News digest 30 April 2014

News digest 30 April 2014

30 April 2014

Today’s top reads: Stories to keep an eye out for:

·                Bliss for George Osborne is a GDP rise on the same day as Treasury questions - Guardian

·                Economy still behind 2008 level – Morning Star

·                Bizarre Cable gets Mail sale mauling – Morning Star

·                Royal Mail float scandal: Cable ridiculed - Indie

·                Cash-shame MP quits – Express

·                Farage’s by-election bid to rock Cameron - Telegraph

Today’s digest starts on economic data as Osborne declares: “Britain is coming back!” So is the economy recovering, and what do the figures mean? While prime minister David Cameron and chancellor George Osborne crow about the recovery, the reality for the rest of us feels different. Even worse, yesterday’s poorer than expected figures showed how Cameron and Osborne view of the UK’s economic performance was a world away from the reality for millions of people struggling with a big decline in their incomes. General secretary Len McCluskey said: “These latest GDP figures show that after four years of austerity the economy has still has not returned to pre-recession levels. There is no room for complacency and smugness from Cameron and Osborne, as economic recovery is patchy; unemployment is still stubbornly high, especially for young people and the long-term jobless; and the downward pressure on wages still continues. Reports that new jobs are attracting average salaries £1,800 less than a year ago confirm that Britain needs an all-round pay rise to get growth really moving in the right direction.” People will only feel the recovery when pay rises in their pockets, the evidence so far is that is still a long way off and remember the government’s own statistics show that people will be worse after five years of the Con-Dem coalition, sorry George, we don’t feel better off, at all…

And not feeling too good was business secretary Vince Cable who also came under pressure over the botched sale of the Royal mail as he was quizzed by the business select committee. Although he tried to justify (badly) the underpricing of the sale, Unite took him to task, said national officer Brian Scott: “Money that should be flowing into the Treasury for schools and hospitals ended up in the hands of City funds and rapacious investors. Why on earth did Vince Cable believe that the ‘priority investors’ would act as stable, long-term investors in the privatised Royal Mail? The taxpayer has a right to know the circumstances surrounding the botched privatisation of Royal Mail. Who were the priority investors it gave ‘mates’ rates’ to, why were they picked and what guarantees did the government seek to secure long term investors for the Royal Mail?” Who? The Bureau of Investigative Journalism have an idea, it’s the usual suspects, what a surprise…

And less of a surprise was the resignation of Newark MP Patrick Mercer over a ‘cash for questions’ row after he decided to jump before he was pushed with an expected six-month suspension from the Commons. Many of the papers today report that Ukip leader Nigel Farage is seriously considering standing in the byelection, but this morning the Ukip leader ruled himself out of the running saying he had other things to focus on, not sure whether that is dealing with all his unsuitable council and MEP candidates, offering more ‘racist’ literature, crashing his German-made Ukip battle bus into train stations or raising his right hand (for another pint). Perhaps he did not want to become known as the confused MP for Newark, if you know what I mean….

Edited by Mik Sabiers

In London and looking for something to do? Why not pop along to the
London Labour Film Festival at the Odeon Cinema at 135 Shaftesbury Avenue, Covent
Garden. Check out the full programme here:


  Morning Star

  Daily Mirror

  Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • MP Mercer quits (p2)
  • Serco shares dive (p40)
  • Troubled Co-op in care axe (p40)



  Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • MP resigns (p1)
  • Labour want law change to block hostile takeovers (p2)
  • Half of Tube services halted due to strike (p14)
  • Pfizer ramps up pressure as Astra bid wins support (p35)
  • Barclays’ highest paid banker quits (p35)
  • Co-op board member goes after leaks (p38)
  • AstraZeneca merger mania (p40-41)
  • Alstom approves GE bid (p41)




  FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Barclays to set up a bad bank (p1)
  • Pfizer AZ bid (p3)
  • Growth revives pre-crisis hopes (p4)
  • Tube strike (p4)
  • Industry warns of skills shortage (p4)
  • Siemens to make offer for Alstom (p17/21)
  • Serco chief prepares for hard landing (p23)

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