Simon Carr: Why sorry is the hardest word for Gordon

Poor old Gordon, it's because he hasn't got any manners. He could have shut this down at the beginning of the week with a little human expertise. But he thinks – and who can blame him? – that there are more important things going on, and he should be seen to be up there saving the world, not down here scragging in the media playground.

Brown 'sorry' over email slurs

Prime Minister Gordon Brown apologised today over controversial emails sent by one of his closest aides.

Pandora: Nigerian scammers' latest victim...

Pandora was particularly tickled by recent tales of Jack Straw and his undignified fate at the hand of Nigerian hackers (the best part, of course, being friends' refusal to offer any money to help the destitute Straw-impersonator out, even before the knew it was a fraud).

Civil Service chief blocks McBride inquiry

Labour MPs fear further rumoured revelations may damage Brown leadership

Resigned No 10 aide committed 'serious breach'

Resigned Downing Street aide Damian McBride committed a serious breach of the special advisers' code of conduct, Whitehall's top civil servant said today.

Brown to blame over emails says Cameron

Gordon Brown bears personal responsibility for creating the sort of culture that allowed a senior Downing Street aide to consider smearing senior Tories, David Cameron said today.

John Rentoul: Told you so (sort of)

Brilliant column by Steve Richards in The Independent this morning, which tells the most damaging story yet about Damian McBride

Andrew Grice: The hardest word

Cautious optimism in the Government today that the Damian McBride "dirty tricks" affair is finally blowing over, after leading the news bulletins and dominating the front pages in Gordon Brown's Easter horribilis.

Steve Richards: This fiasco may have fatally damaged Gordon Brown’s capacity to take on the Tories

Without a clear media strategy in modern politics there is no chance of success

PM expresses regret for slurs – but no apology

Special advisers will have to sign code of conduct to avoid repeat of McBride saga

Andy McSmith: I warned them that McBride was bad news

Andy McSmith recalls his dealings with the man who has plunged Labour into crisis

Dominic Lawson: Brown is finally the victim of his own licensed assassins

Brown’s courtiers never, ever, employ arguments of substance

Leading article: A matter of character

Rather than basking in the afterglow of the G-20 summit, as he might have hoped, the Prime Minister has spent his Easter holiday writing letters. Some were personal, and properly contrite – to those, including the Conservative leader and the shadow Chancellor – who were slurred in the now notorious emails, sent by his media adviser, Damian McBride. One, to the Cabinet Secretary, Gus O'Donnell, was more of a gesture for public consumption, setting out how the code of conduct that applies to special advisers should, be tightened up.

Letters: Gordon Brown's 'national service' scheme

Brown's 'national service' scheme is badly flawed

Bruce Anderson: A crisis of law, liberty and order

Visitors from Pakistan need to be closely, though courteously, regulated
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War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

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Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
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A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
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Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

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The ethics of pet food

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