News Lord Butler himself was asked to investigate two cases of potential ministerial misconduct

Britain’s most senior civil servants should no longer be asked to investigate accusations of ministerial misconduct because they do not have the “powers” to get to the truth, the former Cabinet Secretary, Lord Robin Butler, has suggested.

One room, nine politicians, Britain's future on the table

In the shadow of Cardinal Wolsey and George III, the Star Chamber is deciding how the spending axe will fall

Fox meets with PM for talks over defence budget cuts

Liam Fox will offer the Treasury a last-minute compromise today over the commissioning of two new aircraft carriers in a crunch meeting with George Osborne and David Cameron to thrash out a deal over the future of Britain's military spending.

Letters: Strategic Defence Review

The costs of British power

Police search MoD offices after leak of defence cuts letter

The Defence Secretary Liam Fox is among those to be interviewed by police after an investigation was launched into how a letter he wrote to the Prime Minister, warning of the effect budget cuts would have on national security, was leaked to a newspaper.

Liam Fox highlights solar flare threat to power grids

Defence Secretary Liam Fox will today highlight the threat to Britain's essential infrastructure, amid warnings by scientists that it could be paralysed by a once-in-a-century solar flare.

Leading article: Strategic self-interest

With spectacularly poor timing, senior officers of the Army and Royal Navy have chosen the week in which the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain is commemorated to suggest that the Royal Air Force should be abolished.

Soldier who died in hospital named

A British soldier who died in hospital in the UK after being shot in Afghanistan last month was remembered today as a fun-loving soldier with the "heart of a lion".

Britain may share military aircraft

Britain and France will consider sharing Europe's new A400M military transport aircraft as part of closer military ties, but have ruled out common use of aircraft carriers, the countries' defence ministers said.

Plan to share aircraft carriers with France

Britain and France are expected to reveal plans to share the use of their aircraft carriers.

SAS's best soldiers forced to retire by 'bean counters'

Anger as nearly 40 of the most experienced fighting men are told they must leave elite regiment early

Leading article: Britain must learn to live with the defences it can afford

The Government kept up the frenetic pace of its early initiatives with an announcement by the Defence Secretary, Liam Fox, of a thorough-going review of how the Ministry of Defence is run.

Top officers face axe in 'leaner' MoD

The number of senior officers in Britain’s armed forces is likely to be cut as part of sweeping measures to tackle a £37 billion black hole in the defence budget.

Fox outlines backroom cuts to make MoD 'leaner'

The number of senior military officers could be cut as part of efforts to rein in costs at the Ministry of Defence, Liam Fox suggested today.

Osborne rebukes Fox over Trident

George Osborne delivered a public reprimand yesterday to Liam Fox, the Defence Secretary, over his demands for special help in paying the £20bn bill to renew Trident. The Chancellor told his Cabinet colleague that the cost would have to be fully met from the Ministry of Defence's core budget.

Threat to Tornado jet

The RAF is expected to ground its Tornado jet fleet after an assessment by the Ministry of Defence revealed that retiring the aircraft would lead to savings of £7.5 billion.

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Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada