David Cameron, who was cutting up lettuce in his kitchen, told James Landale of the BBC that he would not seek a third term as Prime Minister, even if he secured a second. Mr Cameron was heckled the next day by pensioners at an Age UK conference. He had mentioned Theresa May, George Osborne and Boris Johnson as possible successors. Mrs May, the Home Secretary, made a speech promising action against extremists, such as the use of ‘closure orders’ against premises (such as mosques) used by extremists, and a ‘positive campaign to promote British values’. Afzal Amin resigned as the Conservative candidate for the Dudley North constituency after allegations that he had negotiated with the English Defence League to take credit for stopping them holding a demonstration; he denied any wrongdoing. Ukip expelled Janice Atkinson, an MEP and candidate for a seat in the general election, after allegations about expenses claims for a party lunch. The annual rate of inflation, measured by the Consumer Prices Index, fell to zero in February; as measured by the Retail Prices Index, it fell to 1 per cent.
Remarkable scenes were played out in Leicester, where 70,000 watched as the coffin purporting to contain the bones of Richard III was drawn through the city and to the site of the battle of Bosworth before lying in state at Leicester cathedral. With the Archbishop of Canterbury in attendance, it was buried in a tomb that had been newly made as the focus of the building. Benedict Cumberbatch, soon to play Richard in a television drama, read a poem written by the Poet Laureate for the occasion. Neil Fox, the radio disc jockey, was charged with nine offences of indecent assault or sexual assault involving six people, three of them children, between 1991 and 1996. Solar power could provide 4 per cent of the nation’s electricity by 2020, the government said. Alabama rot was blamed for the death of 30 British dogs in 18 months.
Michael Fallon, the Defence Secretary, said that Britain was to ‘modernise’ the defences of the Falkland Islands at a cost of £180 million over the next ten years. The collapse of the Libyan state since the overthrow of Colonel Gaddafi in 2011 had made it a security threat to Britain, the foreign affairs committee said. Nine British medical students and doctors who had been studying in Sudan were thought to have gone to Syria to work in areas controlled by the Islamic State. Jackie Trent, who with Tony Hatch wrote the theme to Neighbours, died, aged 74.
Alexis Tsipras, the Prime Minister of Greece, met Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, in Berlin, but they did not say how Greece was to be prevented from running out of money. An aeroplane operated by Germanwings, flying from Barcelona bound for Dusseldorf, crashed in the French Alps killing all 150 aboard. In French local elections the UMP won 32 per cent of the vote, the National Front 25 per cent and the Socialists, led by President François Hollande, 22 per cent. A Dutch meat trader from Oss went on trial charged with selling 300 tons of horsemeat as beef. A bacterium new to Europe, Xylella fastidiosa, was found to have infected more than a million olive trees in Lecce, in the heel of Italy.
In Iraq the battle continued between Shia militias and the Islamic State for control of the city of Tikrit. In Yemen, Shia Houthi rebels pushed south in alliance with forces loyal to the former president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, against government forces. Uruguay, which last year took in six Arab men held for 12 years at the US base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, said it would not take any more. China said it was introducing regulations to control mass outbreaks of square dancing in public places.
Lee Kuan Yew, the founder of modern Singapore and its prime minister for 31 years, died, aged 91. Scientists in Australia said they have discovered remains of two halves of an asteroid, each more than six miles across, in a crater 250 miles wide. Utah announced that it would resume the use of firing squads to carry out the death penalty when lethal injection drugs were not available because of a national shortage. China said it had executed three men who had trained those responsible for stabbings at Kunming railway station in March last year that had left 31 people dead. A conference of chemists in Denver, Colorado, discussed ways of recovering gold from human excrement. CSH
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