Pick of the Week: Sewel scandal, cannabis, and Home Office turmoil

Theresa May's department in turmoil after asylum ruling
Theresa May's department in turmoil after asylum ruling

Our five most read stories this week, for your reading pleasure.


Five: Lord Sewel is the latest victim of British mob rule

The fifth spot this week, goes to our piece on Lord Sewel's resignation from the House of Lords. As soon as the footage of him allegedly taking drugs with sex workers was released the pressure on him to quit was huge. But what followed showed us that rules and laws don't matter. What matters is whatever the press and public demand.


Four: Police commissioners offer fresh hope for cannabis reform

The decision by the Police commissioner of Durham to no longer make cultivation of cannabis a priority offence for his force has been celebrated by cannabis campaigners. With other forces following his lead it is possible that police commissioners hold the key to real cannabis reform.

Three: It's official: Private prisons cost taxpayer more than state prisons

In third place is our story about the true cost of prisons. With pressure on Michael Gove to make cuts to his department, there is a good chance he may consider the privatisation of certain prison services. But statistics published by his own department show private prisons actually cost more than public sector prisons.

Two: What Lord Sewell does is none of our business

Another entry in our top five for the Lord Sewel 'scandal'. The outrage surrounding this story has more to do with moral judgement than it does with real concern of law breaking or Sewel's professional competence. He hasn't hurt anyone other than himself and his family so is what he gets up to late at night really any of our business?

One: Home Office in turmoil following asylum ruling

Our top spot this week goes to our story about a decision by the court of appeal which has thrown the Home Office in to turmoil. The court backed a judgement by the high court which found the detained fast-track system unlawful. Ministers had expected to win this case and hoped to quickly reinstate the system but the plans will now need a rethink. Hundreds of asylum-seekers have already been released since the fast-track process was suspended in June.

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