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

The jacket that defines Britain

Everywhere Mat Snow looks, he sees people in jeans and North Face jackets. Why are we dressed to depress? It's our duty to be flamboyant in times of recession, he argues – not a nation of black-clad Calvinists

The Trafalgar Square kettle: these are the facts, I was there

These are the bare facts from inside the kettle, written neither in condemnation nor in support of any faction.

Deputy mayor defends police action

London's deputy mayor has condemned those involved in yesterday's violence in central London as "fascist agitators" as he defended the actions of the Metropolitan Police.

Why I was on march: 'I've never protested like this. I'm a private whinger'

Everyone on yesterday's protest in London had their own reason to be there. <i>The IoS</i> canvassed a broad range of the marchers and found they came from all walks of life

March 26th: Activists have called for the people to occupy Trafalgar Square for twenty-four hours

The government plan to conduct a nation-wide Census of people&rsquo;s personal details, including the names, ages and genders of any overnight guests.

Leading article: Citizens of the world, united

When we think of London statuary, it's the great national figures who come to mind: Winston Churchill in Parliament Square; Lord Nelson and King Charles I in Trafalgar Square; Robert Falcon Scott just the other side of Admiralty Arch.

Tax adjustments will make 25 million households better off

The income people can earn without paying tax will increase to more than £8,000 next year, George Osborne will announce in his second Budget.

A Day That Shook The World: London&rsquo;s anti-Vietnam riots

On 17 March 1968 the worst violence for decades erupted in London during an anti-Vietnam demonstration.

2012 ticket sell-off fails to start with a bang

Card fiasco sees thousands blocked from website, while countdown clock grinds to a halt

Olympic countdown clock off to a false start

Official Olympic timekeeper Omega today confirmed the countdown clock has stopped only a day after it was unveiled in Trafalgar Square.

19 Kosovans held after Trafalgar Square battle

Police are holding 19 teenagers after three young men were stabbed in Trafalgar Square in the middle of the afternoon. Violence broke out when rival groups of Albanian-Kosovans, armed with knives and hockey sticks, began to fight in one of London's most popular tourist destinations.

19 questioned over Trafalgar Sq stabbings

Police are questioning 19 men after three others were stabbed following a mass brawl in one of the UK's best known tourist spots.

Unions protest against culture cuts

Civil servants will stage a "love-in" today as part of a campaign to save cultural assets from the Government's cuts in public spending.

Nicholas Penny: 'The rising cost of art could create a national divide'

Monday Interview: The National Gallery's director, tells Rob Sharp why it's too expensive to take the museum's best-known works to the regions
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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
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform