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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.

UK could have best broadband in Europe, says Jeremy Hunt

Britain could have the best broadband in Europe but only if it avoids the mistakes made in developing high speed rail, Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt said today.

Visitors to UK be made more welcome

The Government is considering wholesale changes to the tourist visa regime to capitalise on the Olympics effect which has sparked interest in visiting Britain.

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt (right) hopes that Team GB's gold medals will help boost trade

London 2012: Ministers and businesses hope medal success will aid economy

Both ministers and businesses are hoping that Team GB's success at the Olympics will help boost the economy.   

Forgan to lead National Youth Orchestra

Dame Liz Forgan is to take over as the head of the National Youth Orchestra (NYO), after she leaves the Arts Council following Jeremy Hunt's shock move to force her out.

Female British Army personnel arrive to patrol the Olympic Park in Stratford, east London

Troop influx patches up security… now for the travel crisis

Trains unable to stop at main Games station as wrong kind of weather leaves cables overheated

More than 18,000 troops to provide Olympics security

More than 18,000 troops will provide security for the Olympics after ministers felt they should “leave nothing to chance”.

A Blagger's Guide To: English Heritage Red Guides

Forget '50 Shades of Grey' – here are 50 volumes of history
Stephen Gallagher and Gideon Berger with The Tree of Light, a block9 art installation

Olympic tree's 'two-fingered' salute

There may be no Glastonbury Festival this year but the pair behind one of the event’s standout instillations will next week unveil their contribution to the Olympic celebrations. One that “sticks two fingers up” to the commercial side of the games.

The House of Lords faces change, more than 100 years after the House of Commons won new powers

PM seeks to buy off Lords reform rebels

Cameron insists on changes to Bill to avoid embarrassing defeat by his own backbenchers

Mowaffak Joumaa: The General indicated his intention to attend the Games months ago

Syria's Olympic chief barred from entering UK

General who heads National Olympic Committee is refused visa to attend Games

Nick Clegg: no surprises

Andrew Grice: Cameron facing a perfect Eurosceptic storm

Inside Westminster

Thousands mark summer solstice

Thousands of people have marked the summer solstice despite the celebration being one of the wettest in years.

Broadcast exhibitions online to receive funding, Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt tells art world

Arts bodies will have to broadcast performances and exhibitions live on a new digital arts “channel” in return for receiving government money, under a radical funding shake-up proposed by Jeremy Hunt.

Tories to oppose Lib Dems on Lords reform in revenge for Hunt desertion

The rebels are expected to vote for the debate to have no time limit, so it could drag on indefinitely

Plans to regenerate London's Crystal Palace Park upheld

Multi-million pound plans to regenerate historic Crystal Palace Park were upheld by the High Court today.

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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam