Mark Leftly

Mark Leftly is Associate business editor for The Independent

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MoD makes poor case for the defence in raising top pay to bring down costs

Westminster Outlook While there might be a certain, seemingly counter-intuitive, logic to paying higher salaries as a way of cutting costs, I’m not sure the Ministry of Defence (MoD) is providing the best template for the theory.

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling

Probation service sell-off faces legal challenge from unions

Exclusive: Napo is hoping to block the MoJ’s plans, partly because the Justice Secretary Chris Grayling did not pilot the reforms

The Government will pay the next chief executive of Defence Equipment & Support a £250,000 salary plus a bonus of up to a further £250,000

MoD defends new CEO's £500,000 pay that unions label 'utterly outrageous'

The Ministry of Defence is looking to appoint what could be the country's best-paid civil servant on a salary of up to £500,000, a move that unions have blasted as "utterly outrageous".

Stoke-on-Trent believes HS2 could bring £200m to the city

HS2 rail-link: Stoke readies for fight against Crewe as route for second phase of high-speed line

Threat of 'judicial review' as Potteries seeks to benefit from potential £200m in benefits to local economic
David Cameron speaking after the Scottish referendum result

Stop changing laws behind closed doors, say experts

Leading members of the civic society call for the public to be involved in an open discussion on how we should be governed in the aftermath of the Scottish referendum

'Invitation only' process for Crossrail 2 tenders

Exclusive: US engineers have been particularly successful in winning the country’s biggest programme and project management jobs

Mark Leftly: New runways will fly – in the face of Lib Dems

Westminster Outlook Earlier this month, Lib Dem activists voted down their leadership’s attempt to make supporting airport expansion party policy.

Mark Leftly: What if everyone said exactly what they meant?

Westminster Outlook One of the more amusing moments at Business Select Committee hearings over the past year was when the plain-speaking Tory Brian Binley railed against financial jargon.

Mark Leftly: It’s easy to set targets for homes, much harder to set them in stone

Westminster Outlook He may not be a mad-eyed, drug-fuelled, alcohol-soaked loudmouth with an axe to grind and an axe in his hand, but Tim Farron is the closest thing to a rock star that the Liberal Democrats have got. A 44-year-old fell running enthusiast, who has made his name with a folksy turn of language, he couldn’t walk a couple of yards at this month’s Lib Dem conference in Glasgow without being mobbed for selfies, autographs or a chat.

Network Rail’s plans for shopping mall stymied

Network Rail is embarking on a new five-year capital spending programme

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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital