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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.

Council cuts could shut swimming pool that fosters Olympians

One of the country’s leading swimming clubs could be left homeless after a council announced plans to close a city centre pool to save money.

Cathedral licker nears end of quest

A man who bet he could lick every single one of Britain's cathedrals is nearing the end of his bizarre quest, the York Press reports.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt told Parliament that thousands of Britain’s most vulnerable patients have been locked up on the say so of doctors (Picture posed by model)

Thousands wrongly sectioned under mental health act following 'technical error'

Error will require immediate retrospective legislation to avoid a deluge of legal complaints

Culture Secretary Maria Miller meets with press reform group 'Hacked Off'

The Culture Secretary Maria Miller met Hugh Grant and other members of the Hacked Off press reform group today and told them a new “tough and independent” regulator of the newspaper industry was required.

Controversial decision on heart surgery units halted amid threats of legal action and protests

A controversial decision to close three children's heart surgery units in England has been halted by the Government amid threats of legal action and growing protests from MPs and families.

Anger at cost of NHS reforms

The NHS reforms will cost £300m more than expected, the Government has admitted.

Niall Dickson, General Medical Council: 'The scheme is the biggest change in medical regulation for 150 years'

Doctors to face regular checks as performance fears are raised

More than 1,000 doctors in England could be putting patients at risk after serious concerns about their competence were raised by their NHS Trust, private hospital or employer.

NHS reforms cost soars by £300m

The Government's controversial NHS reforms are to cost £300 million more than previously thought, the Health Secretary said.

The Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, said the figures showed spending on food varied 'wildly across the country'

Healthy eating? Hospital spends just £2.19 a day on patients' meals

Investigation launched after health figures reveal huge disparities across country

Prince Charles

Government overturns judges' decision to publish letters written by Prince Charles to seven different government departments

In a statement, the Attorney General Dominic Grieve said the letters reflected the Prince of Wales 'most deeply held personal view and beliefs' and 'are in many cases particularly frank'.

Playboy TV filmed the movie, which is a erotic spoof of 1980s classic TV series Knight Rider, in just 10 hours amongst the tunnels at the historic fort. Filmakers reportedly paid more than £1,000 to hire out the venue.

Row after beautiful 18th century fort is used as location for pornographic film

A beautiful 18th century fort, recently reopened with the help of a £50,000 Lottery grant, is at the centre of a row after it was used as the location for a pornographic film.

6,000 sites on historic danger list

A 100-year-old cinema in Devon, a Margate roller coaster and Britain's first atomic bomb store, in Thetford Heath, Suffolk, are among the historic sites at risk of being lost for future generations, warns English Heritage.

Tories offer £155m boost to nursing and cancer care

David Cameron will announce a £155m boost for nursing and cancer treatment today as he seeks to demonstrate the Conservatives' own "One Nation" credentials.

James Corden in One Man, Two Guvnors at the NT Lyttelton

Artistic director of National Theatre Sir Nicholas Hytner warns of 'clear and present danger' for regional theatre amid arts cuts

Sir Nicholas Hytner said at the launch of the NT’s annual report that he wanted to highlight “enormous short-term issues” for regional theatres, and said further cuts would be “madness”.

Leading article: Any resemblance may not be purely coincidental

Life imitates art far more than art imitates life, Oscar Wilde once said. And he reached that conclusion without the benefit of seeing mockumentaries such as the London Olympics spoof Twenty Twelve, the US White House satire Veep or its British inspiration The Thick of It, which is about to return for a new series.

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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
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform