26 September

@lyle_h_hill

26 September

 Good morning,

John McDonnell addressed the Labour Party conference yesterday in the opening day's keynote speech. The shadow chancellor was looking to make an impact with a radical set of policy proposals to rally the party faithful.

Labour had pre-briefed that McDonnell would announce a limit to the amount of interest that banks can charge on credit card debt, but it was his proposals on PFI and nationalisation that garnered the biggest cheers from the conference floor.

 McDonnell promised to "bring back in house" assets built under the private finance initiative and also confirmed Labour would renationalise the railways, water, energy and the Royal Mail in the first years of a Labour government. His comments delighted party activists and union leaders, but critics warned it could cost up to £200 billion.

Meanwhile, away from the main stage where McDonnell gave his speech, former Labour deputy prime minister John Prescott was making headlines of his own. Speaking on the Daily Politics, when asked if he thought his or Tony Blair's views were worth listening to, he responded "Not now, no - his age has past, so has mine". He also added a bit of colourful language in his own trademark style.

The current deputy leader of the Labour Party, Tom Watson, will be desperately hoping people still think he is worth listening to when he takes the stage later today. As with Prescott, Watson does not necessarily see eye to eye with his leader on all the issues. He will today be tasked with announcing a review in which Labour will consider a levy on bookmakers to help treat problem gamblers.

News

A Palestinian gunman has killed three Israeli's at the entrance to a Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank. According to police, the gunman arrived at the gate of the settlement alongside Palestinian labourers, before opening fire on police. Police have also announced that the gunman has been killed and four others are seriously wounded.

The North Korean crisis continues to heat up, as the United States was forced to deny yesterday that it had declared war on North Korea. The White House branded the suggestion 'absurd' and warned the rogue state to stop provocations after it declared it now had a right to shoot down US bombers. 

Researchers at the University of Nottingham have found that a happier disposition improves the likelihood that flu vaccinations will be successful in over 65s. Academics have warned that the UK could be hit with the worst flu outbreak in recent memory if the H3N2 strain arrives from Australia, where over 160,000 cases were identified and 72 people died.

Business and Economy

Uber has apologised to Transport for London following the announcement that it would not have its licence to operate renewed by the body. Publicly, Uber said sorry yesterday for its "mistakes" in London, but also accused TfL privately of not giving the business the opportunity to fix issues before its licence was revoked.

Brent crude has risen to its highest level in two years, following fears over Iraqi Kurdistan's export ability when it holds a referendum on independence. Yesterday the international benchmark rose 0.8% to $59.46 a barrel, the highest it has been since July 2015. The price has risen more than 30% since June as stockpiles have tightened.

The AA has appointed Simon Breakwell as its permanent chief executive, after he took over from Bob McKenzie on an interim basis. The breakdown cover business will hope this brings stability to the company following a turbulent summer in which McKenzie was fired for "gross misconduct". 

Markets

What happened yesterday

Following the election result in Germany, which has damaged Angela Merkel and given rise to a surge of right-wing nationalist support, the euro slipped against the pound and the dollar yesterday. The euro slipped 0.67% against the pound to €1.1364 and 0.78% against the dollar to $1.1855. The pound edged 0.2% against the dollar over the day to $1.3469.

The FTSE 100 also fell over the day, ending down 9.35 points or 0.13% at 7,301.29. Across the FTSE, the largest faller was private hospital group Mediclinic International, which fell more than 5% over the day to a new 12 month low.

The company has been brought down following fears for private healthcare industry. Mediclinic rival Spite Healthcare suffered a large fall in share price following a profit warning earlier this month, leading Jefferies to lower its earnings forecast for Mediclinic.

Finals

Animalcare Group, Close Brothers Group, Mysale Group, Netcall, Zinc Media Group

Interims

Barr (A.G.), Ebiquity, e-Therapeutics, Moss Bros Group, Personal Group Holdings, Time Out Group

AGM

Arcontech Group, Galileo Resources, Kromek Group, MediaZest, Meikles Ltd.

Trading Announcements

Thomas Cook Group

Columns of note

Writing in The Telegraph, William Hague argues that the success of the far right in the German elections should act as a wake up call to political leaders across continental Europe. He believes they had become complacent to the forces of nationalism and populism.

 Polly Toynbee, writing in The Guardian, argues that Jeremy Corbyn is on the path to power. She suggests that the Labour conference is a sign the party has been transformed by electoral success and the Tories' struggles over Brexit.

Did you know?

The main rings of Saturn are almost as wide as from the Earth to the moon, but are less than a kilometre thick.

Parliamentary highlights

TODAY

House of Commons

In recess until 9th October for party conference season

House of Lords

In recess until 9th October for party conference season

Scottish Parliament 

Topical Questions

Public Petitions Committee Debate: PE1319 on Improving Youth Football in Scotland 

TOMORROW

 Portfolio Questions

Education and Skills

Ministerial Statement

Air Quality: Delivering Improvements for Public Health and the Environment 

Scottish Government debate

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