Ian Birrell

Ian Birrell is a former Deputy Editor of The Independent and co-founder of Africa Express

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The Independent around the web
People whose 'parents and grandparents were born locally' should have priority in the queue for social housing, according to Ukip

We are being lied to about immigration - it is politicians, not migrants, who have run down our public services

If there are too few doctors’ surgeries and primary schools, whose fault is that?

Even in Tony Blair’s 1997 landslide, the Tories romped home in Bexhill and Battle with an 11,100 majority

My glimpse of grass-roots politics had lessons for all the main parties

I found old voters, strong candidates and EU hostility in a safe Tory seat

Ukip candidate Mark Reckless has a nine-point lead over the Tories for his Kent seat, a new poll shows

Rochester by-election: The Tories are handing victories to Ukip

Attempts to pacify the rabble win them over briefly before they return even more rabid

Since seizing the Labour crown, Miliband has failed to follow the first rule of opposition

Either you define yourself quickly or others do it for you

Health workers in Monrovia, Liberia, recover the body of a suspected Ebola victim

The aid industry endorses human rights abuses, fuels corruption and missed the Ebola crisis

So why does British aid continue to flood in?

A Liberian burial squad carry the body of an Ebola victim in Marshall, Margini county, Liberia

The Ebola outbreak has produced some real heroes – but Western governments are not among them

The UK’s claim to be taking a lead in tackling the crisis does not bear scrutiny

Ukip activists from Scotland

We’re heading for a crisis in 2015 – whoever wins the election

Few ponder the potential implications of multi-party politics crashing against a creaking two-party system

A girl with suspected Ebola is led to an ambulance in Freeman Reserve, Liberia
David Cameron has vowed to 'hunt down' David Haines' killers

Another unspeakable act of barbarism by Isis only deepens the dilemma in the West

Ransoms? Raids? Media black-outs? What should the strategy be?

A man shoots at targets depicting a portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a shooting range in the center of the western Ukrainian city of Lviv

Why do we stand by and watch Putin?

It is shameful cowardice to pretend this isn't an invasion. We must act.

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Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
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