• Wednesday, July 06, 2022

Results for "Rishi Sunak"

From Lockdown Christmas party to flat refurbishment: A list of…

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces what looked to be the final blow for his premiership as two senior ministers resigned after trying to apologise for his administration's latest scandal. Below May 28, 2020 - 'Minor' breach of lockdown by PM adviser British police say Johnson's senior adviser Dominic Cummings…

Tax cut worth up to £330 comes in for 30…

THIRTY million people across the UK will benefit from the biggest personal tax in a decade starting Wednesday (6) - with hard working Brits saving up to £330 per year. The £6 billion tax cut will see the level at which people start paying National Insurance rise to £12,570 –…

Five facts about Britain’s new finance minister Nadhim Zahawi

HERE are five facts about Britain's new finance minister Nadhim Zahawi, appointed by prime minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday (5) following the resignation of Rishi Sunak. Zahawi, 55, was born in Iraq and moved to Britain in the mid-1970s when his Kurdish family fled the rule of Saddam Hussein. A…

The important thing is to get inflation under control: Britain’s…

Britain's new finance minister, Nadhim Zahawi, set out his priorities for the economy in a series of interviews early on Wednesday, hours after he was appointed to replace Rishi Sunak.Below are the highlights:ON HIS PRIORITIES"I've got to rebuild and grow the economy. We've just come out of the equivalent of…

If UK PM Boris Johnson is ousted, who could replace…

Britain's finance and health ministers resigned in quick succession on Tuesday, in moves that put the future of Prime Minister Boris Johnson in peril after a series of scandals that have damaged his administration.Below is a summary of some of those who could be in the frame to replace him…

The final blow? UK PM Boris Johnson loses Rishi Sunak…

Britain's finance and health ministers resigned on Tuesday, in what looked to be the final blow for Prime Minister Boris Johnson's premiership after he had tried to apologise for the latest scandal to dog his administration. Both finance minister Rishi Sunak and health minister Sajid Javid resigned in what appeared…

Priti Patel urges police to use new powers to counter…

BRITISH home secretary Priti Patel has urged police to use new powers to shut down protests after fuel price campaigners held up highways around the country. According to reports, at least 13 protesters were arrested on Monday (4) for driving too slowly when blocking roads. Protesters called for fuel duty to…

Conservative Friends of India bids grand farewell to outgoing Indian…

THE Conservative Friends of India recently held a farewell reception in honour of the outgoing high commissioner of India, Her Excellency Gaitri Kumar Issar. High commissioner Issar began her service in May 2020, in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. She not only represented the high commission at the best…

Rishi Sunak’s ‘tax cut’ won’t give relief to millions of…

Millions of Britons in the higher income category will have to fork out more towards National Insurance from July this year, despite the increase in the threshold for the contribution.In March, chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that the income threshold for National Insurance - a tax aimed at social welfare -…

I can testify to the openness, fairness, and warmth, with…

UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has opened up at length about his Indian heritage and growing up in Britain in a hard-working British Indian family at an awards ceremony celebrating Indian diaspora achievements across different fields. The 42-year-old finance minister, born in the UK to National Health Service…

UK taxpayers became shareholders in a sex party organising company

Britain’s taxpayers have become shareholders in the women-led sex party organiser Killing Kittens as the government converted its loan to the company into equity.Founded by Emma Sayle in 2005, the company calls itself a sextech firm and has hosted parties in Europe, North America and Australia for its members with…

‘Backfiring’ UK response to strikes must change, union chief urges

Britain's heavy-handed approach to industrial relations has backfired as employees reject its "nonsense" demands for pay restraint and increasingly join unions, the head of the country's biggest trade union umbrella group said. Frances O'Grady, general secretary of the Trades Union Congress, told Reuters that unions had seen surging interest in…

Leaping debt costs add to UK government borrowing in May:…

SURGING debt interest costs triggered by the leap in inflation forced the British government to borrow more than expected in May at £14 billion ($17.14 bn), according to official data published on Thursday (23). Economists polled by Reuters had a median forecast of £12bn for borrowing excluding public sector banks.…

New online cost of living tools launched to help Britons…

Workers across the UK will be able to go online, input their salary and see how much they could save thanks to the tax cut which comes in on 6th July.New Financial Support and Benefits Checker Tool will also help people find the government support they’re eligible for.A NEW online…

UK unemployment edges higher as inflation slams wages; Rishi Sunak…

BRITAIN's unemployment rate has risen slightly while soaring inflation is causing the value of wages to fall at the fastest pace in more than a decade, official data showed Tuesday (14). Unemployment rose to 3.8 per cent in the three months to the end of April, but remained close to…

Asian businessmen Selva Pankaj and Rami Ranger among top Tory…

WEALTHY British Asians continued to pump money into the Conservative Party with businessman Dr Selva Pankaj making the largest total donation with £78,250 in the first quarter of 2022. Dr Pankaj is the CEO of Regent Group, a London based educational group which has a number of institutes across the…

