The Spectator

The Spectator’s portrait of the week


Checks began at British airports for passengers who might have come from west Africa with Ebola fever (even though there are no direct flights from the countries most affected). People who rang 111 with suspicious symptoms were to be asked whether they’d come from a high-risk country. Police arrested three men and three women from Portsmouth, Farnborough and Greenwich as part of an anti-terrorism operation. Of five men arrested the week before, two were released. The trial began before a jury at the Old Bailey of Erol Incedal on charges of preparing for acts of terrorism; parts of it will be held in secret. Ofsted said that ‘very little action’ had been taken to address the serious concerns it had encountered at five Birmingham schools placed under special measures following complaints of an Islamist takeover in the so-called Trojan Horse scandal.

Ukip gained its first elected MP when Douglas Carswell overturned a 12,068 Conservative majority by winning the seat of Clacton at a by-election with a majority of 12,404 votes. On the same day, Labour had its majority at Heywood and Middleton reduced to 617, holding the seat with 11,633 to Ukip’s 11,016. Owen Paterson, the former environment secretary, advocated the ‘tearing up’ of the Climate Change Act; wind turbines kill eagles, he said. Poor old Brooks Newmark said he would not stand again at the next election but would go into residential psychiatric care for the next few weeks after ‘battling demons — and losing to them’ by sending photographs of himself to a young mother. Sir Jocelyn Stevens, the co-founder of the Daily Star, died, aged 82. Park Honan, the biographer of Shakespeare, died, aged 86. The London Health Commission proposed a smoking ban in open spaces such as Regent’s Park and Trafalgar Square.

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