Magazine article The Spectator

Portrait of the Week

Magazine article The Spectator

Portrait of the Week

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Alan Henning, 47, a British volunteer aid worker taken captive in Syria by Islamic State, was murdered, and footage of his death, which included an appearance by a man with an English accent nicknamed Jihadi John, was posted online. David Cameron, the Prime Minister, said: 'We will do all we can to hunt down these murderers and bring them to justice.' Four men were arrested in London on suspicion of terror offences; MI5 sources suggested that the arrest might have 'foiled the early stages' of a planned attack. A 12-year-old girl in a wheelchair was saved from injury by her arm-braces when two men set a pit bull dog on her in a Northamptonshire wood. Fungicide injections derived from garlic were tried out on trees suffering from ash dieback in Northamptonshire.

Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader, put mental health at the centre of his party's election campaign in a speech at its conference in Glasgow. He also said he would insist on the personal tax allowance being raised by £500 to £11,000 in 2016, if the Lib Dems formed part of the government. There were proposals to spend more money on the National Health Service and to take tougher action against discrimination in professional football. A YouGov poll for the Times found that 6 per cent of the electorate planned to vote for the Liberal Democrats. The British National party expelled Nick Griffin, its former leader. Lynsey de Paul, the singer-songwriter who narrowly failed to win the Eurovision Song Contest in 1977 with 'Rock Bottom', died, aged 64. Rain failed to wash off as intended some giant lettering with which the National Theatre of Wales had spelt out a poem by Gillian Clarke on a slab of rock on Snowdon.

After meeting Mr Cameron at Downing Street, Manuel Valls, the prime minister of France, made a speech at Guildhall in which he complained of the press portraying France as 'left-wing and anti-business'. Mr Cameron said in an interview that he did not want the Northern Ireland Executive to collapse. Gallaher's is to close its cigarette factory in Ballymena, Co. Antrim, with the loss of 800 jobs. Ray Cole, aged 69, from Deal, Kent, was released from a four-month jail sentence in Morocco for having performed homosexual acts with a Moroccan friend, Jamal Jam Wald Nass, who remained in jail. …

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