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.

Cameron risks grassroots revolt over Lib Dem pact

David Cameron faces a momentous challenge to hold his troops together if he negotiates a deal with Nick Clegg, Tories from all wings of the party warned last night.

The Sketch: The biggest laugh? Well it's the way Gordon tells them

But first the hair. Nick's was the youngest, tousled as from afternoon sex. Young people will like that, and it helps project his policy on Europe. Cameron's hair hadn't set properly, there was a bold sweep at the front but then it went flat the further into it you went. I wonder if that means anything. And Gordon's! The poor fellow, his hair is only going in one direction. Soon he'll have fulfilled Blair's promise of being "whiter than white". He should prepare for the next debate with 36 holes in the Bahamas. That advice is so good I may send him a bill (he'll have a spare £100m for emergencies if I know him).

After credits rolled, battle moved on to 'spin alley'

It was always going to be difficult for the army of political spinners involved in last night's debate to predict the outcome. But not even the most imaginative Tory aide would have imagined that less than two hours after the cameras stopped rolling, George Osborne would be giggling away at a Tory attack advert depicting Gordon Brown as Little Britain's most annoying teenager, Vicky Pollard.

Top Tory Liam Fox's laptop and car stolen in burglary

Thieves stole a senior Tory politician's car and a laptop computer that was in it in a burglary at his home, sources said today.

Gordon Brown 'misled inquiry' on defence spending

Gordon Brown has been forced into a damaging retreat after he finally admitted he misled the Iraq Inquiry and Parliament about the funds handed to the armed forces.

Tory MP Liam Fox's expenses appeal rejected

A former High Court judge today dismissed an appeal by shadow defence secretary Liam Fox against a finding that he was overpaid more than £22,000 in parliamentary expenses for mortgage interest on his second home.

Cameron struggles to make the running

As poll lead narrows, Tory leader admits his party has failed to win over the electorate / Fears of right-wing backlash as shadow minister admits Labour could win election

Army to change way it treats injured soldiers

A “steady drumbeat of casualties” from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has led to the British Army carrying out fundamental reforms in the way it treated injured soldiers.

Commanders turn on Tories over defence 'cuts'

A key plank of the defence and foreign policy of a future Conservative government is a “fundamental misconception” that will cost “hundreds of millions of pounds”, according to Whitehall officials and eminent former military commanders.

Armed forces face 'tough choices' ahead, says minister

Britain's armed forces will have to co-operate more closely in future with international allies such as France to provide the full range of defence capabilities, Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth said today.

Hoon: Brown is to blame for Army shortages

Ex-Defence Secretary who tried to unseat PM tells inquiry: he refused to pay up

5,000 soldiers unfit for frontline, say Tories

Some 5,000 soldiers and officers are unfit to fight on the frontline, figures obtained by the Conservatives revealed.

Patrick Cockburn: The general is right. Liam Fox is wrong

The Taliban are able to present themselves as battling for Afghan independence

Dr Liam Fox: You Ask The Questions

The Shadow Defence Secretary and Tory MP for Woodspring answers your questions, such as 'Should we stay in Afghanistan?' and 'What challenges do you face?'

John Rentoul: Cameron is the new Blair

The Tory leader has learnt from New Labour not to promise too much. There's little danger of that
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Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
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Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
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How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
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Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

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Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

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Cricket World Cup 2015

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Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing