‘None of these criticisms is likely to dent Blair’s belief in his own righteousness. He is doubtless buoyed by regular, gushes of praise for his involvement in the making of the Belfast Agreement.’ Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Tony Blair is set to step down as Middle East “peace envoy” for the Quartet – the United Nations, the European Union, Russia and the United States. He(...)

Tyne Bridge in Newcastle: will the northeast become a distant outpost of London-led government if Scotland votes Yes?

Ten years ago, Labour’s John Prescott offered the northeast of England a regional assembly, but it was turned down by three-quarters of those who both(...)

Ceann Comhairle Seán Barrett is at odds with Enda Kenny and Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin over how to choose a replacement for civil servant Kieran Coughlan, who retired last month after 23 years as clerk of the Dáil and secretary general of the Oireachtas Commission. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Tongues were wagging in Leinster House this week after the latest twist in the continuing stand-off between the Taoiseach and the Ceann Comhairle over(...)