30 May

@SueArthur

30 May

Good morning,

With a little over a week to go until General Election day, Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May faced a grilling from Jeremy Paxman on Channel Four last night.
 
The Prime Minister stumbled on issues of social care and the NHS, and was challenged on the number of u-turns the party has made in recent weeks. However, she recovered some of her composure when addressing questions about Brexit – stressing repeatedly that no deal with the EU was better than a bad deal.
 
Jeremy Corbyn fared better in the studio audience question and answer session, but performed less well under Jeremy Paxman’s interrogation, particularly on the issues of security and terrorism, including an awkward question about his remark that the Falklands War was a “Tory plot” in which “unemployed men” where sent to die.
 
However, as May reminded us, Brexit negotiations begin just 11 days after polling day and although her performance may have been lacklustre – on-message and professional, but slightly dull – she may have had other things on her mind.
 
The Times reports that with only nine days to go until the election May plans to shift her campaign to focus on Brexit, and will explicitly woo voters who are concerned about immigration and Britain’s sovereignty, insisting only she can negotiate a deal to “define” Britain’s future. She asked last night’s studio audience, “Who do people want to see on that plane going over to Brussels to negotiate and stand up for Britain?”
 
In a speech today she will call leaving the EU “the one fundamental, defining issue” in the campaign, positioning herself and her credentials as a “bloody difficult woman” as the one to back in Brussels negotiations.
 

NEWS

British Airways restored its full flight schedule at Gatwick yesterday and was operating a full long-haul schedule at Heathrow, after a global IT shutdown at the weekend. The problems caused chaos for 75,000 passengers, 25,000 of whom had still not been able to travel by yesterday. The GMB union has blamed the failures on a decision last year to outsource IT jobs to India as part of a cost-cutting measure, and has questioned the company’s compensation policy for passengers affected by the downtime. CEO Alex Cruz has said he will not resign, but is likely to face continued pressure to do so.

Tributes continue to pour in for Blue Peter’s longest-serving presenter, John Noakes, who has died at his home in Spain aged 83, after suffering for many years from Alzheimers disease. He will be remembered as one of the BBC’s most loved children’s presenters.

 

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Announcing results today, budget airline Ryanair has indicated it expects its fares will fall further this year, between five and seven per cent, although this is less than the drop of 13% in the previous financial year. The carrier has warned that Brexit and the risk of terror attacks in Europe remained a threat to its business.

Dulux paint owner Akzo Nobel has secured a court victory in its battle to fight off an unwanted takeover offer from US rival PPG Industries. A Dutch court rejected attempts by a group of shareholders to force a special shareholder meeting aimed at ousting the company's chairman. Akzo has rejected three successive takeover offers from PPG since March, saying the €26.9bn (£22.8bn) offer undervalued the firm and showed a "lack of cultural understanding of the brand".

RBS has reached a legal settlement in principle  with a shareholder action group. The group, representing about 9,000 RBS investors, said on Monday it would accept 82p a share from the bank, in a case that relates to the months leading up to the 2008 bailout of the bank. The majority of the group’s members are understood to back the settlement, however some shareholders may want to persist with the legal action, arguing that forcing former Chief Executive Fred Goodwin into a court appearance is more important than the amount of money on offer.

 

MARKETS

Finals
Horizon Discovery Group, Kainos Group, Renold, Ryanair Holdings

Q1 results
AFI Development

AGMs
EU supply, Management Consulting Group, Starcom, Varlix

 

UK Economic Announcements
(07:00) Nationwide House Price Index

Int Economic Announcements
(11:00) Business Climate Indicator (EU)
(11:00) Economic Sentiment Indicator (EU)
(11:00) Industrial Confidence (EU)
 (11:00) Services Confidence (EU)
(13:30) Personal Consumption Expenditures (US)
(13:30) Personal Income (US)
(13:30) Personal Spending (US)

 

COLUMNS OF NOTE

 

Should manifestos be costed? An Institute of Economic Affairs blog syndicated on Capx suggests that the answer is not as simple as you might think, but argues that the documents should at least contain an indication of what the numbers might be.

Janan Ganesh argues in the FT that election campaigning has wrongly moved away from a focus on economics. He suggests that both Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn have offset policies that risk immediate damage to the economy against policies that might restructure it over time, but that voters are unlikely to tolerate economic pain in the short-term to get through the years ahead.

 

DID YOU KNOW?

According to a YouGov survey published in the Times, only three per cent of people would like to have Paul Nuttall as a neighbour: Theresa May scored 37% and Jeremy Corbyn 36%.

 

PARLIAMENTARY HIGHLIGHTS

TODAY
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. 

TOMORROW 
Scottish Parliament 

Ministerial statement: Social security benefits

Ministerial statement: Widening access to higher education