The Spectator

Portrait of the Week: The Crooked House fire, Liz Truss’s honours and a Commonwealth Games flop


The first of about 500 asylum seekers were taken to live on the Bibby Stockholm barge on the Isle of Portland, north of the prison and linked to the mainland by one road. The arrival of 339 migrants by small boat across the Channel at the weekend brought the year’s total to 15,071. The government declared it would increase enforcement action against lawyers who ‘coach illegal migrants to lie’ in making claims. Fines were to be tripled for employers and landlords who allow illegal migrants to work for them (up to £45,000 per illegal worker for a first breach) or rent their properties, the Home Secretary announced. The 18th-century Crooked House pub, near Dudley, was gutted by fire a fortnight after being sold, and the next day reduced to rubble by a mechanical digger.

Andrew Bailey, the governor of the Bank of England, said that interest rates (which rose last week from 5 to 5.25 per cent) would not fall until there is ‘solid evidence’ that rapid price rises are slowing. British Airways staff will get a pay rise of 13 per cent over 18 months. Average pay began to rise faster than inflation, according to Capital Economics. Jeremy Hunt, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, wrote to the chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority asking it to investigate urgently who had been affected by debanking. Hunts and country shooting businesses had complained of having accounts closed. The Cornish Lithium mining company secured an initial investment of over £53 million, led by the UK Infrastructure Bank.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland mistakenly published the names of 10,000 officers and civilian personnel, where they are based and their roles. The Electoral Commission said that hackers had gained access to the names and addresses of people who registered to vote between 2014 and last year, including those not on the open register (but not those registered anonymously for safety or security reasons).

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