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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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
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No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor