Magazine article The Spectator

Portrait of the Week

Magazine article The Spectator

Portrait of the Week

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge joined 50 heads of state at the St Symphorien cemetery near Mons to commemorate the invasion of Belgium in 1914. The Prince of Wales attended a service at Glasgow cathedral; the Duchess of Cornwall attended a service at Westminster Abbey where a lighted flame was put out at 11p.m., the hour that Britain had declared war on Germany on 4 August. Many people in Britain kept one light burning for an hour that evening. The Queen attended a private service at Craithie church, near Balmoral. In the grassy moat of the Tower of London, 888,246 ceramic poppies were being planted, one for each British and Colonial death in the first world war.

Baroness Warsi resigned as a Foreign Office minister, tweeting a long letter to the Prime Minister in which she said 'our policy in relation to the Middle East Peace Process generally' was 'morally indefensible' and declared that 'William Hague was probably one of the finest Foreign Secretaries this country has seen'. Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, said he was looking for a constituency in which to stand for Parliament in 2015. Alex Salmond, the First Minister of Scotland, debated on Scottish independence live on television with Alistair Darling, the leader of the Better Together campaign; viewers in England were given their own programmes. Police in Scotland began to patrol with firearms. George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, cheered on a scheme by Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield and Newcastle for an 'Inter-connected region'. Ed Balls, the shadow chancellor, was fined £900 and given five penalty points for failing to stop after crashing into a parked car.

Two RAF Typhoons escorted a Qatar airliner to Manchester airport, where a man suspected of making a hoax bomb threat was detained under the Mental Health Act. British Airways suspended flights to and from Liberia and Sierra Leone, fearful of the ebola outbreak which had killed 887 in west Africa. Homeowners could be compensated if their property fell in value when new garden cities were built, Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, suggested; this was news to Brandon Lewis, the housing minister. British banks increased to £23 billion the amount set aside to provide for mis-sold payment protection insurance. …

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