Cecil Parkinson: Thatcher appointed him minister for trade on her victory in 1979. Then, in 1981, she promoted him to paymaster-general and made him chairman of the party. Photograph: Tony Harris/PA Wire

Cecil Parkinson, who has died aged 84, occupied important cabinet offices and was twice chairman of the British Conservative Party, but his career was(...)

Britain’s prime minister David Cameron: “Never been my intention to strong-arm people into voting for a position they don’t agree with.” Photograph: Reuters

Conservative Eurosceptics have welcomed David Cameron’s decision to allow cabinet ministers to campaign on either side of Britain’s referendum on EU (...)

British prime minister David Cameron: seeking to renegotiate Britain’s EU ties before a vote due by the end of next year. Photograph: Jack Hill/Getty Images

British prime minister David Cameron will let government ministers campaign to leave the European Union in an upcoming referendum, a source in his of(...)

After a referendum campaign that fails to catch fire, voters will choose to stay in the EU. Photograph: Toby Melville/PA Wire

The ancients believed that forecasts were an affront to the gods. But we are impudent postmoderns now: we can venture a speculative account of Britain(...)

Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko (left) is greeted by European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker next to European Council president Donald Tusk  ahead of a meeting at the EU Council in Brussels. Photograph: François Lenoir/Reuters

David Cameron arrives in Brussels on Thursday under mounting domestic pressure to secure an agreement on curbing welfare payments to European Union mi(...)

Political puzzle: Anthony Trollope  called himself an “advanced conservative liberal”, a combination that would have needed considerable unpacking even in its own time.  Cartoon: ‘Spy’ (Lesley Ward)/ Hulton Archive/Getty Images

2015 marked the 200th anniversary of the birth of one of Britain’s greatest novelists, Anthony Trollope. Despite the Trojan efforts of the Trollope So(...)

An Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll on water charges.

In 2001, there was a byelection in Tipperary South which Fianna Fáil was expected to win. The party lost the vote, and afterwards blamed it on an opi(...)

Loyalist protestor outside Hillsborough during the signing of the Anglo-Irish Agreement

1972 Under pressure both from Westminster and nationalists, and in the face of escalating violence, the Conservative British government ended the Stor(...)

Harold McCusker: “I felt desolate because as I stood in the cold outside Hillsborough Castle everything that I held dear turned to ashes in my mouth.”

The signing of the Anglo-Irish Agreement on the November 15th, 1985 , was a defining moment for unionism and for Northern Ireland. We had just come t(...)

Former Northern Ireland secretary of state Peter Brooke MP, right, chats with fellow MP Peter Temple-Morris in  Killarney at the 22nd British-Irish Inter Parliamentary conference which is taking place in 2001. Photograph: Don MacMonagle

This book is about events in the life of a politician. It is not an an autobiography but a selection of events of interest to a reader, ranging fro(...)