Magazine article The Spectator

Portrait of the Week

Magazine article The Spectator

Portrait of the Week

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Ed Miliband, the leader of the Labour party, promised that, if elected, his administration would hold a referendum on membership of the European Union only if there was a new transfer of power to Brussels, which he called 'unlikely'. If Scotland votes for independence, the Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds might have to move their legal homes to London under European Union law, the BBC reported.

BBC Three is to be closed as an on-air channel, to go online only. The future of BBC Four is also in question. Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, told the Treasury Select Committee that interest rates could reach 3 per cent within three years. He also said that a new deputy governor would be appointed with responsibility for markets, after criticism of its response to claims of manipulation of foreign exchange rates. Euan Sutherland resigned as chief executive of the Co-operative Group after saying that its failure to change its governance made it impossible to overhaul the business. Sir Hugh Leggatt, the art dealer, died, aged 89. Bob Crow, the militant leader of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers, died, aged 52.

MPs voted for Clause 119 of the Care Bill, to allow the closure of a hospital even if it is performing well, to accommodate a neighbouring trust that is doing badly financially. Theresa May, the Home Secretary, announced in Parliament that there would be a judge-led inquiry into police spying, including on the family of Stephen Lawrence during an inquest into the investigation of his murder. Richard Mawrey, a judge and election commissioner, said that 'on-demand' postal voting was open to fraud on an 'industrial scale'.

Downham Market fire station burnt down with its fire-engine inside it; it had no fire alarm or sprinklers.

Nigel Evans MP, who resigned as deputy speaker last September, went on trial on one count of rape, two counts of indecent assault and six of sexual assault against seven men, between 2002 and 2013.

Max Clifford, the publicist, went on trial on 11 counts of indecent assault relating to seven alleged victims, aged from 14 to 19, between 1966 and 1984. Jim Holditch, head of Godinton Primary School in Ashford, Kent, said that lunch would have to begin at 11 a. …

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