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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Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen