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.

Please stick to the question: Do politicians suffer selective deafness? Callum Murray gets a straight-ish reply

SIR ROBIN DAY has said that he often feels like beginning a political interview by asking: 'Now, Prime Minister/Secretary of State/Chancellor etc, what is your answer to my first question?'

Police find forged votes cast for MP

FORGED votes were cast for the Labour MP Glenda Jackson at the general election, police said yesterday. No action would be taken, however, because the forgers could not be identified.

THEATRE / The caged birds sing: Rhoda Koenig on Lorca's Spanish family tragedy: The House of Bernarda Alba - The Gate, Pembridge Rd, London W11

TRAPPED rats, says Lorca, don't gnaw their bars through but turn and rend each other. The daughters of Bernarda Alba, impressed into a death-in-life mourning, listen to their housekeeper explain how she managed her late husband, who filled their house with the canaries he loved. 'Once he muttered something at me,' she says. 'So I went and killed all his canaries.' The girls gasp, then twitter with delight.

Adjustable pegs for all holes: The less qualified a minister appears, the more suitable he or she may be for the post, argues Mark Lawson

As a baritone who has given recitals on television, Peter Brooke is the first minister with responsibility for the arts who is qualified to sing in public on state occasions. Yet despite this distinction, he has been widely regarded as an unlikely replacement for David Mellor as Secretary of State for National Heritage. The loud, CD-collecting Mr Mellor was seen as 'arty', while the patrician history buff Mr Brooke is not. This perception leads those in the arts to fear the new minister will be less sympathetic and effective.
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