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British nurses to stage first strikes on Dec. 15, 20
  + stars: | 2022-11-25 | by ( )   time to read: +2 min
Jacob King/Pool via REUTERS/File PhotoLONDON, Nov 25 (Reuters) - Thousands of British nurses will go on strike on Dec. 15 and 20 for more pay, their union said on Friday, adding to a winter of industrial action and putting further pressure on the state-run health system. The strikes are the first of possibly several walkouts by National Health Service (NHS) nurses, which come after the government refused to meet demands for pay rises of 5% above inflation. He said the NHS had plans in place to minimise any disruption from the strikes and ensure continuity for emergency services. "Why on Earth is the Health Secretary refusing to negotiate with nurses?" "Patients already can’t get treated on time, strike action is the last thing they need, yet the Government is letting this happen."
REUTERS/Toby MelvilleLONDON, Nov 24 (Reuters) - Net migration to the United Kingdom rose to a record high of around 504,000 in the year to June 2022, official statistics showed on Thursday, driven by an increase in the number of non-European Union nationals. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said a recovery of travel following COVID-19, and an increase in arrivals of international students who had been studying remotely during the pandemic had contributed to the rise. At the time then Prime Minister David Cameron had failed for several years to hit a net migration target of less than 100,000 a year. The previous record high for net migration was just over 330,000 in 2015. August saw the highest number of small boat arrivals of any month since data has been collected, it said.
LONDON, Nov 24 (Reuters) - Britain on Thursday instructed government departments to stop installing security cameras made by companies subject to Chinese security laws, disconnect such devices from core computer networks and to consider removing them altogether. "The review has concluded that, in light of the threat to the UK and the increasing capability and connectivity of these systems, additional controls are required," Dowden said. "Departments have therefore been instructed to cease deployment of such equipment onto sensitive sites, where it is produced by companies subject to the National Intelligence Law of the People’s Republic of China. "Since security considerations are always paramount around these sites, we are taking action now to prevent any security risks materialising." Reporting by Sachin Ravikumar, writing by William James; Editing by Kate HoltonOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Sunak told business leaders at a Confederation of British Industry (CBI) conference he was "unequivocal" that Britain should pursue its own agenda on regulation and migration. "On trade, let me be unequivocal about this: under my leadership, the United Kingdom will not pursue any relationship with Europe that relies on alignment with EU laws," Sunak said. [1/3] British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak speaks during the Confederation of Biritish Industry (CBI) conference in Birmingham, Britain November 21, 2022. And having the regulatory freedom to do that is an important opportunity of Brexit," Sunak said. "Let's have economic migration in areas where we aren't going to get the people and skills at home anytime soon.
LONDON, Nov 18 (Reuters) - Laid off tech industry workers in Britain could find a new home at Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), as the 100-year-old luxury carmaker looks to hire hundreds of engineers to help develop electric car technology. The carmaker, which wants to become an "electric-first" business from 2025, on Friday announced a jobs portal for displaced tech workers to fill 800 roles spanning self-driving, electrification, machine learning and data science. The hiring drive comes after thousands of layoffs in recent weeks at U.S. tech firms including Twitter, Meta (META.O) and Amazon, some of which have offices in London and Dublin, Ireland. JLR last year announced an electrification strategy under which all Jaguar cars would be fully electric by 2024 and an electric option would be offered across its entire portfolio including Land Rover. Reporting by Sachin Ravikumar Editing by Mark PotterOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Actor Kevin Spacey faces more sexual assault charges in Britain
  + stars: | 2022-11-16 | by ( )   time to read: +1 min
LONDON, Nov 16 (Reuters) - Britain's Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has authorised seven additional charges against Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey for a number of sexual assaults against one man between 2001 and 2004, it said on Wednesday. The new CPS charges include one of causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent and others of indecent and sexual assault. Spacey, 63, was previously accused of five offences in Britain - four counts of sexual assault by touching, and a more serious charge of causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent. 71st Tony Awards – Arrivals – New York City, U.S., 11/06/2017 - Actor Kevin Spacey. Spacey's defence lawyer in Britain, Patrick Gibbs, did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment on the latest charges.
