News British muslim Maajid Nawaz is the country's most famous former Islamist fanatic

A former activist in the radical Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir has been chosen to fight a marginal parliamentary seat for the Liberal Democrats.

Bus about nothing

the broader picture

Bill will create MoT database

A BACKBENCH Bill setting up a central database of information on car MOT tests cleared the Commons yesterday. The Road Traffic (Vehicle Testing) Bill aims to create a computer link with the 19,000 MOT testing stations in Britain to help enforcement procedures.

Poppy Folly

There's a lot of death around this part of the Zodiac, maybe it's because we're going into the deep end of Taurus, down in the heart of darkness with Jim Jones, Sonny Liston and Harry S Truman, who only got out of his wheelchair to drop atom bombs on Japan. And then, of course, there's Norman Lamont (run! run!).

Broadcaster accused of exploiting Lawrence case in fight for mayor

THE PHONEY war over who should become the Mayor of London finally ended yesterday when broadcaster Trevor Phillips declared his intention to stand for the post.

Parliament and Politics: The House

Fares pegged

Theatre: A ghost of Noel past

BLITHE SPIRIT SALISBURY PLAYHOUSE

Do not adjust your set

You switch channels when they appear on television, but a new video of party political broadcasts may be a bestseller at Christmas. Honest. By Tom Sutcliffe

Banks is now favourite for capital mayor

Labour rows: Defiant Livingstone fights on for London's mayor as left-winger takes on Scottish party officials

Livingstone declares war on Labour 'Daleks'

KEN LIVINGSTONE attacked the "Daleks" of Labour's Millbank headquarters last night after the party backed a selection system designed to kill off his chances of becoming the mayor of London.

Cinema: Elizabeth the magnificent

Elizabeth 12 Buffalo 66 15 Sixth Happiness no cert Divorcing Jack 15 A Moment of Innocence no cert A Moment of Innocence (no cert)

Cabinet three seek to crush left's NEC bid

THREE cabinet big guns lined up yesterday to crush a challenge by the hard left against six Blairite candidates for seats on the party's National Executive Committee.

Candidates for mayor: Londoners should be free to vote for Red Ken

TONY BLAIR wants a mayor for London. This is one decentralisation about which he is genuinely, spontaneously enthusiastic. It is his brainchild and not like the Scottish or Welsh parliaments part of the baggage inherited from John Smith.

London mayor hopefuls court black voters

Electoral system gives minorities a strong hand.

Let's hear it for Britain's un-British star

Is there any stopping Minnie Driver? John Lyttle charts the career of a formidable alternative to the English Lady

Theatre Review: I've got Judi on my mind

Michael Williams has good reason to be nervous, Ivan Waterman found
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Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'