News Andrew Mitchell eventually received a begrudging apology following the 'Plebgate' affair

'We heard of a growing disillusion with the lack of professionalism of some representatives' says report

Page 3 Profile: John Key, New Zealand PM

New policy?

Inside Westminster: Recession may be over, but no one is making capital

As the five-year parliament reaches its halfway mark, the Coalition’s key decision-making “quad” – David Cameron, George Osborne, Nick Clegg and Danny Alexander – has been expanded to include David Laws, the Liberal Democrat who returned to the Government last month, and Oliver Letwin, the Conservatives’ policy chief. “It’s still known as the quad,” one insider explained. “We can’t call it the sextet.”

Demonstrators wearing badger costumes dancing in front of the Houses of Parliament yesterday

Badger backtrack blamed on rain and Olympics

The Government was forced to fend off fresh accusations of incompetence yesterday after it delayed the controversial badger cull in England, blaming the Olympics, bad weather and a miscount of the animals for the retreat.

Bovine TB has risen dramatically over the past few decades and badgers have been implicated in the rapid spread of the disease, with about half of new cattle infections linked to badgers, leading to calls from farmers for mass culling

Omnivoreshambles? Weather, Olympics and a miscount all blamed as badger cull postponed

U-turn announced after Political Editor farmers warn they would not be able to kill enough animals in time available

Backbench demand for EU budget veto thwarts Cameron's bid to set the agenda

Hague to warn that EU could disintegrate because of a lack of democratic mandate

Tory MPs tell Cameron to 'get a grip'

Conservative MPs have told David Cameron to "get a grip" and halt a string of unforced errors that have blown his Government off course.

Tebbit said after the blow of finally losing Mr Mitchell having previously backed him to stay, the Prime Minister was said to have allowed

Lord Tebbit blasts 'dog of a coalition Government'

David Cameron faced strong criticism from Conservative grandee Lord Tebbit today in the aftermath of Andrew Mitchell's resignation as chief whip.

Salmond poses with a supporter in Perth yesterday

Salmond tears into the Tory-led 'Lord Snootys'

Scottish First Minister pulls no punches at SNP conference as he urges his cheering supporters to follow his dream of independence

'David Cameron is clueless': Ed Miliband joins austerity protesters in London

Nurses, firefighters, teachers and prison officers joined over 150,000 protesters today in huge demonstrations against the Government, loudly cheering calls for a 24-hour general strike.

The Chancellor boarded the Virgin train to London at his constituency stop of Wilmslow with an aide and two standard class tickets.

Great Train Snobbery! George Osborne embarrassment after sitting in first class with standard-class ticket

It is being dubbed the Great Train Snobbery or simply – and perhaps predictably – ticketgate.

Government Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell's resignation letter in full

In his resignation letter, Andrew Mitchell wrote:

Andrew Mitchell's refusal to admit that he had used the word “pleb” led the federation to demand his resignation

A Tory MP's View: Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell is damaged goods, but far too stubborn to resign

A departmental minister might have weathered a scandal like Mitchell's, but for the Chief Whip, it's different.

Why the late (and far from great) Bernard Manning would have cause to celebrate today

Our diarist notes that the stand-up comedian, notoriously fond of making unfunny jokes, had a deeper impact on workplace legislation than you might think

Andrew Mitchell's refusal to admit that he had used the word “pleb” led the federation to demand his resignation

Still no relief for Mitchell as police insist he has to go

Andrew Mitchell must either resign or David Cameron should sack him, Police Federation leaders said tonight after talks failed to resolve the row over his abuse of a Downing Street protection officer.

Diary: Why the Tories won't be calling the cops and what David Cameron shares with Paul Ryan

Our diarist on why the West Midlands police bear Dave a grudge, Cameron's admiration of a Paul Ryan speech and an 'off-the-cuff' report on Dave vs. Boris.

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NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own