Magazine article The Spectator

Portrait of the Week

Magazine article The Spectator

Portrait of the Week

Article excerpt


David Cameron, the Prime Minister, said that if Britain left the European Union, France could stop allowing British officials to make immigration checks on the French side of the border, and, his spokesman predicted: 'You have potentially thousands of asylum seekers camped out in northern France who could be here almost overnight.' Mr Cameron denounced the way prisons are being run by his administration: 'Current levels of prison violence, drug-taking and self-harm should shame us all.' Junior doctors went on strike again for 24 hours.

Twelve men of Pakistani heritage were jailed for up to 20 years for the rape and sexual abuse of a girl when she was aged 13 and 14, over a period of two years, in Keighley, West Yorkshire. A Metropolitan Police investigation into an allegation of rape against the late Leon Brittan was 'necessary, proportionate and fully justified', according to a report by James Vaughan, deputy chief constable of Dorset police. Lord Brittan died in January 2015, not having been told that the police had four months previously concluded that he had no case to answer. Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, came under pressure to apologise to the Brittan family, and to Field Marshal Lord Bramall, aged 92, who had spent ten months under investigation after an allegation by a man known only as 'Nick'.

The Court of Appeal upheld an order preventing reporting of the reason that Erol Incedal was found not guilty last March of preparing for acts of terrorism. The UN's Working Group on Arbitrary Detention found that Julian Assange, who has been taking refuge from the police in the Ecuadorean embassy in London since 2012, was being 'arbitrarily detained' and said that he should be compensated; the British Foreign Office disagreed. Andy Burnham, the shadow home secretary, said it might be 'impossible' for Labour to agree a policy on Trident; Emily Thornberry, the shadow defence secretary, said it might be possible to use drones instead. A storm in southern England and Wales with winds of up to 96mph left 15,000 without electricity.


Thousands of Syrian refugees from Aleppo (where rebels were surrounded by government forces and bombarded by Russian aircraft) were trapped at the Turkish border. Turkey sent food aid to 35,000 across the border, but the deputy prime minister of Turkey said another 600,000 more might flee warfare. …

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