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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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The party's potential nominations read like a high school race for student body president

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charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
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Cold case: Aaron McCusker and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee