Portrait of the week

Portrait of the Week: David Cameron’s tax troubles and the Archbishop of Canterbury’s paternity

Plus, teargas fired at migrants trying to escape Greece and the Austrian government seizes Hitler’s birthplace

16 April 2016

9:00 AM

16 April 2016

9:00 AM


David Cameron, the Prime Minister, after spending a week parrying questions about his late father’s investment fund Blairmore, suddenly published a summary showing that on his own taxable income of £200,307 in the past year he had paid tax of £75,898. Downing Street said ‘potential prime ministers’ and chancellors should be expected to publish their tax returns in future. George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, said he had paid £72,210 in tax on earnings or £198,738. Boris Johnson MP said he’d paid £276,505 tax on income of £612,583. Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the opposition, had not kept a copy of his tax return, but then got hold of one which showed that he’d paid £18,902 tax on £72,645 income. Dennis Skinner, the Labour MP, aged 84, was suspended from the Commons chamber for the day after refusing to withdraw a description of Mr Cameron as ‘dodgy Dave’. The annual rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Prices Index was 0.5 per cent in March, compared with 0.3 per cent in February; measured by the Retail Prices Index it had risen to 1.6 from 1.3 per cent.

The Archbishop of Canterbury took a DNA test at the instance of Charles Moore and found that his father was the late Sir Anthony Montague Browne, Churchill’s last private secretary. John Whittingdale said that for about six months before becoming culture secretary he had had an affair with a woman without realising she was a prostitute. Four students accused of raping a woman at the Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester, in 2014 and suspended since then were acquitted when the prosecution offered no evidence. The dismembered remains of a missing policeman were found at a flat in Southwark. Rule the World, ridden by 19-year-old David Mullins, won the Grand National at 33–1. Danny Willett, the son of a vicar from Hackenthorpe, Sheffield, won the Masters at Augusta.

If Britain voted to leave the European Union there could be ‘severe regional and global damage’, according to Maurice Obstfeld, the chief economist of the International Monetary Fund. In Edinburgh, 17 schools were closed, affecting 7,000 pupils, because of worries about structural defects; a wall had fallen down at Oxgangs primary school on a windy day in January, raising questions about other buildings constructed under Public Private Partnership contracts favoured by the previous Labour-Liberal Democrat coalition in Scotland. Sajid Javid, the Business Secretary, told the Commons that the government was considering ‘the possibility of co-investing with a buyer on commercial terms’ in the steelworks at Port Talbot, which Tata had put up for sale. Tata said it was selling its Scunthorpe plant to Greybull Capital, an equity firm. Sir Arnold Wesker, the playwright, died, aged 83.


Teargas was fired at migrants trying to climb a fence from Greece into Macedonia and 30 were reported to have been hit by rubber bullets near the village of Idomeni, where more than 11,000 migrants were camping in wretched conditions. Bulgarian vigilantes were shown catching three migrants and tying their hands behind their backs at Strandja, near the Turkish border. Turkey insisted that Germany should prosecute a satirist merely for reading out a poem on television that referred to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as a ‘goatfucker’.

In the Philippines, at least 18 soldiers were killed, four of them beheaded, in fighting with Islamist militants of the Abu Sayyaf group on the island of Basilan. North Korea claimed it has successfully tested a new engine for an intercontinental ballistic missile. Taiwan accused armed Kenyans of forcing 37 of its citizens, who had been arrested on suspicion of fraud, on to a plane bound for mainland China, including 15 who had been acquitted. In South Africa a court dismissed a legal bid by Winnie Madikizela-Mandela to secure ownership of Nelson Mandela’s rural home in Qunu. The Austrian government planned to seize ownership of the house Braunau am Inn, where Adolf Hitler was born, lest it become a focus for Nazi sympathisers.

The Pope published a 60,000-word document, Amoris Laetitia, which said that Catholics shouldn’t be beastly to the divorced and remarried or to homosexuals, and reminded them that contraception was wrong. In Brazil a congressional committee voted 38 to 27 in favour of impeaching President Dilma Rousseff over claims she manipulated government accounts before her re-election in 2014; for the process to go ahead a two-thirds majority in Congress would be needed. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge toured Bhutan and India, where the state of Odisha saw its hottest April day on record, with temperatures reaching 45.8ºC.          CSH

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

You might disagree with half of it, but you’ll enjoy reading all of it. Try your first 10 weeks for just $10

Show comments
  • Rush_is_Right

    The Archbishop discovers that instead of being the son of an alcoholic loser he is really the son of a decorated and distinguished flying officer. You can see how he might have felt embarrassed about it.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Archbishop of Canterbury