Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week: ‘Project Fear’, Labour’s anti-Semitism row (continued) and Jeremy Hunt’s wife gaffe

4 August 2018

9:00 AM

4 August 2018

9:00 AM


When families and doctors are in agreement, medical staff will be able to remove tubes supplying food and water to people in a permanent vegetative state without applying to the Court of Protection, the Supreme Court ruled. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists called on Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, to allow women in England to take abortion pills at home rather than in a clinic. A man was jailed for four and a half years and his wife for three and a half years at Leeds Crown Court for tricking their daughter into travelling to Bangladesh in order to force her into marriage. Jeremy Hunt, the Foreign Secretary, in a meeting with his Chinese counterpart during his visit to China, said: ‘My wife is Japanese. My wife is Chinese. Sorry, that’s a terrible mistake to make.’

Downing Street revealed that 70 ‘technical notices’ about Britain leaving the EU with no agreement, aimed at companies and consumers, would be issued in two sets this month and next. This followed remarks by Matt Hancock about plans to stockpile blood products and vaccines, and by Dominic Raab, the Brexit Secretary, about stockpiling food. The Sunday Times reported plans for helicopters and army trucks to take supplies to vulnerable people outside the south-east. Some Brexiteers accused the government of mounting Project Fear mark II, to persuade Parliament and the public to accept an agreement on Brexit resembling the Chequers white paper. Theresa May, the Prime Minister, broke off her holiday to visit President Emmanuel Macron of France at his holiday fortress at Brégançon on the Côte d’Azur. Geraint Thomas won the Tour de France, bringing Team Sky’s victories to six in the past seven years.

The Jewish Chronicle published a recording of Peter Willsman suggesting at a meeting of Labour’s National Executive Committee that Jewish ‘Trump fanatics’, were behind accusations of anti-Semitism in the party. Tom Watson, Labour’s deputy leader, said Mr Willsman was a ‘loud-mouthed bully’. Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, apologised ‘for the concerns and anxiety’ caused by his attending a lecture in the Palace of Westminster in 2010 called ‘The Misuse of the Holocaust for Political Purposes’, in which Israel was likened to the Nazi regime. Xeneral Webster, 19, was jailed for 17 years for the manslaughter of a woman who died after he splashed her from head to toe with acid. Salman Abedi, the man who killed 22 people and himself with a bomb at the Manchester Arena last year, was among the British citizens rescued in 2014 from the Libyan coast by HMS Enterprise, it emerged, before being taken to Malta for his flight home. The Dixons Carphone group said that a data breach last year involved ten million customers, not the original estimate of 1.2 million.


North Korea appeared to be building new ballistic missiles, according to US officials who told the Washington Post. In California, the Carr wildfire, which began on Carr Powerhouse Road in the Whiskeytown district in Shasta county, burnt for more than a week, destroying over 100,000 acres, 900 houses, killing six people and causing 38,000 residents, many from the city of Redding, to be evacuated. Popocatépetl, 40 miles from Mexico City, sent up a huge ash cloud. A horn shark called Miss Helen was stolen from San Antonio aquarium, Texas, by thieves who wrapped it in a wet blanket and put in a pram; the suspects were tracked down and the shark was said to be recovering.

The outcome of Zimbabwe’s parliamentary and presidential elections was close-run and disputed. India published a National Register of Citizens which deprived about four million people of citizenship because they cannot prove they came to Assam by 24 March 1971, the day before neighbouring Bangladesh declared independence.

Theodore McCarrick, 88, a former archbishop of Washington, resigned as a cardinal; he said he had no recollection of an assault on a teenager alleged to have taken place in New York in the early 1970s. Thousands of protesters against the government of Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua marched through Managua in support of the Catholic church, which has acted as an intermediary with opposition groups. Ecuador held talks with Britain over Julian Assange, who was granted political asylum in its embassy on London in 2012 and has become ‘a stone in our shoe’, according to President Lenin Moreno.               CSH

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