The Spectator

Portrait of the week | 14 January 2016

And David Bowie dies at 69, shadow cabinet members resign, food aid is taken to Madaya, and El Chapo is captured


David Cameron, the Prime Minister, said that, on Britain’s place in the European Union, ‘what I would like to see is a deal in February, then a referendum that would follow’. The pound sank to its lowest against the US dollar since 2010, after Britain’s manufacturing sector shrank unexpectedly by 0.4 per cent in November. BP said it was cutting 4,000 jobs round the world, 600 of them from its North Sea operations. A split in the Anglican Communion over homosexuality ‘would not be a disaster, but it would be a failure’, said the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Justin Welby, as 38 primates met at Canterbury. Trains from Lewisham were delayed by ‘strong sunlight’. David Bowie died two days after releasing an album, Blackstar, on his 69th birthday.

Junior doctors (hospital doctors below the grade of consultant) went on strike for 24 hours. The National Health Service said that 40 per cent worked. Sandwell Hospital in West Bromwich declared a ‘level 4 incident’ and said it needed its doctors not to strike; but the British Medical Association urged them not to return to work until it had agreed that a ‘major unpredictable incident’ was taking place. The Claims Management Regulator removed the operating licence from a company called Falcon and Pointer, which made 40 million telephone calls about PPI in three months. Two winners shared a record £66 million National Lottery prize. Cadbury’s Creme Egg has lost £6 million of sales, according to research for The Grocer, though the makers denied that sales had been affected by a change of chocolate recipe.

Labour made an official complaint to the BBC after Stephen Doughty announced on the Daily Politics programme that he had resigned as a shadow foreign office minister.

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