A guide to the big diary news stories of the week ahead provided by Foresight News.
The Leveson truth-juggernaut rolls on this Monday with former Labour Director of Communications Alastair Campbell hauled before Brian’s Inquiry to answer questions on the relationship between the press and politicians. Campbell, whose time as Tony Blair’s chief spinner included such highlights as that dodgy dossier, has, like Andy Coulson last week, spent time on both sides of the media-politico fence, having been poached by the party from the fondly-remembered Today newspaper.
Over in the House of Commons, meanwhile, MPs continue to tussle with the finer points of the legislative agenda set out in last week’s Queen’s Speech. Today’s pontifications centre on the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill and the Groceries Code Adjudicator Bill, key planks in the Government’s attempt to show it’s showering LOL (Lots Of Love, apparently) on those strivers and go-getters who keep the good ship UK sailing.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama receives a £1.1m annual prize on Monday in his first visit to St Paul’s Cathedral. Tenzin Gyatso, who has still not decided whether he’ll reincarnate following his death, is awarded the John Templeton Foundation’s prize for his ‘exceptional contribution to affirming the spiritual dimension of life.’
Man of the moment Francois ‘75%‘ Hollande is sworn in as French President at the Ã‰lysÃ©e Palace on Tuesday, where he takes on the unenviable tasks of both turning his country’s fortunes around and working closely with Ed Miliband. Meanwhile in Brussels, the EU Economic and Financial Affairs Council meets for the first time since the big elections in both France and Greece that many commentators saw as a rejection of EU-imposed austerity.
Wednesday sees the release of the latest unemployment statistics and the now-ritual accompanying protests. With 1,613,000 jobseekers chasing just 464,000 vacancies at the last count, don’t expect much of a turnaround. At least that Regional Growth Programme’s doing the trick.
Just under a week after off-duty officers took to the streets to voice their displeasure at 20% cuts in the police budget, Home Secretary Theresa May bravely faces the Police Federation of England and Wales’ annual conference, where she gives a keynote speech on the Wednesday. Although May is set to speak on the conference’s second day, organisers have reportedly left a space for her on the first, just in case.
Sun fan and England boss Roy Hodgson announces his 23-man squad for the Euro 2012 finals in Poland and Ukraine on Wednesday, with an online release and press conference affording armchair pundits ample opportunity to explain the many ways they’d have done things differently if only the FA had gone and offered them the top job.
The Olympic Torch embers are handed over to the UK on Thursday in a ceremony at the Panathenaic Stadium, Athens. In attendance are Britain’s Olympic glitterati Lord Coe, Sports Minister Hugh Robertson and the Princess Royal, as the flickering flame is whisked away to the UK, arriving at our shores on flight BA2012 the following day, where it will hopefully bring a similar degree of prosperity and happiness…
More G8 goings-on take place on Friday when Barack Obama hosts leaders at Camp David, the US President’s retreat. It’s the first summit since Barack’s fellow socialist won an historic victory in the French Presidential election, and will no doubt be accompanied by Tricolour-hoisting Tea-Partyers offering their steadfast support. Russia’s King Vlad sends his Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in his stead; presumably as a first shot across the bows of the ‘West’.
Doting royalists will be queuing up for a peek of the guests invited to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee luncheon at Buckingham Palace on Friday, with Bahrain’s popular King Hamad expected to be among the attendees. The gaffe-prone Duke of Edinburgh is also in attendance, alongside some of the world’s sovereign monarchs, with the expectation that the ageing consort will irrevocably offend at least one of the assembled royal wives.
Saturday sees plucky Roberto Di Matteo and his band of try-hards attempts to claim their elusive first Champions League Trophy at Munich’s Allianz Arena, coincidentally the home of their opponents Bayern Munich, in what will be Chelsea’s second Champions League final. Through suspension and injury, the West Londoners are set to be a shadow of the impossibly lucky semi-final team that prevailed against Barcelona, with captain ‘Honest’ John Terry among the notable absentees.
Fresh from hosting the G8 summit, President Obama hops over to his former stomping ground of Chicago on Sunday for a NATO summit, the first since November 2010. The summit is expected to be, on the one hand, a tetchy affair because of new French President Francois Hollande’s intention to withdraw his nation’s troops from Afghanistan early, while on the other hand Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Obama are expected to sign an agreement on the US’s Afghan role after ISAF troop withdrawal in 2014.
Events continue to mark the 30th anniversary of the Falklands conflict on Sunday with the Falklands memorial dedication at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire. The ceremony commemorates the 1982 engagement, which lasted 74 days and claimed the lives of 255 British servicemen and three Falklanders, as well as 649 Argentine military personnel.