News digest 15 November 2013

News digest 15 November 2013

15 November 2013

The top story in today’s digest is yet more change in the banking sector, and as ever it is change for the bad as Barclays yesterday snuck out a late announcement that it planned to axe another 1,700 jobs across the UK. Against the trend to improved customer service and talking to people rather than machines, the bank’s management has decided to cut back on 1,700 frontline roles from across its branch network. Cashiers, personal bankers, operational specialists, branch managers and assistant manager roles will be cut throughout 2014. Unite argues that Barclays customers want well-staffed branches and would prefer to deal with the highly trained and professional staff rather than simply rely on increased automation. Unite national officer Dominic Hook said: "It's a colossal mistake for Barclays to announce 1,700 job cuts across its bank branches. These employees deliver high levels of service that customers of the bank benefit from ... Unite is challenging the view that customers prefer to bank using machines instead of the dedicated staff currently working in Barclays’ branches across the country.”

Elsewhere, as Cameron swans off to yet another international summit – this time in Sri Lanka where the government is implicated in serious human rights abuses – he has attacked the compromises he has had to make as part of the Con-Dem coalition saying that some of the  decisions were not for the long term good of the country. Only some you may ask? Clegg attempted to respond, but as ever he is just another Tory cheerleader and a couple of the papers report that he has tried to raise the Falkirk row again, his actions summed up best by the Morning Star: ‘Clueless Clegg parrots Tory claims of Falkirk fix’. The Telegraph tries to keep the story going, quoting Eric Joyce, yeah, like he has no axe to grind…

And finally there is a lot of comment about MPs claiming office rents as another expenses row looks set to erupt. One in three MPs – including almost half the cabinet – rent offices from their party using Commons allowances. Oddly the Mail – continuing its prolonged attack on unions – runs with the headline: ‘MPs use rent loophole to hand money to unions and parties’ implying the money is going straight to unions, but then goes on to list the top ten claims from the cabinet, not sure if any of them would be renting from a union, as ever there’s more behind the headlines, in this case a stated agenda, perhaps if a few of the right-wing journalists read Seumas Milne’s piece in yesterday’s Guardian they’d have more of an idea of what readers and the people of this country really want…

Edited by Mik Sabiers

 Morning Star

  Daily Mirror

  Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • Cameron rages against coalition compromises (p4)
  • Parties in MP rent row (p4)
  • GPs agree 7-day deal to save A&Es (p6)
  • Barclays looking to axe 1,700 (p6) – Unite/Dominic Hook cited
  • Typhoon coverage (p8-9)
  • Boris slammed on cycle deaths (p29)
  • £450 million wiped off Serco (p50)
  • Centrica shares slide (p51)


  • Coalition hurts UK interests, says PM (p2)
  • MPs claim £3.6 million for party offices (p2)
  • Fury as Barclays cuts 1,700 jobs (p11) – Unite/Dominic Hook cited
  • Prober squeezes Serco’s profits (p66)
  • Centrica shares plunge (p67)


  Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • GPs told to reveal pay (p1)
  • Cameron and Clegg trade barbs about coalition (p4)
  • Boris urged to act over cyclist deaths (p17)
  • MPs renting offices from party ‘cost taxpayer more’ (p28)
  • Barclays to cut 1,700 from branches (p55) – Unite/Dominic Hook cited
  • EADS faces cash flow problems (p58)
  • Serco profit warning (p61)




  FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Cameron defends Sri Lanka trip (p2)
  • Squeeze on pay packets checks spending (p3)
  • MP’s office rents exposed (p4)
  • Centrica warns of 4 per cent profit shortfall (p19)
  • Barclays poised to make 1,700 UK staff cuts (p20)
  • Scandals tom plague Serco (p20)
  • Bosch steers towards autonomous future (p22)

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