26 October


26 October

Good morning,

Voting is currently underway in Kenya as a re-run of the presidential election takes place.
The election has been shrouded in controversy, with Raila Odinga, the country’s opposition leader, urging his supporters to boycott what he called a “sham” vote and to ignore any government authority. Odinga, who served as the country's prime minister between 2008 and 2013, had wanted a repeat of the election from August, but at a later date.
According to Odinga, having a re-run so soon after August's election - which became the first reversal of an incumbent African president's re-election after the country’s Supreme Court found "irregularities and illegalities" in the process – means the changes needed to prevent the mistakes occurring again is unlikely to be implemented.
There was an attempt yesterday by a human rights group to delay the election. However, this fell apart after five of the seven Supreme Court judges failed to attend a hearing, one because her bodyguard had been shot and wounded by unknown gunmen.
Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is seeking a second term, has warned people to “dare not reject” the legacy of “our forefathers who fought and died for the right of the African to vote.”
Since Kenyatta was announced the winner in August, it has been reported that around 70 people have died in the ensuing violence. He is likely to come out on top again today, but with escalating political unstability and scenes of deep unrest and division undoubtedly going to continue, it is easy to see why today is being branded the “no-win” election.


More than 3,000 documents relating to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy will be released by the US National Archives later today. It is predicted that the information may relate to the activities of Lee Harvey Oswald in the months before he shot Kennedy during a parade in Dallas, Texas.

NHS patients recovering after an operation could be moved from a hospital bed to a stranger’s spare room, under radical plans considered by health chiefs in England. The scheme, nicknamed NHS Airbnb, will see homeowners get about £50 a night. 

Matthew Elliott, former chief executive of Vote Leave, is in advanced negotiations over a senior role at Conservative Campaign Headquarters. According to The Times, Theresa May sees Elliott as the person to revamp the Tory machine and reassure Leave-supporting MPs and activists. (£)

Business & Economy

Concerns have been raised about banks moving staff and operations out of the UK post-Brexit, after latest figures showed overseas lenders contributed £17bn to the UK’s public finances in the latest financial year. The banking sector overall, including British banks, contributed £35bn to UK finances in the year to the end of March, a rise of £1bn on the previous year.

Saudi Arabia plan to boost its assets under management to more than $400 billion by 2020 as part of the kingdom’s ambition to diversify its oil-dependent economy. The head of the Public Investment Fund said that they hoped the plan would lead the country to becoming a “global investment powerhouse”. (£)

Uncertainty over Brexit and plans to improve air quality contributed towards a decline in UK car production during September, according to a major car industry body. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders were commenting after figures showed UK car output fell more than 4% to 153,224 vehicles in September.



What happened yesterday?

The FTSE 100 fell slightly yesterday, on a day when pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline was the biggest faller on the index.
Despite enjoying a rise in third-quarter sales and profits, the drugmaker saw shares drop by 5.9%. The FTSE 100 overall closed at 79.33 points, or 1.05%, down at 7,447.21.

A fall in shares of 4.3% was enough to make Antofagasta the second biggest faller, after analysts conveyed disappointment at the miner’s forecast for copper production next year at one of its biggest copper mines.
UK growth estimates in the third quarter were slightly higher than predicted and this contributed towards a rise in the pound against both the dollar and the euro. It rose 0.95% against the dollar to $1.3260, and 0.58% against the euro to €1.1231. Yesterday’s figures have led some economists to predict that the Bank of England will raise interest rates next week.

Connect Group, Debenhams, Redefine International

C&C Group, Vitesse Media

Alumasc Group, Argos Resources Ltd. (DI), Imagination Technologies Group, Mila Resources, Mattioni Woods, Real Good Food, Standard Life UK Smaller Companies Trust

UK Economic Announcements
(11:00) CBI Distributive Trades Surveys

Int. Economic Announcements
(07:00) GFK Consumer Confidence (GER)
(09:00) M3 Money Supply (EU)
(12:45) ECB Interest Rate (EU)
(13:30) Balance of Trade (US)
(13:30) Continuing Claims (US)
(13:30) Initial Jobless Claims (US)
(15:00) Pending Homes Sales (US)

Columns of Note


Writing in The Times, David Aaronovitch argues that Conservative MP Chris Heaton-Harris’s letter to university vice-chancellors requesting a list of names of professors “involved in the teaching of European affairs, with particular reference to Brexit” was evidence that things haven’t gone the way Brexiteers had hoped since the referendum vote and they were now searching for a scapegoat.

Linda Bellos, who was responsible for introducing Black History Month to Britain exactly 30 years ago, writes in The Guardian about the lessons of the last three decades and how we should learn from these to ensure Black History Month continues to “reflect to the rest of the world its achievements of inclusion, equality and multiculturalism.”

Did you know?

Great Ormond Street Hospital owns the copyright to Peter Pan and receives royalties from all associated works and performances. Author J.M. Barrie gifted the rights to the hospital in 1929.

Parliamentary Highlights

House of Commons
Oral Questions - Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (including Topical Questions)

Business Statement - Business Questions 

Exiting the European Union Committee - Oral Evidence Session

House of Lords

Oral Questions - Staffing levels in the NHS during the coming winter period

Oral Questions - Sharing of analysis and co-ordination between UK and its allies to ensure enhanced security

Scottish Parliament

General Questions

First Minister's Questions

Ministerial Statement: STEM Strategy for Education and Training

Ministerial Statement: Developing a New Diet and Obesity Strategy for Scotland

Scottish Government Debate: The Hydro Nation, Maximising the Abundant Benefits of our Water Resources


House of Commons

No business scheduled

House of Lords

Legislation: Unpaid Work Experience (Prohibition) Bill [HL] - 2nd reading

Scottish Parliament

No business scheduled