The Spectator

Portrait of the week | 26 February 2015


Sir Malcolm Rifkind, the former Conservative foreign secretary, resigned as chairman of Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee and promised not to stand for Parliament in May after he and Jack Straw, the former Labour foreign secretary, were suspended from their parties. This followed their being separately secretly filmed apparently offering their services for payment to reporters from the Daily Telegraph and Channel 4’s Dispatches programme pretending to be acting for a Chinese company. Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, declared that Labour candidates would in future not to be allowed to have second jobs. Natalie Bennett, the leader of the Green party, apologised for an ‘excruciating’ interview on LBC with Nick Ferrari, who called it ‘one of the worst interviews ever by a political leader’. Only 21 per cent of women have a shower or bath every day, according to a survey of 2,021 women aged 18 to 50.

David Cameron, the Prime Minister said that British troops (thought to number 75) were being sent to Ukraine to train soldiers fighting Russian separatists. The Defence Secretary had earlier drawn attention to Russian bombers flying close to Cornwall. Scotland Yard said three girls, two aged 15 and one 16, from the same school in London, who had flown to Istanbul, were thought to have crossed into Syria, intent upon joining the Islamic State. Al-Shabab, the Somali-based terrorists, urged followers in a video to carry out attacks on shopping centres in Britain, the United States and Canada. Manchester is to take control of its health budget in addition to its budget for social care. Scientists said that babies fed with peanut butter were much less likely to develop an allergy later.

The government named 70 companies that it said had failed to pay workers the minimum wage, including a care provider in the East Midlands.

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