Published: 18 January 2023
Hundreds of Metropolitan Police officers are likely be sacked for sexual and domestic abuse offences, London Commissioner Mark Rowley said yesterday, following the conviction of David Carrick, who admitted carrying out 24 counts of rape over almost two decades while serving as a police officer. Despite being reported to the police nine times between 2000 and 2021 on accusations of harassment, assault and rape, he was not charged with any offence and was allowed to continue working for the Met’s Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command unit, the same department as Sarah Everard's policeman killer, Wayne Couzens. Various newspaper reports highlight how former soldier Carrick passed his vetting to join the Met in August 2001, even though he was named as a suspect in two offences the previous year. Rowley, who was brought in four months ago to lead a clean-up within the force following a series of revelations of serious wrongdoing, said investigations were underway into about 800 officers over 1,000 sexual and domestic abuse claims. "I've got tens of thousands of fantastic men and women, but I've got hundreds who shouldn't be here. I'm going to sort it out," Rowley told the BBC yesterday. "We're systematically reviewing every member of police staff and police officer who we have any historic flags against, for being involved in incidents involving domestic abuse or sexual violence," he added. The Met is Britain’s largest force, with more than 43,000 officers and staff and responsibility for leading the country's response to terrorism.
The government yesterday agreed to toughen new laws in the Online Safety Bill and introduced amendments which could lead to tech bosses being jailed in Britain if their online platforms fail to protect children from online harm. The Bill was amended to avoid the prospect of a first parliamentary defeat for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak who faced losing a vote on the Bill in the House of Commons after 50 Conservative MPs tabled a rebel amendment proposing jail sentences of up to two years for tech bosses for failing to protect children from content such as child abuse and self-harm. Michelle Donelan, the culture and digital minister, said in a written statement to parliament that the government agreed to changes to the legislation so executives could be jailed if they "consent or connive" to ignoring the new rules. "This amendment will not affect those who have acted in good faith," she said, but it would provide "additional teeth to deliver change and ensure that people are held to account if they fail to properly protect children".
Meanwhile, Michelle Donelan also said yesterday that tech platforms could be forced to remove videos that show migrants arriving in Britain illegally using small boats "in a positive light", as part of the Online Safety Bill. She confirmed the Government intends to add further amendments "to better tackle illegal immigration encouraged by organised gangs" by linking videos that show such migrants crossing the English Channel to existing immigration offences. "Aiding, abetting, counselling, conspiring etc. those offences by posting videos of people crossing the channel which show that activity in a positive light could be an offence that is committed online," Donelan said in a written statement.
HMRC estimates that £4.5bn in Covid-19 support has been lost to error and fraud since 2020. The tax authority revealed the scale of the money lost in a letter to The Treasury Select Committee, saying that amount included £3.5bn lost through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, £1bn through the Self Employed Income Support Scheme and £71m through the Eat Out To Help Out programme. It does not include money recovered. by the UK's tax authority, HMRC: by the end of March 2022, HMRC said it had recovered more than £762m through compliance activity. Last year a forecast by the UK's official economic analyst, the Office for Budget Responsibility, estimated the total cost of pandemic-related rescue measures to be £310bn.
Nurses are walking out of more hospitals in their latest strike action today and tomorrow in their continued row over pay. The strikes are taking place at 55 NHS Trusts in England affecting around a quarter of hospitals and community services.
Train drivers are to strike for a seventh time on 1st and 3rd February after union bosses rejected a pay offer from rail companies. Drivers had been offered a 4% pay rise for two years, but the deal hinged on several changes to working practices which Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan said were “not and could not ever be acceptable". 15 train companies will be affected.
Britain's trade surplus in financial and related professional services edged up in 2021, with the United States cementing its position as the UK’s the top customer, while the European Union eased in importance following Brexit, TheCityUK figures showed yesterday. The UK financial services and related legal and accounting trade surplus rose to £81bn, up from £79.6bn in 2020. The United States was the top customer for the second year running, accounting for 34.1% of the total, followed by the EU at 29%. In 2019, when Britain still had full access to the EU market which then accounted for 40.5% of the total sector exports of $82.7bn (£67.45bn), the United States was our second largest financial services partner with a 26.6% share.
Pay awards by British employers held at 5% for the second month in a row in December, well below annual inflation of close to 11%, data from human resources company XpertHR shows.
The average house price increased 10.3% in the year to November 2022, to £295,000, £28,000 more than the year before, according to the Office for National Statistics. However, the average price fell 0.3% or £1,000 compared to October 2022, when the average price reached a record high of £296,000. It was the first time prices went down since October 2021.
Which?’s supermarket food and drink inflation tracker has concluded that butter, milk, cheese and other basic groceries have seen their price shoot up by 30% in the last year. Milk saw a price increase of 26.3%, cheese was 22.3% costlier, bakery items were up by 19.5%, water was 18.6% more expensive and savoury pies, pastries and quiches saw an 18.5% jump in average price, Which? said.
