The Spectator

Portrait of the Week: Trump’s indictment, Costa’s PR fail and Niger’s new leader


Rishi Sunak, the Prime Minister, announced the granting of 100 new North Sea oil and gas licences. In Aberdeen he confirmed funding for two new carbon capture projects. Thangam Debbonaire, the shadow leader of the House, said: ‘We are not going to grant any more. It is not OK. The world is on fire.’ Sir Bob Neill, the chairman of the Commons justice committee, called for a change in rules that deduct the cost of board and lodging in jail from compensation of those unjustly imprisoned. He was responding to the case of Andrew Malkinson, 57, cleared after 17 years in prison of a rape he did not commit.

The Infrastructure and Projects Authority gave a red rating to the HS2 railway from London to Birmingham and then to Crewe, indicating ‘successful delivery of the project appears to be unachievable’. A one-day strike by railway workers in the RMT union was followed by a week of overtime bans by train drivers belonging to Aslef. Britain will continue to recognise the EU’s CE (Conformité Européenne) product safety mark and will not insist from the end of 2024 on its own mark. A man on an electric scooter died after colliding with an ambulance in Barnsley. Royal Mail began using drones to take post from Stromness on Orkney to the islands of Graemsay and Hoy.

The electors of Rutherglen and Hamilton West removed by a recall petition their MP Margaret Ferrier, who had been convicted of reckless conduct in catching a train while suffering from Covid; a by-election will be called after parliament sits again next month. Some 47 per cent of parents reported that children’s social and emotional skills had worsened during the first year of the pandemic, according to a survey by the Institute for Fiscal Studies and the UCL Institute of Education.

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