The Spectator

Portrait of the week | 4 February 2016

Plus: more migrant children drowning, Islamic State kill 71 in Damascus, Ted Cruz beats Donald Trump in Iowa


David Cameron, the Prime Minister, made a speech in Wiltshire about a letter from Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, on Britain’s demands for renegotiating terms of its membership of the European Union. Mr Cameron said: ‘What we’ve got is basically something I asked for.’ In the House of Commons, Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the opposition, said: ‘It’s rather strange that the Prime Minister is not here…’ instead of ‘…in Chippenham, paying homage to the town where I was born.’ Mr Tusk proposed that in-work benefits for migrants might be subject to an ‘emergency brake’. As for child benefit, this could still be sent home to children in foreign countries in the EU, but could be somehow indexed to the standard of living there. Britain would be allowed to keep suspected terrorists out of the country. ‘If we get this deal in February,’ Mr Cameron said, referring to a meeting of the European Council on 18–19 February, ‘the government’s position will be to campaign for Britain to stay in a reformed European Union.’ A referendum could be held in June.

Sainsbury’s increased to £1.3 billion the price of its offer to buy Home Retail Group, the owners of Argos. BP announced that its annual profits had fallen 51 per cent to £4.1 billion. Thousands of BT customers experienced temporary problems with their broadband. A Cardigan man won a case against Apple in the small claims court in Aberystwyth after his watch developed a crack. Sir Terry Wogan, the Irish-born broadcaster, died, aged 77. Religious believers are happier than atheists, the Office for National Statistics reported.

The British Medical Association said that junior doctors would strike for another day next week. A 58-year-old widow complained after being told she could not stay in a motor home at a holiday park at Hunstanton, Norfolk, because she was single.

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