The Spectator

Portrait of the week: Cameron’s cash, A-grades abound and Tower Bridge won’t budge


With less frightening domestic data on the coronavirus pandemic to ponder, subjects such as the rivalry between Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, and Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, found time for discussion. The seven-day average of coronavirus cases detected by tests remained below 30,000. In the seven days up to the beginning of the week, 637 people had died with coronavirus, bringing the total of deaths (within 28 days of testing positive) to 130,281. (In the previous week deaths had numbered 524.) In a week, numbers remaining in hospital fell from 5,943 to 5,631. Three quarters of adults had received two doses of vaccine, but numbers crept up very slowly for first vaccinations, because of the low uptake by those under 35. The percentage of adults in England likely to have Covid antibodies was 93.6 (in the week beginning 12 July), according to the Office for National Statistics, compared with 89.1 a month earlier. Booster vaccinations would begin in September.

In response to a report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Boris Johnson said: ‘We know what must be done to limit global warming — consign coal to history and shift to clean energy sources, protect nature and provide climate finance for countries on the front line.’ The report had said: ‘It is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, oceans and land.’ The BBC’s Panorama said that David Cameron, the former prime minister, had made £7 million from his work for Greensill before it went bust in March. Almost one in five shopping-centre units now lie empty, with more than one in eight having been empty for more than a year, according to the British Retail Consortium.

A-levels awarded without examination for the second year, because of the coronavirus pandemic, gave A* or A grades to 44.8

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