Environment Nadhim Zahawi (right) is an adviser to the Prime Minister

Nadhim Zahawi says 'massive, irreversible damage' is being caused

Private vices on parade

Theatre

LETTER: That girl, again

From Mr Michael Lancashire Sir: I was most interested in David Lowry's letter (4 January) regarding the no-knickers tennis player but would beg to differ with him over the identity of the young lady.

Forever France in Stratford

AS A MECCA for tourists and theatre lovers, Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire is relatively well provided with relatively good restaurants. Of these Number Six in Union Street and Lamb's, sited suitably enough in Sheep Street, are among the best , withThe Opposition next door providing good simple food before or after the theatre without being either too ambitious or expensive.

Letter: Closure of village schools in Warwickshire

Sir: Your education correspondent Fran Abrams rehearses Warwickshire County Council's case for closure of village schools ('Class warfare', 26 October).

Speaking in tongues: Robert Hanks finds David Edgar revising his opinions on audiences (they're dumb) and culture (it's OK by him)

Perhaps it is the glass of wine that David Edgar has awarded himself for lunch, in celebration of the fact that rehearsals for his latest play are nearly over and all he has to do this afternoon is offer a bit of moral support to the RSC's actors; but he is disarmingly frank about the people he's writing for.

Tourists greeted by words of wisdom: David Nicholson-Lord reports on a scheme that helps visitors to Stratford-upon-Avon

WILLIAM Shakespeare's burial place is barely five minutes' walk from the centre of Stratford-upon-Avon but for most visitors it might as well be on Pluto.

Obituary: David Langton

Basil Langton-Dodds (David Langton), actor: born Motherwell 16 April 1912; married Mona Rosemary Copeman (three sons; marriage dissolved 1966), secondly Claire Green (nee Wilson); died Stratford-upon- Avon 25 April 1994.

Silly Questions: Can you can't make sense?

THE etymology and grammar of song lyrics have been exercising the minds of our correspondents over the past week, starting with 'a wop bop a loo bop a lop bam boom'.

BEST-SELLERS / Top 10 coach tours

----------------------------------------------------------------- TOP 10 COACH TOURS ----------------------------------------------------------------- 1 Stratford-upon-Avon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .pounds 37 2 Windsor and Hampton Court . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .pounds 37 3 London (West End). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .pounds 16.50 4 Oxford & the Cotswolds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . pounds 37 5 Leeds Castle & Canterbury . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .pounds 38 6 Stonehenge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . pounds 38 7 Salisbury . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .pounds 39 8 Warwick Castle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . pounds 39 9 Dover Castle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . pounds 37 10 Elizabethan banquet at Hatfield House, Herts. . . . . . pounds 36.50 ----------------------------------------------------------------- Chart supplied by Evan Evans Tours, London -----------------------------------------------------------------

Brandreth keeps smiling on the way to high office: Chris Blackhurst on the career of a man best known for kissing and colourful pullovers

AMID a sea of grey on the Conservative back benches, there is no mistaking Gyles Brandreth, the MP for Chester.

Disability fund heads for massive underspend: Tough new criteria are blamed for the low take-up of grants from a pounds 4m scheme to aid handicapped people living at home. Lynn Eaton reports

A pounds 4m FUND set up to enable severely disabled people to continue to live in their own homes has spent only pounds 150,000 in its first nine months and is heading for a massive underspend by the end of its first year.

Obituary: Lord Maude of Stratford-upon-Avon

Angus Edmund Upton Maude, politician: born 8 September 1912; financial journalist, the Times 1933-34, Daily Mail 1935-39; Deputy Director of PEP 1948-50; MP (Conservative) Ealing South 1950-57, (Independent Conservative) 1957-58, (Conservative) Stratford-upon-Avon 1963-83; Director, Conservative Political Centre 1951- 55; Editor, Sydney Morning Herald 1958-61; a Deputy Chairman, Conservative Party 1975-79 (Chairman, Conservative Research Department 1975- 79); Paymaster General 1979-81; PC 1979; Kt 1981; created 1983 Baron Maude of Stratford-upon-Avon; books include Good Learning 1964, The Common Problem 1969; married 1946 Barbara Sutcliffe (one son, two daughters, and one son deceased); died Banbury 9 November 1993.

Maverick Tory Maude dies at 81

LORD MAUDE of Stratford- upon-Avon, a maverick Conservative who rebelled against three generations of party leadership, died last night aged 81.

Lieutenant cuddled his recruits

A PLATOON commander at an Army training regiment kissed and cuddled recruits and encouraged his dog to simulate sex with pillows in their barracks, a court martial was told yesterday.

Travel: Shakespeare and the Lost Tourist: Frank Barrett and family, inspired by Richmal Crompton, go in search of the other William

SHAKESPEARE may be firmly enshrined in the National Curriculum, but in the Barrett household we have Richmal Crompton's William Brown to thank for the Bard's rise to prominence. The BBC Radio 4 readings of the William stories by Martin Jarvis are seldom far from our car's cassette player.
Career Services

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
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home