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.

Fluffiest roast potatoes

My gran always used to make effortless and perfect roast potatoes. At the time I never questioned why they were so good, but now I know it was down to two things. First was her choice of potatoes - floury not waxy is best for roast potatoes, so buy varieties such as King Edwards, Maris Piper or Desiree. Second was her method of cooking them. If you want to make perfect fluffy roast potatoes, pre-boil them to the point where they're nearly cooked, drain them, return them to the pan, put the lid on and give them a good shake so that the edges get all roughed up. Then put them in hot beef dripping, goose or duck fat or lard which has been heated up in an oven pre-heated to 200C/gas mark 6. Cook for about an hour or until crisp. You're guaranteed golden potatoes with the flakiest, crispiest exteriors and memorably fluffy insides.

Sir Kerry St Johnston

Container-shipping chief

Racing: Sir Percy ready for Irish rematch to confirm superiority

First four in tightest of Derby finishes will meet again at the Curragh

PR: It's not the dark side any more

Former 'FT' editor Andrew Gowers doesn't hold with the typical journalist's view of corporate PR, he tells Ian Burrell as he begins his new career

Hamish McRae: We can change pensions all we want. We'd do just as well to change the way we work

Pensions, argh. Why is it that something so utterly vital causes so many people's eyes to glaze over? Why is it that normally sensible people make such terrible decisions over pensions? And is it really such a problem anyway?

Famine in Kenya: The rains have finally come, but for many it's already too late

The worst drought in decades has brought the tribal peoples of north-east Kenya to the brink of starvation.

Tory leadership: it's Cameron v Davis

Younger man romps through while Liam Fox is squeezed out before the Conservatives' national membership vote

Conference diary

Miles Kington: Churchill, Disraeli... we dig all those cats

Someone who's passed on might have a better chance of uniting the Tories than anyone still alive
Arts and Entertainment
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The Doctor and the Dalek meet
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3D printed bump keys can access almost any lock
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The spy mistress-general: A lecturer in nutritional therapy in her modern life, Heather Rosa favours a Byzantine look topped off with a squid and a schooner
fashionEurope's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
She's dark, sarcastic, and bashes life in Nowheresville ... so how did Kacey Musgraves become country music's hottest new star?

Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
Aston Villa vs Hull match preview: Villa were not surprised that Ron Vlaar was a World Cup star

Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

Andi Weimann reveals just how good his Dutch teammate really is
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef ekes out his holiday in Italy with divine, simple salads

Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution