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%

Report raises concerns over shorter jail terms

The deterrent effect of short-term sentences is lost on criminals who are jailed time and time again, a report has found.

Leading article: The future of women's jails merits attention

A radical call for the closure of women's prisons is the key recommendation of a report published today by the Women's Justice Taskforce, which calls for the savings to be reinvested in community-based alternatives to custody. The Justice Secretary, Kenneth Clarke, should give the report careful consideration as he completes his White Paper on sentencing, which is to be published shortly and will look hard at ways to cut the total number of prisoners in Britain – at more than 85,000, the highest as a proportion of the population in Europe.

The people versus the cuts (and, as ever, the lawyers will be the winners)

After protests and petitions, campaigners turn to judges to halt spending decisions. Matt Chorley reports on how the taxpayer still picks up the tab

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?

Video: Clarke 'dozes off' during Obama speech

Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke appears to doze off during President Obama's speech at Westminster.

Sentence cuts 'create more victims'

Government plans to cut prison sentences in half for offenders who plead guilty risk creating more victims, Labour leader Ed Miliband warned today.

Car insurance premiums soar by 40%

Car insurance premiums have soared by a record 40% during the past year as high levels of fraud and personal injury claims continue to push up the cost of cover, research showed today.

Bomb plotter wins appeal on sentence after 25 years

A terrorist who tried to blow up an aircraft with up to 375 people on board by planting a bomb in his pregnant fiancee's hand luggage has won the right to leave jail.

Forces stand by for prison strike

The military could be brought in to staff prisons should officers strike over plans to privatise three jails, the Justice Secretary said yesterday.

Kenneth Clarke's 'no win, no fee' crackdown

The Justice Secretary will today promise an end to the "no win, no fee" deals that encourage unscrupulous lawyers to take spurious cases to court.

Council denies Bulger killer 'cover-up'

A council today denied "covering up" allegations that one of James Bulger's killers had sex with a female member of prison staff before he was released on parole.

Clarke 'did not nod off' during Budget

An official has denied Labour accusations that Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke nodded off as George Osborne delivered his Budget.

Conference Diary: Clarke's plain speaking ruffles Lib Dem feathers

Kenneth Clarke used the conference platform yesterday to rally Conservatives behind the No campaign for the 5 May referendum on adopting the alternative vote (AV) system at general elections.

Couples to be forced to consider mediation

Couples will be forced to consider mediation to resolve any disputes before resorting to the courts under a shake-up of the divorce system.

Lib Dems clash with Tory right over child justice

Nick Clegg's party wants to raise the age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 14, angering Conservative traditionalists
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Lena Dunham
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A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
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Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
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A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
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Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
people
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Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
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Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam