The Spectator

Portrait of the week | 19 November 2015


After the killings in Paris, David Cameron, the Prime Minister, said that seven terrorist attacks on Britain had been prevented in the past six months. He met President Vladimir Putin of Russia at a G20 meeting at Antalya in Turkey. Mr Putin said: ‘We should join efforts in preventing terror. Unfortunately our bilateral relations are not of the best.’ Mr Cameron said in the Commons: ‘Raqqa, if you like, is the head of the snake… we need to deal with it not just in Iraq but in Syria too.’ He said funds from maintaining defence spending at 2 per cent of GDP would go to special forces, drones and fighter aircraft. MI5, MI6 and GCHQ would be able to recruit an extra 1,900 officers to their 12,700 staff. At a meeting of the parliamentary Labour party, MPs shouted at Jeremy Corbyn, their leader, after he expressed unhappiness with what he called a ‘shoot-to-kill policy’ towards possible terrorists on British streets. A woman in Bicester, Oxfordshire, was arrested after a beauty salon posted a notice on Facebook saying that it would no longer be ‘taking bookings from anyone from the Islamic faith’.

The day before the killings in Paris, Mohammed Emwazi, a Kuwaiti-born British member of the Islamic State group, nicknamed Jihadi John, who had murdered hostages on video, was killed in Raqqa, Syria, by an American drone alerted by British intelligence. A charter fight landed in Glasgow with the first of 1,000 Syrian refugees due to arrive in Britain before Christmas. Two schools in east London were closed for a week to be rid of infestations of false widow spiders. Two ‘lads’ mags’, FHM and Zoo, ceased publication.

Warren Mitchell, who played Alf Garnett in Till Death Us Do Part, died, aged 89. Saeed Jaffrey, the film actor, died aged 86.

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