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.

Election '97: Jackson Five top the poll on green streets

Women candidates reverse trend as they outnumber single male

Cards reveal the naked truth about MPs

Sir James Goldsmith has been shocked into silence. Mary Whitehouse has already been on the blower to New Scotland Yard. If nothing else, the publication of the 1997 election playing cards next week will leave Britain's political figures looking more than usually exposed.

THE AFTERLIFE OF GLENDA JACKSON

Hollywood is just a distant memory for the Member for Hampstead and Highgate. But why did Glenda Jackson swap the glamorous life for the fine detail of Labour's transport policy?

Letter: Why London may regret Labour

Sir: The combination of Gordon Brown's recent statements and Glenda Jackson's articles has proved devastating for Londoners.

A tale of too many men about the House

"Grrrr!" I said to the man next to me in the Press gallery, as he cordially wished me a Happy New Year. Happy New Year indeed! Welcome back to the Gothic fairyland of Lady Olga Maitland, environment questions with Frank Dobson versus John Gummer, and adjournment debates on Anglo- Maltese relationships.

Ex-Soviet ships bail out the Royal Navy

Britain's merchant navy fleet is so run down that the Ministry of Defence has been forced to hire vessels from the former Soviet Union for use during Nato exercises, it emerged yesterday. Other ships are rented from land-locked countries and "flag of convenience" nations in the Third World.

Bridget Jones's Diary

I'm going to Jaeger - to escape being reminded of my lost youth by the fashion-buying generation

Cautionary tale for those who love to show off

Michael Howard has come unstuck after a week of heady self-promotion, reports Paul Routledge

Leading Article: Fighting on the beaches

What lengths a woman will go for one red rose. Glenda Jackson has gone all they way to Benidorm - which, let's face it, is a long way from her Hampstead constituency - pursuing suncream-lathered young voters.

Letter: Gravy train is bad business

Glenda Jackson says that "Tories and their friends are riding the gravy train first-class while the rest of us are stuck in the guard's van". If only.

Rawlins bullish about his return to the City

City Diary

Blair reshuffle rewards loyal mainstreamers

Tony Blair put the finishing touches to Labour's election team last night as his election campaign came under early fire for confusing the voters by using ever more "elaborate and obscure" language. New Labour should start speaking the language of the people, according to Joy Johnson, Labour's former campaigns and media chief.

Marriage is a managed retreat from ideas of pure independence and self-expression

"The casting was ready made," said one critic. "Verdi's perfect couple," read the headline over another paper's notice. The work under discussion was the Royal Opera House's La Traviata, a production which offered feature writers and reviewers an extra frisson besides Verdi's musical climaxes, because Angela Gheorghiu, who sang the role of Violetta, and Roberto Alagna, who took the part of Alfredo, her callow young lover, are married in real life. For several writers this clearly conferred on the performances an extra stamp of authenticity. "He sings radiantly," wrote one critic of Alagna, "finding, understandably enough, a natural bond with Gheorghiu as they express their mutual devotion." Well, you often find what you look for in art, so it's possible that a sentimental glow coloured his vision, a more intellectual version of the involuntary coo old ladies give when they pass a wedding (though it's only fair to point out that his judgement was shared by others). It's also possible that he doesn't actually know what it is like to be married, opera reviewing not being a famously uxorious profession.

Letter: Housing rights for gay couples

Sir: The Government's determination to oppose Glenda Jackson's amendment to the Housing Bill, which would have given cohabiting same- sex partners a legal right to succession of a tenancy, merely illustrates ministers' steadfast refusal to concede equal legal rights to homosexual couples ("Late deal saves housing bill", 1 May).
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Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

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Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

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