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Kenneth Clarke

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.

More headlines

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.