The Spectator

Portrait of the week | 21 January 2016

Plus: junior doctors, Burkino Faso, Jakarta, drug trials


David Cameron, the Prime Minister, said that Muslim women must learn English, and that those who had entered on spousal visas would be told halfway through their five-year spousal settlement: ‘You can’t guarantee you can stay if you are not improving your language.’ He said that learning English had ‘a connection with combating extremism’. A heterosexual couple went to the High Court to claim the right to enter into a civil partnership. MI5, the security service, was rated as Britain’s most gay-friendly employer, following a survey by the organisation Stonewall.

Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, said: ‘Now is not the time to raise interest rates.’ Tata Steel said it was cutting 1,050 jobs in the United Kingdom, including 750 at Port Talbot, Britain’s biggest steelworks; the company and unions blamed cheap imports from China. Unemployment fell to 5.1 per cent, the lowest since 2005. The annual rate of inflation rose to 0.2 per cent in December from 0.1 per cent in November, as measured by the Consumer Prices Index, and to 1.2 per cent from 1.1 per cent according to the Retail Prices Index. Alan Rickman, the actor, died aged 69.

The British Medical Association suspended a 48-hour junior doctors’ strike in England planned for 26-28 January. In a report on why Labour lost the election in 2015, Dame Margaret Beckett picked out four reasons: Ed Miliband; ‘the myth’ that Labour was to blame for the financial crash; benefits and immigration; and a fear of the SNP ‘propping up’ a minority Labour government. A report by Sir Richard Henriques, a retired High Court judge, found that Greville Janner, who died in December, could have been prosecuted for child abuse in 1991, 2002 and 2007, had it not been for failings by Leicestershire police and the Crown Prosecution Service.

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