Defence procurement has been one of the biggest machines for wasting money

Bogus colleges 'not being tackled'

The Government's failure to tackle the problem of bogus colleges has allowed tens of thousands of illegal immigrants to come to the UK, a damning report warns today.

One success only for asylum seekers scheme

A £1 million Government scheme to help failed asylum seekers return home was "mismanaged from start to finish" and resulted in just one family leaving the UK, a report found today.

MPs call for better data on "slave trade"

Efforts to curb human trafficking for sexual exploitation in Britain and Europe are being hindered by a lack of information about its true scale, a parliamentary committee said today.

Amazon drops rape simulation game

A game that involves the player stalking victims and then raping them in a virtual world was being offered for sale by online retailer Amazon.com.

Simon Carr: Jacqui plagued by both her houses

Sketch: Had Jacqui ever taken ecstasy herself, Keith Vaz toyed with the idea, but we didn't find out

Johnson praises 'heroic' transport efforts after snow

Boris Johnson praised the "heroic" efforts" of transport bosses to get the capital's buses running today as he refused to allow the snow-related problems to prevent him attending a grilling by MPs.

Happy hours to be banned in alcohol 'problem areas'

Happy hours and supermarket deals would be banned in areas plagued by binge drinking and alcohol-related crime under a plan being considered by ministers. Three government departments are in talks over the proposed scheme to tackle binge drinking "hot spots", The Independent has learnt.

MP Vaz faces code-of-conduct probe

A Westminster sleaze watchdog has launched an inquiry into claims that Labour MP Keith Vaz tried to interfere in a court case, it was announced today.

Forced marriages: the trail of misery and fear in Britain

A helpline for victims has been inundated with callers. Jerome Taylor was given exclusive access to their harrowing stories

Is that a Tory peer in the woodpile?

Baron Dixon-Smith, a Tory frontbencher and one of the country's senior peers, found himself in the middle of a race row last week when he used the phrase "nigger in the woodpile" during a Lords debate on the Housing and Regeneration Bill. After an intervention by Lord Brooke of Sutton Mandeville, the peer stated: "I apologise, my lords. I left my brains behind."

Brown quizzed over 'reward' for 42-day vote

Gordon Brown faced questions today over why his Chief Whip apparently assured a Labour MP he would be "appropriately rewarded" for his support in a crunch Commons vote on 42-day pre-charge detention.

The Sketch: Loyalists belittled by opportunism and argument

After the debate on university top-up fees some years ago, I wondered why one of Labour's well-known lefties had voted for the left's most hated measure of the day.

The Sketch: Fog of jargon and evasion engulfs Home Secretary

If you can get your hands on Hansard of Thursday last week you might want to keep it as a historic document. It's not quite Magna Carta but at column 608 it says: "The Minister for the Armed Forces (Mr Bob Ainsworth): Absolute bollocks."

Brown gives himself 'wriggle room' on ID cards scheme

The commitment of Gordon Brown to identity cards was in question last night after he declined to say if he personally supported making them compulsory.

Stefano Hatfield on Advertising

The one man who can dress like a lounge lizard - and get away with it
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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