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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The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss