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Latest news and comment from Britain | 

Child abuse inquiry: Woolf pressed to quit over dinner parties with Brittan

Abuse victims demand her resignation after it emerged that Tory peer, who was home secretary when abuse dossier went missing, is a neighbourFiona Woolf, the second person to lead the governments inquiry into child abuse, is facing parliamentary and legal pressure to stand down after it emerged she was on dinner-party terms with Lord Brittan, who was home secretary when a dossier about alleged W

Ukip calypso song should be withdrawn, says repentant Mike Read

Ex-Radio 1 DJ has apologised for unintentionally causing offence with ditty he sang in Caribbean accentIs Ukip winning on Facebook and Twitter?Former Radio 1 DJ Mike Read has apologised for his Ukip calypso song and asked for it to be withdrawn from sale following criticism that it was racist.Read said he was sorry for unintentionally causing offence with the tune sung in a fake Caribbean

BBC Radio 3 chief: I wont be dumbing down station

Alan Davey says station will not become more like Classic FM to address shrinking audience and will still offer complex cultureThe incoming controller of Radio 3 has insisted he will not dumb down the highbrow BBC station in response to tumbling listener figures.In the latest figures from industry body Rajar in July, the classical music station saw its audience shrink by 120,000 year on year

What language tells us about the roots of the stone age diet

As a restaurant offering paleo food opens in London, can linguistics shed any light on what our ancestors ate?Next month, the UKs first paleolithic restaurant will open in London. The paleo, stone-age or caveman diet has been around in various forms for decades. But it harks back to a much earlier time, when our eating habits were supposedly in line with our evolution, before agriculture came

Renée Zellweger: new look is down to 'happy, healthy lifestyle', not surgery

The Oscar-winning actor has responded to online speculation that shes had cosmetic surgery by ascribing her changed looks to an increased feeling of peaceBlog: Nothing is wrong with Renee Zellwegers face. Theres something wrong with usThe Oscar-winning actor Renee Zellweger has brushed aside media reports that she has undergone plastic surgery, suggesting that the claims are silly and a ne

Isis claims it has US airdrop of weapons

Pentagon investigating claims but admits one load missing and it would be embarrassing if it ended up in terror groups handsA US airdrop of arms to besieged Kurds in Kobani appears to have missed its target and ended up in the hands of Islamic State (Isis).Video footage released by Isis shows what appears to be one of its fighters for in desert scrubland with a stack of boxes attached to a

UK government has blood on its hands over failure to track foreign criminals

Criticism from father of girl killed by Iraqi man comes as NAO report exposes failings in handling of foreign national offendersPoliticians have blood on their hands for failing to keep track of foreign offenders, according to the father of a 12-year-old girl who died after a hit-and-run collision with an Iraqi motorist who had previous convictions.Paul Houston spoke out after a National Aud

Nothing is wrong with Renee Zellweger's face. There's something wrong with us

Pity the woman so brazen as to pull back the curtain on our hypocrisy by letting herself be seen in public past a certain ageRenée Zellweger: new look due to happy, healthy lifestyle, not surgeryTo be a female celebrity is to lose at every turn. Dare to age? Face-shame at best and be out of work at worst. Get noticeable plastic surgery _on_ your face to combat the inevitable ageing? At bes

William Morris letters show artist was a political firebrand until his death

Newly discovered correspondence to married woman reveals a man torn between push for equality and Victorian gender rolesTwo newly discovered, unpublished letters by William Morris, written within three years of his death, show that he had lost none of his fiery principles.The social activist and artist set his correspondent a formidable list of tasks: she was to work her way through a weight

Europe can learn from the US and make each state liable for its own debt

The eurozone should emulate the US approach in how to maintain stability in a monetary union, writes Hans-Werner SinnThe French prime minister, Manuel Valls, and his Italian counterpart, Matteo Renzi, have declared or at least insinuated that they will not comply with the fiscal compact to which all of the eurozones member countries agreed in 2012; instead, they intend to run up fresh debts. Th

The best goals of the week: Götze, Sneijder, Rodríguez, Ceni and Lahm

Featuring a goalkeeper scoring his 123rd career goal, a few lovely volleys and a spectacularly silly own goal from Sydney Continue reading...

Mexican military tried to cover up murders of up to 15 people, report says

National human rights commission calls for investigation into deaths of suspected gang members last summerSoldiers murdered at least 12 and probably 15 people at a warehouse in southern Mexico last summer, the governments human rights commission said in a sweeping indictment of attempts by the military and civilian prosecutors to cover up the crimes.The commissions report exposed the constan

Loïc Rémy hopes to be fit for Chelseas trip to Manchester United

Striker suffered groin injury against Maribor on Tuesday José Mourinho had feared a two week lay-off We will see with the scan. I dont think its too bad Chelsea 6-0 Maribor: five talking pointsLoïc Rémy remains hopeful that he will be fit to play against Manchester United on Sunday despite José Mourinho saying that he expects the Chelsea striker to be unavailable after he suffered a groin in

My brother wanted to be a jihadi and society is creating many more like him

Extremism of any kind is a symptom of an unhealthy society and, in order to eradicate it, we should look to treat its causeAs Isis continues to dominate our collective consciousness, most recently with the crucifixion of a 17-year-old boy, the government appears to be fumbling in the dark for new ways of stemming the blood from an old wound which refuses to heal; only they seem to be thinking a

Suede: 10 of the best

We remember when it was all council blocks and drug-addled crones having bad sex around here to mark 20 years since Dog Man Star, here are 10 classics from SuedeSome things are more important than ability, cawed Brett Anderson in 1989, when he placed an advert in NMEs back pages requesting a lead guitarist to join his band Suede. And so an early mantra was born: a desire to scandalise the dul

