Ed Miliband signs up top Obama adviser David Axelrod for UK election

Barack Obama’s most influential adviser during two presidential victories has been hired to advise Labour on its 2015 election campaign, ensuring that Ed Miliband will put inequality and the break between family finances and economic growth at the centre of his election campaign. Full story

Photograph: Jason Reed/Reuters

Maria Miller quits as culture secretary in blow to David Cameron

Maria Miller has resigned as culture secretary after telling David Cameron that her continued presence around the cabinet table would act as a distraction to the “vital work” of the government.

Hours before Cameron was expected to face a bumpy session in the House of Commons, Miller released a letter to the prime minister saying she would resign with immediate effect. Full story

Photograph: Yui Mok/PA

On Llanfair


A reader asks: Could you please share your feelings on Llanfair.

A Martin Pengelly answers: With pleasure, old sprout. Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, to give it its full name, is a place on the island of Anglesey, which is part of Wales, which for immediate purposes only we shall simply say is a constituent part of “Britain”.

With 58 characters (if only 51 letters, most of them consonants, due to things like ‘ch’ counting in the Welsh language as one), it is the longest place name in Europe. I’m not going to try to give the pronunciation phonetically – safe to say that given 76% of the populace of Llanfair speaks Welsh, ask them.

Why the place is often shortened to “Llanfair” should be obvious. If it isn’t, consider the advice of Blackadder:

“Never ask for directions in Wales, Baldrick. You’ll be washing spit out of your hair for a fortnight.”

Advantage (as apportioned due to having had the out-of-body experience that is going into a pub in a Welsh-speaking town while wearing an England Rugby woolly hat and speaking decidedly English-sounding English): Wales, the Welsh and Welsh speakers everywhere.

Tony Benn’s coffin arrives at Westminster chapel for lying in rest

Tony Benn’s coffin arrived in Westminster on Wednesday night as he made his final visit to parliament.

The former Labour cabinet minister’s body lay in rest in parliament’s Chapel of St Mary Undercroft as family members gathered round for a private ceremony to mark his death.

His children, Stephen, Hilary, Melissa and Joshua, were among about 30 close relatives who attended the service conducted by the Commons Speaker’s chaplain, Rose Hudson-Wilkin, in the crypt chapel. Read more

Tony Benn’s coffin is carried into Parliament’s Chapel of St Mary Undercroft. Photograph: Carl Court/AFP/Getty Images

Police failures over domestic violence exposed in damning report

The home secretary is to take personal charge of the way police respond to domestic abuse in England and Wales after a damning report exposed “alarming and unacceptable” weaknesses.

Theresa May will lead a national oversight group to ensure chief constables act on the recommendations of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), which she described as “depressing reading”. Read more

Photograph: Carl Court/AFP/Getty Images

Generation Y: the demographic the budget forgot

Age: Newborn.

Appearance: A red box of broken dreams and orphans’ tears.

Oh dear, I’m not going to like this, am I? Well, it depends – are you a pensioner?

No. Do you have a job?

I’m applying for lots of them. Do you have thousands of pounds in savings?

Course I bloody don’t. Then no, you’re not going to like it.

Ugh. Lay it on me. It’s a budget “for savers”, and people with savings tend to be old people. In fact, scratch that – given that times are hard all round, people with savings tend to be rich old people.

I’m amazed a Tory chancellor would only cater to the old and rich. Indeed. This budget is an absolute dream for pensioners.

Tony Benn’s body to share parliament chapel honour with Thatcher

The Queen has given permission for Tony Benn to become the second politician in history – after Margaret Thatcher – to rest in parliament’s chapel of St Mary Undercroft on the eve of his funeral.

It was granted after Black Rod wrote to the monarch asking whether it would be possible to award him the honour, given that the chapel is a “royal peculiar” – or part of the royal estate. Read more

Photograph: Matthew Chattle/Demotix/Corbis

Tony Benn: a life in pictures

Labour Party politician Tony Benn, who was an MP for 50 years, has died aged 88

Click photos for captions and credits. 

Tony Benn, veteran Labour politician, dies aged 88

Tony Benn – the lodestar for the Labour left for decades, orator, campaigner, diarist and grandfather – has died aged 88 after a long illness, his family has announced.

Tributes poured in for one the country’s most extraordinary and controversial MPs, who, in what he described as the blazing autumn of his career outside Westminster, came to be regarded as an anti-establishment voice for democracy. Read more

Reaction and tributes
Tony Benn: a life in pictures
Tony Benn: obituary 

Pictured: Tony Benn before speaking at the Edinburgh International Book Festival 2008. Photo: Murdo Macleod for the Guardian.


"Our Tumblr project has explored over 400 US-UK cross-cultural topics. As the Guardian continues to reach a global audience, the nature of €˜translations€™ is changing"

Here’s a read from the Guardian style guide on this project one year in … check out the comment stream. It’s a total vortex. Also, welcome, new readers! 

- Katie