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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.

'Electric' ants seen in UK for first time

A species of super ant with a fatal attraction to electricity has been discovered marching through Hidcote Manor gardens in Gloucestershire, one of England's finest National Trust properties. It is thought to be the first time Lasius neglectus, known as the Asian super ant, has been recorded in the UK, although the ants have been spotted in Germany, Hungary, France, Spain and Poland.

Broadmoor's heritage status blamed for high suicide rate

Bars, curtain rails and hooks used by suicidal patients have to be kept

The pitfalls of buying a romantic wreck

Jools Holland's 14th-century castle is falling down, joining 5,000 historic British buildings registered at risk. Jonathan Christie reports.

The appeal of thatch

Despite the cost, traditional reed-roofed cottages are more popular than ever. By Graham Norwood

Tesco triggers uprising in land of summer wine

Residents rally to protect small shops in Yorkshire home of vintage TV comedy

Sean O'Grady: We are supposed to worship brutality

Once my city boasted Roman walls, medieval halls and Georgian terraces

For the love of Leicester, it's time to cherish our tarnished urban jewels

English Heritage warns that one in seven conservation areas is threatened by change

Europe's tallest structure to be cut down to size

A planned reduction of a Lincolnshire TV mast has prompted protests. By Paul Rodgers

Record crowd greet solstice at Stonehenge

Record numbers of people descended on Stonehenge this morning to mark the summer solstice.

Darwin's house: Discover the origins of evolution in rural Kent

Last week, the gooseberries were looking particularly promising in the kitchen gardens of Down House. Rows of bushes were burgeoning with small green fruit, raising expectations of a bumper crop later this summer. Charles Darwin – botanist, geologist, zoologist and author of the book that profoundly changed perceptions of the world – would no doubt have been pleased. Here, ever experimenting, he once nurtured 54 varieties of gooseberry, along with 41 types of pea and numerous species of other vegetable.

Andrew Saunders: Chief Inspector of Historic Buildings and Ancient Monuments

Andrew Saunders was the Chief Inspector of Ancient Monuments and Historic Buildings at the Department of the Environment, and later at English Heritage, from 1973-1989. For much of his life, he was a very distinguished, albeit strictly part-time, professional archaeologist. And he ended his career as a respected and popular senior administrator and professional advisor on England's ancient monuments and historic buildings.

Neighbours give Bletchley a cash lifeline

Site of Allied wartime code-breaking operations receives £600,000 boost

Nighthawks hitting historic UK sites

Britain's archaeological heritage is being plundered by illegal metal detector users who face little danger of being caught, a report said today.

Keith Moon gets plaque at last despite English Heritage snub

Fans organised accolade after refusal to honour hell-raising drummer
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Mickey Rourke celebrates his victory against opponent Elliot Seymour
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Gordon and Tana Ramsay arrive at the High Court, London
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Actor Burt Reynolds last year
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Johnny Handle, Northumberland, Ted Relph, President of Lakeland Dialect Society, and Sid Calderbank, Lancashire, founder of the National Dialect Day
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The data shows that the number of “unlawfully” large infant classes has doubled in the last 12 months alone
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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game