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aid spending is to be reviewed by the Government as it begins a far-reaching efficiency drive that could see funding withdrawn from some overseas development projects.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

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment