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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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee