Magazine article The Spectator

Portrait of the Week

Magazine article The Spectator

Portrait of the Week

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The Queen was said by the BBC's Laura Kuenssberg to have asked, at a private lunch before June's referendum, about the European Union: 'I don't see why we can't just get out. What's the problem?' Mervyn King, who was Governor of the Bank of England until 2013, said that Britain needed to be more 'self-confident' about its chances outside of the economically 'pretty unsuccessful' EU. Theresa May, the Prime Minister, issued a Christmas message: 'As we leave the European Union we must seize an historic opportunity to forge a bold new role for ourselves in the world.' George Michael, the singer, died aged 53. Rick Parfitt, who sang and played with Status Quo, died aged 68. Richard Adams, the author of Watership Down , died aged 96. Liz Smith, who played Nana in The Royle Family , died aged 95. The Queen was too unwell to go to church on Christmas Day. In her Christmas message she spoke of 'a truth expressed by Mother Teresa, from this year Saint Teresa of Calcutta. She once said, "Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love".'

Voters would have to show an indication of their identity, such as a passport, driving licence or utility bill, in a pilot scheme at elections for some councils in England, including Birmingham, Bradford and Tower Hamlets, from 2018, the government said. Local authorities had used the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, designed to monitor threats of terrorism, to spy over five years on people feeding pigeons (in Allerdale) and on dogs fouling pavements (in Lancaster), so the Guardian reported. Crystal Palace, under its new manager Sam Allardyce, who had resigned as manager of the England team after 67 days, drew 1-1 against Watford.

Hospitals in England collected more than £120 million in parking fees last year, an annual increase of 5 per cent. The British economy grew by 0.6 per cent in the third quarter, according to the office for National Statistics, revising an earlier estimate of 0.5 per cent; but the current account deficit in the same period rose to 5.2 per cent of gross domestic product, indicating weak exports despite the fall in the value of the pound. In the early hours of Christmas Day, police struggled for an hour to control 100 people fighting in Woking, Surrey. …

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