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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.

Tom Sutcliffe: Save a branch of Woolworths for posterity

I popped in to one of my local Woolworths last week, visiting not as a customer but as a kind of deathbed hoverer.

Days out 2009: Not much time to spare? How about an awayday

This year's crop of new visitor attractions proves you don't need to go far to enjoy a break. Simone Kane rounds up what to see and do

Victory for <i>The Independent's </i>campaign to save Bletchley Park

English Heritage offers grant to preserve wartime code-breaking centre

Roman invasion beach found in Kent

Archaeologists unearth landing point of legions &ndash; only now it's two miles from the coast

Lord Bruce-Lockhart: Powerful advocate of local government who became an effective chairman of English Heritage

Few would have thought when he was first elected to Kent County Council in 1989 that Sandy Bruce-Lockhart would eight years later lead his Conservative group back into power and become one of the most powerful advocates of the localist agenda, helping return it to centre-stage in British politics.

Secret Britain (part 2): The best places in the country for wildlife, heritage and scenery

Get off the beaten track. David Randall guides you to the best places in the country for wildlife, heritage and scenery that have managed to stay under the radar &ndash; until now

The Complete Guide To: Great British days out

The summer holidays are here &ndash; the best of times for people who prefer to pick and mix their lazy, hazy days. From sandy coves to stately homes, the sky's the limit, says Harriet O'Brien

Crumbling English landmarks are left 'in peril'

Neglectful owners of historic landmarks risk being named and shamed by English Heritage, which has placed one fifth of all the nation's monuments and battlefields on a register of threatened structures and warned that they are in danger of being lost.

Sir Simon Jenkins: History man

After more than 40 years in journalism, he will become the public face of the National Trust

Worthy of listed status, Percy Thrower's Blue Peter garden

Mention the words "Italian sunken garden" and almost everyone who grew up in Britain in the latter part of the 20th century will immediately know what is being discussed.

Trail Of The Unexpected: King of the castles, turrets, towers and timekeeping on the Kent coast

There's a definite novelty factor to ordering a pizza to be delivered to your very own 13th-century tower at Dover Castle. Ideally, we would have rustled something up in our brand-new kitchen – complete with all mod-cons and probably one of the best views in Britain – but it was Sunday, we'd been out seeing the sights and hadn't made it to the supermarket in time.

Vandals attack Stonehenge

Souvenir-hunters have chipped a lump off Stonehenge in the first case of vandalism at the world-renowned prehistoric site in Wiltshire for decades.

If you want to be cool, head to Northumberland

Ian McCurrach finds out why Northumberland is on a new list of must-see destinations

The secret of Stonehenge

It is half a century since the inside of the mysterious circle was last excavated. Now a fresh dig has begun, aimed at solving a mystery which continues to baffle archaeologists
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Day In a Page

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
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?