Kieran O’Regan, Thierry Bolloré and Gavin WhiteKieran O’Regan, Thierry Bolloré and Gavin White

News Round-Up

Nov 29: Barclays axing 900 jobs; Bolloré joins battery firm; Brand inquiry results ‘weeks’ away

  • Here are the headlines for Wednesday, November 29

Time 6:43 am, November 29, 2023

Barclays to axe 900 staff in ‘disgraceful’ pre-Christmas move, says Unite

Banking giant Barclays is cutting 900 jobs in its UK business as it looks to slash costs in a ‘disgraceful’ move ahead of Christmas, trade union Unite has said.

Unite said the jobs would go across a number of back-office divisions, including compliance, finance, legal, policy, IT and risk.

Affected staff were told at lunchtime yesterday, according to the union. Barclays didn’t confirm numbers, but said it was cutting its workforce ‘as management layers are reduced and the group improves its technology and automation capabilities’.

Ex-JLR boss becomes director for UK-based battery technology firm

Ex-JLR boss and former Groupe Renault CEO Thierry Bolloré has been named as a director of UK-based battery technology development firm About:Energy.

Bolloré, pictured at top flanked by About:Energy founders Kieran O’Regan, left, and Gavin White, stepped down from his role at JLR at the end of 2022 and will now become responsible ‘for shaping About:Energy’s automotive and partnership strategy as the company continues to grow’.

He said: ‘Our industry is entering a crucial phase of its transition to electrification, with battery modelling and development playing an increasingly important role in every OEM’s future product development strategy.’

Channel 4 boss says results of probe on Russell Brand ‘weeks’ away

Channel 4 boss Alex Mahon has said its internal investigation into the allegations raised against its former presenter Russell Brand is ‘weeks’ away from being completed.

In September, the 48-year-old comedian was accused of rape, assault and emotional abuse following a joint investigation by The Sunday Times, The Times and Channel 4 Dispatches.

Brand has strongly denied the allegations that span between 2006 and 2013, when he was at the height of his fame while working for Channel 4 on Big Brother spin-off shows EFourum and Big Brother’s Big Mouth as well as on BBC programmes and starring in Hollywood films.

Unions reveal plan to safeguard Port Talbot steel plant and protect jobs

Unions have revealed details of a plan aimed at safeguarding the future of the UK’s biggest steel plant without the loss of thousands of jobs.

Community and the GMB said their proposal would secure a just transition for the workforce at Port Talbot and across owner Tata Steel UK, as well as deliver on the country’s climate responsibilities.

The unions have condemned plans to produce ‘green’ steel at the site with the potential loss of thousands of jobs, saying they are ‘seriously concerned’ about the proposal to build a single electric arc furnace.

Scottish company wins EU backing for ‘world’s biggest tidal farm’

A tidal farm off the coast of Orkney is set to be home to what a company claims is the largest number of turbines anywhere in the world.

Scottish firm Nova has won €20m (circa £17.3m) of EU funding for a four megawatt tidal energy farm that will be called Seastar.

The project will kick-start the manufacture of turbines at the company’s headquarters in Edinburgh.

Campaigners petition government to scrap VAT on sunscreen

Campaigners have stepped up their pressure on the government to remove VAT from sunscreen with a petition handed to Downing Street, arguing many people struggle to afford the ‘essential’ product.

The petition – signed by 62 MPs, 143 skin cancer patients, 85 healthcare professionals and 163 supporters – was delivered to Number 10 yesterday, calling for the scrapping of VAT on factor 30+ sunscreen to make it more affordable and reduce cases of skin cancer.

Melanoma is the UK’s fifth most common cancer, but 86% of these skin cancers could be prevented, according to Cancer Research UK.

Indian rescuers pull out all 41 workers trapped in tunnel for 17 days

All 41 construction workers who were trapped in a collapsed mountain tunnel in northern India for more than two weeks were pulled out yesterday, bringing a happy conclusion to a fraught rescue mission.

Locals, relatives and government officials erupted in joy, set off firecrackers and shouted ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ – Hindi for ‘Long live Mother India’ – as smiling workers began emerging from the tunnel entrance after 17 days.

Freed Hamas hostage Emily Hand refuses to speak above whisper after ordeal

The father of a young Irish-Israeli girl released by Hamas has said his daughter only speaks in whispers after she was ordered to remain silent during her horrifying ordeal.

Tom Hand, 63, was reunited with nine-year-old daughter Emily after 50 days in captivity in Gaza.

She was abducted while at a sleepover in Kibbutz Be’eri during the Hamas attack on October 7, along with her friend Hila Rotem Shoshani, 13, who has also been released. Hila’s mother Raya is still in captivity, violating Hamas’s promise not to divide children and parents.

Uber to offer black cab journeys in London

People in London will be able to order black cabs through Uber from early next year, the app company has announced.

A spokesman for the US-based business said a ‘small number’ of taxi drivers have already signed up to the service and it hopes to recruit ‘several hundred’ by January.

But Steve McNamara, general secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association, which represents taxi drivers, claimed there is no demand from passengers for a partnership, and accused Uber of attempting to use black cabs to ‘reinvigorate their ailing business model’.

Yesterday’s headlines on Car Dealer you might have missed

Market movements

The FTSE 100 closed 5.46 points down yesterday to end the day on 7,455.24. The Cac 40 was down 15.36 points at 7,250.13, the Dax was up 26.30 points at 15,992.67 and the Dow Jones was up 83.51 points at 35,416.98.

Weather outlook

Today will be mainly dry, chilly and bright, according to BBC Weather. However, variable cloud and showers will linger along south-western and North Sea coasts. It’ll be cloudier in northern and eastern Scotland with wintry showers.

As far as Thursday is concerned, the far south will stay cloudy with patchy rain in the west, possibly wintry on the hills. It’ll be mostly bright elsewhere but there’ll be showers in the far north and north-east, with sleet and snow in places.

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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