News Mr Starmer stood down last month and has gone back to private practice

Former Director of Public Prosecutions  already advising party on a victim’s law’ for manifesto

The Real Thing, Old Vic, London<br/>Counted?, County Hall, London<br/>Pressure Drop, Wellcome Collection, London

A Stoppard revival and a docu-drama about young voters' disenchantment bump up against the latest in a wave of works to tackle the rise of the BNP

Counted?, County Hall, London

To vote or not to vote, that is the question. Most ordinary folk would rather tick a few numbers on the Lottery than tick a box in a polling booth on 6 May, and this new documentary drama from the Look Left Look Right company examines the causes of political apathy in West Yorkshire: people didn't know about local elections; they feel alienated; the most popular video on YouTube is the one of Gordon Brown picking his nose and eating it.

Steve Connor: History suggests eruption may last a very long time

The last time the Eyjafjallajoekull volcano on the southern flank of Iceland erupted was in 1821 and that event took almost two years to subside. Volcanologists are unsure whether the current eruption is going to be a similar, long-lived affair with months or even years of air-traffic disruption.

At least 10 die and 500 injured in Thai riots

Troops and protesters traded petrol bombs and rubber bullets during running skirmishes in Bangkok

Meredith Kercher killer's apology won sentence cut

An appeals court today said it shaved 14 years off the sentence of a man involved in the murder of a British student Meredith Kercher because he was the only one of the three defendants to apologise to her family.

Study links excessive internet use to depression

People who spend a lot of time surfing the internet are more likely to show signs of depression, British scientists said today.

Japanese student charged with Lindsay's Hawker's murder

A Japanese English student was charged today with the rape and murder of British teacher Lindsay Hawker.

Kercher killer has sentence cut in half after appeal

An Italian court of appeal yesterday reduced the prison sentence for the first person convicted of the murder of Meredith Kercher from 30 years to 16.

Knox killer theory is absurd says former lover

The thought of Amanda Knox killing someone in a moment of anger is "absurd and unrealistic", her former lover Raffaele Sollecito has said.

'I'm glad I was a teenage mother'

When Camilla Chafer became pregnant while studying for A-levels, it could have spelt the end of all her ambitions. But 11 years on, she believes it was the making of her

A life cut short: Death of a daughter, sister, friend

While the media focused on the accused killers, the story of a murdered young woman often took second place.

Knox awaits her fate after final plea

American student charged with murder tells court her conscience is clear

I'm not a killer, says Knox

Amanda Knox told a court today she did not want to be branded an assassin.

GM crops have a role in preventing world hunger, chief scientist says

The Government should approve trials to develop crops resistant to climate change that would feed a growing population
Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
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
News
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
Voices
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
News
Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
News
Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
Career Services

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