Portrait of the weekrss


7 March 2015

Home The man seen in several Islamic State videos of hostages being beheaded, nicknamed Jihadi John by the British press, was revealed as Mohammed Emwazi, aged 26, born in Kuwait… Read more


28 February 2015

Home Sir Malcolm Rifkind, the former Conservative foreign secretary, resigned as chairman of Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee and promised not to stand for Parliament in May after he and… Read more

‘What’s the point of inviting the hard-working poor to our fundraising balls? They pay taxes so don’t have any money.’

21 February 2015

Home The annual rate of inflation fell to 0.3 per cent as measured by the Consumer Prices Index (or to 1.1 per cent by the Retail Prices Index). The Bank of… Read more


14 February 2015

Home Philip Hammond, the foreign secretary, told Parliament that Britain reserved the right to supply arms to Ukraine, as ‘We could not allow the Ukrainian armed forces to collapse.’ The… Read more


7 February 2015

Home MPs voted by 382 to 128 to make Britain the only country to allow genetic modification of embryos to prevent mitochondrial flaws: this could be done by the removal… Read more


31 January 2015

Home Party leaders mercilessly launched 100 days of campaigning before the general election on 7 May. David Cameron, the Conservative leader, said he would reduce the annual maximum household receipt… Read more


24 January 2015

Home More than 1,100 imams and Islamic leaders received a letter from Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary, and Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, the communities minister, saying: ‘We must show our… Read more

The pen is mightier than the sword

17 January 2015

Home David Cameron, the Prime Minister, said that he wanted to change the law so that there would be no ‘means of communication’ which ‘we cannot read’, in order to… Read more


10 January 2015

Home The electorate was bombarded with contrary claims by parties beginning campaigns for the election in May. David Cameron, the Prime Minister, said that only electing the Conservative party could… Read more


3 January 2015

Home King’s Cross railway station was out of operation, stranding thousands, and Paddington saw badly delayed services after Network Rail engineering works overran beyond Christmas and Boxing Day. Connection with… Read more


13 December 2014

January Floods covered 28,000 acres of the Somerset Levels. Ukip suspended an Oxfordshire councillor for saying floods were God’s punishment for legalising same-sex marriage. An Afghan was granted asylum because… Read more


6 December 2014

Home The government spent days announcing how the Autumn Statement would allocate funds. ‘Frontline’ parts of the National Health Service would get an extra £2 billion for the time being,… Read more


29 November 2014

Home Theresa May, the Home Secretary, spent a few days announcing things. She broadcast on the Andrew Marr Show on television and then on Desert Island Discs. She said Britain… Read more


22 November 2014

Home David Cameron, the Prime Minister, said: ‘Red warning lights are once again flashing on the dashboard of the global economy.’ He then offered £650 million to a ‘green climate fund’.… Read more


15 November 2014

Home The government, expecting a backbench rebellion over the European Arrest Warrant, did not present it for a separate vote in the Commons, which enraged backbenchers all the more. Yvette… Read more


8 November 2014

Home Fiona Woolf, the Lord Mayor of London, resigned as the head of an inquiry into historical child sex abuse three months after Baroness Butler-Sloss, the former president of the… Read more


1 November 2014

Home The last British combat troops turned over Camp Bastion in Helmand to Afghan forces and withdrew from Afghanistan after 13 years and 453 deaths. Michael Fallon, the Defence Secretary,… Read more


25 October 2014

Home A hundred firemen could not prevent wooden cooling towers at Didcot B gas-fuelled power station in Oxfordshire from burning down. A consortium said it could power 2.5 million houses… Read more


18 October 2014

Home Checks began at British airports for passengers who might have come from west Africa with Ebola fever (even though there are no direct flights from the countries most affected).… Read more


11 October 2014

Home Alan Henning, 47, a British volunteer aid worker taken captive in Syria by Islamic State, was murdered, and footage of his death, which included an appearance by a man… Read more


4 October 2014

Home The Commons, having been specially recalled, passed, by 524 votes to 43, a motion supporting ‘the use of UK air strikes to support Iraqi, including Kurdish, security forces’ efforts… Read more


27 September 2014

Home David Cameron, the Prime Minister, visited New York for talks at the United Nations; he said Britain supported the American air strikes on the Islamic State. ‘These people want… Read more


20 September 2014

Home People living in Scotland voted in a referendum that asked: ‘Should Scotland be an independent country?’ A great deal of ill feeling had been generated as the referendum campaign… Read more


13 September 2014

Home England suddenly began to take the prospect of Scottish independence seriously after a poll of 1,084 people by YouGov put support for it at 51 per cent and opposition… Read more


6 September 2014

Home Britain’s terror threat level was raised from ‘substantial’ to ‘severe’ in response to fighting in Iraq and Syria, meaning that an attack on Britain was ‘highly likely’. Three days… Read more