Andrew Thorpe-Apps reviews the week’s top stories.
A police officer was arrested on suspicion of falsely purporting to be a member of the public who had witnessed Andrew Mitchell call police officers ‘plebs’. A second man was also arrested in connection with the ‘plebgate’ investigation. It came as Channel 4 revealed CCTV footage which put into question the accuracy of the police log.
David Cameron announced that the number of British troops serving in Afghanistan will be halved to 5,200 in 2013. He also made a pre-Christmas visit to UK-bases in the country.
The Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards said that government plans to ring-fence banks’ retail businesses from their investment arms ‘fell well short of what is required’.
The Queen attended a cabinet meeting at Downing Street. She is the first monarch to do so in peace-time since George III in 1781.
Seven-year-old Neon Roberts underwent surgery on a brain tumour on Wednesday. The court is expected to decide today whether Neon should be treated with radiotherapy.
Speaking from the Ecuadorean embassy in London, Julian Assange said his work ‘will not be cowed’ and shall release a million more documents via Wikileaks during 2013.
Geoffrey Clarke, UKIP candidate for Kent County Council, called for an NHS review to look at ‘compulsory abortion’ of foetuses with Down’s syndrome or other deformities. He was later suspended from the party.
There was more flood chaos around the UK as roads, railways and waterways were hit by high water levels after 40mm of rain fell in 24 hours. Around 270 flood alerts were put in place across England and Wales. The village of Wallington, Hampshire, was evacuated.
Jobseekers will have to use a new government website that can automatically tell jobcentres about their applications. Refusal could lead to a loss of benefit payments.
The ancient Mayans are said to have predicted that today – 21st December 2012 – would mark the end of the world. One in 10 people in the UK are ‘anxious’ about this. But experts have revealed that today does not, in fact, mark the end of the world – rather the beginning of a new Mayan calendar cycle.