Magazine article The Spectator

Portrait of the Week

Magazine article The Spectator

Portrait of the Week

Article excerpt

Home George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, outlined cuts of £11.5 billion from departmental spending for the tax-year beginning in 2015. David Gauke, a Treasury minister, gave a 'firm commitment' in a letter to backbenchers to introduce a transferable tax allowance of £750 between spouses and civil partners paying tax at the basic rate. This would benefit them by £150 a year at most, and not before the next election. Sir Mervyn King, retiring after ten years as governor of the Bank of England, was to be created a life peer. Mark Harper, the minister for immigration, broke his foot by falling off a table while dancing with his wife in a bar in Soho.

The Care Quality Commission named people alleged to have taken part in suppressing a report on its failings over the inspection of Furness General Hospital, where numbers of babies and mothers had died from 2008 onwards. They were Cynthia Bower, the former chief executive, Jill Finney, her deputy, and Anna Jefferson, a media manager. Two days earlier, the CQC had concealed the names on legal advice.

Women with a family history of breast cancer are to be offered tamoxifen or raloxifene by the National Health Service, so the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence decided. A little-known Welsh education minister resigned.

Ed Miliband, the leader of the opposition, attended a National Security Council meeting in Downing Street on Syria. A former officer with the Metropolitan Police Special Demonstration Squad said that he had come under pressure to find 'any intelligence that could have smeared the campaign' to find the people who murdered Stephen Lawrence in 1993. Theresa May, the Home Secretary, said the allegations would be examined at the inquiry by Mark Ellison QC into police corruption during the original investigation and by Operation Herne, which is investigating Metropolitan undercover policing. Zaid al-Hilli was arrested in Chessington, Surrey, by police investigating the murder of his brother and sister-in-law, her mother, and a French cyclist in the Alps last year. The Queen's horse Estimate, trained by Sir Michael Stoute, won the Gold Cup at Ascot.

Abroad Edward Snowden, charged by the United States with disclosing secret surveillance programmes, flew from Hong Kong to Moscow airport en route for Ecuador, though Venezuela also offered him asylum. …

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