LONDON, Nov 16 (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to stress the importance of a full investigation into a missile strike on Poland, Sunak's office said on Wednesday. "The prime minister and Prime Minister Trudeau emphasised the importance of a full investigation into the circumstances behind missiles falling in Poland yesterday," Sunak's office said, after the two leaders spoke to Zelenskiy from the G20 summit in Indonesia. "They stressed that, whatever the outcome of that investigation, Putin's invasion of Ukraine is squarely to blame for the ongoing violence." Reporting by Farouq Suleiman and Sachin Ravikumar, editing by Elizabeth PiperOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
UK house prices rise 9.5% y/y in September
  + stars: | 2022-11-16 | by ( )   time to read: 1 min
Nov 16 (Reuters) - British house prices increased by 9.5% year-on-year in September, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said on Wednesday. The increase was lower than the 13.1% jump in August as house prices rose sharply last September, coinciding with changes to the stamp duty land tax, the ONS said. Reporting by Sachin Ravikumar Editing by William SchombergOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Brexit is weighing on UK economy, Bank of England officials say
  + stars: | 2022-11-16 | by ( )   time to read: +1 min
LONDON, Nov 16 (Reuters) - The effects of Brexit are weighing on Britain's economy, more than six years after voters decided to leave the European Union, Bank of England officials said on Wednesday. "It's undeniable now that we're seeing a much, much bigger slowdown in trade in the UK compared to the rest of the world," Swati Dhingra said in response to a question about Brexit from a lawmaker on parliament's Treasury Committee. "There's also the services exports side ... there again, we're seeing a really strong stagnation. We're definitely performing below trend in terms of the exports numbers, in terms of the imports, even probably a bit bigger than that." Reporting by David Milliken and Sachin Ravikumar; writing by William Schomberg; editing by Andy BruceOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
In a statement on Thursday, the BoE said it would be open to offers from investors to buy the bonds from Nov. 29 onwards. Unlike the BoE's separate programme of auctions to unwind some of its more than 830 billion pounds of quantitative easing bond purchases, these sales will not take place at a fixed pace. "As a general principle only bids that are deemed attractive relative to prevailing market levels will be accepted," the BoE said. It called the plan "a demand-led approach to unwind recent financial stability gilt purchases in a timely but orderly way". New finance minister Jeremy Hunt is expected to announce around 50 billion pounds of fiscal tightening in a budget statement on Nov. 17.
Vodafone sells slice of Vantage Towers to KKR, other investors
  + stars: | 2022-11-09 | by ( )   time to read: +1 min
[1/2] Trading information for KKR & Co is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., August 23, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermidLONDON, Nov 9 (Reuters) - Vodafone (VOD.L) said it would sell a portion of its majority stake in wireless towers unit Vantage (VTWRn.DE) to private equity firms GIP and KKR (KKR.N), and use the minimum proceeds of 3.2 billion euros to pay down its debt. The British telecoms group said its would create a new joint venture with the investors, which would result in the deconsolidation of its 81.7% stake. The joint venture would also buy out the minority shareholders in Frankfurt-listed Vantage, it said on Wednesday. Shares in Vantage jumped 7.8%, while Vodafone was broadly flat.
LONDON, Nov 9 (Reuters) - British fashion retailer Next (NXT.L) will buy the brand of collapsed online furniture seller (MADE.L), which entered administration last week after running out of cash. Made, which had a nearly 18-month run as a public company, last week became one of the most high profile British retailers to fail, hurt by supply chain issues and as consumers cut back on discretionary spending. It said on Wednesday that while Next would buy's brand, domain names and intellectual property, the company's administrators PwC would take control of its remaining assets including payments made to creditors. Made said in September it was cutting jobs and considering a sale, with some reports saying as much as 35% of the workforce was likely being let go. Reporting by Sachin Ravikumar; Editing by Kate HoltonOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
LONDON, Nov 9 (Reuters) - Tens of thousands of British nurses will go on strike for the first time over demands for better pay, their trade union said on Wednesday, adding to pressure on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak during an economic crisis. "Anger has become action – our members are saying enough is enough," RCN General Secretary Pat Cullen said in a statement. "This action will be as much for patients as it is for nurses. NHS nurses have seen their salaries cut by up to 20% in real terms over the last ten years, the RCN has said. Sunak's spokesperson told reporters earlier on Wednesday the government wanted to strike a balance between the "crucial role" played by nurses and its fiscal challenges.
