The Spectator

Portrait of the week | 7 May 2015


The country went to the polls. David Cameron, the Conservative leader, prepared by going around with his sleeves rolled up. Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, said that his pledges had been cut into an eight-foot slab of limestone. Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader, took a bus for John O’Groats. Stuart Gulliver, the chief executive of HSBC, said it would take ‘a few months, not years’ to decide whether to move its headquarters out of Britain. Sainsbury’s reported a loss of £72 million for the year, after writing down a fall in the value of some of its shops. Three tons of cocaine, worth perhaps £500 million, were recovered from a ship intercepted 100 miles east of Aberdeen; the nine Turkish crew were arrested. Swindon Borough Council was granted a court order to prevent Kathryn Beale from continuing her business of using raw placenta to make smoothies for new mothers, until she can prove it is safe.

A daughter was born to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, weighing 8lbs 3oz and becoming fourth in line to the throne. She is called Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana. On her birth certificate her father’s occupation was given as ‘Prince of the United Kingdom’. Amazon doubled to £20 the amount customers have to spend before books are delivered free. Ann Barr, a former editor at Harpers & Queen who with Peter York promoted the idea of Sloane Rangers, died, aged 85. Ruth Rendell, the crime novelist, died, aged 85. April was the sunniest in the UK since such Met Office records began, which was only in 1929.

A British couple from Slough and their four children, arrested a fortnight ago in Turkey on their way to Syria, were detained in Moldova. Gerard ‘Jock’ Davison, 47, a longstanding IRA man, was shot dead near the centre of Belfast.

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