The Spectator

Portrait of the week | 18 February 2016


David Cameron, the Prime Minister, spent time in Brussels before a meeting of the European Council to see what it would allow him to bring home for voters in a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union. The board of HSBC voted to keep its headquarters in Britain. Sir John Vickers, who headed the Independent Commission on Banking, said that Bank of England proposals for bank capital reserves were ‘less strong than what the ICB recommended’. The annual rate of inflation, measured by the Consumer Prices Index, rose to 0.3 per cent in January, compared with 0.2 per cent in December. Unemployment fell by 60,000 to 1.69 million. A dental nurse from Bradford who gave her friend a facelift was struck off the dental register.

EDF, the French energy company, said it would extend the life of four of its eight nuclear power plants in Britain: at Hartlepool, Torness and two at Heysham. The widow of Lord Brittan accepted a ‘full apology’ from Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, the Metropolitan Police commissioner, over the manner in which he had been investigated. The National Police Chiefs Council said that it was producing new guidelines for teachers designed to avoid ‘criminalising’ children caught sending indecent images to each other. After the Cabinet Office agreed to meet the £80,000 a year bill, vellum was reprieved as the material on which Acts of Parliament are printed. Lord Avebury, who as Eric Lubbock won the sensational Orpington by-election in 1962 for the Liberals, died, aged 87. The four members of the British indie band Viola Beach and their manager died when their car plunged 80 feet into a canal in Sweden.

AVirgin flight bound for America turned back to Heathrow after a pilot had his vision damaged by a laser that had been shone on the plane, it was assumed by a plane spotter intending to ‘tag’ the aircraft.

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