This drawing is a preparatory sketch made during sittings for the oil portrait of Abbott commissioned by the Houses of Parliament, now in Portcullis House. Unlike the oil painting, which is a head only, the composition of this drawing extends onto a second piece of paper to become a half-length view of Abbott seated. The artist felt strongly that he wished to include the sitter's hands in this version, as he believed they said as much about Abbott as her face.
The Loans for Peerages affair erupts after four businessmen who gave unpublished loans to the Labour Party are nominated for peerages. The scandal revealed a legal loophole: while political parties must declare all large donations, they were not required to declare loans. This led the Police to investigate whether the parties had broken the 1925 Honours (Prevention of Abuses) Act, and to Lord Levy and Tony Blair.
Art and science
A year of blockbuster exhibitions including Modernism at the Victoria and Albert Museum, a Surrealism exhibition at the Haywood Gallery, Michaelangelo Drawings at the British Museum, Valezqueth at the National Gallery, Rodin at the Royal Academy, Holbein at Tate Britain, and David Hockney Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery.
Following the kidnapping of two Israeli Soldiers by Lebanese Hezbollah militants, Israel launches a heavy artillery attack and ground invasion on Lebanon. In response Hezbollah launched rockets into northern Israel and engaged the Israeli Defence Forces in guerrilla warfare. The conflict ended after claiming over 1500 lives - mostly Lebanese civilians - with a UN resolution calling for Hezbollah's disarmament and Israel's withdrawal of troops from Lebanon.