Former British foreign secretary Malcolm Rifkind has been caught in a  sting apparently offering their services to a private lobbying firm for payment. Photograph: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Former British foreign secretary Malcolm Rifkind is under pressure to quit as head of Westminster’s security intelligence watchdog following a sting (...)

Northern Ireland’s First Minister and DUP leader Peter Robinson is flanked by party members after the talks in Stormont where a dose of austerity medicine was all that was on offer. Photograph by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Taoiseach Enda Kenny offered a snappy explanation as to why he and British prime minister David Cameron so abruptly quit the Stormont talks yesterday (...)

Adam Busby at the Four Courts after he lost his Supreme Court appeal against an order for his extradition to Scotland. Photograph: Collins.

The Supreme Court has dismissed a Scottish separatist’s appeal against an order for his extradition to the UK on terrorism charges.The appeal was brou(...)

Members of the  Sinn Féin delegation speak to the media after British prime minister David Cameron and Taoiseach Enda Kenny departed from  talks on Friday  at Stormont House in Belfast. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

David Cameron and Enda Kenny dealt a short, sharp shock to the Northern body politic by hightailing it out of Belfast on Friday morning. “It was bang(...)

Predictions about oil are usually wrong, so the SNP is joining a long queue of people. However, being wrong may prove important if, as some now suggest, the world is  facing an era of cheap oil. Photograph: PA

North Sea oil has been central to the dream of Scottish independence for decades. In the 1974 general election, the Scottish National Party won extra (...)

Artist Kaya Mar stands  near parliament with his cartoon painting depicting chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne waving an axe. Photograph: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

George Osborne got out of bed yesterday in his family flat overhead No 10 Downing Street to the sound of Big Ben’s 6 o’clock bells, listening like so (...)

 Former British prime minister Gordon Brown with his wife Sarah and children James Fraser and John during a press conference to announce he is standing down as an MP, at The Kirkcaldy Old Kirk Trust this evening in Kirkcaldy Scotland. Photograph:  Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Former Labour prime minister Gordon Brown has announced that he will stand down from the House of Commons next May and has ruled out taking a place in(...)

Britain’s prime minister David Cameron: expected to confirm shortly that the UK wants to restrict in-work benefits to migrants for several years. Photograph: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Gordon Brown is usually described as the architect of Britain’s system of tax credits, which distributes welfare to millions of the lower paid. In (...)

Scottish first minister Alex Salmond is congratulated by new SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon following his speech today at the annual party conference at Perth Concert Hall, Scotland. Photograph: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Scots must get all of the home rule powers pledged by Westminster before September’s independence referendum or else they “will take it”, Scotland’s f(...)

Britain’s Labour Party leader Ed Miliband delivers a speech on the British economy and his leadership in London on Thursday. He set himself the task of reminding his MPs what he was about, and what the party was for. Photograph: Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA

If you want to hear a politician lift their oratory, push their back against the wall. It took a mix of cabinet rebellion and economic slump to provok(...)