Press Round-Up Full (Premium)
Preparations for a severe outbreak of coronavirus in Britain, including the closure of schools and restricting movement around the country, were being stepped up last night as the virus swept across Europe. Ministers are finalising contingency plans, which also include quarantining families, as Switzerland, Austria, Croatia and mainland Spain all recorded their first cases. - The Times.
The FTSE 100 yesterday suffered its largest single-day points drop since August 2015 and its biggest percentage decline since January 2016 as the spread of coronavirus outside China triggered an investor flight to safety. London’s leading index closed down 247. 09 points, or 3. 3 per cent, at 7,156. 83, while the pan-European Stoxx 600 dropped 3. 8 per cent, its biggest intraday percentage slump since Britain voted to leave the European Union. - The Times.
The sale of bags of coal and wet wood for domestic fires will be banned in England from February next year under plans to remove a huge source of air pollution. Ministers will announce today that the most polluting fuels will be phased out completely by 2023 in a victory for The Times’s Clean Air for All campaign. - The Times.
Monday newspaper round-up: Brexit trade deal, IR35, Heathrow meltdown, coronavirus, Shell, Wetherspoon
France has warned that talks between Britain and the EU over a future trade deal will turn nasty. Jean-Yves Le Drian, the French foreign minister, said that the negotiators were likely to rip each other apart, with the two sides expected to fight particularly hard over fishing rights. - The Times.
Downing Street turned on the BBC last night - vowing to scrap the television licence fee and make viewers pay a subscription. The national broadcaster could also be compelled to downsize and sell off most of its radio stations. In a plan that would change the face of British broadcasting, senior aides to the prime minister insisted that they are “not bluffing” about changing the BBC’s funding model and “pruning” its reach into people’s homes. - The Sunday Times.
Sajid Javid quit as chancellor in protest at a No 10 power grab yesterday and warned that Boris Johnson risked wrecking the Treasury’s credibility. The prime minister backed Dominic Cummings, his senior adviser, in demanding that Mr Javid sack his entire team of aides in the reshuffle. Instead the 50-year-old former leadership contender resigned and questioned the “character and integrity” of those around Mr Johnson. - The Times.
Britain could suffer a “major outbreak” of the coronavirus, which is likely to become a pandemic, according to the microbiologist who co-discovered ebola and the presence of Aids in Africa. Professor Peter Piot, director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said he was “increasingly alarmed” by the rapid spread of the virus and the “huge” number of cases emerging daily. - The Sunday Times.
Thousands of borrowers who were missold loans they couldn’t afford by the defunct payday lender Wonga will get back just 4. 3% of the compensation they are owed.
The embattled shopping centre giant that owns Lakeside in Essex and the Trafford Centre near Manchester is planning to tap the City for £1bn of emergency cash as soon as next month, in a significant test of the market’s appetite for retail property. Intu Properties, whose share price has collapsed after the slew of insolvencies among tenants such as Debenhams and Arcadia, wants to launch a huge rights issue either alongside its full-year results at the end of February, or shortly afterwards.
Car-makers face more than £12bn of fines for failing to hit tough new European rules on emissions.
HMV has warned of possible job losses as it fights to keep open stores across the country in the face of high rents and business rates.
In her ‘Inside the City’ column for the Sunday Times, Sabah Meddings described FTSE 100 pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca as “riding high” for the last year, as a series of its drugs won approval from medicine regulators around the world.
Sunday newspaper round-up: Honours list address leak, Labour leadership, Boris broadband, Amazon, Deliveroo, BP
The Cabinet Office was accused of endangering lives last night after it accidentally published the home addresses of more than 1,000 politicians, military officials, celebrities and MI5 officers who received new year honours. The security breach was described as “a complete disaster” by a former leader of the Conservative Party. The failure was condemned by the former head of the civil service, Lord Kerslake, as a “very serious breach of personal security”.
Friday newspaper round-up: Treasury spending rules, US-China trade war, Boxing Day sales, Balfour Beatty, Emirates
The Treasury is planning to rip up decades-old public spending rules in an effort to boost economic wellbeing in the north and the Midlands. Under proposals being drawn up before the spring budget, ministers will reassess how officials calculate the value for money of government investments in transport infrastructure, business development and initiatives such as free ports. - The Times.
When Florence Widdicombe opened a box of Tesco charity Christmas cards to send them to her friends, the six-year-old schoolgirl from Tooting, south London, was startled to find that one of them had already been used. The card, featuring a kitten in a Santa hat, contained a despairing message from a Chinese gulag. “We are foreign prisoners in Shanghai Qingpu prison China,” the message read in capital letters. “Forced to work against our will. Please help us and notify human rights organisation.
Sunday newspaper round-up: Election, Tory Cabinet, Labour crisis, Ted Baker, M&C Saatchi, British Steel
Boris Johnson has drawn up plans to run a “revolutionary” government that will see ministers sacked, Whitehall departments abolished and civil servants replaced by external experts in a bid to “reshape” the economy. Up to a third of the cabinet face the sack in a February reshuffle after Brexit so that fresh faces can be brought in to create a “transformative” government focused on the needs of working-class voters who propelled him to a landslide victory last week.
Boris Johnson launched a final offensive on Brexit and immigration last night as polls suggested he should secure a comfortable working majority on Thursday. The prime minister used an interview with The Sunday Times to set out his immigration plans, which will prevent low-skilled migrants from settling permanently in the UK. - The Sunday Times.
Mark Carney has been appointed as UN special envoy for climate action and finance as he prepares to step down as governor of the Bank of England in January.
Boris Johnson today pledges in the Tory manifesto that his government will not raise the rates of income tax, national insurance or VAT, setting up a dramatic economic showdown with Labour over tax and spending.
Labour’s policies including a pledge to nationalise the bulk of Britain’s broadband network threaten to “crack the foundations of our economy”, according to the head of the Confederation of British Industry. Dame Carloyn Fairburn said the plan to nationalise BT had left industries wondering if they would be the next to be targeted. Asked by Sky if Jeremy Corbyn was a “friend to business” she said that the CBI “really understand the questions that Labour are asking.