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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Detectives from Hampshire Constabulary say they believe Penelope Anne Davis, 47, was tending her horse shortly before she was killed

New Forest murder: Man charged over killing of Pennie Davis

A 36-year-old man has been charged with the murder of a mother-of-five who was stabbed to death as she tended her horses in the New Forest.

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

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Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there