British prime minister Boris Johnson in Hartlepool on Friday after the Conservative Party won the Westminster byelection. Photograph: Oli Scarff/AFP via Getty Images

The Conservatives have made major gains in English local elections and captured the Westminster seat of Hartlepool which has been in Labour’s hands fo(...)

Labour Party leader Keir Starmer pulls a pint at Cameron’s brewery in Hartlepool. Photograph: Ian Forsyth/WPA Pool/Getty

Hartlepool, a struggling port town in the northeast of England with a population of just over 90,000, is seldom the centre of attention in Britain. Bu(...)

Former US president Bill Clinton stands next to Seamus Mallon along with former Northern Ireland first minister David Trimble and one time British prime minister Tony Blair in September 1998. Photograph: Paul/Faith/Pacemaker Press

I first met Seamus Mallon in the late ’70s in London, where he had come to lobby the Labour Party, at that time dependent for its House of Commons maj(...)

A pedestrian passes a dilapidated building in Hartlepool, northeast England. It is one of the 10 poorest places in England, with more than one in five people  living in “income-deprived households”. Photograph:  Getty Images

It is cold, wet and windy in Shildon, a small town outside Bishop Auckland in County Durham, and Labour MP Helen Goodman is getting ready to meet her (...)

Alastair Campbell: “With some sadness but absolute certainty, I have reached the conclusion that I no longer wish to stay in the party.” Photograph:  Dominic Lipinski/PA

Alastair Campbell, the former Downing Street director of communications under British prime minister Tony Blair, has said he no longer wishes to be a (...)

Women draw tickets during the Irish Hospitals Sweep Hurdle draw (sweepstakes) at Ballsbridge in Dublin in January 1986.Photograph: Paddy Whelan

Margaret Thatcher told Peter Mandelson “you can’t trust the Irish; they’re all liars”. That was a bit harsh, maybe. But we’re certainly not above the (...)

Naoise Nunn: “I’m delighted to bring the ethos and the fun of Leviathan to the Library of Progress at Body&Soul later this month.”

The Time of My Life is a weekly column about a moment that changed someone’s life – for the better or the worse The venue was the Hub on Dublin’s Eus(...)

Labour Party supporters listen to a speech by Labour MP Emily Thornberry, shadow foreign secretary, in Notting Hill Gate in the build-up to the local council elections in the London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in west London. Photograph:  Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty

Across London and in other English cities and towns on Thursday, activists from all political parties were making calls, sending texts and knocking on(...)

British Brexit Secretary David Davis has claimed Sinn Féin’s growing influence in the Republic has pushed the Irish Government into taking a harder-than-expected stand in the Brexit negotiations. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Sinn Féin’s growing influence in the Republic has pushed the Irish Government into taking a harder-than-expected stand in the Brexit negotiations , Br(...)

Brexit Britain: for the first time Theresa May has told her country that leaving the EU will have costs. Photograph: Jeff Overs/BBC/PA Wire

One of the useful attributes of the European Union is its ability to fudge pretty much any controversial issue. Problems that in the past often led to(...)

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