Portrait of the weekrss


29 December 2012

Home Banks should erect a protective ring-fence round their high-street operations, the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards recommended, and moreover it should be ‘electrified’. The metaphor meant that regulators should… Read more


15 December 2012

January Britain’s public debt rose above £1,000 billion for the first time. Fred Goodwin, the former chief executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland, was stripped of his knighthood. The… Read more

Portrait of the week

8 December 2012

Home In his Autumn Statement, held nearer the winter solstice, George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, confronted the need to extend austerity measures for reducing the deficit to 2018.… Read more


1 December 2012

Home Rotherham Borough Council took away three children from foster parents because they belonged to the UK Independence Party. ‘If the party mantra is, for example, ending the active promotion… Read more


24 November 2012

Home The General Synod of the Church of England voted against the ordination of women bishops. The measure required a two thirds majority in each house of the Synod, but… Read more

‘No, I don’t want a coffee — I was wondering if you could do my tax return.’

17 November 2012

Home Abu Qatada, detained in Britain for seven years although not charged here, but wanted on terrorist charges in Jordan, could not be deported, the Special Immigration Appeals Commission ruled,… Read more


10 November 2012

Home David Cameron, the Prime Minister, flew to the Gulf to sell Typhoon jets to Dubai and Saudi Arabia. On the border of Jordan with Syria he said he shared… Read more


3 November 2012

Home Hitachi bought Horizon Nuclear Power for £700 million, giving it rights to build nuclear power stations in Anglesey and Gloucestershire. John Hayes, the energy minister, said that Britain was… Read more


27 October 2012

Home Andrew Mitchell, the Conservative chief whip, resigned, still denying that he referred to police as ‘plebs’ for refusing to allow him to cycle through the main gate to Downing… Read more


20 October 2012

Home Theresa May, the Home Secretary, blocked the extradition of Gary McKinnon to the United States, where he is suspected of having hacked into government computers. She told the Commons… Read more


13 October 2012

Home ‘Unless we take difficult, painful decisions,’ David Cameron, the Prime Minister, told the Conservative party conference, ‘Britain may not be in the future what it has been in the… Read more

A smash hit! An overnight chart-buster! The Ed Miliband!

6 October 2012

Home In a well-received 65-minute speech without notes to the party conference, Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, presented himself as a human being and concluded: ‘This is who I am.… Read more

Michael Heath - Portrait of the week, 29 September 2012

29 September 2012

Home The European Court of Human Rights approved the extradition of Abu Hamza al-Masri, Babar Ahmad, Syed Talha Ahsan, Adel Abdul Bary and Khaled al-Fawwaz to the United States, where… Read more


22 September 2012

Home The government gave a commercial company, Capita, a contract to find and remove more than 150,000 migrants who have overstayed their visas. A French court prohibited a magazine from… Read more


15 September 2012

Home George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, said the autumn statement would be on 5 December, and commentators said he would confront the dwindling chance of meeting debt targets… Read more


8 September 2012

Home David Cameron, the Prime Minister, shuffled the Cabinet a little, with Sir George Young being replaced as Leader of the House by Andrew Lansley, who was replaced as Health… Read more


1 September 2012

Home The nation settled down to watch the Paralympic Games on television. Some 2.5 million tickets had been sold for events. The government reconsidered building a third runway at Heathrow… Read more


25 August 2012

Home After being granted asylum by Ecuador, Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, addressed a crowd of supporters from a balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy, to which he had fled… Read more


18 August 2012

Home The closing ceremony of the Olympic Games, watched by an average of 22.9 million people in Britain, included a mixed choir of deaf and not-deaf children singing: ‘Imagine there’s… Read more


11 August 2012

Home The Olympic Games dominated national life. Eight of Great Britain and Northern Ireland’s first 22 gold medals (outdoing its 19 golds in Beijing in 2008) were in cycling. Sir… Read more


4 August 2012

Home After an opening ceremony going on into the early hours, directed by Danny Boyle and watched at one point by 26.9 million viewers in Britain, the Olympic Games in… Read more


28 July 2012

Home The nation was divided between those who moaned about the Olympic Games and those who didn’t. Some immigration staff decided to hold a strike, then called it off an… Read more


21 July 2012

Home The Armed Forces were called upon to supply 3,500 men to look after security for the Olympic Games after GS4, a security company, failed to recruit enough staff. Nick… Read more


14 July 2012

Home The government cancelled a vote setting a timetable for a Bill to reform the House of Lords after dozens of Conservative MPs were ready to rebel. The Bill, which… Read more


7 July 2012

Home  Bob Diamond resigned as chief executive of Barclays a day after he said he wasn’t resigning. Marcus Agius resigned as chairman of Barclays, and a day later was appointed… Read more