Life and Style

The EU divides opinion but whatever your views it is important to have your say — through voting in the May election and joining in the Citizens’ Dialogue events around Europe

Andy McSmith's Diary: The case of the MP, the police chief and the missing personal apology

As if the police had not already inflicted enough trouble on themselves with the plebgate saga, a Chief Constable had to ‘fess up that his force did not understand the law that protects an MP’s right to speak freely.

The vow to crack down on errant behaviour appears carefully timed to seize momentum on one of the most important electoral years in the party’s 21-year history

Nigel Farage vows to crack down on Ukip's 'Walter Mitty' candidates following embarrassment of David Silvester gay marriage flooding comments

Nigel Farage has vowed to crack-down on Ukip’s “Walter Mitty” candidates who jeopardise the party’s image as he prepares a campaigning offensive ahead of May’s European elections.

Only 28 per cent of respondents agreed they would be better off with Ed Miliband and Ed Balls

Opinion poll exclusive: Labour lead cut to one point after Tories gain on living standards

Labour’s lead over the Conservatives has dropped to just one point amid signs that the Tories are making headway in the crucial political battle over living standards, according to an opinion poll for The Independent.

Waving and drowning: Nigel Farage’s local council success will not carry through to the next general election

Ukip as much chance of winning European elections as finding alien life on Mars, say British public

Despite Nigel Farage's prediction that the UK Independence party will cause an “earthquake” in British politics at the European Parliament elections, Britons give Ukip as much chance of winning as finding life on Mars.

Foreign Secretary William Hague on 'The Andrew Marr Show' on Sunday discussing the crisis in Syria

UK plans to take in the ‘most vulnerable’ Syrian refugees

Hague confirms a limited number of people will be allowed to settle here

The News Matrix: Saturday 25 January 2014

Trierweiler resumes First Lady's duties

Andy McSmith's Diary: Nigel Farage might want to catch up on his reading - of his own party's manifesto

I try hard not to insult people on air. For you I’m going to make an exception

The HS2 project is bitterly opposed by some MPs

Employ disadvantaged people to build HS2

I would like to see this project follow the French example, but go much further with it

Marine Le Pen is facing the prospect of disappointing results in local elections in March

France's National Front: After a series of political setbacks, it seems Marine Le Pen is not so mighty as all that

After three years of almost unbroken success, the National Front leader Marine Le Pen has begun to stumble in her drive to steam-clean and re-brand the French far right.

Andy McSmith's Diary: Aidan Burley is not anti-Semitic - he's just stupid and very convincing

Aidan Burley, the Tory MP who bought a Nazi uniform for a friend to wear at a stag party, is presumably relieved by the conclusions of a report by Lord Gold, a Tory peer who was asked by the party to look into the affair. He concluded Mr Burley “is not a bad man, still less a racist or an anti-Semite” but he is stupid.

Facebook campaign launched to get 'It's Raining Men' to number 1 after Ukip councillor blames floods on gay marriage

A Facebook campaign to get the classic 80s track ‘It’s Raining Men’ to the top of the charts has been deluged with support following a Ukip councillor claiming the legalisation of same-sex marriage was to blame for the recent floods.

Nigel Farage

Nigel Farage: Working mothers are 'worth less' to their employers in the City

Ukip leader says women must sacrifice family life to achieve more than men

Why David Silvester has been suspended from Ukip

The decision was taken due to the Oxford councillor's behaviour, not his views, and is similar to the action my party took over Godfrey Bloom

The News Matrix: Saturday 18 January 2014

Corsica tops the Gallic Viagra league

A YouGov poll predicts that the Lib Dems will lose all of their MEPs in the May election

YouGov poll: Tories to come behind Labour, while Lib Dems may lose all their MEPs

The poll showed that Labour could gain seats in May's EU elections

Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
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Claudia Winkleman and co-host Tess Daly at the Strictly Come Dancing final
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Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
News
Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
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News
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Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
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Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
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Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
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Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick