Magazine article The Spectator

Portrait of the Week

Magazine article The Spectator

Portrait of the Week

Article excerpt


David Cameron, the Prime Minister, visited Egypt, speaking to Mohamed Tantawi, the head of the armed forces supreme council, and to Ahmed Shafiq, the caretaker Prime Minister. Later, in Kuwait, he said that 'denying people their basic rights does not preserve stability, rather the reverse'. Before leaving Britain, Mr Cameron had written about the government's plans to allow private and voluntary groups to run almost every kind of public service. Foreign migrants accounted for a net increase of 3.2 million in the United Kingdom population between 1997 and 2010, according to the Office for National Statistics. Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, gave new criteria for adoption to allow white couples to adopt black children. A chilli grown in Grantham, Lincolnshire, was said to be the hottest in the world at 1,176,182 on the Scoville Heat Unit scale.

President Obama of the United States is to make a three-day state visit to Britain from 24 May, staying at Buckingham Palace.

Two thousand invitations were sent out to the wedding in April of Prince William and Kate Middleton, with 50 or more going to members of the royal family, 40 to foreign royalty, about 1,000 to friends, 200 to politicians and others to charity workers.

Mrs and Mrs David Beckham are invited;

the Duchess of York is not. The 6,000-seat velodrome built at a cost of £105 million for the 2012 London Olympics was opened. A humped creature was photographed on the surface of Windermere.

The public finances saw a £3.735 billion surplus in January, the first since July 2008, thanks to New Year tax payments.

Three of the nine members of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee voted this month for a rise in interest rates.

Barclays Bank paid only £113 million in corporation tax on its profits of £4.6 billion. The government plans to sell off woodland were dropped. Liam Fox, the Defence Secretary, called for an end to 'fantasy' defence projects that could never be completed for lack of funds. Liver specialists, writing in the Lancet, warned that 'fewer people are drinking more', and recommended the raising of alcohol prices.

The NHS sued Reckitt Benckiser, the makers of Gaviscon, over provision of the medicine.


Hundreds of Libyans were shot dead when they protested in the streets. …

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