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“One thing I have become very sensitive about is this accusation that Conservatives are somehow racist,” Edward de Mesquita, who is standing as a Conservative candidate in West Hampstead, in London, told the Camden New Journal. “Conservatives are not racist. So many of the Conservatives have foreign wives, after all.

Kate Rusby is one of English folk music's biggest stars

English folk music fair launched in a bid to outdo Celtic rivals

English musicians have long lagged behind their neighbours to the north

Jeremy Hunt announced 'robust' new failure regime for 11 NHS trusts with some of worst death rates

More hospitals are likely to be exposed for inadequate care standards, warns Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt

Jeremy Hunt announces 'robust' new failure regime for 11 NHS trusts with some of worst death rates

BBC independence at risk from NAO regulation, warns James Purnell

The BBC’s journalistic independence could be threatened if the National Audit Office (NAO) is allowed to investigate the corporation at will, James Purnell, the former minister who became a high-profile BBC recruit, has warned.

Under the proposals, patients will only be transferred to other wards if it is absolutely necessary

Welcome to the hospital of the future: New management structures, revolutionary medical training and a 'buck-stops-here' culture

A landmark report by the Royal College of Physicians in response to the NHS crisis has outlined 50 measures to modernise the service to cope with the demands of an ageing population, but critics question if there is the political will or money to make it a reality

Chris Patten, left, chairman of the BBC Trust, and Mark Thompson, the former Director-General

Lord Patten to fight for his job as MPs weigh the future of the BBC Trust

The BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten is set to fight for his career on Monday amid calls for his resignation if he is found to have misled Parliament and speculation that the Government has decided to scrap the Trust altogether.

Accident waiting to happen: A&E departments ‘on the brink of crisis’

Surveys from the Royal College of Nurses, NHS Confederation and others reveal full scale of the daunting task A&Es face just to 'get through the winter'

Cast, Doncaster

Doncaster signals its cultural aspirations with new £22m Cast arts centre

Doncaster has long shouldered an unwanted notoriety for failing children’s services, political corruption and industrial decline. To add to this unholy trinity of woes it was recently ranked 347 out of 354 local councils in England for participation in the arts.

Cumbrian house that inspired the works of Beatrix Potter gets listed status

The house that inspired Beatrix Potter to create her iconic characters – including Peter Rabbit and Squirrel Nutkin – has received listed status.

Charity boss lobbied Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, over NHS privatisation, documents show

A charity boss who got members of his organisation to help pay for his birthday party at the House of Lords has been lobbying the Health Secretary for measures that would increase privatisation in the NHS, documents show.

The Kongouro from New Holland (The Kangaroo) by George Stubbs

Government puts export ban on George Stubbs' kangaroo and dingo paintings as museum starts appeal to keep them in the UK

Sir David Attenborough has backed a campaign to block export of the paintings, which he describes as 'of world importance'

The 3D sign announcing 'Welcome to Bournemouth'

'Welcome to Bournemouth': The £76,000 question - where are we?

After the unveiling of a grandiose 3D sign announcing “Welcome to Bournemouth” on a footbridge over the A338, the town’s council confidently declared that it would “promote a sense of arrival for our visitors”.

Death rates reports scrapped - puzzling Labour because the latest figures revealed a worrying spike

Public Health England said they 'duplicate' work already done by the organisation

Provincial arts groups face more pain after council funding is cut

Regional arts groups are braced for more pain after councils were told their cultural spending will be cut by £124m by next March.

Jeremy Hunt has been criticised for presiding over staff cuts

Jeremy Hunt urged to set NHS safe staffing levels after Mid Staffs scandal

New report on patient safety likely to increase pressure on Health Secretary over cuts

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport said it was drawing up plans to stop cold callers withholding their numbers

Government turns up the heat on cold callers as phone nuisances face crackdown

Ministers plan to enable watchdogs to investigate 'annoying' communications as well as those that cause distress

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
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Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
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Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape