Pick of the week: Ukip’s shadow blocks out shady Boris

Our five most popular pieces of the week, for your reading pleasure

Five: Tory rebels threaten to derail Cameron's Scottish devolution vow

The Conservative rumblings over English votes for English laws are set to continue all autumn, although David Cameron did a lot to placate the worriers in his appearance before MPs on the liaison committee this week. Still, it was the big impact of our story from last week revealing the 'vow' to Scottish voters is endangered by disgruntled Tories that really made a splash again. Last week's number one story is down to five.

Four: Why doesn't Miliband talk about Europe like this?

Calm, measured, logical, irresistible: not the sorts of words Sir John Major might have been accustomed to hearing about himself when he was in Downing Street, but undoubtedly applicable these days. The wise old bird was at it again on Sunday morning, offering one of the most lucid defences of Britain remaining in the European Union. It begged an obvious question…

Three: Supporters of immigration should copy Nigel Farage

Until Emily Thornberry's tweet came along and ruined Labour's week, the top story for the opposition was shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper's big speech on immigration. Yet, as with Rochester and Strood, it was just another case of political news taking place in the context of Ukip's triumph. Nigel Farage has skewed the debate on immigration, as on so much else. That only makes it all the more important for those with alternative views to speak louder.

Two: Rochester and Strood by-election as-it-happened

Our live blog from the count in Kent had it all: analysis, insight over the Thornberry tweet, even an impromptu arrival from Santa himself. Our man Adam Bienkov made it all the way through to the result in the wee small hours and beyond before finally losing consciousness. Well played.

One: Channel Four allegations reveal a darker side to Boris Johnson

Our top story this week, though, comes from the capital. The mainstream press have largely ignored the news investigation into Boris Johnson's quango London and Partners (L&P) and Chinese developers ABP. But in the London Assembly the mayor faced calls for a probe which Johnson turned around and dismissed as a "complete waste of time and money". Astonishingly, he seems to be getting away with it. If he ever does make it back into parliament, he may not be able to escape so easily.