Battery start-up Britishvolt has collapsed into administration, with the majority of its 300 staff made redundant with immediate effect. The firm had planned to build a giant £3.8bn factory to make electric car batteries in Blyth, Northumberland, with Government support that never materialised. Ministers had hailed the factory a "levelling up" opportunity within the so-called “red wall” that would boost the region's economy and support the future of UK car making. But on Monday, the board is believed to have decided there were no viable bids to keep the company afloat. Last year, Britishvolt asked the government to advance £30m of a promised £100m in funding, but was refused as the company had not hit agreed construction milestones to access the funds. The firm only narrowly avoided collapse at the end of last year after an emergency lifeline was extended by one of its investors, FTSE 100 miner Glencore. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said the government had "remained hopeful" that Britishvolt would find a suitable investor and was disappointed to hear it had not been possible". It said it would work with the local authority in the area and potential investors to "ensure the best outcome for the site". Britishvolt’s demise leaves the UK with only one Chinese-owned battery plant next to the Nissan factory in Sunderland, the BBC says.
Prince Harry's memoir Spare has become the fastest-selling non-fiction book in the UK since records began in 1998. It sold 467,183 copies in its first week, according to official figures from Nielsen BookData. The book, published by Penguin Random House and written with celebrity ghostwriter JR Moehringer, went on sale on 10 January.
Paperchase has confirmed earlier Sky News reports that is up for sale again, having only been bought by retail investor Steve Curtis in August. The firm also confirmed that it had hired consultants PwC to advise it on the sale, while Begbies Traynor is being lined up in case a new buyer cannot be found and the firm goes bust again as “sensible contingency planning”. Permira Debt Managers, one of its lenders, previously bought Paperchase out of administration in January 2021.
British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe's firm Ineos has officially entered the race to buy Manchester United FC, BBC Sport reports. United's owners, the Glazer family, said in November they were considering selling the club as they "explore strategic alternatives". Now, Ineos says it has "formally put ourselves into the process". Ratcliffe made an unsuccessful late £4.25bn offer to buy Chelsea FC last year after owner Roman Abramovich put the London club up for sale.
Irish airline Ryanair says it will expand flights to and from London's Stansted, Gatwick and Luton airports by 10% this summer compared to last summer, operating more than 3,000 weekly flights.
Elon Musk and Tesla Inc. were in court in San Francisco yesterday in a lawsuit brought by Tesla shareholders who say they were defrauded out of “billions” by a Twitter post Musk made on 7th August 2018 that manipulated the company’s share price. Musk said he was considering taking the electric car maker private at $420 per share, and added: "Funding secured." In another tweet on the same day, he wrote: "Investor support is confirmed," and that the "only reason why this is not certain is that it's contingent on a shareholder vote." The company's shares shot higher after Musk’s announcements, but fell again when the New York Times reported that funding for the take-private bid was in fact "far from secure" ten days later. The US District Court Judge Edward Chen, who is hearing the case, has ruled those statements were untrue and reckless. The nine-member jury will decide if Musk's words mattered to investors, whether he acted knowingly and whether to award damages and in what amount. The defendants, who also include seven current and former Tesla directors, all deny any wrongdoing, saying in court papers they will argue that Musk had good reason to believe funding for the deal was secured from Saudi Arabia's Investment Fund, and therefore did not commit securities fraud. The trial is expected to last around three weeks.
Meanwhile, in a separate lawsuit against Tesla regarding a fatal crash involving a former Apple engineer Walter Huang in 2018, Ashok Elluswamy, director of Autopilot software at Tesla, has said in a deposition that a 2016 video the firm used to promote its self-driving technology was staged. The video, Elluswamy claimed, showed capabilities such as stopping at a red light and accelerating at a green light that the system did not have. The video, still archived on Tesla’s website, was released in October 2016 and promoted on Twitter by CEO Elon Musk as evidence that “Tesla drives itself.” The US National Transportation Safety Board concluded in 2020 that Huang’s fatal crash was likely caused by his distraction and the limitations of Autopilot. It said Tesla’s “ineffective monitoring of driver engagement” had contributed to the crash.
Netflix is offering a salary of as much as $385,000 (£313,538) a year for a flight attendant for one of its private jets. The streaming giant says it is looking for candidates with "independent judgement, discretion and outstanding customer service skills" who can also "operate with little direction and a lot of self-motivation." The role - based in San Jose, California - requires travel in and beyond the US.
Why Media is an award-winning design, marketing, digital communications and PR agency offering tailored solutions to companies on a global scale. We have extensive experience in delivering design and marketing services to a spectrum of companies including professional services, property companies, financial institutions and shopping centres. We have offices in London UK, Hertford UK, Finestrat ES & Brescia IT.