Magazine article The Spectator

Portrait of the Week

Magazine article The Spectator

Portrait of the Week

Article excerpt


David Cameron, the Prime Minister, threatened pensioners who voted in the referendum for Britain to leave the EU: 'If we leave, the pensioner benefits would be under threat, and the "triple lock" could no longer be guaranteed.' He also said he might take away their 'free bus passes and TV licences', even though the latter are paid for by the BBC. George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, said he would put up taxes if there was a vote to leave the EU, but 57 Tory MPs said they would vote against what they called a 'punishment budget'. Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, thanked immigrants for the 'fantastic service' they gave to the NHS. Tom Watson, the deputy Labour leader, said 'woe betide' his party if it ignored public concern about immigration. Lord Leach of Fairford, Rodney Leach, who in 2005 set up the think tank Open Europe, died aged 82.

Ten thousand people had a sandwich lunch in the rain in the Mall to celebrate the Queen's 90th birthday. The sun came out as she and the Duke of Edinburgh passed in an open-topped car. In the birthday honours, among the 1,149 recognised were Dame Vera Lynn, 99, Companion of Honour; Rod Stewart and Roger Scruton, knighted; social worker Louise Casey, made a Dame; Alastair Cook, the England cricket captain, appointed CBE, Ant and Dec and Brian Blessed OBE. In the overseas list the astronaut Tim Peake was made a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George.

Migration Watch said that Britain could expect net immigration of 275,000 a year over the next 20 years if it stayed in the EU. A woman in Newcastle was found to have had 17 children taken from her care by the local authority over a 30-year period. The annual rate of inflation remained unchanged in May at 0.3 per cent as measured by the Consumer Prices Index, and rose a touch to 1.4 per cent from 1.3 in April as measured by the Retail Prices Index. Unemployment fell by 20,000 to 1.67 million. Sir Philip Green, the former owner of BHS, who sold it for £1, gave evidence on its demise to a Commons inquiry, despite having said in a letter that he would 'require' the immediate resignation of Frank Field MP from it.


Omar Mateen, aged 29, shot dead 49 people and wounded 53 more at a gay nightclub called Pulse in Orlando, Florida, where he was said to have been a regular visitor. …

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