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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…

Catherine MacLeod: A good 'spad' is trusted by the minister – and speaks for him

Being a special adviser at the heart of the Government is necessarily a privileged but hugely sensitive role. When Alistair Darling, then the new Chancellor of the Exchequer, asked me to be his special adviser in the Treasury in 2007 I had little idea of what was expected. There was no job description. It was a case of feeling my way, finding a modus operandi best suited to looking after his interests.

Leading article: A shameful tax avoidance culture

It was bad enough when it was only Ed Lester, the head of the Student Loans Company, who was enjoying lower taxes thanks to his being paid as a private contractor rather than a government employee. The implications grew darker when the Department of Health was forced to admit that two dozen of its senior staff were also pulling the same stunt. Only now, after a much-needed Whitehall-wide review, is the full extent of the rot revealed – and it should make both the non-mandarins themselves, and those who waved through their advantageous arrangements, blush with shame.

NHS workers reject pension reforms

Government hopes of resolving the bitter public sector pensions dispute were dealt a fresh blow today when a group of health workers rejected the controversial reforms.

Leading article: Lessons still to be learnt from grammar schools

Last week, it was the Education Secretary, Michael Gove.

John Rentoul: As Hilton heads off, Cameron Mark II begins

Dave prefers George's 'cold calculation' to Steve's 'idealism'
The Immigration minister, Damian Green, said BAA and the Border Force had to work better together

Visa scheme led to mass illegal migrant influx

Immigration chiefs were accused yesterday by MPs of presiding over "complete chaos" when the bungled introduction of a new student visa regime led to an influx of migrants to Britain to work illegally.

John Rentoul: Osborne is not Brown, but the faultline is showing

The Chancellor is the pole around which disaffection organises itself

An absolute shower: Prince Charles fulfils a lifelong ambition

Philip Hensher: It's tough to sack a civil servant (I should know)

The number of civil servants has, interestingly, dropped very substantially under the Coalition. Whether as a result of redefinition or of stripping down, the numbers have fallen since the Brownite high point, from over half a million to a mere 434,000.

Francis Maude: Weed out poor civil servants

A senior minister says Whitehall managers must step up efforts to identify and dismiss poorly-performing civil servants.

Prison staff take part in a protest outside HMP Manchester, as public sector workers go on strike in a row over pensions

Union leaders threaten more public sector strikes

Union leaders today warned that Britain could face a year of strikes by public sector workers if the increasingly bitter row over pensions  is not resolved.

Government 'destroying communities' say union leaders

The Government was attacked today for "destroying" communities with its spending cuts and other policies as thousands of trade unionists, pensioners, students and activists took part in the annual May Day celebrations.

Never knowingly undersold: Lord Hutton to chair coalition's first John Lewis-style spin-off

The former Cabinet minister Lord Hutton will this week be named as chairman of the first company to be spun out of Whitehall as part of the Government's vision to create a "John Lewis economy" of employee-owned businesses.

MoD civilian workers join pensions strike

Thousands of civilian workers in the Ministry of Defence and staff in other Government departments are to join another national strike next month in the long-running row over public sector pensions.

Frontline immigration staff becoming 'box-tickers'

Frontline immigration staff are becoming little more than “box-tickers and rules followers” as a result of the Government's passport-checking policy, according to the former head of the UK Border Force.

Siobhan Benita: 'I can feel from the attention that we're getting that people are really behind us'

Mayoral candidate has no profile, but ambition to spare

Siobhan Benita could surprise a few people. By Oliver Wright

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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 15 May 2015
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific