The Spectator

Portrait of the Week – 21 September 2002

The House of Commons was recalled for a day’s debate on 24 September on the approaching war against Iraq, but no substantive vote will be allowed. Dr George Carey, in his last address as Archbishop of Canterbury to the Anglican Consultative Council, warned that unilateral action ‘by dioceses and individual bishops’ over homosexuality was driving the Anglican Church ‘towards serious fragmentation and the real possibility of two (or, more likely, many more) distinct Anglican bodies emerging’. Mr David Blunkett, the Home Secretary, said that children of immigrant parents should talk to their mothers at home ‘in English as well as in their historic mother tongue’. The government mounted a multimillion-pound campaign to publicise the new child tax credit, which comes into force next April and will affect all families with incomes of up to £58,000. Two Cambridgeshire policemen were charged with offences relating to indecent Internet images of children; one of the men had been liaison officer to the family of the murdered schoolgirl Jessica Chapman. Mr Iain Duncan Smith, the leader of the Opposition, said during a wireless interview to mark his first anniversary as Tory leader that the party would not want to get rid of Section 28 (which prohibits local authorities promoting to children a homosexual way of life) ‘unless it can be found that there is a better way’. An inquest returned an open verdict on the death of Stuart Lubbock, aged 31, found drowned in the swimming-pool at the house of Michael Barrymore, a television entertainer, during a party where drugs were taken. Mr Tony Banks announced his candidature as an alternative to Mrs Nicky Gavron as Labour’s contender for election as mayor of London. The Countryside Alliance expected hundreds of thousands of people to join its ‘Liberty and Livelihood’ march in London on 22 September.

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