Portrait of the week

Portrait of the Week: Labour’s anti-Semitism crisis, Leicester City’s triumph, Gerry Adams Twitter storm

And: Donald Trump on verge of nomination, Spain to hold new elections, EU Commission backs Schengen entry for Turks

7 May 2016

9:00 AM

7 May 2016

9:00 AM


Naz Shah MP was suspended from the Labour Party after the blogger Guido Fawkes revealed that in 2014, nine months before she beat George Galloway to win the seat of Bradford West, she had posted on Facebook a proposal to ‘relocate Israel into the United States’, adding the comment: ‘Problem solved and save you bank charges for the £3bn you transfer yearly.’ Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, said: ‘It’s not a crisis. There’s no crisis.’ Ken Livingstone, the former mayor of London, said on the wireless: ‘When Hitler won his election in 1932, his policy then was that Jews should be moved to Israel. He was supporting Zionism — this before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews.’ Mr Livingstone was confronted by John Mann, a Labour MP, at 4 Millbank in Westminster, where there are broadcasting studios, and a television crew caught him shouting at Mr Livingstone, calling him a ‘Nazi apologist’ and a ‘fucking disgrace’. Mr Mann was summoned to see the chief whip; Mr Livingstone was suspended from the party. Gerry Adams, the Sinn Fein politician, faced unprecedented criticism for tweeting: ‘Watching Django Unchained —A Ballymurphy Nigger!’

Leicester City won the football Premier League after starting the season as 5,000-1 outsiders. Britain was found to have generated 25 per cent of its electricity last year from solar, wind and other renewable sources. Legal & General found that parents were contributing to 25 per cent of mortgages this year, by an average amount of £17,500. Dawn Copley, who took up the interim role of chief constable of South Yorkshire Police when David Crompton was suspended following the Hillsborough inquests, herself stepped down and Dave Jones, chief constable of North Yorkshire Police, took over. Two loud bangs in Yorkshire turned out not to be explosions but the sonic booms of fighter jets scrambling to investigate an Air France airliner that had not responded to radio calls.

In a survey of party members by Conservative Home, Michael Gove surged ahead, with 31 per cent preferring him as next leader, 16 per cent backing either Theresa May or Liam Fox and 14 per cent Boris Johnson. Liberty House submitted a letter of intent to buy Tata Steel’s assets in Britain, including its Port Talbot works. Sir Philip Green was invited to give evidence about the failure of British Home Stores, which he used to own, to the Commons business select committee. The Bodleian Library, Oxford, bought a map of Middle-Earth annotated by J.R.R. Tolkien that had been on sale for £60,000.


The European Commission hatched a scheme to fine countries €250,000 for every migrant allocated to them but not taken in. The commission also decided to support visa-free travel for Turks to the passport-free Schengen area. A Turkish watch merchant lost valuables from his hand luggage worth £175,000 on a flight to Hong Kong. An Italian court found that a man from Ukraine who stole two pieces of cheese and a packet of frankfurters worth €4 was not guilty of theft because he acted out of necessity. Finland offered a grass-cutting service by postmen at £51 for half an hour.

Hundreds of people were killed in more than a week of fighting in Aleppo, 55 dying in an airstrike on a hospital, including one of Syria’s last remaining paediatricians. A Russian jet fighter confronted a US Air Force reconnaissance plane over the Baltic. In Alberta, 80,000 were evacuated as wildfires approached Fort McMurray. In India’s Himalayan state of Uttarakhand, 427 forest fires raged at once. Donald Trump was within grasp of the Republican nomination as presidential candidate after Ted Cruz withdrew from the race. Spain is to hold elections on 26 June, since no government had been formed since the previous elections in December. André Vallini, the French minister for development and French-speaking nations, complained that the anthem for the Euro 2016 championship, which France is hosting, is the English-language song ‘I Was Made for Lovin’ You’.

Venezuela put its clocks forward by half an hour to save electricity in its power crisis. Saudi Binladin Group, the Saudi-owned construction company, laid off about 77,000 foreign workers, issuing them with final exit visas. A six-month-old girl was rescued uninjured after four days in the ruins of a building that collapsed in Nairobi, killing 23. Craig Steven Wright, an Australian aged 45, said it was he who had invented the bitcoin. The Australian government prepared to kill millions of European carp in the Murray-Darling basin by releasing carp herpes viruses. CSH

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