The first part of the 1937 letter written by Communist leader Mao Zedong to Clement Attlee of the Labour Party. Photograph: Sotheby’s/PA Wire

A 1937 letter written by Communist leader Mao Zedong to Clement Attlee of the Labour Party, later British prime minister, has gone under the hammer fo(...)

 Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Fine Gael has promised cuts to the USC as part of its election pitch. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

The message thus far from Fine Gael has been stability and prudent management of the economy, yet no party can expect to be re-elected on the back of (...)

Leadership candidate: Joan Burton. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

‘The leader’s role in election victories and defeats is greatly exaggerated,” says Archie Brown. “In a very, very tight contest the relative popularit(...)

 Winston Churchill contemplated acting against Ireland to remove the German legation from Dublin and asked for advice on how it could be done. Photograph: PA Wire

Winston Churchill was disproportionately obsessed with the possibilities of security leaks from Ireland in the run-up to D-Day, a conference heard yes(...)

Photograph of Tony Benn taken in 2003. The veteran politician died at home on Friday March 14th, 2014, at the age of 88. Photograph: Matthew Fearn/PA Wire

Tony Benn, who has died aged 88, was a pivotal figure in British left-wing politics in the second half of the 20th century. A national institut(...)