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

Cole escapes driving ban – because his wife is too famous

Mr Loophole strikes again. The Liverpool footballer Joe Cole has escaped an immediate driving ban for speeding at 105mph after his solicitor told the court that the midfielder needed his licence to drive his wife, who is too scared to get behind the wheel following a carjacking – and too famous to catch public transport.

UK doubles Pakistan flood aid to £60m

Britain is to more than double the amount of aid it is giving Pakistan to cope with the devastation wreaked by the recent flooding, the International Development Secretary told the United Nations last night.

Britain urged to use influence to get tough on Rwanda

Aid payments must be used to pressure regime over civil rights abuses, says charity

An airport for St Helena (too late for Napoleon)

In 1815, the British government had a dangerous prisoner on its hands. Napoleon Bonaparte had just been defeated at Waterloo, but he had been defeated before – and exiled to the island of Elba, 12 miles off the coast of Tuscany, but had come storming back.

New watchdog 'will have power to axe aid projects'

25 years after Live Aid, minister in charge of overseas spending tells Peter Gill how he plans to ensure British money is well spent

Britain bails out scandal-hit Turks and Caicos Islands

The Government is dipping into its aid budget to provide a £10m bailout to the scandal-hit Turks and Caicos Islands, the Caribbean paradise where it imposed direct rule last year. The International Development Secretary, Andrew Mitchell, said it would extend a short-term loan so that the British governor in the islands would be able to pay the salaries of teachers, police and health workers.

Government may withdraw billions from overseas projects

Billions of pounds in aid spending is to be reviewed by the Government as it begins a far-reaching efficiency drive that could see funding withdrawn from some overseas development projects.

Leading article: Can it be the beginning of the end?

The new Government's foreign policy has not changed as much as it should, or as much as Liam Fox, the Defence Secretary, pretends.

Virtually all gay asylum-seekers sent back to persecution

Homophobic countries want their gay nationals in UK extradited to face prosecution over sexuality

Hague leads Tory delegation for talks in Kabul

Foreign Secretary William Hague flew into Kabul today ahead of talks with political and military leaders in the Afghan capital.

Coalition ends 'awareness projects'

The government yesterday pulled the plug on UK-based "awareness projects" funded from the overseas aid budget. Andrew Mitchell, the International Development Secretary, said he was imposing an immediate freeze on new funding for projects, and was withdrawing support totalling half a million pounds from five existing schemes. Some £6.5m committed by the Department for International Development under the Labour administration to a new programme called The Global Development Engagement Fund will be suspended, said Mr Mitchell, a Conservative member of the coalition.

Taxpayers' money given to corrupt charities

Government will not say where cash obtained by fraudulent means has gone

Explain U-turn on aid budget, No 10 told

Downing Street attempt to quell Whitehall row over Haiti quake charity single

BNP goes upmarket to target white middle class

Legal defeat prompts far-right party to 'refocus its propaganda on a new front'

Government forms civilian disaster response group

British construction experts are helping rebuild prisons in disaster-struck Haiti as part of a new aid network launched by the Government today.

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...