Portrait of the week

Portrait of the week

14 May 2016

9:00 AM

14 May 2016

9:00 AM

Home

David Cameron, the Prime Minister, made a speech in the British Museum warning of war if Britain left the European Union: ‘And if things go wrong in Europe, let’s not pretend we can be immune from the consequences.’ George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, said that if Britain left, house prices would go down. The government changed its policy, announced during the budget, of turning all schools into academies. The government changed its policy of denying admission from Europe of unaccompanied children originating in countries such as Afghanistan and Syria. Mr Cameron was heard on television to say to the Queen at Buckingham Palace: ‘We’ve got some leaders of some fantastically corrupt countries coming to Britain. Nigeria and Afghanistan, possibly the two most corrupt countries in the world.’ The Archbishop of Canterbury replied, with reference to Nigeria, ‘But this particular president is actually not corrupt.’ The Queen was heard separately saying that some of the Chinese delegation had been ‘very rude’ to the British ambassador during President Xi Jinping’s state visit last year. On the cruise ship Balmoral, 252 of the 919 passengers fell sick with norovirus.

Sadiq Khan, the Labour candidate, was elected mayor of London, with 44.2 per cent of the first-preference votes, to 35 per cent for Zac Goldsmith, the Conservative candidate. George Galloway, the Respect candidate, got 1.4 per cent. Mr Khan was sworn in at Southwark Anglican Cathedral in a ceremony that Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, did not attend. In the Scottish parliament, the SNP was left the largest party, with 63 seats, and the Conservatives, with 31 seats, overtook Labour, with 24. Orkney saw a 31.6 per cent swing to the Liberal Democrats. Ruth Davidson, the Conservative leader, won the Edinburgh Central seat from the SNP. In England, where 2,747 council seats were contested, Labour’s share of the vote was 6 per cent less than in 2012. During weekend celebrations of Leicester City’s success, Leicester Royal Infirmary said twice as many people as usual resorted to its A&E department overnight.


Seven Ukip candidates were elected to the Welsh assembly, including Mark Reckless and Neil Hamilton. In England and Wales, turnout for the election of Police and Crime Commissioners averaged 25 per cent. Torbay voted in a referendum to abolish its mayor. St Ives in Cornwall voted in a referendum to deny planning permission for second homes. A man trapped for eight hours under tons of cheese in a warehouse in Hinstock, Shropshire, was rescued by firemen uninjured.

Abroad

In Greece, Syriza reduced pensions and increased taxes in order to secure international bailout payments; police fought demonstrators outside parliament. Thousands of migrants remained stranded at Idomeni on the Greek side of the Macedonian border. After Ahmet Davutoglu announced his resignation as prime minister of Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told the EU that he would not narrow legal definitions of terrorism in order to meet EU conditions for visa-free travel for Turkish citizens: ‘Sorry, we’ll go our way, you go yours,’ he said. Australia sent back to Sri Lanka 12 people whose vessel had come within 500 yards of Home Island in the Cocos Islands, an Australian territory in the Indian Ocean. Panama agreed to fly 3,800 Cubans hoping to reach the United States to Ciudad Juarez in northern Mexico. Mexico transferred to Ciudad Juarez the convicted drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman, wanted by US authorities.

An airstrike was reported to have killed 28 people in the Kamouna refugee camp near Sarmada in rebel-held northern Syria. A man was killed and three people wounded at Grafing station in Bavaria by a man with a knife who was reported to have cried out: ‘Allahu akbar’. Police in Bari, Italy, arrested two Afghan men they suspected of plotting jihadist attacks there and in Rome, Paris and London. Wildfire destroyed a fifth of Fort McMurray, Alberta, from which 100,000 fled without casualties. Two buses collided with a fuel tanker on the road from Kabul to Kandahar and 73 people were killed. Epidemiologists warned that an outbreak of yellow fever that has killed 277 people in Angola could spread elsewhere because of a shortage of vaccines.

North Korea held its first Workers’ Party Congress since 1980. Rodrigo ‘Digong’ Duterte, aged 71, spoke out against crime, made some dubious jokes, and was elected president of the Philippines. Saudi Arabia’s oil minister, Ali al-Naimi, was replaced after 20 years in the role. Police in eastern China raided two small factories said to have sold ten tons of fake jellyfish. CSH

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