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Portrait of the week: royal ‘racists’, Scottish pandas and celebrity deaths

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James Cleverly, the Home Secretary, told the Commons that to gain a work visa, migrants must in future secure a salary of at least £38,700 instead of the present £26,200. The government also said it would stop health and care workers and students bringing family dependants to Britain. He said this would have disqualified 300,000 who came to Britain last year. Mr Cleverly then flew off to Rwanda and signed a treaty intended to ensure that no one relocated there would risk being returned to a country threatening their life or freedom. Sir Keir Starmer, the leader of the Labour party, said in an article in the Sunday Telegraph: ‘Margaret Thatcher sought to drag Britain out of its stupor by setting loose our natural entrepreneurialism.’ Thames Water’s half-yearly profits more than halved to £246 million, and its debts rose to £14.7 billion. The last bank branch in Richmond, North Yorkshire, is to close.

The government was defeated 246 to 242 in the Commons vote to speed up compensation for those affected by the NHS infected blood scandal dating from the 1970s and 1980s. Train drivers belonging to the Aslef union went on a week of strikes. Boris Johnson appeared before the Covid Inquiry and said of those affected: ‘I am deeply sorry for the pain and the loss and suffering of those victims and their families.’ He argued that Britain emerged from the final lockdown earlier than comparable economies. Lucy Frazer, the Culture and Media Secretary, intervened to scrutinise the sale of the Daily Telegraph to a company backed by the Abu Dhabi ruling family, referring it to the Competition and Markets Authority and Ofcom. Lord Darling of Roulanish, as Alistair Darling chancellor of the Exchequer 2007-10, died aged 70. Glenys Kinnock, who had been an MEP and was married to the former Labour leader Lord Kinnock, died aged 79.

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