News digest 30 January 2014

News digest 30 January 2014

30 January 2014

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

·                Justin King profile: the man who reinvigorated basket case Sainsbury's - Guardian

·                A licence to steal? Freegan prosecution dropped – Mail

·                One in five steals from self-service supermarket checkouts - Telegraph

·                Unite warns against rush to shut bank branches – Morning Star

·                RBS uses vampire practices to strangle viable companies, MPs told - Indie

·                Ed Miliband turns away from zen and cashes in on 50p tax rate – Guardian

·                10 poorest areas hit hardest by Tory cuts - Mirror

Today’s digest starts with a good day for the subs as there are plenty of puns over the announcement that Sainsbury’s chief executive Justin King is to stand down after 10 years at the head of the supermarket. These range from ‘King’s reign over’ in the Sun to ‘King gives up his crown’ in the Indie to ‘King abdicates’ in the Telegraph and even the FT gets in on the act with ‘King gives up Sainsbury throne’. All the papers agree on the turnaround he made at the supermarket with 36 quarters of growth, sponsorship of the Paralympics and an increase in market share to become Britain’s second biggest grocer. King will leave in July and be replaced by commercial director Mike Coup. Big shoes to fill.

And from Sainsbury’s to Iceland, the supermarket not the country that is, and the firm found itself at the centre of a Twitter storm because three people were to be prosecuted for stealing food from bins behind its Kentish Town store in north London. A total waste of time for the CPS, the charges were dropped yesterday although the Mail still asks if the decision is: ‘A licence to steal?’, typical of that rag I suppose. Iceland CEO Malcolm Walker is more measured in a Guardian piece saying he knows times are tough, shame he didn’t act sooner…

And still with supermarkets and the Telegraph reports on the rise in people admitting stealing from self-service checkouts, looks like automation is not the key. And that is exactly the case with the banking sector. After Unite released research earlier this week showing customers wanted to talk to people not machines in banks, Barclays yesterday moved to deny it planned to close a quarter of its branches, let’s see if management remain true to their word, although with the banking sector that would probably be a novelty…

And the banks are taken to task by business secretary Vince Cable, the FT quotes his fury at the lack of lending by Lloyds, but there is worse for RBS which was accused by some 1,000 businesses of ‘morally wrong’ behaviour regarding its lending practices, go figure.

And also ‘morally wrong’ is the increasing division in the country. As Labour leader Ed Miliband took prime minister David Cameron to task yesterday over the PM’s refusal to rule out a further cut in the top rate of tax to 40p, the Mirror reports that 2.2 million children are living in cold homes, an increase of 26 per cent in the past year, and a separate study has found 48 per cent of people have cut back on spending. The Guardian also follows up on the fact that the 10 poorest areas in the country have been hit hardest by the Tory cuts, still think we’re all in it together, more like a recovery for the very rich…

Edited by Mik Sabiers

  Morning Star

  Daily Mirror

  Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • New 9-hour school regime planned (p1)
  • King’s reign over (p41)
  • More bank job losses (p41)



  Times (no links all stories behind paywall)




  FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Carney in currency warning to Scotland (p1)
  • King gives up Sainsbury throne (p1/21)
  • Ukip tries to weed out Walter Mitty candidates (p2)
  • PM refuses to reject 40p tax rate (P3)
  • Cable fury at Lloyds betrayal [over business lending] (p4)
  • Scots referendum coverage (p9)
  • Fiat Chrysler weakens Italy link (p15)
  • Europe’s banks in pay dilemma (p18)
  • Barclays warns of fresh charge (p21) – Unite/Dominic Hook cited

Comment on this story