26 May


26 May

 Good morning,

Campaigning for the general election resumes today, the leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn will give a speech criticising cuts to police forces and is expected to take the hugely controversial step of blaming Britain’s foreign wars for terror attacks.

Corbyn will say the "war on terror is simply not working” and will pledge a "change at home and change abroad", if Labour wins power.

The Labour leader may perhaps be overshadowed by the Prime Minister Theresa May who is due to chair a session on counter-terrorism with G7 leaders in Sicily, focusing on what can be done to deal with the threat posed by extremists online.

 The summit will also be attended by President Donald Trump in his last leg of a four-country trip, marked by awkward power handshakes.

The so-called Group of Seven, the seven most developed nations in the world, will discuss the war in Syria, the North Korean threat, increasing cybersecurity attacks and the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement.

The theme for this year’s summit is “Building the foundations of renewed trust,” but the bombing in Manchester on Monday night thrusted terrorism and security on the very top of the agenda.

 At the end of the two-day talks, the leaders will host a press conference to announce their progress, or lack thereof, in addressing these issues.


Counter-terror police investigating the Manchester Arena bombing have carried out fresh raids, searching addresses in Manchester and Merseyside. One man was arrested in the Moss Side area of Manchester in the early hours of this morning and detectives searched a property in St Helens. As it stands, 10 people in total have been arrested in connection with the investigation, of which a man and a woman have since been released without charge. Eight men remain in custody for questioning.

Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner is now reportedly a focus of the ongoing investigation into Russian collusion in the US election campaign. Kushner has come under scrutiny because of two meetings in December. The first was with Sergei Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to Washington, while the other was with Sergei Gorkov, a Russian who heads Vnesheconombank, a state-owned lender under US sanctions.

Former Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos was injured after a letter bomb exploded inside his car in central Athens yesterday in an attack that also left two Bank of Greece employees wounded. Police were on alert to determine whether any other parcel bombs might have been sent out, and were checking postal and courier services. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but Greek politicians have been targeted in the past by militant far-left and anarchist groups.

Business & Economy

The price of oil has plummeted by five per cent, despite oil-producing nations agreeing to extend production cuts for a further nine months. Meeting in Vienna, energy ministers from both Opec and non-Opec countries agreed to maintain output curbs, due to expire next month, until March 2018. But investors had been hoping the oil producers would go further.

The UK’s GDP growth in the first quarter of 2017 has been unexpectedly revised down to 0.2 per cent. City of London analysts had expected no change in the Office for National Statistics’ initial estimate last month of 0.3 per cent growth.

New payday loan regulations come into force today, requiring all online lenders to advertise on at least one price comparison website. The new rules are the result of an investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), published in February 2015. Lenders are also required to display "prominently" a link on their own websites to a price comparison site.


London's FTSE 100 share index ended tantalisingly close to a record level on yesterday, but the mid-cap FTSE 250 index enjoyed the greater action.

The FTSE 100 ended the day three points, or 0.04%, ahead at 7,517.71 - not far from its record close of 7,522.03.

 However, one of the more eye-catching performances came in the FTSE 250 from budget airline Wizz Air.

 Wizz shares jumped 13.3% after reporting a 19% rise in passenger numbers and 10% increase in revenues.

 Another big mover in the FTSE 250 - but in the opposite direction - was Petrofac. Shares in the oil services company plunged almost 30% after it said it had suspended its chief operating officer amid a fraud inquiry.

 The FTSE 250 finished at 19,967.58, a rise of 17 points or 0.1%.

 On the currency markets, the pound was down 0.16% against the dollar at $1.2953 and fell 0.12% against the euro at 1.1551 euros.


Volvere plc (VLE)

Trading Announcements

Intertek Group plc (ITRK)

Int. Economic Announcements

(13:30) Durable Goods Orders (US)

(15:00) U. of Michigan Confidence (US)


4D Pharma plc (DDDD)

Access Intelligence plc (ACC)

Centaur Media plc (CAU)

Circassia Pharmaceuticals plc (CIR)

Escher Group Holdings plc (ESCH)

Informa plc (INF)

Intertek Group plc (ITRK)

Restaurant Group (RTN)

Rotala Plc (ROL)

Spectris plc (SXS)

Spire Healthcare Group plc (SPI)

Columns of Note

In The Telegraph today, Fraser Nelson writes about challenges security services face to monitor potential Islamic terrorists. Nelson acknowledges that sophisticated technology is widely available and “a free country cannot keep watch on thousands of people”. The author backs his point with statistics: in 2001 there were 250 listed by MI5, now MI5 is looking into 3,000 individuals, a task that requires immense resources.

 Writing in The Independent, Aaron Bastani criticises UKip’s manifesto which was unveiled yesterday. He points out that Britain’s policies on migration and refugees bear no relationship to recent attacks simply because those committing them aren’t newcomers. Despite this UKip claims Manchester “is the clearest evidence yet as to why we should refuse the admission of refugees, specifically those from majority Muslim countries”.

Did you know?

In 2012 the World Meteorological Organisation disqualified the record for the highest recorded temperature, exactly 90 years after it had been established at El Azizia, Libya, with a measurement of 58°C. The official highest recorded temperature is now 56.7°C (134°F), which was measured on 10 July 1913 at Greenland Ranch, Death Valley, California, USA.


Parliamentary highlights


House of Commons

In dissolution. The House will next sit on Monday 19th June.

House of Lords

In dissolution. The House will next sit on Monday 19th June.

Scottish Parliament

No business scheduled.


Scottish Parliament

No business scheduled.