had a nasty wake up call from the Copeland by-election. But they have seen off UKIP and should now refocus on tackling the Tories and Liberal Democrats head on – and have some radical thinking and galvanise their Young Turks to fight May’s council elections.

Coming soon: Chaos for your tax bill

A huge re-organisation of HMRC tax offices -involving closing 170 local offices and replacing them with 13 regional offices – and relocating 38,000 staff – spells chaos for future tax collection as a National Audit Office report warns

Unison election: Now Electoral Reform Services on trial

The second day of the hearing into complaints about union officials breaking rules to ensure that Dave Prentis was re-elected general secretary of Unison, put the spotlight on the role of the Electoral Reform Services which was both oversaw and scrutinised the election.

Unison:Union Democracy on Trial

A hearing begins on Monday into whether officials in Britain’s biggest public sector trade union, Unison broke its own rules and an Act of Parliament by overzealously supporting the re-election of its general secretary, Dave Prentis. All candidates who stood against him have lodged complaints.

Why Labour needs a simple message

With the exception of one good council by-election result yesterday Labour’s performance was dire. They need a simple message to galvanise the voters to see where they stand.

The loss of Zac Goldsmith and the Lib Dem revival

I have mixed feelings about Zac Goldsmith’s failure to be re-elected. I disagree with him over Brexit and his Mayoral campaign but he is a true democrat and environmentalist. There are also lessons for Labour in the Lib Dem revival.

The day I shook the hand of Fidel Castro

The death of Fifel Castro today has reminded me of my visit to Cuba in 1978 to attend the World Youth Festival and how it became not only a showcase for Cuba but allowed the rising student elite of Britain to hone their skills for future roles.

Henriques: Help or Hindrance

Sir Richard Henriques report into the failure of high profile police inquiries into public figures accused of historic child sexual abuse proposes a radical rebalance in future investigations – aimed at protecting suspects as much as those who accuse them. They go too far.

The arrogance of judge Dame Lowell Goddard

Yvette Cooper , the new chair of the Commons Home affairs Committee, is quite right to rebuke judge Dame Lowell Goddard for refusing to appear before Parliament ot explain her resignation as chair of the independent child sexual abuse inquiry. It is both a disgrace and arrogant

The Brexit court case: Much ado about nothing

The slanted right wing media coverage of the court decision has a fueled a popularism not supported by the facts. The very people who voted to leave should be pleased. It is reasserting our sovereignty.

The not quite complete Exaro archive

Exaro’s website has been taken down and removed from the net. But a large part of the articles written by staff have been saved and can be viewed through this link. But the link is not as comprehensive as it should be as some articles have mysteriously disappeared.

The Keith Vaz Westminster fan club: Why do they protect this man

Conservative MPs including a large swathe of Cabinet ministers decided last night that Keith Vaz, the former Labour chairman of the home affairs committee, should be appointed to the justice committee. This is while a recent scandal involving male prostitutes has still to be sorted. Why?

Labour’s best council by election result night since the General Election

Labour last night gained three seats out of nine council by-elections last night. The Liberal Democrats gained two, Plaid gained one. Disastrous night for the Tories who lost four of the six seats they were defending . Before: Con 6,Lab 1, SNP1, and Ind 1. After: Con 2, Labour 4, Lib Dem 2, Plaid 1.

Exaro: What next?

Exaro may have closed this week but the two people who ran the site, David Hencke and Mark Conrad are now looking for a new future for the investigative team.

Labour’s UKIP fear factor: A ballot box illusion

Labour MPs want to ditch Jeremy Corbyn because they fear a meltdown at the next general election with UKIP taking swathes of their seats. But the first clutch of council elections suggest it is UKIP in meltdown and Labour is doing rather well.

Chilcot and The Blair Rich Project

As Blair faces judgement over the Iraq War from Sir John Chilcot on Wednesday, a TV programme will look back at all the wealth he has amassed since leaving office in 2007.

I am interviewed as it is derived from our book, Blair Inc, which I co-authored with Francis Beckett and Nick Kochan.

Stop these nasty attacks on people living here now

The rise of racist attacks on people from European Union and ethnic minorities must stop now. They have been legitimised by the Brexit campaigners like Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson and Michael Gove giving a gloss of respectability to louts.

Is social media fuelling hatred and contempt in Britain?

Is the murder of Jo Cox’ causing us to pause and ask whether social media is fuelling hatred and contempt? Are people turning political debate into nasty insults? Are women and child sex abuse survivors the growing target of trolls in an increasingly nasty society? It’s time to stop this.

Are expensive libel cases on the way out?

New figures released two days ago reveal an enormous drop in new libel claims last year – are we seeing the end of expensive libel cases and the beginning of people using the ” right to be forgotten ” on Google to silence critics

A tainted and improper appointment by Nicky Morgan

Nicky Morgan’s decision to appoint millionaire lawyer David Issac as the new chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission is the first appointment which does not comply fully with the Nolan principles of selflessness and integrity and will taint the work of the Commission.

Seven Guys in a Boat: The Caen Hill challenge

Seven friends still just in their prime – average age 69 – take on Britain’s biggest canal flight in a narrowboat as part of a relaxing spring break. Who says we are past it.

Helping crime pay with Theresa May

Far from ensuring that criminals can’t get away with living a life of luxury on their illegal swag, Theresa May is presiding over record levels of stolen cash and goods never being recovered because of cuts hitting the people trying to confiscate the money.

A rare accolade for ” Lawrence of Arabia”

The Culture ministry has quietly given Lawrence of Arabia’s tiny home -left untouched since 1935- a rare historic building listing. This comes 80 years after his death and just before the centenary of the Arab Revolt he jointly led in World War I to topple the Ottoman Turks.

Spending Review: Caveat Emptor

George Osborne’s spending review appears too good to be true- and it is. It was a brilliant Smoke and Mirrors exercise . Buyer beware