Aveva signals revenue growth in the second half
  + stars: | 2022-11-08 | by ( )   time to read: 1 min
LONDON, Nov 8 (Reuters) - Aveva (AVV.L), the British software company targeted by its top shareholder Schneider Electric (SCHN.PA), said on Tuesday it expected revenue to grow in the second half, while increases in its cost base that squeezed first-half profit would abate. The company reported a 2.5% drop in revenue on an organic constant-currency basis to 553.8 million pounds ($635.3 million)for the six months to end-September. Higher costs, particularly in research and development and sales, resulted in adjusted operating profit falling 42% to 72.9 million pounds, it said. ($1 = 0.8718 pounds)Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Sachin RavikumarOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
LONDON, Nov 4 (Reuters) - Britain's Prince William on Friday unveiled the finalists for his Earthshot prize, which awards 1 million pounds ($1.12 million) each to five winners developing solutions to major environmental problems. The 15 finalists across five categories range from a Kenyan startup that makes cleaner-burning stoves to a city-wide recycling initiative in Amsterdam. The prize received more than 1,000 nominations. Other prize finalists include an Omani initiative to remove carbon dioxide by turning it into rock, an Indian business making a sustainable alternative to leather from used flowers, and a Chinese team trying to turn barren desert into fertile soil. ($1 = 0.8940 pounds)Reporting by Sachin Ravikumar; Editing by Sandra MalerOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
LONDON, Nov 3 (Reuters) - British finance minister Jeremy Hunt said the Bank of England's interest rate hike on Thursday would be "very tough" for families with mortgages and businesses with loans. "Today's news is going to be very tough for families with mortgages up and down the country, for businesses with loans but there is a global economic crisis," Hunt told reporters. "The best thing the government can do, if we want to bring down these rises in interest rates, is to show that we're bringing down our debt. Families up and down the country have to balance their accounts at home, and we must do the same as the government." Reporting by Muvija M; writing by Sachin Ravikumar; editing by William JamesOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
[1/7] Members of the military and UK Border Force extinguish a fire from a petrol bomb, targeting the Border Force centre in Dover, Britain, October 30, 2022. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/File PhotoLONDON, Nov 1 (Reuters) - Britain's counter-terrorism police are now leading the investigation into an incident in which petrol bombs were thrown at an immigration centre in the southern English port of Dover, police said on Tuesday. The attack came as British policy towards migrants and asylum seekers remains a heated political issue. Sunak's interior minister Suella Braverman is facing heavy criticism for describing the arrival of asylum seekers as an invasion. Reporting by William Schomberg and Sachin Ravikumar; Editing by Kate Holton and Michael HoldenOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
SummarySummary Companies Russia says UK navy personnel blew up pipelinesRussia says UK navy personnel helped attack CrimeaRussia does not give evidence for claimBritain denies Russian claimsLONDON, Oct 29 (Reuters) - Russia's defence ministry said on Saturday that British navy personnel blew up the Nord Stream gas pipelines last month, a claim that London said was false and designed to distract from Russian military failures in Ukraine. "To detract from their disastrous handling of the illegal invasion of Ukraine, the Russian Ministry of Defence is resorting to peddling false claims of an epic scale," it said. Russia has previously blamed the West for the explosions that ruptured the Russian-built Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines on the bed of the Baltic Sea. PIPELINE MYSTERYSweden and Denmark have both concluded that four leaks on Nord Stream 1 and 2 were caused by explosions, but have not said who might be responsible. The Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines have a joint annual capacity of 110 billion cubic metres - more than half of Russia's normal gas exports volumes.
Octopus Energy to buy failed British energy supplier Bulb
  + stars: | 2022-10-29 | by ( )   time to read: +1 min
LONDON, Oct 29 (Reuters) - Britain said on Saturday it had approved a deal for Octopus Energy to buy smaller firm Bulb, which was one of the largest energy suppliers to collapse last year due to soaring wholesale gas and electricity prices. About 1.5 million Bulb customers will be transferred to Octopus as part of a deal reached late on Friday with the special administrators of London-based Bulb, the British government's business department said in a statement. Bulb collapsed last November after failing to secure funding as regulator Ofgem's energy price cap prevented it and other suppliers from passing on rising costs to customers. It was placed under the government-funded Special Administrator Regime to ensure customers' supplies would face no disruption and their credit balances would be protected. The government will also provide funding to ensure Bulb's special administration is wound up in a way that protects customers' supplies, it said.
