Ben Mitchell

Ben Mitchell is deputy editor of the cross-party blog Speaker's Chair, and contributing editor of Shifting Grounds.

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Thieves swoop to steal 400 budgies worth more than £60,000 in Hampshire

More than 400 budgies, worth more than £60,000, have been stolen from a breeder's home.

Stephen Gough is the Naked Rambler

Naked rambler Stephen Gough denies Asbo breach

BBC postponed screening of documentary after arrest

Festival-goers arrive for Bestival 2013 at Robin Hill Country Park on the Isle of Wight

Bestival 2013: Festival-goers enjoy the sunny weather before impending heavy rain

Heavy rain is forecast for Friday with the 'odd rumble of thunder'

Revellers at Bestival 2012

Bestival 2013: Thousands don fancy dress and head to Isle of Wight-based festival

Thousands of revellers will be boarding ferries today to join one of the last big parties of the summer at Bestival.

Henry Assumang was charged with two counts of inflicting grievous bodily harm

Man accused of infecting women with HIV virus dies in hospital aged 34

A man accused of infecting two women with the HIV virus has died in hospital.

Night shifts ‘increase risk of miscarriage’

Women who work night shifts are at greater risk of suffering miscarriages than those who work regular office hours, according to new research.

'Feeling like burning down some mosques in Portsmouth, anyone want to join me?': Woman avoids jail after post-Woolwich Facebook comments

Michaela Turner was given an eight-week prison sentence suspended for six months

The rain turned the Isle of Wight Festival into a mudbath

Isle of Wight festival organisers promise no repeat of last year's chaos as revellers board ferries for the 2013 event

Thousands of music-lovers have been piling on to ferries to the Isle of Wight for the first of the major summer music festivals.

Tory MP's wife denies groping housekeeper

Employment tribunal told that sexual moves were attempt to persuade her to join a threesome

Police concerned for Mexican woman missing in the UK for almost two weeks

Police are becoming increasingly concerned for the well-being of a Mexican woman who has been missing in the UK for almost two weeks.

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Day In a Page

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
She's dark, sarcastic, and bashes life in Nowheresville ... so how did Kacey Musgraves become country music's hottest new star?

Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
Aston Villa vs Hull match preview: Villa were not surprised that Ron Vlaar was a World Cup star

Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

Andi Weimann reveals just how good his Dutch teammate really is
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef ekes out his holiday in Italy with divine, simple salads

Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution