Pre-tax profits have slumped at Nationwide Building Society, falling 44 per cent to £466 million as it set aside cash for PPI mis-selling claims and expected credit losses associated with the coronavirus and was hit by low interest rates. The mutual said that its net interest margin — a closely watched measure of underlying lender profitability — fell to 1.13 per cent, down from 1.22 per cent the previous year. Mortgage lending slipped to £31 billion, down from £36 billion last year. “As the full impact of the coronavirus on our members and business becomes clearer, some of the targets we set ourselves may not be achieved in the short term,” warned Joe Garner, chief executive of Nationwide, alongside the results. Elsewhere on the
May 29, 2020 08:03 UTC
The Queen and Sir John Kerr exchanged letters and telegrams before the dismissal of the Australian prime minister in 1975The Queen’s secret communications with the Australian governor-general before he sacked a prime minister can be made public, defying the wishes of the Palace. The ruling by Australia’s highest court threatens to embarrass the Palace if the Queen or Prince Charles is shown to have known that Gough Whitlam, the Labor prime minister, was to be sacked by Sir John Kerr in November 1975. His firing brought bitter nationwide protests and Australia’s gravest constitutional crisis. If the Palace is shown to have been involved in what is known as “the Dismissal” it could accelerate moves for Australia to become a republic, ending the Queen’s role as its head of state. Gough Whitlam was fired in 1975 GRAEME FLETCHER/KEYSTONE/GETTYIn a majority decision the High Court of Australia ruled that despite the firm
May 29, 2020 08:03 UTC
Falmouth Art Gallery in Cornwall set today’s quiz, which lets you explore the art collections of museums around the UK closed due to coronavirus – while answering some difficult questionsThis quiz is brought to you in collaboration with Art UK, the online home for the UK’s public art collections, showing art from more than 3,000 venues and by 45,000 artists. Each day, a different collection on Art UK will set the questions. Today, our questions are set by Falmouth Art Gallery. You can see art from Falmouth Art Gallery on Art UK here. Find out more on the Falmouth Art Gallery website here.
May 29, 2020 06:56 UTC
The coronavirus pandemic is having a devastating effect on gender equality and could set women back decades, experts have said on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act. “Women started this crisis from a position of economic disadvantage,” said Dr Sara Reis, the head of research and policy at the UK Women’s Budget Group. “Working women have led the fight against coronavirus, but millions of them are stuck in low paid and insecure jobs,” she said. “It is hugely disappointing to see so many opted out when the legal requirement was lifted, and a worrying sign of attitudes towards gender equality during the crisis,” said Charlotte Woodworth, a gender equality campaign director. The focus on domestic violence could have positive repercussions, said Sarah Green, the director of the End Violence Against Women coalition.
May 29, 2020 06:00 UTC
The study found Covid-19 patients who received the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine were dying at higher rates and experiencing more heart-related complications than other virus patients. The signatories to the open letter, directed to the Lancet and the study authors, include prominent sceptics of the value of using hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid-19. The letter lists 10 major concerns about the statistical analysis and data integrity of the study. Researchers are not calling for clinical trials to be halted in the light of the Lancet study. Guardian Australia has contacted the Lancet, Surgisphere and the authors of the study for a response to the concerns outlined in the letter.
May 29, 2020 04:41 UTC
Then came the lockdown,” said Laura Baena, a mother of three and one of the founders of the group. “So what happens if grandparents are out of play, schools are closed and most mothers need to work during school hours?” said Baena. Around 13% said the lockdown had forced them to shoulder an even greater share of housework and childcare than normal. Many women had been left with little option but to quit their jobs or take leave without pay. “We’re going to be the big losers in this crisis.”Additional reporting by Daniel Boffey in Brussels
May 29, 2020 03:56 UTC
The UK was not included on a list of 29 countries released by Athens on Friday deemed to fit an “epidemiological profile” that makes travel from them relatively safe. However, people from European countries including Albania, Austria, Denmark, Germany, Finland, Norway Romania and Serbia – which like Greece have kept coronavirus infection rates and casualties low – will be allowed to fly in from 15 June. And further afield, residents of Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, South Korea were also told they could visit. But the epidemiological profile “sadly” did not apply to Britain, said government officials, aware that the UK is one of Greece’s biggest markets. Last year close to 4 million Britons travelled to Greece, with most heading to its extensive archipelago, which has remained remarkably Covid-free.
May 28, 2020 23:44 UTC
The next general election, which is due on May 2, 2024, may already be happening. General elections are in fact staggered events that take place over the lifetime of a government, rather than on a given day. Few political events have the power to influence the voters’ verdict but Dominic Cummings’s lockdown outing to Co Durham is one that does. Mr Cummings has made himself even more significant than he was before but, without doubt, as a liability not an asset. It is only once an election has taken place that we can judge when it really happened.
May 28, 2020 23:04 UTC
Nicola Sturgeon is urging Boris Johnson to concede that he is leading only England’s exit from lockdown as the prime minister continued to stand by his political aide. Police confirmed that Dominic Cummings, who played a pivotal role in Mr Johnson’s rise to No 10, may have broken lockdown rules when he travelled to a beauty spot in Durham with his wife and young son. Ms Sturgeon reiterated her call for Mr Cummings to be sacked yesterday, and told Scots to follow her advice on lockdown and ignore the more liberal regime in England. The first minister said that Scots would be permitted to sit in the sun and visit other households from today, two weeks after similar freedoms were granted in England. Ms Sturgeon
May 28, 2020 23:04 UTC
Manchester United's Paul Pogba has bought a condo in the same luxury high-rise as David BeckhamManchester United in MiamiMiami is a long way from Manchester, but a former and a current United midfielder could soon be bumping into each other on the beach. Paul Pogba, who also plays for the French national team, bought a condo this month in the same luxury high-rise as David Beckham. Pogba’s pad is more modest than the former England captain’s, costing $6 million according to a south Florida property website the Real Deal. Beckham, who co-owns Inter Miami football club, has reportedly bought an entire floor at the One Thousand Museum building for $19.8 million. Located in downtown Miami, prices start from $5.7 million for a home in the 213m-high skyscraper designed by the London-based architecture firm founded by Zaha Hadid.
SAVEFiesta festoon lights have 30 multicoloured LED lamps on a 7.25m black cable, with a 5m lead, £29.99, above, lights4fun.co.ukLutec Seine LED light is a low-profile, energy-efficient wall light, in graphite and opal, £35, homebase.co.ukInspired by marine design, the St Ives Mast Light is a classic galvanised steel downlight, £35, gardentrading.co.ukFestoon lights are the perfect party lights with 20 warm white LED lamps on a 9.5m cable, with a 5m lead, £55, coxandcox.co.ukSPENDBack in stock in June, this Solar Floor Lamp, with weather-resistant shade, gives the patio a living room vibe, £120, coxandcox.co.ukFollow Me is a chic portable garden table lamp from Marset, with a plywood handle and white polycarbonate shade, £157, madeindesign.co.ukSwan-neck bracket light, in
A gambling company that would have been fined £3.5 million for its role in the suicide of a young addict if it had not surrendered its licence has now agreed to hand over the money. Three years ago Chris Bruney, 25, an electrical engineer, committed suicide hours after he was given £400 of bonuses by staff at Winner.co.uk, which is owned by Playtech. In the five days before his death Mr Bruney, from Sheffield, lost £119,000 but was allowed to continue gambling. The Gambling Commission could not fine Playtech because its bosses shut the subsidiary which ran the Winner.co.uk brand. After pressure from MPs, charities and a bishop Playtech has agreed to pay the money in full and offered an apology to his family.
A leaked report claimed the New Lanark tenements were built to secure a workforce for the millsThe trust charged with preserving the heritage of a world famous industrial village believed it had no obligation to honour a tradition of affordable rents for tenants, a leaked report shows. The paper, written by Scott McCauley, the chief executive of the New Lanark Trust, appears to give short shrift to the legacy of David Dale and Robert Owen, the co-founders of a Georgian mill community celebrated for its treatment of workers and tenants. The report recommended the trust should liquidate New Lanark Homes (NLH), a housing charity responsible for 45 low-rent tenancies, begin “market testing” of properties on the open market, and transfer NLH’s reserve of £220,000 to the trust. The document was obtained by The Times as the trust delivered letters from
Q I rent a flat alongside two other people and have recently lost my job because of Covid-19. I’m going to struggle to pay rent. A Assuming your flatmates know about your financial situation and the impact it will have on your ability to pay rent, the first thing to do is contact your letting agent and landlord to make them aware of your change in circumstances. The Scottish government has issued guidance to private landlords and letting agents encouraging flexibility towards their tenants’ situation. You should let your landlord know of your change in circumstances immediately so that a practical arrangement regarding the payment of rent can be met.
Government borrowing is now heavily reliant on central bank purchases, which are helping to keep borrowing costs lowPolicymakers should pump more stimulus into the economy because the consequences of doing too little will be grave, a Bank of England official has warned. Michael Saunders, an external member of the Monetary Policy Committee, said that the coronavirus crisis could cause lasting damage to the economy by scarring the country’s productive capacity and fuelling unemployment. Explaining his vote for an increase in quantitative easing at this month’s policy meeting, Mr Saunders said: “It is safer to err on the side of easing somewhat too much. At present, if we overdo the stimulus somewhat and then find the economy recovers strongly, we have ample tools and time to tighten policy again before persistent excess demand and inflation become a problem. Michael Saunders said recovery will be slow BANK OF ENGLAND“Conversely, if we provide too