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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.

BBC presenter Colin Murray made comments about Olympic gold medallist Jessica Ennis-Hill's 'bottom'

BBC presenter’s sexist comment about Jessica Ennis-Hill ‘unacceptable’

Culture Secretary Maria Miller condemns Colin Murray after reference to Olympic medallist’s ‘bottom’

Checks, including blood pressure, can save 650 lives a year

Jeremy Hunt urges over-40s to take advantage of free NHS checks

More than 650 lives a year could be saved, as well as thousands of diabetes cases and heart attacks avoided, if 40- to 74-year-olds took up NHS checks, the Health Secretary has said.

Analysis: Hospital mediocrity isn't the problem - it's the failure to address it

The NHS needs a blame-free culture, a spirit of openness and the ambition to succeed

PM's election guru Lynton Crosby triggers smoke alarm

Has his work for a tobacco giant had any influence over government policy?

Liverpool Care Pathway: Controversial 'end-of-life' regime for dying patients 'to be replaced'

The results of an independent review show concerns raised by family members over the care of their dying loved ones

Campaigners have warned of a library “slaughter” in England

Campaigners warn of libraries in crisis across England

They claim over 1,000 face closure by 2016

In the UK there are some 80,000 sex workers, a figure said to include 4,000 women and children trafficked into the country to work as sex slaves

Victims of sex trafficking 'at risk' over NHS charging plans

Confusion over whether the charges would apply to maternity services, says RCM

The Long Live South Bank campaign has garnered 58,000 signatures for a petition calling for the skate park to be saved

National Theatre and English Heritage unite to oppose redevelopment of London's Southbank Centre

The skateboarding community, National Theatre, and English Heritage groups have come together to put a spanner in the works of a planned redevelopment of the area

A new NHS Helpline has been putting peoples lives at risk, doctors are saying

Foreigners to be made to pay £200 a year for NHS services

Foreigners who visit Britain for more than six months will be made to pay at least £200 a year to use NHS services, under a set of proposals to be introduced tomorrow.

Manchester Art Gallery has a collection of almost 13,000 pieces. Manchester is among the regional councils that are planning to cut cultural funding

Regional arts left with London’s crumbs as spending cuts bite, warns Harriet Harman

Culture Secretary warned that funding disparity will drive theatres and museums to the wall

Work to refurbish House of Lords toilets could cost up to £100,000

Work to refurbish House of Lords toilets could cost up to £100,000

Up to £100,000 will be spent sprucing up two toilets in the House of Lords, it has been revealed.

NHS baby deaths scandal: CQC officials 'threatened to sue to stop names being linked to alleged cover-up'

Under-fire officials threatened to sue the Care Quality Commission in an eleventh-hour bid to stop their names being linked to an alleged cover-up, it emerged today.

Dr Heather Wood and Cynthia Bower

CQC storm: ‘Bullying culture’ may mean care scandals go undetected

A former inspector of the Care Quality Commission has described how criticism was quashed and ‘good people’ were forced to shut up or quit

Cynthia Bower, former chief executive of the Care Quality Commission

CQC storm: ‘I can’t believe what your people have been doing. Bloody hell’

As the revelations about the alleged CQC cover-up emerge, Emily Dugan visits its call centre

A reveller, with a blanket wrapped around herself, celebrates the summer solstice at the ancient Stonehenge monument on Salisbury Plain in southern England

Thousands celebrate summer solstice ahead of 'historic moment' for Stonehenge

The neighbouring road is finally about to close

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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
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future