Portrait of the weekrss


25 January 2014

Home George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, said that he was in favour of increasing the minimum wage by an amount greater than that of inflation. The International Monetary… Read more


18 January 2014

Home David Cameron, the Prime Minister, said that English local authorities would be allowed to receive all the business rates collected from shale gas schemes, not just the 50 per… Read more


11 January 2014

Home George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, made it clear in a speech that he intended to cut £25 billion after the next election, with about half of the savings… Read more


4 January 2014

Home Six months of talks in Northern Ireland, chaired by Dr Richard Haass, a retired American diplomat, ended without resolving the contentious issues of flag-flying, sectarian parades or a policy… Read more

Portrait of the year

14 December 2013

January David Cameron, the Prime Minister, said he wanted to ‘negotiate a new settlement with our European partners’, and that before the end of 2017 would ‘give the British people… Read more


7 December 2013

Home George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, said that average energy bills would be brought £50 lower through government intervention to reduce the obligation of energy companies to subsidise… Read more

The Co-op Bank has taken on board a new chairman. He assures us that he has never taken ketamine, cannabis, crystal meth or GHB, that he has no idea what a rent boy is, and that he has never met Ed Balls.

30 November 2013

Home Alex Salmond, the First Minister of Scotland, outlined Scottish National Party plans for independence, which included keeping the pound and armed forces of 15,000, replacing the BBC with the… Read more


23 November 2013

Home The government announced proposals for the National Health Service, including a law to criminalise wilful neglect by doctors and nurses, and a scheme to post online the numbers of… Read more


16 November 2013

Home EDF Energy said it would put up prices by 3.9 per cent. BT Sport spent £897 million on the rights to show Champions League football for three years, provoking a… Read more


9 November 2013

Home Three Police Federation representatives accused of giving misleading accounts of a meeting with Andrew Mitchell over the Plebgate scandal are to undergo a second investigation by the Independent Police… Read more

Now that US spy satellites have been routed, it’s back to basics when it comes to getting secrets

2 November 2013

Home A storm passed over England, with plenty of warning. The strongest gust, of 99mph, was recorded at Needles Old Battery, Isle of Wight. Of 570,000 households that lost power,… Read more

The Great British Rip Off

26 October 2013

Home The government agreed a guaranteed price for electricity that persuaded a consortium led by the French-owned EDF Energy and including Chinese investors to agree to build the Hinkley Point… Read more


19 October 2013

Home Shares in Royal Mail, floated on the stock market at 330p, began trading at 475p. SSE, the energy supplier, raised prices by 8.2 per cent, and other suppliers were… Read more


12 October 2013

Home An issue of shares in Royal Mail was oversubscribed, pushing valuation well above initial forecasts of £3.3 billion. The IMF forecast British growth for 2013 to be 1.4 per… Read more


5 October 2013

Home Shares in Royal Mail are to be sold by the middle of this month, before postmen can go on strike; the company is valued at between £2.6 billion and… Read more


28 September 2013

Home The General Medical Council said it was dropping cases against four doctors who worked at Stafford Hospital at the height of the scandal of neglect and abuse there. Bail… Read more


21 September 2013

Home The government sold 6 per cent of Lloyds Banking Group to big investors for £3.2 billion. It still owns 32.7 per cent of the bank. Barclays published details of… Read more


14 September 2013

Home George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, said that the British economy was ‘turning a corner’, with ‘tentative signs of a balanced, broad based and sustainable recovery’. Unemployment fell… Read more


7 September 2013

Home Having recalled Parliament to debate British military action over Syria, David Cameron, the Prime Minister, found the government defeated, much to his surprise, by 285-272, thanks to 30 Conservatives… Read more


31 August 2013

Home Parliament was recalled four days early to debate military action against Syria, which David Cameron, the Prime Minister, had been planning in concert with President Barack Obama of the… Read more


24 August 2013

Home The cost of the HS2 railway line was expected by some in the Treasury to rise from £43 billion to £73 billion. The number of new homes being built… Read more


17 August 2013

Home The population of the United Kingdom rose by 420,000, to 63.7 million, by the middle of last year, with the number of births, 813,000 (more than a quarter to… Read more


10 August 2013

Home Retail sales enjoyed their fastest July growth in seven years, thanks to demand for beer, sun cream, swimwear and barbecue food. Manufacturing output rose by 1.9 per cent in… Read more

Portrait of the week

3 August 2013

Home Barclays decided to issue £5.8 billion in shares to meet capital reserve requirements from the Bank of England. Lord Howell of Guildford, a former energy secretary, who does not… Read more


27 July 2013

Home The Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to a boy, weighing 8lb 6oz, an heir to the crown, third in line to the throne. Great public excitement was expressed by… Read more