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Bethany Doughty worked as an actuary for 10 years before deciding to retrain as a maths teacher. It has proved to be a lifechanging move, for all the right reasons…

Britain's new top civil servant says he wants to kill off the Sir Humphrey stereotype

And, just to show he means it, Sir Bob is the first person in the post to take up social networking

Workers to vote on pension reforms

More public sector workers are to vote on whether to accept the Government's controversial pension reforms.

Paul Eddington playing the role of PM Jim Hacker as the satirical comedy show Yes, Prime Minister is to be revived for a new series, nearly a quarter of a century on

'Yes, Prime Minister' set to return to screens after 24 year absence

The country is panic-buying petrol whilst the PM is in a hot spot over a pasty row. The timing couldn’t be better for the return of Yes, Prime Minister to screens after 24 years.

And they're off! Civil Service told to 'work' from home

It is known as the "silly season": the month when politicians and civil servants go away for their holidays and shark sightings off the coast of Cornwall take on a national significance.

Unions criticise regional pay rates plan

The Government has sparked a fresh row with unions after confirming plans to press ahead with regional pay rates in the public sector.

Whitehall in private sector shake-up plan

Up to 75,000 jobs at stake in coalition plans to move civil servants into 'John Lewis economy'
Margaret Hodge wants senior civil servants to appear in the Commons

Senior civil servants avoid scrutiny by hiding behind ministers, says Margaret Hodge

The head of Parliament's financial watchdog calls for more accountability and transparency

Leading article: Freedom of information has its limits

Ordinarily, this newspaper would oppose any attempt by the Government to keep information under wraps. And when the Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, fights tooth and nail to prevent particular documents seeing the light of day, it is natural to ask what he has to hide. When you then learn that the documents contain risk-assessments positing downsides to the proposed NHS shake-up, the answer would seem to be clear.

Qatada talks 'positive', says May

Talks aimed at ensuring the UK can deport radical cleric Abu Qatada to face terror charges in Jordan were "positive", the Home Secretary said last night.

Norman St John Stevas has died at the age of 82

Tributes paid to Lord St John of Fawsley, a political 'one-off'

Former Tory minister who nicknamed Thatcher 'Tina' dies at 82

Leading article: Sir Humphrey won't like it, but reform must come

Long before Yes Minister became a British, and then an international, television success, the terms Civil Service and reform, used together, were wont to raise scornful laughter. To this day, the senior levels of government service retain, not always justly, this image of institutional immutability. A report out today, couched as an open letter to the heads of the Civil Service, Sir Jeremy Heywood and Sir Bob Kerslake, wants to change that. It has much to commend it.

ajoling by Moira sees fewer late payers

Tax deadline reminders from the former television newsreader, Moira Stewart, whose own financial affairs have attracted media interest, were so effective that the taxman raked in £55m less in late fines this year than last, HMRC admitted yesterday.

Civil servants paid £40m in bonuses

Ministry of Defence civil servants have collected almost £40 million in bonuses in the past year, it was reported today.

Leading article: The tax system is credible only if fair

When the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, was summoned to the House of Commons to explain why the head of the student loans company was being paid as a private contractor, rather than as a government employee, he just about defused the scandal. He announced that Ed Lester would in future have his tax deducted at source, he said that he, Mr Alexander, was setting up a review to discover the extent of the practice throughout Whitehall, and he gave the impression that such pay arrangements were highly unusual.

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The Banksy image in Folkestone before it was vandalised
people
Life and Style
tech

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts

Sport
Louis van Gaal at the Hawthorns prior to Manchester United's game against West Brom
football

Follow the latest updates from the Monday night Premier League fixture

News
i100
News
Brian Harvey turned up at Downing Street today demanding to speak to the Prime Minister
news

Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and no-one was arrested

Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010
films

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

Voices
Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary: 'There are pressures which we are facing but there is not a crisis'
voices

Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?

Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

News
Blackpool is expected to become one of the first places to introduce the Government’s controversial new Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs)
news

Concerns raised phenomenon is threatening resort's image as a family destination

Life and Style
gaming

I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title

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Berlin, Dresden, Meissen & Colditz
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Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past