A third person responsible for the London Bridge attacks was named by police yesterday. A Moroccan-born Italian, he was reportedly stopped while trying to travel to Syria, and told officials: “I am going to be a terrorist.” Once again, there are questions as to why officials had not acted on this information. A security source has told The Times that pan-European databases are not being used to their potential, "particularly by the UK."
The attacker’s mugshot features on several front pages this morning, alongside reports of Theresa May’s promise overnight to restrict the freedom of movement of terror suspects, marking a change of gear in her response. The Prime Minister promised to change human rights laws if they were to obstruct the deporting or controlling of terror suspects, as well as strengthening other anti-terror measures. This step-up in the rhetoric comes after criticism for the cuts May made to policing, with this becoming a key point of vulnerability with voters for the Conservatives following events of the last few weeks.
The final, frantic hours of election campaigning are upon us, ahead of the polls opening tomorrow morning. We can hazard a guess that Theresa May’s message on this final day will be all about Brexit, strength, and stability, while an emboldened Jeremy Corbyn will say there are “24 hours to save the NHS”. It’ll soon be over, dear reader.
Emmanuel Macron’s En Marche party could have a clear majority within its reach in parliamentary elections, with its candidates this week topping the first-round vote in almost all constituencies for French voters abroad. First-round voting across France will take place on 11 June with a final round on 18 June, but French voters who live abroad voted early due to security restrictions on online voting, giving some indication of the likely outcome.
Donald Trump has set yet another cat among the pigeons of Twitter. The US President claimed credit for the surprise diplomatic isolation of Qatar, praising Middle East countries' actions against Qatar over Islamist militants even though the tiny Gulf state is a key American ally and hosts the largest US air base in the region. US officials are now seeking to limit the damage and have been praising the Quataris’ “enduring commitment to regional security”.
A study by the University of Greenwich has shown that consumers in England are paying £2.3bn more a year for their water and sewerage bills under the current privatised system than if the utility companies had remained in state ownership.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
Vodafone has unveiled new rules to tackle fake news and extremist material online, challenging Google and Facebook to cut the flow of money to “abusive and damaging” outlets. The company has said its new approach will protect its brand from appearing alongside material that is “fundamentally at odds” with its “values and beliefs as a company”.
RBS has reached a £200m settlement with disgruntled shareholders in a long-running case where thousands of investors argued they were misled into buying the bank’s shares during its £12bn cash call in April 2008. The Shareholder Action Group has voted to accept an 82p per share offer. The settlement will mean that former CEO Fred Goodwin will not appear in court.
Renewable energy capacity around the world was boosted by a record amount in 2016 and delivered at a markedly lower cost, according to new global data, although the total financial investment in renewables actually fell. Falling prices for solar and wind power led to new power deals in various countries all being priced well below fossil fuel or nuclear options.
Taxi-app firm Uber has fired more than 20 people, and is taking other actions against staff, after a harassment investigation. The firm said the sackings related to sexual harassment, bullying and issues around poor company culture.
European shares extended their fall yesterday, with healthcare stocks particularly weak, as a diplomatic spat in the Middle East weakened appetite for risky assets across the board.
Markets are set for a mixed opening this morning. The FTSE 100 is expected to open four points higher this morning at 7,523. Meanwhile, ahead of tomorrow's European Central Bank meeting, France's Cac is seen opening seven points higher at 5,272 and the German Dax is set to open down five points at 12,680.
Brent Crude was down 0.1 per cent at $50.09 a barrel. Oil prices have been volatile this week as poor diplomatic relations with Qatar prompt uncertainty about recently agreed cuts to output by Opec and non-Opec oil producers.
Anglo African Oil & Gas, B.P. Marsh & Partners, Dekeloil Public Ltd, Freeagent Holdings, GB Group, Gusbourne, KEFI Minerals, Palace Capital, Rose Petroleum, Vianet Group
Oxford Metrics, Private & Commercial Finance Group
Amec Foster Wheeler
Fair Oaks Income Limited 2017 Shs NPV, Forbidden Technologies, Fidelity Japanese Values, Gem Diamonds Ltd. (DI), Genel Energy, The Gym Group, NB Distressed Debt Investment Fund Limited, Realm Therapeutics, Shawbrook Group, Vietnam Enterprise Investments (DI)
Medilink-Global UK Ltd.
UK Economic Announcements
(00:01) BRC Shop Price Index
Int. Economic Announcements
(10:00) Retail Sales (EU)
COLUMNS OF NOTE
Joseph Hackett argues on Capx that Britain has a stronger hand going into Brexit negotiations than is currently being portrayed in the media. He points out that the EU has done a good job of creating the impression that it is less bothered about a deal than Britain, but suggests this is just an illusion. The negotiations are more balanced than the EU would like us to believe, and Europe cannot afford to lose our trade, money and cooperation on security.
For a general election that is supposed to be about Brexit, the economy has featured surprisingly little in election debates, says the FT. With the possibility of a significant slowdown if the Brexit negotiations go badly, the paper’s editorial hopes the economy will return to centre stage in the public consciousness.
DID YOU KNOW
After nine years of planning, a Danish company is to stage the world’s first underwater concert in Glasgow this summer. The show will see musicians playing custom-designed instruments whilst submerged in vast tanks of water that will glow in a darkened gallery space.
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.
First Minister's Questions
Portfolio Questions: Culture, Tourism and External Affairs
Justice and the Law Officers