LONDON, Oct 29 (Reuters) - Former British Prime Minister Liz Truss's personal phone was hacked by suspected agents working for Russian President Vladimir Putin when she was foreign minister, the Daily Mail reported on Saturday. That includes regular security briefings for Ministers, and advice on protecting their personal data and mitigating cyber threats," the spokesperson added. The hack was discovered during the Conservative Party leadership campaign that led to Truss becoming prime minister, the Mail reported. Truss left office last week as prime minister and was succeeded by Rishi Sunak. The Mail said the messages that fell into foreign hands included criticisms of Johnson made by Truss and Kwarteng, "leading to a potential risk of blackmail".
Sunak became prime minister on Monday, and has delayed an autumn fiscal statement to Nov. 17 as he looks to tackle a cost-of-living crisis and restore international economic credibility damaged in the short tenure of his predecessor Liz Truss. Truss had been expected to attend, but on Thursday Sunak's Downing Street office said the new prime minister was not planning to go to the summit. "The Prime Minister is not expected to attend the summit in Egypt due to other pressing domestic commitments, including preparations for the autumn statement," a Downing Street spokesperson said. The spokesperson said that Britain remained "absolutely committed to supporting COP27 and leading international action to tackle climate change and protect nature," having hosted the COP26 summit in Glasgow last year. The opposition Labour Party criticised Sunak's decision to skip the summit, with its climate change policy spokesperson calling it a "big mistake."
LONDON, Oct 27 (Reuters) - Britain's new prime minister Rishi Sunak on Thursday described himself as a "visual representation" of historic links between Britain and India, during a call with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, Sunak's office said. Sunak, Britain's first leader of Indian descent, also conveyed his hope to Modi that the two nations could continue to make further progress towards a trade deal. "The Prime Minister hoped the UK and India could continue to make good progress in negotiations to finalise a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement," Sunak's office added. read moreMeanwhile, Britain missed its stated deadline of Diwali this year to finalise a free trade agreement with India, a pact that aims to double bilateral trade to $100 billion by 2030. Reporting by Sachin Ravikumar; editing by William JamesOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Shares in WPP, which have fallen 20% in the last 12 months, were down 3.8% early on Wednesday. Analysts at Citi said they reduced their earnings per share forecast by around 5% following the margin guidance change. Read said Brazil and India were stand-outs in the quarter, although COVID-19 lockdowns weighed on China, which was down 9%. Western Europe was "softer", he said, with adjusted like-for-like revenue down 2.1%, dragged lower by a COVID-19 contract in Germany in the prior year. ($1 = 0.8651 pounds)Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Sachin Ravikumar and Jan HarveyOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
LONDON, Oct 26 (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will gather his newly appointed cabinet for the first time on Wednesday, a day after taking power with a promise to fix the mistakes of his predecessor and stabilise the economy. "(Sunak), of course, will want to take some time to work on the detail on that," Cleverly said. As Britain's third prime minister this year, Sunak faces a daunting list of problems beyond the economic crisis, including how to unite and rebuild a fractured party whose reputation has been shredded by months of scandals and rows. "The hard work begins now and together, the prime minister's new cabinet will deliver for the British people," a source in his Number 10 Downing Street office said in a statement. ($1 = 0.8718 pounds)Reporting by William James; Editing by Robert BirselOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
New UK PM Sunak commits to fracking ban - spokesman
  + stars: | 2022-10-26 | by ( )   time to read: +1 min
During her short term as prime minister, Truss had lifted a moratorium on fracking, arguing last month that strengthening the country's energy supply was a priority. In parliament, Sunak was asked about fracking, and said he stood by a 2019 manifesto commitment on the issue. The Conservatives' 2019 policy prospectus said they would "not support fracking unless the science shows categorically that it can be done safely." Asked by a reporter if Sunak's comment meant that fracking was "back in the bin", Sunak's spokesman said "That's correct." "You've got the position set out in the manifesto, which the prime minister pointed to," the spokesman told reporters.
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