19 June

@AdamDShaw

19 June

Good morning,

Just when you thought that the great city of London had suffered enough, tragedy has struck once again in the nation’s capital.
 
Last night, a van ploughed into worshippers as they left Finsbury Park Mosque in north London, with one person killed and eight injured.
 
A 48-year-old man has been arrested. No further details have been given by police but eye witnesses reported that he was white and after carrying out his attack, got out the van and shouted that he wanted to “kill all Muslims”.
 
Theresa May has said the incident is being treated as “a potential terrorist attack” and will chair an emergency Cobra meeting later this morning.
 
Jeremy Corbyn, who is the MP for the area where the attack took place, said he was “totally shocked” and that his “thoughts are with those and the community affected by this awful event”.
 
Meanwhile, the Muslim Council of Britain called the attack a “violent manifestation of Islamaphobia” and called for increased security around mosques.
 
Let us hope that the spirit of the Great Get Together held this weekend in memory of Jo Cox trumps fear and hate. As she said in her maiden speech in Parliament: “We have more in common than that which divides us”.

 

NEWS

Nearly a year after the EU referendum, Brexit negotiations get underway in Brussels today. Secretary of State for Exiting the EU David Davis will meet with Michael Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, at the EU Commission offices with a press conference due late this afternoon. However, there appears to be an ongoing lack of clarity regarding the UK’s position, with government ministers voicing contrasting points of view, as well as the influence of the DUP after the Conservatives lost their majority in the general election.
 
Emmanuel Macron’s La République en Marche and its allies have won more than 300 seats in the French National Assembly elections. This was fewer than expected but still represents a convincing majority, giving Macron a strong mandate in the parliament to pursue his pro-EU and pro-business agenda.
 
Over the weekend, images from inside the Grenfell Tower were released – showing the extent of the “indescribable” damage caused by the blaze. The official number of people missing and presumed dead has now risen beyond Saturday’s estimate of 58, with that figure expected to increase further. This comes as questions continue to be asked over how such an incident was able to happen, with cladding used to insulate the tower the focus of attention.

 

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

John Griffith-Jones, the founding chairman of the Financial Conduct Authority, will not stand for a second term after his four-year tenure is up next March. Griffith Jones has chaired the watchdog since it was established in April 2013. He has faced criticism during his time in the position – most notably for the bungled announcement of an investigation into the insurance industry that wiped billions off the value of leading insurers.
 
Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond has hinted that the government will ease up on its austerity programme, saying his party is “not deaf” to the message that the electorate delivered at the ballot box. However, he also warned that government borrowing is “not sustainable in the long term”.
 
Asking prices for UK properties fell 0.4% this month – the first June decline since 2009, according to Rightmove. This was down to slow wage growth and political uncertainty. Traditionally, June is a month where there is a seasonal price rise. However, prices may fall further as the figures are based on properties advertised between 14th May and 10th June, largely before the general election, and three of the Bank of England's eight policymakers voted to raise interest rates last week - the closest the central bank has come to increasing borrowing costs since 2007.

 

MARKETS

Finals
Bonmarche Holdings

Interims
CareTech Holding

GMs
Standard Life

UK Economic Announcements
(11:00) CBI Industrial Trends Survey

 

AGMs
Caledonia Mining Corporation (DI), Globalworth Real Estate Investments Limited, Panther Securities, Phaunos Timber Fund Ltd, Premier Technical Services Group, Rasmala, Trader Media East Ltd GDR (Reg S)

 

COLUMNS OF NOTE

Following the Grenfell Tower fire, Kevin Pringle uses his column in The Sunday Times to argue that we need a “culture of government and public service that cherishes the worth, dignity ad existence of all”.

Writing for ConservativeHome, Paul Goodman outlines why, despite hopes amongst some to the contrary, political reality means that the UK is likely to be outside both the European single market and customs union at the conclusion of Brexit negotiations.

 

DID YOU KNOW?

Restaurant Botin in Madrid holds the record for the world’s oldest operating restaurant. Said to be a favourite of Ernest Hemingway, it opened its doors in 1725 and still uses its original oven.

 

PARLIAMENTARY HIGHLIGHTS

TODAY
 
House of Commons

No business scheduled
 
House of Lords

No business scheduled
 
Scottish Parliament

No business scheduled

TOMORROW

Scottish Parliament 

Topical Questions
 
Ministerial Statement: Policing 2026
 
Ministerial Statement: Next steps for the Crofting Commission
 
Stage 3 Proceedings: Air Departure Tax (Scotland) Bill
 
Financial Resolution: Seat Belts on School Transport (Scotland) Bill