Kenneth Clarke

The Week in Radio: So-so grammar puts sensitive listeners in a spin

These are tough times for pedants like me. Like people with extra-sensitive skin, it takes only minuscule grammatical mistakes to make us flinch and squirm. There are some to whom a split infinitive is like biting on silver foil and others who spend their days shouting, dementedly, "fewer" at politicians who can't hear them. Almost daily, fresh horrors rise from the radio like the screech of chalk on a blackboard, and one of the most recent is "so". Why should so many interviewees begin their answers with this apparently incongruous word?

Together at Chequers, but this was the week that the coalition's

The cabinet met at Chequers yesterday for its first full political session, without civil servants, since the coalition was formed. There in the leafy Buckinghamshire countryside, far from the hustle and bustle of Whitehall, they took stock of the challenges that lie ahead.

Clarke's break with Tory prison policy provokes anger from right

Kenneth Clarke's pledge to break with the Conservatives' traditional "prison works" philosophy and bring in more community sentences has provoked anger from the right of his party and a warning from criminal justice campaigners that his words must be matched by firm proposals.

Ken Clarke plans radical reform of the prison system

Fewer offenders could be locked up in prison and more given community sentences under reforms of the criminal justice system being planned by the Government, Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke indicated today.

Inheritance tax would be 'all but abolished'

Conservative plans to slash inheritance tax would effectively abolish the tax "for practical purposes", shows research by the leading accountants, Grant Thornton, for The Independent. In the proposals by the shadow chancellor George Osborne, unveiled in 2007, the threshold would be raised from the present £325,000 to £1m.

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Tories want 'big beasts' back

David Cameron is under pressure from Tory activists to bring back "big beasts" including Kenneth Clarke and David Davis to give his Shadow Cabinet more gravitas.

Arrested MP accused of 'grooming' mole

The Conservative MP Damian Green was accused by police of "grooming" a Home Office mole. The accusation came during nine hours of questioning by police investigating at least 20 leaks of secret documents from the department. As details of the investigation emerged, the shadow Immigration minister told friends he was livid that detectives resorted to "provocative" language used to describe sex offenders and suicide bombers.

VAT: Conservatives will vote against rate cut

Conservatives last night vowed to vote against Alistair Darling's plans for a 2.5 per cent temporary cut in VAT, as ministers faced claims that the centrepiece of the pre-Budget report would not do enough to kick-start Britain's weakening economy.