Portrait of the week
Mr Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister, had sworn at senior aides and ‘roughly shoved aside’ an adviser and hit a car seat, according to an extract in the Observer from a forthcoming book by Mr Andrew Rawnsley.
UK Financial Investments, which oversees the British government’s stake in RBS, Lloyds and Northern Rock, said it might be 2015 before taxpayers got back the £40 billion used to prop up failing banks.
Three Labour MPs, Mr Elliot Morley, Mr David Chaytor and Mr Jim Devine, and a Conservative peer, Lord Hanningfield, were charged with false accounting under section 17 of the Theft Act 1968 with regard to claims for parliamentary expenses.
Mr Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister, said MPs would vote next week on whether a referendum should be held to allow an alternative-vote system in general elections after the next one.
Britain technically emerged from recession, with economic growth of 0.1 per cent in the last quarter of 2009, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics, although these might be revised in a month’s time.
British people donated £23 million through the charities’ Disasters Emergency Committee to help the people of Haiti within six days of the earthquake there; the British government also gave £20 million.
A failed attempt by Mr Geoff Hoon and Miss Patricia Hewitt to provoke a ballot on the Labour leadership was not mentioned at the next meeting of the Cabinet meeting, Mr Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister said.
Mr Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister, called a meeting in London on Yemen at the end of the month after al-Qa’eda claimed that it was responsible for the attempted destruction of an airliner approaching Detroit on Christmas Day.
Mr Alistair Darling, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in his pre-Budget statement, made hostile gestures at bonus-earning bankers to distract attention from the borrowings of £178 billion that Britain will have to make this year.
Mr Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister, announced that Britain would send an extra 500 troops to Afghanistan, bringing its strength there to 10,000.
Floods swept Cumbria after 12.4 inches of rain fell in 24 hours (at Seathwaite), the most ever recorded in Britain.
Mr Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister, said during his speech at the Lord Mayor’s banquet that he wanted a meeting of allies in London in January about Afghanistan, to set a timetable and ‘identify a process for transferring district by district to full Afghan control’.
Sir Jock Stirrup, the Chief of the Defence Staff, said that British forces would be fighting the Taleban in Afghanistan until at least 2014, by which date the Afghan National Army would ‘be able to take the lead on security across the country’.
Mr David Cameron, the leader of the opposition, had to explain why a ‘cast iron guarantee’ by the Conservatives to hold a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty would no longer be possible, now it had been ratified.
Mr Gordon Brown is prepared to campaign actively for Mr Tony Blair, whom he replaced as Prime Minister, to be the first permanent president of the European Council of the European Union, Downing Street said.
On the brink of a planned national postal strike, Royal Mail announced it was recruiting 30,000 temporary staff to deal with the existing backlog and the normal Christmas rush, twice the number usually taken on.
Mr Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister, is to pay back £12,415.10p that he claimed in expenses between 2004 and 2008