Bank of England voted 7:2 to hold interest rates steady - business live

The Bank of England has published the minutes of its monthly rate-setting committee, revealing that a majority voted to keep interest rates at 0.5%.*Home Retail Group to close 25% of Homebase stores*Euan Sutherland to lead SuperGroup 10.38am BST After this mornings BoE minutes showed a majority of MPC members are in favour of keeping rates on hold, analysts are not expecting change

Bank of England committee voted 7-2 to keep interest rates steady

Premature tightening in monetary policy could leave the UK vulnerable to shocks, say majority of MPC members in OctoberBank of England policymakers remained split over whether to raise interest rates immediately, with two members of the nine-strong monetary policy committee (MPC) voting in favour this month.Minutes of the October meeting of the MPC revealed that dissenters, Martin Weale and

Mike Read apologises for Ukip Calypso: Politics Live blog

Rolling coverage of all the days political developments as they happen, including David Cameron and Ed Miliband at PMQs 10.38am BST Matthew Norman has a good column about the Mike Read Calypso in todays Independent. He says the song is offensive in many ways, none of which are to do with race.Heres an extract.The lyric, which dwells on such Faragean staples as illegal immigration and

A Quantum Leap reunion is happening at last on NCIS

Scott Bakula and Dean Stockwell are finally back together. Its just a shame that its on NCIS: New Orleans, a show lacking Quantum Leaps cavalcade of creativityJambalaya, jazz and a checklist of vaguely naval-related crime as long as Bourbon Street NCIS: New Orleans might be the second city-specific franchise to launch from the NCIS mothership, but its already off to a flying start. More than

Homebase to close one in four stores as UK falls out of love with DIY

Home Retail Group says new consumer generation has less time for DIY, is more likely to pay a tradesman and prefers buying goods onlineHomebase will close a quarter of its 323 branches in the next three years, blaming an excess of retail space at out-of-town stores and the rise of a generation with little interest in DIY projects.The chain's parent, Home Retail Group, said about 30 Homebase

Colombian photographer Juan Fernando Herrán wins Prix Pictet commission

The fifth Prix Pictet commission has been awarded to Colombian photographer Juan Fernando Herrán. The award, which this year has the theme of consumption, will enable Herrán to produce a series of photographs examining material culture and consumption in indigenous communities in Colombia, where Herrán says 'the economic value of objects is not fundamental'.He spoke to us at the launch of 2014 Pr

Children as young as three suffering from severe tooth decay

English health officials say schools and nurseries in areas where people are at high risk should help children brush their teethChildren as young as three are suffering from severe tooth decay and people need to act now to stop the rot, health officials have said.The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) has urged local authorities to tackle a growing crisis in the state

Call of Duty: gaming's role in the military-entertainment complex

How a writer on the worlds biggest shoot-em-up has come to advise Washington on the future of warfareSix months after Dave Anthony left his job as a writer and producer on the video game series Call of Duty, he received an unexpected phone-call from Washington DC.That week, the caller, Steve Grundman, a former Pentagon official who served in a succession of appointments at the US Departmen

Scotlands main parties to discuss further devolution at Smith commission

SNP, Labour, Tories, Lib Dems and Greens have submitted individual proposals for extending further powers to HolyroodThe Smith commission, which was set up to fast-track further powers to Scotland after the country rejected independence in last months referendum, will hold its first full meeting on Wednesday.The commissions chairman, Lord Smith, will meet previously announced representatives

By removing photos of childbirth, Facebook is censoring powerful female images

Birth is a fundamental feminist issue right now - womens bodies should not be sanitised. Facebook should let us see it as it isIf I say a woman giving birth, what is the first image that comes into your head? Give me details: is she upright or on her back, covered or naked, calm or in distress? What are her surroundings? Who attends her and are they touching her? Who is delivering her baby?I

WHO aims for Ebola serum in weeks and vaccine tests in Africa by January

Details given of two vaccines being fast-tracked for trial on 20,000 health workers and antibody serum planned for Liberia The World Health Organisation has announced it hopes to begin testing two experimental Ebola vaccines in west Africa by January and may have a blood serum treatment available for use in Liberia within two weeks.The UNs health agency said it aimed to begin testing the t

Counter-terrorism police arrest 25-year-old woman in Bedfordshire

Woman is being held at a central London police station on suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts in connection with SyriaA 25-year-old woman has been arrested on suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts in connection with Syria.Counter-terrorism officers took the young woman from Bedfordshire to a central London police station on Wednesday, where she remains in custody, Scotland Yard s

Planting bulbs in autumn for colourful spring flower beds - video

Alys Fowler plants dense drifts and clumps of daffodils and woodland bulbs in October so that bursts of colour and banks of food for bees across the allotment will emerge in spring. She revisits the bulbs in April to reveal how they have brightened up the space Find the plants in the Guardian garden centre Continue reading...

Lorde recruits Grace Jones, Q-Tip and Chemical Brothers for Hunger Games soundtrack

Sole music curator of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 announces soundtrack for film, featuring a Kanye remix and new songs from the singers true heroes *The Hunger Games: Mockingjay part 1 releases first full trailerLorde has announced details of her soundtrack to the newest Hunger Games film, recruiting Kanye West, Grace Jones, Chemical Brothers and other heroes to record original s

Nick Clegg says teachers should be free from runaway train of bureaucracy

Deputy PM to solicit teachers groups for ways to help ease administrative workloads and focus on educating pupilsThe Liberal Democrat leader is to step up the coalitions charm offensive with teachers when he announces a new initiative to free them from a bureaucracy that he says has left them feeling undervalued and overworked.In a speech on Wednesday, in which he will hail the contribution

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