News George Osborne sounded warnings ahead of 26 June deadline

Chancellor has demanded £11.5bn in spending reductions, with most Whitehall departments required to find savings of up to 10%

Nonsense verse? Presenter Des Lynam backs Ukip and rewrites 'Send in the Clowns' as retort to Ken Clarke

Mr Lynam said he had voted for the Eurosceptic party last week

Tories brace for major losses in local elections amid dismay over Ukip growth

The Conservatives are braced for hundreds of losses in the 2 May local elections amid signs of disarray over how to counter the growing threat from the UK Independence Party.

Ian Duncan Smith said his department  had provided a hotline to help people  pay back such benefits

Iain Duncan Smith backtracks after saying that wealthy pensioners should hand back their benefits

Work and Pensions Secretary says: 'I'm not making that a policy position'

Labour leadership asks MPs to 'respect' Margaret Thatcher tributes

Labour MPs have been urged by their party leadership to show “respect and restraint” when the House of  Commons discusses Baroness Thatcher’s legacy today.

Coalition wins commons vote for secret courts

Plans to allow more civil courts to sit in secret were pushed through the Commons last night in the face of protests from MPs of all parties that the moves would undermine basic principles of British justice.

Ministers should be given annual performance appraisals, says former head of civil service

Ministers should be given annual performance appraisals to see how well they are doing their jobs, a former head of the civil service said today.

Ken Clarke promoted the idea of a 'rehabilitation revolution'

Kenneth Clarke’s legacy: first fall in prisoner numbers since 1990s

The prison population has fallen by almost 3,000 since the start of last year, reversing a trend dating back to the 1990s, it has been revealed.

Violent criminals and rapists to be given automatic life sentences when found guilty of a second offence

Violent criminals and rapists will be given automatic life sentences when they are found guilty of their second offences, Chris Grayling announced today as he vowed to be a “tough Justice Secretary”.

Dealers 'laugh at drugs law', says ex-police chief

Drug dealers across the world are laughing at the law as it simply increases their profits, a former police chief said today.

Private sector offender bid slammed

Government plans to hand over the management of offenders to private firms risk compromising public safety, the Chief Inspector of Probation warned today.

Prisons grow more crowded despite falling crime rate

More offenders were jailed last year, and received longer prison sentences, despite an overall fall in the number of criminal convictions, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) disclosed yesterday.

Claimants will have to prove harm

Major reforms of libel laws have been unveiled under which would-be claimants will have to demonstrates that they have suffered serious harm to their reputations, or are likely to do so, before they can take a defamation case forward.

Police to protest over cuts

Rank-and file police officers are to stage a protest over proposed changes to their pay and conditions.

The moves are to combat Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke’s ‘soft’ image on law and order

Sobriety bracelets head wave of new penalty enforcements

Offenders would be fitted with "sobriety bracelets" to check for alcohol in their blood under plans to toughen up community sentences to be launched by the Government.

Criminal records to be wiped early

Thousands of former prison inmates and other offenders could have their past convictions cleared from their records under Government plans.

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Jeremy Paxman has admitted he is a 'one-nation Tory' and complained that Newsnight is made by idealistic '13-year-olds' who foolishly think they can 'change the world'.
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File: David Cameron offers a toast during a State Dinner in his honour March 14, 2012
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Brendan Rodgers seems more stressed than ever before as Liverpool manager
FOOTBALLI like Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game