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.

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.

Brown retreats over TA training cuts

Gordon Brown staged a dramatic climbdown over cost-cutting plans to suspend routine training for the Territorial Army.

Tory storms face MoD's weather forecasters

Britain's weather forecasters face being sold off under Tory plans to save money, said the shadow defence secretary, Liam Fox. He said the Met Office, now owned by the Ministry of Defence (MoD), could be privatised to save cash if the Conservatives win power.

The Sketch: There's a new order – and Harriet will run it

The swan will not fly. The sunfish will not swim. Harriet Harman will not run for Labour leader. The natural world is running on new rules. Maybe it's global warming.

'Endemic' problems on MoD kit purchases

The Government’s system for purchasing defence equipment is in such a state that “the problems and sums of money involved have almost lost their power to shock, so endemic is the issue”, according to an official report.

Tories plan to slash MoD costs by 25%

The Tories aim to slash 25 per cent off the cost of running the Ministry of Defence as part of a sweeping review of the UK's military capabilities, it emerged today.

Labour's fiercest critic on Afghan war gets Tory job

Sir Richard Dannatt, the former head of the Army who has criticised the Government over its tactics in Afghanistan, is to become a Tory adviser on defence policy.

Brown in row over sending more troops to Afghanistan

Gordon Brown was embroiled in a bitter row with the former head of the Army today over claims that he turned down pleas for more troops in Afghanistan.

Liam Fox: History does not show that war in Afghanistan is unwinnable

We can describe failure in Afghanistan, but can we describe success? What does our idea of winning look like? Success in Afghanistan will be achieved when we have a stable enough Afghanistan, able to manage its own internal and external security to a degree that stops interference from outside powers and allowing the country to resist the establishment of terror bases and the training camps that were there before.

MoD's £35bn defence black hole is 'lethal'

Government has wasted taxpayers' money for a decade, leaked report shows

Pandora: Cameron's swinging plans on spending

David Cameron has been at pains to talk tough of late when it's come to his party's future spending plans.

Stop MoD payouts appeal, says Minister's aide

An aide to Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth today urged him to drop his appeal against compensation awards to two injured servicemen.

Fight for our veterans: 'Operation claw back compensation'

Chorus of disapproval greets launch of MoD's legal action to reduce payments made to injured soldiers

Shot soldier has to fight on two fronts

A British soldier was at the centre of two major battles today - fighting the Taliban and in a Government court challenge over injury compensation for the armed forces.

The Sketch: Left to right, and back to front

It's too heavy to get angry, so let's sit in this fridge and wonder why the Gordon Balls axis of persuasion makes us so hot under the collar.

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Zayn has become the first member to leave One Direction. 'I have to do what feels right in my heart,' he said
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Leah Devine is only the ninth female to have made the Young Magician of the Year final since the contest began more than 50 years
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The popularity of TV shows such as The Liver Birds encouraged Liverpudlians to exaggerate their Scouse accent
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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
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

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
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

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
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

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

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

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