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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…

BBC Director-General, Governor of the Bank of England: Today’s top jobs are too big for anyone

Perhaps some bodies – the Bank of England, the BBC – are too complex to be managed successfully by any single individual

New government website gov.uk goes live

A government website that will save taxpayers up to £70m by replacing other online public services will go live today.

Editorial: Cut in haste – repent on the West Coast Main Line

The Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, is expected to announce today what interim arrangements have been agreed for the operation of the West Coast Main Line when Virgin's franchise expires in early December. Whatever the deal – and the likelihood must be an extension of Virgin's mandate until such time as the new franchise has been settled – the cost will be just a fraction of the final price to the taxpayer of this debacle, which has been conservatively estimated at £40m.

Business week in review

In profit...

Tucker odds-on to be named governor after rivals drop out

The Bank of England's deputy governor, Paul Tucker, was installed as odds-on favourite for its top job at the Bank of England yesterday as the applications deadline for Britain's most powerful unelected role passed.

Race for top job at the Bank narrows as three drop out

The deputy governor Paul Tucker was installed as odds-on favourite for the top job at the Bank of England yesterday as the applications deadline for Britain's most powerful unelected role passed.

Union leader slams Government over West Coast rail line fiasco

A union leader attacked the Government today for blaming civil servants over the West Coast rail line fiasco, saying the treatment of staff had been “deplorable”.

A Virgin train on the West Coast line in South Lanarkshire. Sir Richard and his company are being stripped of their franchise

Rail franchise fiasco could cost taxpayer more than £100m

The total cost to the taxpayer of disastrous failings in the Government's rail franchise programme could exceed £100m, industry experts warned last night, as the Transport Secretary launched an urgent review into the fiasco.

Margaret Hodge: Public Accounts Committee chairman says the controls are not strict enough

Margaret Hodge demands civil service changes amid West Coast main line rail fiasco

A senior MP today demanded sweeping changes to the civil service amid the West Coast main line rail fiasco.

David Cameron warned of rift with mandarins

David Cameron was warned today that he faces a damaging rift with senior civil servants after a minister accused top officials of blocking Government policies they disagree with.

Whitehall looks to the future with internship programme for young mandarins-in-waiting

Young Sir Humphrey Applebys they are not. Neither, frankly, do they bare much resemblance to aspiring Malcolm Tuckers. Nonetheless, the 60 teenagers, looking a little intimidated amid the garish turquoise and gold state rooms of the Foreign Office, are what the Civil Service believes are its future.

Interns at the closing ceremony of the Foreign Office scheme organised by Baroness Warsi

From free school meals to the foreign office: the next generation of mandarins?

Whitehall is on a quest to prove it is not elitist. But would these children be convinced?

No further action to be taken against Equitable Life actuaries

Actuaries involved in the Equitable Life scandal will not face any further action, a disciplinary board has announced.

Francis Maude wants fixed-term contracts for civil servants

Civil servant jobs to depend on appraisals by politicians

Cabinet Office minister wants Whitehall review to stop officials from hindering policies

Lord Browne: David Cameron’s adviser said he was concerned about the loss of leadership in the Civil Service

Summer exodus of mandarins 'has left a leadership vacuum'

Treasury is the worst-hit department as four Civil Service heads follow each other out of the door

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there