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August 4 - 10 2010
μWorld News PAGES 14-17
μComment PAGES 18-21
μObituaries PAGES 22-23
μ Features PAGES 24-26
μExpat Life PAGES 30-32
μBusiness PAGES 33-37
Batting for Britain? PM accuses Pakistan of ‘promoting the export of terrorism’
The dragon shops What China’s new rich are buying on their British spending spree
EXPAT LIFE P32
Return to Baghdad The Chalabi family at home after half a century in exile
Expat country profile Financial tips and advice for Brits planning a move to the UAE
11 1 33 37 42 43 10 24 30 33 40 45
Bonus Ball 19
Bonus Ball 16
There were no winners of either Wednesday’s £2.6m prize or Saturday’s £7.7m jackpot
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By Andrew Porter Political Editor DAVID CAMERON was resigned to carrying on as leader of the Opposition just 24 hours before he walked into Downing Street as Prime Minister, a documentary disclosed last week.
Mr Cameron told his wife, Samantha, that he was “depressed” he had not led the Conservatives to victory.
In the tumultuous period between the election result and the Coalition being formed, Mr Cameron said he went from thinking he would be Prime Minister on the Sunday to “definitely” ruling it out by the Monday night.
In a BBC documentary broadcast last Thursday, a series of other disclosures cast light on the negotiations that led to the ConservativeLiberal Democrat Coalition eventually being formed.
It discloses how: Š The most senior civil servant urged Nick Clegg and Mr Cameron to hurry up and form a government because he feared a catastrophic reaction from the markets; Š Mr Cameron warned the Queen he might have to come back to Buckingham Palace to tell her precisely what form the Government would take; Š Mr Clegg decided weeks before the election that spending cuts were needed immediately, despite telling voters it would jeopardise economic recovery; Š Labour did not formally offer the Lib Dems a deal on the Alternative Vote system, a
‘I’m not against coalitions, I just wish they’d spare us all the graphic details’
disclosure that forced Mr Cameron to deny he misled his MPs by insisting on a deal of his own.
The show discloses that all the assumptions made about Mr Cameron becoming Prime Minister were put aside when Gordon Brown made a late pitch for Lib Dem support on the Monday after the election.
It appeared that days of intense talks between teams for Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg would come to nothing as the Lib Dem leadership weighed Mr Brown’s offer for a “rainbow coalition”.
Mr Cameron recalled: “On Sunday I was thinking I probably will be prime minister. I was thinking by the end of Monday I definitely won’t be prime minister.
“I remember going home, I think on Monday evening, and I think Sam and I had supper in the kitchen and I
remember saying, ‘You know it’s not going to happen, I’m going to be leader of the Opposition’ and I remember saying, ‘I want to go on being leader of the Opposition’.”
He added: “I’m depressed that it hasn’t worked out, but we have got a strong party, had a strong election. We did very well, we made the right offer to the Lib Dems, we behaved in the right way.”
But when the Lib Dems found Labour’s terms unacceptable, Mr Cameron was on his way to No10. Mr Brown’s abrupt departure after days of remaining in Downing Street caught Mr Cameron on the hop, the programme, Five Days That Changed Britain, discloses.
He told Nick Robinson, the BBC’s political editor, that he called his wife to tell her “to get your frock on” as they would be going to the Palace.
But meeting the Queen was not straightforward because Mr Cameron couldn’t be sure about what sort of government he would form.
On the issue of the Lib Dem insistence on a referendum on voting reform, Mr Cameron said he was “absolutely certain” it had been offered by Labour. But Mr Clegg disclosed that such an offer was not “formally” made by Labour.
Mr Clegg also said he had “changed his mind” on the timing of cuts before the election because of the “financial earthquake” that occurred in Europe.
Benedict Brogan, page 19
By John Bingham PASSENGERS could still be in danger on Britain’s railways, eight years after the deaths of seven people in the Potters Bar rail crash, a coroner warned last week.
A jury at the long-awaited inquest into the 2002 disaster found that a set of unsafe points on the track outside the station in Hertfordshire caused the derailment.
Police and the Crown Prosecution Service said they were re-opening investigations into whether criminal charges could now be brought.
The tragedy led to a shakeup of safety in the railways and ended the practice of contracting out the task of inspecting track.
But Judge Michael Findlay Baker, QC, who oversaw the two-month hearing in Letchworth, Hertfordshire, said there was a continued “risk of other deaths” on the railways unless changes were made. He said he would draw up a report on areas where he believed action must be taken. He also apologised to the families of those killed for the “indefensible” eight-year wait for a public hearing into the tragedy. More than 70 passengers were injured when the 12.45pm London King’s Cross to King’s Lynn service came off the rails at Potters Bar station on May 10 2002. Six passengers, and a passer-by were killed.
After hearing two months of evidence, the inquest jury concluded unanimously that poor inspection and maintenance procedures were responsible.
By Alex Spillius THE Gulf of Mexico oil slick is disappearing far more quickly than expected, leaving clean-up workers struggling to find oil to remove.
Three weeks after BP finally plugged a hole that had leaked 200million gallons of crude, officials said the oil was dispersing and evaporating. Adml Thad Allen, the national incident commander, said: “It’s becoming a very elusive bunch of oil for us to find.”
By some estimates, up to 40 per cent of the oil may have evaporated as soon as it reached the surface.
Experts said that warm surface water and weeks of sunlight – along with strong winds and waves during storms – had broken up the crude. The Gulf’s waters also contain bacteria that degrade oil that seeps naturally from the ocean floor.
Fishermen, who are being paid to help with the cleanup, fear they will soon be out of pocket because there will be no more work for them but they will be unable to return to their trade.
Since the April 20 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig, the effort by the US government and BP, which involved 4,000 boats and an army of workers skimming, scooping and burning the oil, has also played a significant part in shrinking the slick.
Early on in the crisis, fishing was suspended in about a third of the Gulf, while there was extensive damage to wildlife.
The tourism industry was hit as holidaymakers stayed away, with a fifth of the 253 beaches in four affected states subject to closure or health warnings.
Officials remain wary about the effects of the 100-day leak, partly because the damage to the ecosystem below the surface is not yet fully understood.
“Less oil on the surface does not mean that there isn’t oil beneath the surface, or that our beaches and marshes are not still at risk,” said Jane Lubchenco, of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Louisiana politicians are concerned that, even when shrimp, oysters and fish have been declared safe, the industry could suffer from negative publicity.
At its peak, the leak tested relations between Washington and London as President Barack Obama made hostile remarks seen as detrimental to BP’s share price. He then persuaded the company to set up a $20 billion account to deal with claims from the public.
A US Senate panel has postponed a hearing due to be held on Monday on BP’s alleged role in the Lockerbie bomber’s release after British and Scottish officials, including Jack Straw, the former foreign secretary, and Alex Salmond, the First
Minister of Scotland, refused to appear. Tony Hayward, BP’s chief executive, who will step down in October, also declined to accept the invitation from the Senate foreign relations committee. ÞBP will this week step up its fight against an “unconstitutional” proposal to ban it from new US offshore drilling, which the British Embassy has warned could be seen as protectionism.
US law-makers have been working for more than a month on new legislation to stop any company from winning offshore oil licences if it has contributed to the deaths of more than 10 workers in the past seven years.
The proposal cleared another hurdle by passing through the House of Representatives late last Friday night, but it still has some way to go before becoming law.
BP shares investigation, page 33