News digest 7 May 2014

News digest 7 May 2014

07 May 2014

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

·                Fears grow over AstraZeneca bid – Morning Star

·                Cable: Ministers powerless over Pfizer takeover - Mail

·                Charges to see your GP? – Mail

·                £3.8bn NHS Better Care Fund policy delayed after damning Whitehall review – Guardian

·                OECD warning on house prices adds to pressure on Osborne over Help to Buy - Guardian

·                Homes, health and fairer taxes could put Ed in No 10 – Mary Riddell Telegraph

The top story in today’s papers is the ongoing hostile takeover of AstraZeneca by Pfizer. As the British pharma company continues to resist the £63 billion overtures from the US company, the politic al pressure was ratcheted up yesterday as Unite called on business secretary Vince Cable to meet with the unions to hear the case for saving UK jobs. The front page of the FT echoes that call with fears with an example of how Pfizer reacted in Sweden to acquiring a local firm – Pharmacia - it shut the research centres. That does not bode well for any UK centres, and that is why the call for Cable to act in the national interest is getting all the louder, especially as the Times today reveals that one of prime minister David Cameron’s key advisers – Mark Textor – was hired by Pfizer. Do you think Cameron can act in the national interest, or will the commercial take priority? There is a warning in the FT that voters are turning against the big business culture, but when did Cameron ever listen to the voters, he’s more concerned about his chums in the City.

And for evidence of that looks no further than what is happening to the NHS which is being privatised right in front of our eyes. As the Express and Mail both report that GPs are to vote on whether to charge patients for visits, the front page of the Guardian warns that a flagship government policy that was supposed to ease the strain on the NHS has been delayed because it was not considered credible. So much for health secretary Jeremy Hunt having a handle on the NHS, it’s not safe in his hands.

Also not safe in the recovery with concerns that the housing bubble will burst, there are more warnings from the Bank of England and the OECD about chancellor George Osborne’s ‘Hep to Buy’ scheme, but the main worry is that there are not enough homes for people to live in. labour leader Ed Miliband has promised a crackdown on ‘ghost homes’ but with one year to the election could the whole economic bubble burst costing the Tories the election. Mary Riddell in the Telegraph possibly thinks so, writing: Homes and health could see Ed in No 10, 365 days to go to the general election…

Edited by Mik Sabiers

  Morning Star

  Daily Mirror

  Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • RMT’s top gun (p2)
  • Miliband: I’m brainier than Cameron (p2)
  • Cable hints at halting Pfizer (p4)
  • Countdown to election (p14-15)
  • End of line for Balfour’s chief (p38)
  • Barclays plunges (p38)
  • BMW in fast lane (p38)
  • Astra to ‘double’ value by ‘resisting’ (p38)



  Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • NHS: Pressure grows to deliver justice for whistleblowers (p1/4)
  • Cameron’s strategist hired by Pfizer (p7)
  • Tube strikes fuelled by fight to succeed Bob Crow (p16)
  • My contender for the stupid socialist award – Daniel Finkelstein (p27)
  • Royal Mail forced into U-turn over top pay (p39)
  • AstraZeneca hits back (p39)
  • Kent Airport to close (p39) – Unite cited
  • Balfour Beatty chief quits (p41)
  • Barclays hit (p42)
  • AstraZeneca: We will double sales (p44) – Unite/Tony Burke cited




  FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Swedish alert over Pfizer push for AZ (p1/17)
  • Voters turn against big business (p1)
  • Cable hardens position on Pfizer (p2)
  • Cabbies protest at Shard (p4) – Unite cited
  • Pressure increases on Barclays (p15)
  • Paris hangs threat of Siemens deal over GE (p20)
  • Balfour exposed to takeover  (p22)
  • Barclays feels squeezed (p23) 

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