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?'

Liam Fox: Why the Conservatives say we must stay on in Afghanistan

It has not been an easy week for British troops in Afghanistan. Two soldiers were killed by improvised explosive devices, which cause more than 80 per cent of our fatalities in Afghanistan. Five more were killed when an Afghan policeman opened fire on his British mentors.

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