Magazine article The Spectator

Portrait of the Week

Magazine article The Spectator

Portrait of the Week

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Theresa May, the Home Secretary, ordered a review, taking perhaps ten weeks, by Peter Wanless, the head of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, of how her department, the police and prosecutors handled historical child sex-abuse allegations. There would also be a large-scale inquiry by the retired judge Lady Butler-Sloss. These came in response to a ferment of speculation into what the late Geoffrey Dickens had alleged in 1984 in a folder of information he gave to Leon Brittan, then Home Secretary. In 2013 the folder was found not to have been kept. Rolf Harris, the entertainer, aged 84, was jailed for five years and nine months for 12 indecent assaults against four girls. Novak Djokovic beat Roger Federer to win the men's singles at Wimbledon. Petra Kvitova beat Eugenie Bouchard in the ladies' final. The Tour de France retreated to the other side of the Channel. Disruption afflicted the Channel Tunnel after an overhead power cable was damaged.

Public-sector workers, including teachers, firemen and civil servants, went on strike for a day. Andy Coulson, the former editor of the News of the World , was indicted to appear at the High Court in Glasgow on charges of perjury arising from the trial of Tommy Sheridan in 2010. Two men from Birmingham who went to Syria to join rebel fighters pleaded guilty at Woolwich Crown Court to terrorism charges. Two women went on trial at the Old Bailey accused of arranging to smuggle money to fighters in Syria after one was allegedly found with [euro]20,000 in her underwear. Cheshire Police arrested all 14 patients in a mental health unit on suspicion of causing criminal damage.

The Queen named a 65,000-ton, 919ft aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth . A statue of Gandhi is to be erected in Parliament Square. A baker's shop in Co. Antrim refused to make a cake with 'Support gay marriage' on the icing, on the grounds that marriage in Northern Ireland is 'still is defined as being a union between one man and one woman'; it then received a letter from the Equality Commission saying it would pursue legal proceedings. Adam Mugliston, aged 16, travelled the 1,167 miles from Land's End to John O'Groats, on 36 different buses, in four days, ten hours and 44 minutes, beating the record of five days, seven hours and 25 minutes set in 2011. …

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