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A Fathers4Justice campaigner has been found guilty of defacing a portrait of the Queen with purple paint while it was hanging in Westminster Abbey.

Blair's champion draws angry response with account of the war and its aftermath

The Blair government received a drubbing last night during a lively public debate on the aftermath of the Iraq war organised by The Independent, 11 days before elections in the country.

Birtwistle Games final concert, Westminster Abbey, London

The final concert in the comprehensive Birtwistle Games festival, which the South Bank Centre and related organisations have been coordinating for the composer's 70th birthday, exemplified several of his compositional preoccupations in its very programming.

Mystery of the missing coronation loo rolls

The crowning of a monarch is planned to the minutest detail. But when it came to the coronation of Elizabeth II, it seems civil servants failed to allow for lavatory-paper pilfering.

Porter hands over £12m to end 'homes for votes' scandal

The Westminster "homes for votes" scandal came to a long-overdue conclusion yesterday when it emerged that Dame Shirley Porter, the council's former Tory leader, had handed over £12.3m to settle the affair.

Sacred monsters of a church in crisis

Easter by Michael Arditti (Arcadia, £11.99, 390pp)

time lapse: The ascent of man

Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection was published 140 years ago this month, in November 1859. A relatively short, populist work, it was penned in a hurry to beat the publication of a rival tome. It immediately became a bestseller, and it is Darwin's name which is now for ever associated with evolutionary theory. Chinese-born Daniel Lee's digitally morphed Origin (right), currently on show in Portugal, is an imaginative and, as he confesses, a not-altogether scientific expression of Darwin's ideas, charting an evolutionary journey from the rare Coelacanth fish through reptile and ape to human. There are no immediate plans to show Lee's work in Kansas, however, where the State Board of Education decided in August to purge references to evolution from the school curriculum, the latest victory in the battle being waged in the US by the Creationists, religious fundamentalists who deny the evidence of fossils and species variation to assert the literal truth of Genesis. Ironically, Darwin himself, who agonised about the profound implications for Christianity of his work, is buried in Westminster Abbey.

Scots set up a battle of the bards

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE'S days as the world's foremost literary figure could be numbered if supporters of Scotland's national bard, Robert Burns, have their way. They have formed a public limited company, comprising 60,000 "shareholders", with the aim of replacing Stratford-upon-Avon's favourite son with the farmer from Alloway, Ayrshire.

Refugees of Blitz tie their labels again

ON 3 SEPTEMBER 1939 more than a million children gathered at railway stations ready to be evacuated to the country for the duration of the war.

Right of Reply: James Hall

The art critic responds to Philip Hensher's views on new statues for Trafalgar Square
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General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions