The Spectator

Portrait of the week | 3 March 2012


Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, lent his support to a series of amendments to the government’s Health and Social Care Bill that he said would limit its adoption of competition and privatisation. The British Medical Association said that two thirds of members had approved some form of action over plans to make them contribute more to their pensions. Len McCluskey, the General Secretary of Unite, called for industrial disruption during the Olympics. Police and bailiffs removed tents from a protest camp at St Paul’s Cathedral set up on 15 October. The BBC found that thousands of illegal immigrants from India were living in sheds, particularly in Slough and the London borough of Ealing. The House of Commons sought a cheaper alternative to the £30,000 annual upkeep for 12 fig trees in Portcullis House.


There was ‘a culture at the Sun of illegal payments’ made to ‘a network of corrupted officials’, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers of the Metropolitan Police told the Leveson inquiry. A day earlier, Rupert Murdoch had overseen the printing of the new Sun on Sunday. When Rebekah Brooks was editor of the Sun, it was learnt, the Metropolitan Police lent her a horse, which she kept for two years. Undercover reporters from the Daily Telegraph found three clinics that offered abortions to women who said they were unhappy with the sex of their baby. Christopher Tappin, a retired businessman, was held in El Paso jail, Texas, after being extradited on charges of trying to sell batteries for use by Iran in Hawk missiles; ‘If I was a terrorist, I would have more rights,’ he said. Thirteen skippers from Shetland and four other men were fined a total of £720,000 for fraudulently landing more fish than the legal quota.

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