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.

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.

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.

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Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...