Arts and Entertainment The National Portrait Gallery has commissioned a portrait of Tony Blair by Alastair Adams

A painting of the former PM for the National Portrait Gallery tells us much about him

Regent Street snowflake Christmas lights, 1955

In pictures: Christmas in London through the ages

We take a look at the remarkable set of black and white photographs showing how London celebrated Christmas during the 1950s, 60s and 70s. They come from the Museum of London’s unique photography collection, which provides a glimpse into all aspects of London life during the second half of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Maybe it worked? 'Cops off campus' demo passes off peacefully

Barely a police officer in sight as 2,000 student protesters take to London's streets

The News Matrix: Monday 9 December 2013

Protesters topple Lenin statue in Kiev

Nelson Mandela was courageous to fight against oppression in apartheid South Africa and should not have been labelled 'a terrorist', the Archbishop of Canterbury said

Nelson Mandela was no terrorist, says Justin Welby

Nelson Mandela was courageous to fight against oppression in apartheid South Africa and should not have been labelled “a terrorist”, the Archbishop of Canterbury said at a service of thanksgiving for his life on Sunday.

People gather to look at flowers and tributes left at the statue of Nelson Mandela in Parliament Square, London

Nelson Mandela’s complex bond with Britain

The South African President’s visit to Brixton in 1996 epitomised a mixed relationship with his nation's former colonial ruler

Rant and everyone soon tends to ignore you (a 1936 orator seeking a crowd at Speaker's Corner in London's Hyde Park)

Why have I started lecturing people in the streets? Maybe because I consider it a form of public service

Favoured topics are matters of practical morality, dress sense, litter – that sort of thing

One day ‘coming out’ won't be a thing - and the reaction to Tom Daley's announcement shows we're getting there

It's news because millennia of bigotry cannot simply be eradicated in a few decades

Brokers and underwriters line the balconies and escalators of the Lloyd's of London building in central London

Armistice Day 2013: Britons at home and abroad pay tribute

Estimated 4,000 people were in Trafalgar Square to observe the silence

Protesters demonstrate as part of the Bonfire of Austerity protest outside the Houses of Parliament

Scuffles near Buckingham Palace as protesters join Million Mask March

Event mirrored by similar gatherings in more than 400 cities worldwide including Dublin, Washington and Melbourne

Portrait Artist of the Year, Sky Arts 1

TV Review: Portrait Artist of the Year, Sky Arts 1

Sky Arts' random-presenter-generating machine has thrown up an interesting pairing to front their new television competition show. Portrait Artist of the Year will be presented by veteran broadcaster Joan Bakewell and that er... renowned expert in fine art Frank Skinner. It's Bake-Off, but with painting, because apparently there is no hobby or artistic pursuit that won't do as the basis for a TV talent competition. Whatever next? A show about competitive stamp collecting presented by Kerry Katona and Alan Yentob? A taxidermy tournament with Mary Beard and Peter Andre? Let's hope so, because on the evidence of last night's episode these marriages of high and low culture can be surprisingly successful.

Liliane Lijn with her proposed design for the Fourth Plinth

Battle of Trafalgar: Contemporary artists submit proposals for Fourth Plinth

Gyrating cones and horse skeleton among shortlisted works

Ledley King

Harry Redknapp attempted to lure Ledley King out of retirement to play for QPR reveals former Tottenham defender

King retired from professional football last summer after a long battle with a knee injury

I'll be back: The Exterminators (aka The Daleks) make a return for the BBC's 50th anniversary Doctor Who special

Exterminate! The Daleks to return for Doctor Who 50th anniversary special

Hide behind your sofas: the Daleks are among the Time Lord's fearsome foes set to make a return for the 50th anniversary special of Doctor Who.

Food for thought: a Pakistani Muslim distributes food for Iftar, which breaks the fast at sunset

Ramadan 2013: Fasting for the body, food for the soul - and how Muslim life in Britain has changed

Non-Muslims used to regard Ramadan with suspicion. As she begins the annual ritual, Arifa Akbar explains how its lessons in empathy and abstinence can benefit us all

The Hay Wain by Constable has been attacked by a protester at the National Gallery

Man held after Constable's The Hay Wain attacked by protester in the National Gallery

Constable's masterpiece The Hay Wain has been attacked by a protester in the National Gallery.

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Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
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'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

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The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project