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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…

Senior Home Office figure Dame Helen Ghosh to leave Whitehall

One of the most senior women in Whitehall is leaving to head a charity.

Protesters urge Nepal prime minister Baburam Bhattarai to stand down

Hundreds of supporters of opposition political parties have gathered outside the main government offices in Nepal's capital to demand Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai step down.

Leading article: Civil Service reform is as desirable as it is hard

Ministers are right to ask whether some other countries might do things better

The proposed shake-up would radically change the way policies are processed within Whitehall

Ministers plot end to Civil Service neutrality

Ministers could be given the power to dismiss their most senior civil servants and bring in US-style political appointees to drive through policy, as part of a radical shake-up of Whitehall to be considered by the Government.

Today’s announcement will be seen as a victory for David Cameron’s combative former director of strategy Steve Hilton

Government plan puts Civil Service impartiality at risk

Cabinet Office minister provokes fears of politicisation with proposals to appoint senior mandarins on fixed-term contracts

Action from Horse Guards Parade, where empty seats were not in evidence

Laurie Penny at the beach volleyball: 'Do you really need to ask why I'm here?'

Laurie Penny gains an insight into the corporate mindset as she mingles with the crowd at the beach volleyball

Big drop in women working in top Whitehall roles

A drive to recruit more women to top jobs in Whitehall has stalled. The proportion of government departments headed by females has fallen from about half to about a quarter since last year.

A Blagger's Guide To: English Heritage Red Guides

Forget '50 Shades of Grey' – here are 50 volumes of history
Education Secretary Michael Gove

Diary: Michael Gove sends a staffer stateside to work with Republicans

Michael Gove is being increasingly talked up as the next Conservative leader while George Osborne's odds lengthen with every Budget U-turn. It is interesting that someone with whom he has worked closely is off to get first-hand experience of fighting high-pressure elections. James Frayne, director of communications in Mr Gove's department, is off to the US to work for the Republican presidential campaign.

Diary: when Hansard insisted on 'deleting genitalia'

There is a startling revelation in the latest volume of The Alastair Campbell Diaries, in the entry for 22 May 2003. During a cabinet meeting, the Home Secretary David Blunkett made a brief intervention. "People ought to read Hansard," Blunkett said, "especially when they were recommending 'delete genitalia and insert penis'."

Government spending cuts comment made 'off the cuff'

Downing Street sought today to play down a warning by Britain's most senior civil servant that the country could be facing a decade of spending cuts.

Coronation Street veteran Betty Driver after she received her OBE at Buckingham Palace. The actress who played barmaid Betty Turpin in the ITV soap for 42 years has died today aged 91, said a spokeswoman for the programme.

Fact File: The Honours System

The UK honours system stretches back to the Norman conquest, but it wasn’t until 1917 that it began to recognise ordinary Britons.

New appraisals to be introduced for civil servants

The worst-performing civil servants will be given a timeframe for improvement under Whitehall reforms announced today.

Under-performing civil servants face dismissal under Government plans to shake up Whitehall

Under-performing civil servants will face dismissal under plans to shake up Whitehall to be unveiled by the Government today.

Leading article: More women bosses – whatever the economic weather

Fewer than a third of Britain's most influential jobs are held by women. And barely 16 per cent of board members on the UK's top 100 listed companies are female. Change is coming – 10 years ago, it was a mere 7 per cent – but it is far too slow. At the current rate, it will be many decades before the genders are in balance.

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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 1 May 2015
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before