Oxford cop who was too clever for his own good

For three years he survived calls for his resignation over allegations of incompetence, racism and political naivety, but Sir Ian Blair lasted just one day working for Boris Johnson. By Cahal Milmo and Nigel Morris

Should you be a Good Samaritan – or walk by?

Boris Johnson, London's Mayor, says the streets are now so dangerous that he has told his children never to intervene in trouble. Is he right?

Leading article: Cameron's green shoots are at risk

We should be sceptical about the notion of radical shifts in mood in politics. James Callaghan said at the time of the 1979 election: "There are times, perhaps once every 30 years, when there is a sea change in politics. It then does not matter what you say or what you do. There is a shift in what the public wants and what it approves of. I suspect there is now such a sea change and it is for Mrs Thatcher."

Johnson on course for London win

Conservative MP Boris Johnson looked set to be crowned Mayor of London tonight barring a last-minute turnaround.

Waiting game as final poll shows Boris threatens to drive Ken out of City Hall

Counting is taking place this morning, with results throughout the afternoon and a decision by mid-evening

Adrian Hamilton: We don't have to live with a mendacious mayor

Yes, yes. I know everyone is getting tired of the London mayoral election,. Outside of the city most people couldn't care less. Even within London there's a mood of weariness with a campaign that seems to have been based entirely on personality preferences.

Livingstone puts jokers aside to end the battle

Ken tells Andrew Grice Londoners have not been fooled by his main rival

Leading article: If newspapers had a vote, this one would put its cross beside...

Local council elections are frequently dismissed as being of no more than local significance. The sparse turn-out often suggests that, even locally, they are not rated as serious opportunities for democratic participation. In both respects, however, today's elections – being held for some 4,000 seats on 159 councils in England and Wales, for London mayor and for the London Assembly – are different.

Livingstone and Johnson battle for second votes

Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson made final pleas to Liberal Democrat supporters for their second preference votes as the battle to become Mayor of London headed for a photo-finish.

Brian Paddick: We Ask The Questions

Such as, 'How will you cut crime?' and 'What is your favourite joke'

Leading article: The contest is local, the significance national

Most mayoral elections tend to be parochial affairs, focusing on issues of only marginal relevance to the rest of the country. But Thursday's vote to decide the outcome of the London mayoral contest will be a political event of truly national importance.

Ken seeks pact with Lib Dem voters to beat Boris

Ken Livingstone today launches an extraordinary appeal to Liberal Democrat voters to help him to defeat Boris Johnson in the London mayoral election.

Nicholas Kent: Noises Off

A healthy arts scene brings huge benefits to the capital, as the present Mayor understands, says the director of the Tricycle Theatre in London

Labour launches offensive to stop 'high-risk' Boris becoming Mayor

Labour is portraying Boris Johnson as "high risk" and "a joke" as it launches a last-ditch blitz aimed at preventing him becoming Mayor of London next week.

Boris boasts on radio: 'I'm down with the ethnics'

Boris Johnson's habit of making ill-considered comments got the better of him yesterday, when he decided to compete with a presenter of the BBC Asian Network over who was the more "ethnic".

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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee