Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week: Theresa May unveils £20 billion in NHS spending

23 June 2018

9:00 AM

23 June 2018

9:00 AM


Theresa May, the Prime Minister, said that spending on NHS England would increase by £20 billion a year by 2023. Some of the money would come from economic growth and a ‘Brexit dividend’, but more would come from taxes to be announced by the Chancellor at the next budget. Paul Johnson, the director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, said that the divorce settlement with the EU and Britain’s commitments to replace EU funding had already accounted for ‘all of our EU contributions’ for the next few years. The government said the use of medicinal cannabis was to be reviewed. The announcement followed publicity for Charlotte Caldwell, whose son Billy has severe epilepsy, treated by cannabis oil, new supplies of which were confiscated when she tried to bring them into Britain from Canada. Lord Hague, a former leader of the Conservative party, wrote in the Daily Telegraph that the war on cannabis as a recreational drug had been ‘irreversibly lost’ and so a change of policy was needed. Three young men believed to have been spraying graffiti next to a railway line near Loughborough Junction in south London were killed by a train.

Dominic Grieve, a former Conservative attorney-general, said: ‘We could collapse the government.’ He and his ​allies had been persuaded not to vote against the government over the European Union Withdrawal Bill by a promise backed by Mrs May that their concerns would be met in a government amendment when the Bill returned to the Lords last week. But the malcontents found the terms of the amendment did not meet their ambition for Parliament to have a ‘meaningful vote’ on whatever deal might be agreed with the EU. An amendment tabled by Viscount Hailsham was passed in the Lords by 354 votes to 235. Lord Hailsham, showing some emotion, declared: ‘I don’t believe in Brexit. I think it’s a national calamity.’ He added: ‘This is the high court of Parliament, and we are not party hacks.’ So the Bill went back to the Commons. But Lord Lamont suggested it was all an unnecessary fuss; in the event of there being no deal, he said, ‘obviously it would come to Parliament, obviously it would be a major event. Do we really have to write it down with all these complicated provisions?’

The Mackintosh building of the Glasgow School of Art, badly damaged by fire in 2014, was destroyed by a new fire that also burnt down the O2 ABC music venue, which had opened as a diorama in 1875. Rolls-Royce is to cut 4,600 jobs, mostly from middle management. Debenhams warned that its annual profits would be between £35 million and £40 million, not the £50.3 million previously estimated. Zara Tindall gave birth to a daughter weighing 9lb 3oz, the Queen’s seventh great-grandchild and 19th in line to the throne.


Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, rejected a plan by Horst Seehofer, the interior minister, to turn away migrants at the German border if they have registered elsewhere in the EU; Mr Seehofer leads the Bavarian Christian Social Union, which holds the governing alliance together. An Afghan and three Bulgarians were each sentenced to 25 years in prison by a court in Hungary over the suffocation of 71 migrants from Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Iran, whose decomposing bodies were found in a sealed lorry. Canada legalised the recreational use of cannabis.

Americans saw photographs and heard a recording of migrant children held in camps behind wire netting after being separated from their parents on their arrest; US immigration officials said that 2,342 children had been separated from 2,206 parents between 5 May and 9 June. The United States withdrew from the UN Human Rights Council, calling it a ‘cesspool of political bias’. Inaki Urdangarin, the husband of King Felipe of Spain’s sister Cristina, began a six-year sentence for embezzlement. Michel Barnier, the EU chief negotiator on Brexit, insisted that the European Arrest Warrant system could no longer apply to Britain after it leaves the EU. A baby boy born on a train in Paris was awarded a free ticket for the RATP network until he is 25.

Forces loyal to the government of Yemen, backed by the UAE, took the airport of the port city of Hudaydah, held by Houthi rebels. Kim Jong-un, the ruler of North Korea, met Xi Jinping, the ruler of China, in Beijing. In South Korea, 22,000 mattresses emitting radioactive radon gas were impounded.                                                  CSH

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