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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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern