Magazine article The Spectator

Portrait of the Week

Magazine article The Spectator

Portrait of the Week

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Credit: The Spectator

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The government scrabbled together material for the Queen's Speech, which promised measures to allow money to be put into 'collective defined contribution schemes' for pensions, as is done in Holland; to prevent pub landlords who are tied to large companies being worse off than independent publicans; to increase penalties for human traffickers; and to allow for by-elections when MPs do serious wrong. The European Commission called on Britain to raise taxes on higher value properties and build more houses. Theresa May, the Home Secretary, and Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, fought fiercely to blame each other over Islamic extremism in Birmingham schools. David Cameron, the Prime Minister, backed Conservative party proposals for Scotland to be able to set its own rates of income tax. In an attempt to steal sensitive information, Gameover Zeus malware stalked computers running on the Windows system.

Wrangling among the Liberal Democrat peerage continued. Lord Ashdown said that plots to get rid of Nick Clegg as leader had made 'a bad situation worse' and that Lord Oakeshott, who had resigned from the party four days earlier, was 'famous for making difficult days for the party more difficult'. Lord Oakeshott had leaked results of a poll he'd commissioned suggesting that the party would do better if Mr Clegg was replaced by Vince Cable. Messrs Clegg and Cable then posed drinking beer together in a deserted public house. Shirley, Lady Williams, said that she thought allegations of sexual impropriety against Lord Rennard were 'hugely blown up'. Lord Rennard issued a reticent apology, which Lord Carlile called 'generous', although Bridget Harris, one of his accusers, said the Lib Dems 'have to ask him to leave'. Mary, Lady Soames, Churchill's last surviving child, died, aged 91.

Police in London arrested Altaf Hussain, the leader of Muttahida Qaumi Movement, which controls Karachi, on suspicion of money-laundering. Three spectators were killed at the Jim Clark Rally in the Scottish Borders. Two competitors died during the TT races on the Isle of Man. Kirstie Allsopp, the television presenter, told the Telegraph that if she had a daughter, her advice would be: 'Darling, do you know what? Don't go to university. Start work straight after school, stay at home, save up your deposit -- I'll help you, let's get you into a flat. …

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