5 October


5 October

Good morning,

Theresa May walked into the Conservative Party conference yesterday morning with one goal - to solidify her position as the party leader and silence the rumours about her premiership.

The prime minster had a 'diary clash' which prevented her from listening to her foreign secretary Boris Johnson rally the troops the day before, but he was in attendance to hear the her keynote speech. It was dubbed the most important of her career.

Unfortunately, it was derailed almost as soon as it began and again Boris Johnson was top of the agenda. A prankster handed Mrs May her P45 form, proclaiming it was delivered on the order of her foreign secretary.

He was soon dispatched, but not quickly enough. May soldiered on admirably, but came unstuck minutes later as her voice croaked and gave way to a "conference cold".

The coughing and spluttering was constant and even her chancellor Philip Hammond had to offer her a cough sweet. She made light of it, but it was possibly the biggest insult to an already wounded prime minister.

There were announcements on an extra £2 billion to build 25,000 new council houses and social homes by 2021 and draft legislation for a cap on standard tariff energy bills, but all were overshadowed.

According to Laura Kuenssberg, Amber Rudd was caught on camera motioning to Boris Johnson that he would have to take over the speech if May could not continue. But she carried on valiantly, much to the pleasure of the gathered party members.

Johnson didn't get his chance this year to take over, but if reports in The Times and The Daily Telegraph are anything to go by this morning, perhaps he will be centre stage next year. It is hard to imagine Mrs May will be given another opportunity at a Conservative Party conference as prime minister.


Investigators in the United States believe that Stephen Paddock, the perpetrator of Sunday's mass shooting in Las Vegas, probably had help from another person and could have intended to escape. Joseph Lombardo, the sheriff of Clark County, Nevada, said he found it "hard to believe" Paddock had planned the attack on his own.

Iraqi forces have recaptured one of the last strongholds of the Islamic State. The area of Hawija was recaptured this morning following the death of 196 IS militants and had been under the groups control since 2014. In the process, 98 villages were freed from IS rule.

A Wiltshire police report on Sir Edward Heath, known as Operation Conifer, is expected to be published later. The BBC understands that the report will conclude that if the former prime minister were alive today, there would be sufficient grounds to question him on the allegations.

Business & Economy

Margrethe Vestager, the European competition commissioner, has demanded that Amazon pay €250 million in back taxes and has referred Ireland to the European Court of Justice for failing to collect up to €13 billion in unpaid taxes in the country, something which the EU believes amounts to state aid.

Goldman Sachs is continuing preparations to move jobs from the UK to Frankfurt as it gears up for Brexit. This week, the US investment bank announced it had signed a lease on the top eight floors of a new tower block in the city, giving it the capacity to add up to 1,000 extra workers in Frankfurt.

Sam Woods, chief executive of the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority, has urged his counterparts across Europe to work together, as Brexit forces British banks to become more complex, and therefore more risky. He also urged politicians to ensure a transitional deal was in place by Christmas.


What happened yesterday?
Theresa May's announcement of draft legislation to cap energy prices sent Centrica falling on the FTSE100 yesterday. The parent of British Gas saw its shares fall by 6% to 179.30p. Rival SSE did not emerge unscathed either, falling 3.19% at £13.67.

Tesco's shares were also down, despite announcing rising second quarter sales and the resumption of dividend payments.

Ad giant WPP regained its loses from the day before and rose 2.86% at £14.03, the biggest riser of the day.

Overall, the FTSE100 was down 0.1% to 7467.58. On the currency markets, the pound was strong, rising 0.23% against the dollar to $1.3700 and 0.11% against the euro to €1.12830.

DFS Furniture, SkinBioTherapeutics

Trading Announcements
Ferrexpo, Merlin Entertainments

Artemis Alpha Trust, Henderson Smaller Companies Inv Trust

Int. Economic Announcements
(09:10) PMI Retail (EU)
(13:30) Balance of Trade (US)
(13:30) Continuing Claims (US)
(13:30) Initial Jobless Claims (US)
(15:00) Factory Orders (US)

Columns of Note

Nick Timothy, former chief of staff to Theresa May, writes in The Telegraph that she cannot shoulder all of the blame for the state the Conservative Party is in currently. Instead, he argues that the whole party, including Cabinet colleagues, need to get their act together and fast if they want to win the next election.

Philip Stephens, writing in the Financial Times, argues that in Catalonia the issues of sovereignty and self-determination have collided with what could be disastrous effects. He suggests that a Catalonian decision to secede would cause issues for Spanish citizens living elsewhere.

Did you know?

The Catalan tradition of ‘building’ human towers can be traced to the small town of Valls, around 40km outside Barcelona. Since the 18th century, the locals have been climbing on each other’s shoulders in attempts to create the highest ‘castell'.

Parliamentary highlights


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

Ministerial Statement

Delivering Employment Support for Scotland

Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee Debate

Gender Pay Gap


Scottish Parliament

First Minister's Questions

Ministerial Statements

Air Departure Tax: Update

Scottish City Region Deals – Next Steps