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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…

Promotions given to 'appalling' civil service staff, ministers claim

"Appalling" civil servants are promoted out of jobs that they're failing in as part of a culture that "protects inadequacy", government ministers have said in anonymous interviews.

Larry, Downing Street's ratcatcher, has yet to make his first kill

Being poor isn’t hard – skin the cat and make a cosy hat!

The Department for Making The Poor Poorer has been very busy recently

Bruce Forsyth poses for photographs after receiving his knighthood in 2011

Britain's honours system set for shake-up, with ministers given powers to 'fast track' nominations for knighthoods and other awards

Ministers are to be given the power to ‘fast track’ nominations for knighthoods and other awards as part of plans to radically shake-up of Britain’s ancient honours system.

George Entwistle and Sir Jeremy Heywood demonstrate the dangers of narrow professional experience in our highest public servants

The French call it déformation professionnelle - but these blinkered men of the machine are not an exclusively Gallic phenomenon

Assad troops 'kill 106 in one village'

Up to 106 people, including women and children, were killed as forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad swept through a small farming village, torching houses and shooting and stabbing residents, activists claimed today.

Civil servants ballot for strike action over pay and pensions

Around a quarter of a million civil servants are to be balloted about taking part in a fresh round of strike action, to protest against cuts to pay and pensions and poorer working conditions.

Lord O’Donnell has accused ministers of blaming officials for self-inflicted problems

Ministers 'attack civil servants to deflect blame from Coalition'

Former Cabinet Secretary Lord O'Donnell says the Government has undermined morale

Quiet, steely and cricket-loving, Hart was much more used to settling disputes over a pint

Jack Hart: Trade unionist who took on the Tory government over the ban on unions at GCHQ

Jack Hart, a leading signals specialist, was an unlikely trade union activist, but on 25 January 1984, Hart, then chair of the committee representing all civil service trade union branches at GCHQ, was summoned to a meeting to be told that the Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, had decided to ban all unions at the government's secret listening centre in Cheltenham, and at other listening posts. Workers had a choice of leaving their unions or being dismissed. Those who gave up their membership were to receive £1,000.

Whitehall's bid to save £50m, one paperclip at a time

Tax collectors have set up "swap shops" to redistribute surplus envelopes and briefcases. In one Whitehall outpost, staff are using ash from their bio-mass burner as garden fertiliser. Elsewhere, Home Office officials have taken to generating electricity from bootleg alcohol.

Coalition heads for storms as parties diverge before election

Civil Service will need to defuse rows over public spending review, think-tank warns

Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez 'in good mood' after surgery

Vice President Nicolas Maduro surprised Venezuelans with a Christmas Eve announcement that President Hugo Chavez is up and walking two weeks after cancer surgery in Cuba, but the news did little to ease uncertainty surrounding the leader's condition.

The shell-loving scientists torn apart by a mystery woman

They lived in Edwardian England at a time of impeccable manners and stiff upper lips, but for these two gentleman scientists something very bitter and acrimonious must have happened to destroy a 25-year collaboration on the study of microscopic sea-shells collected from the other side of the world.

George Entwistle resigned from the BBC

BBC takes advice on clawing back pay-off to director-general George Entwistle

The BBC has taken legal advice on whether it can recoup some of the £450,000 payoff given to director-general George Entwistle, Lord Patten said today.

‘Worst’ civil servants to be named

The worst-performing 10 per cent of senior Whitehall mandarins are to be identified for the first time and put into a programme of “performance management” which could ultimately lead to their dismissal.

We’ll have to work longer and live on less in old age, warns top civil servant

The head of the Civil Service has warned that the public will have to cut costs and work for longer to fund their retirement.

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Independent Travel
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 15 May 2015
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

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'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

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If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

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Evolution of swimwear

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Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

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From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

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'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

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Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

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Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

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King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

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End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
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Can meditation be bad for you?

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