Magazine article The Spectator

Portrait of the Week

Magazine article The Spectator

Portrait of the Week

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Of perhaps 400 Britons returned from the former territory of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, those who 'do not justify prosecution' should be reintegrated, Max Hill, the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, told the BBC. Rory Stewart MP, asked about foreigners fighting for the Islamic State in Syria, said that 'the only way of dealing with them will be, in almost every case, to kill them'. Jared O'Mara MP resigned from the Commons equalities committee after attention was directed to remarks he made online in 2004, such as that Michelle McManus had only won Pop Idol 'because she was fat'.

Theresa May had been 'anxious, despondent and disheartened' at her dinner the week before with Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, according to a report in Frankfurter Allgemeine, which disclosed that 'She looks like someone who doesn't sleep at night.' Once Mrs May had left the summit, the other 27 EU countries agreed to discuss among themselves future arrangements for trade with Britain. The EU would be 'defeated' in Brexit negotiations unless it maintained absolute unity, Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, told the European Parliament. Bloomberg opened its new European headquarters, 1.1 million square feet in the City of London, incorporating a Roman temple of Mithras.

Britain's GDP grew by 0.4 per cent in the third quarter of the year, compared with 0.3 per cent in each of the first two quarters. Average interest rates on credit cards reached 23 per cent, their highest for a decade, according to the website Moneyfacts. The Financial Conduct Authority ruled that BrightHouse, the rent-to-own retailer, had not acted as a 'responsible lender' and must pay £14.8 million to 249,000 customers.

Parliament, over which scaffolding continued to spread, would not vote on how to manage its repairs for another 18 months. Andrea Leadsom, the leader of the House, announced. Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland, had to move out of Bute House in Edinburgh, her official residence, after urgent fears that a ceiling might fall down. The Rail, Maritime and Transport union announced strikes on 8 November on Southern, South Western, Greater Anglia, Merseyrail and Arriva Rail North. …

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