- Here are the headlines on Friday, September 18
Total number in lockdown rises above 10m
Tough new measures to control the spread of coronavirus have come into effect in the north-east of England, taking the total number of people across the UK in lockdown to more than 10m.
The new restrictions cover Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Gateshead, Sunderland and County Durham and began at midnight.
Residents are banned from socialising in homes or gardens with people outside their own households or support bubble, food and drink venues are restricted to table service only and leisure and entertainment venues must close at 10pm. The new measures come amid reports that tougher restrictions are expected to be imposed on Lancashire.
Vertu boss says restrictions will not affect dealers
Lockdown restrictions imposed in the North East that came into force today will have no impact on car dealerships, believes Vertu Motors boss Robert Forrester.
In an exclusive interview with Car Dealer yesterday, the dealer group boss says that, despite his head office being based at the heart of the local lockdown, it will not interrupt his business.
You can watch the full interview below.
European Commission president ‘convinced’ trade deal can still be done
The European Commission chief has said she is ‘convinced’ a trade deal remains possible with the UK.
Ursula von der Leyen said Downing Street’s controversial UK Internal Market Bill had ‘distracted very strongly’ from the two sides being able to secure fresh trade terms before the looming deadline.
Leaders on both sides of the Channel have warned that an agreement is needed by October if a deal is to be ratified in time for the start of 2021.
Sadiq Khan urges extension to business rates holiday
Sadiq Khan is urging the government to extend the business rates holiday for another year over fears thousands of jobs could be lost in London and across the country.
After the coronavirus pandemic hit the UK, business rates for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England were halted until the new financial year in April.
In a joint submission to the government’s business rates review, the mayor of London has joined with councils in the capital to call for an extension to 2021/22.
Skoda announces pricing for efficient new Octavia e-TEC
Skoda has revealed the pricing of its new e-TEC mild-hybrid Octavia.
Priced from £23,005, the new Octavia e-TEC combines a 1.0-litre petrol engine with a 48-volt lithium-ion battery and belt-driven starter-generator.
It allows the car to coast with the engine switched off for extended periods while the battery and electric motor provide drive for essential functions, such as the power steering. The battery is topped up through the recovery of energy generated when braking.
John Lewis axes staff bonus for first time since 1953
The John Lewis Partnership confirmed that staff members will not receive a bonus for the first time since 1953 after being hit by enforced store closures.
Dame Sharon White, chairman of the retail group, told partners on Thursday that the announcement ‘will come as a blow’.
The group said it plunged to a £635m pre-tax loss for the six months to July 25 after being impacted by a £470m write-down on its stores.
Bank of England warns over ‘unusually uncertain’ outlook
The Bank of England kept interest rates at 0.1 per cent as the economy climbs out of the record recession caused by the lockdown, but it warned over an ‘unusually uncertain’ outlook amid the pandemic.
The Bank said recent economic data had been stronger than it expected in August, but it cautioned rising coronavirus cases in the UK and worldwide could hamper the economic bounce-back.
Minutes of the latest rates decision also show the Bank continues to consider the case for negative interest rates and revealed policymakers had been briefed on its plans to look at how rates could be cut below zero if needed.
Lenders drag FTSE down amid negative rates talk
The UK’s biggest high street lenders pulled markets lower yesterday after they were hit by talk of possible negative interest rates.
Natwest, Barclays, HSBC and Lloyds were all in the red as the day ended, dropping between 1.2 per cent and 3 per cent.
The struggling banks helped push the FTSE 100 down by half a per cent to 6049.92 points, a drop of 28.56. In Europe, the Cac index in France lost 0.5 per cent, while Germany’s Dax dropped by 0.2 per cent.
Nearly two thirds of adults travelling to work, says ONS
Close to two in three UK adults are now travelling to work, as employers are slowly asking their staff to come back.
The Office for National Statistics said that 62 per cent of adults reported that they were getting back to their workplaces, the highest since the statisticians started collecting the data.
It comes months after the proportion hit a low of 36 per cent in late May, however the statistics were only collected from the middle of May so miss out nearly two months of lockdown.
Ryanair shareholders worried over boss’s £419,000 bonus
The boss of Ryanair has seen off a major revolt against his pay, after shareholders voiced concern over his nearly half a million euro bonus as staff were sent home on furlough.
Shareholders voted through a package which handed Michael O’Leary £3.2m in the financial year that ended in March.
However, many voted against the proposals, weeks after advisers raised worries over the chief executive’s £419,000 bonus, and the remuneration plans only passed with 65.8 per cent support.
More settled weather
Today will be a largely fine and dry day with patchy cloud and sunny spells for most, says the BBC.
Tonight, it will be largely dry with lots of clear spells overnight for most areas. There will be more in the way of cloud for the far north of Scotland and it will be breezier for southern England and Wales.
Tomorrow will be dry and fine with lots of sunshine. However, there is a chance of a few showers across northern Scotland and the far south of England.