Chancellor Sunak launches review of UK’s advanced computing at London…

CHANCELLOR of the exchequer Rishi Sunak on Monday (13) launched the Future of Compute Review during the opening address at London Tech Week, which kicked off the same day, as part of the UK government’s new Digital Strategy which was also unveiled at the event. The review will be led…

Rishi Sunak speaks on April GDP statistics, says world seeing…

NATIONS around the world are witnessing a sluggish growth and the UK is no exception. This is what Rishi Sunak, the chancellor to the exchequer, said in response to the official revelation that the British economy shrank unexpectedly in April which added to the fears of an acute slowdown just…

UK minister denies billions wasted over rising interest rates

A British minister on Friday denied a claim that the Treasury's decision not to insure against Bank of England interest-rate rises had cost taxpayers £11 billion ($13.7 billion) during a cost-of-living crisis. "The Treasury has inaccurately been accused of wasting billions of pounds," John Glen, a junior Treasury minister working…

Rishi Sunak accused of squandering £11bn of taxpayers’ money, here’s…

BRITAIN's oldest independent economic research firm has alleged that chancellor Rishi Sunak wasted £11 billion of taxpayers’ money by paying too much in interest on UK debt, according to a report.  The national institute of economic and social research (NIESR) has said that the losses were the result of Sunak's…

Average cost of filling up car in UK crosses £100…

With crude oil prices rocketing, the average cost of filling a 55-litre family car has now passed the £100 mark for the first time, according to a British automotive services firm.As the average price of unleaded diesel in the UK topped 182p for a litre and the unleaded variant cost…

Boris Johnson told to cut taxes if he wants to…

There are growing calls for prime minister Boris Johnson to cut taxes to ease the cost of living burden after he managed to sail through a confidence vote.A reduction in levies amid historic inflation levels would help reunify his traditionally low-tax Conservative Party, according to his supporters.Health secretary Sajid Javid…

UK PM Johnson vows to ‘get on with the job’…

UK prime minister Boris Johnson convened his cabinet on Tuesday (7), vowing to "get on with the job" after surviving a confidence vote of Conservative MPs that has left him severely weakened. The beleaguered leader has claimed that Monday (6) evening's dramatic ballot, which saw 211 Tory party lawmakers support…

Explained: UK’s new ‘High Potential’ Visa and what it means…

GRADUATES from the world's top 50 non-UK universities, including Indian students, can now come and work in Britain through a new High Potential Individual (HPI) visa route launched in London on Monday (30). In a joint announcement, Indian-origin UK cabinet ministers Rishi Sunak and Priti Patel said the new "exciting"…

Priti Patel’s ‘high potential visa’ scheme: UK opens up for…

BRITAIN has opened its borders for “brightest and best” young graduates from top-notch foreign institutions to work in the UK for at least two years.Under the “High Potential Individual” visa scheme launched on Monday (30), applicants with a bachelor’s or master’s degree from the top 50 non-UK universities can seek…

Most vulnerable households in UK to receive £1,200 to cope…

MOST vulnerable households in UK will receive at least £1,200 this year, including a new one-off £650 cost of living payment, as part of targeted government support to help with the rising cost of living crisis, it was announced on Thursday (26). British chancellor Rishi Sunak also announced a 25…

Rishi Sunak, Akshata Murty make UK rich list debut with…

BRITAIN'S chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty are among the richest people in the UK with their combined fortune estimated at £730 million.The couple made their debut in the annual Sunday Times Rich List on Friday (20), ranked 222. Indian-origin Hinduja brothers are at the…

Sunak on inflation: State cannot protect people completely

BRITISH chancellor Rishi Sunak has insisted that the state "cannot protect people completely" as he warned the next few months "will be tough"after inflation rate has surged to a 40-year high.  Reacting to Wednesday's (18) data, he blamed the situation on "global challenges" and noted Britain was not alone in…

Britain ready for Asian PM

THE vast majority of Britons say they are comfortable with having a south Asian as their prime minister. A survey by the think-tank, British Future, found that a third of the British public would see an Asian prime minister as a good thing for our country. At least eight in…

Delhi University graduate appointed to Bank of England

CHANCELLOR Rishi Sunak has appointed a Delhi School of Economics alumna as an external member of the monetary policy committee (MPC) of the Bank of England.Swati Dhingra's appointment to the central bank comes amid the UK’s fight to tame the post-pandemic inflation, amplified by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Dhingra,…

Tracking upward trends of Indian investment in the UK

THE shadow foreign secretary David Lammy and his Labour front-bench colleague, Preet Gill, the shadow international development secretary, have both dismissed Boris Johnson’s recent trip to India as being of little consequence. But Grant Thornton’s report, India meets Britain Tracker: The latest trends in Indian investment in the UK 2022,…

‘Harrow gain proves power of British Indian support’

WHILE it was disappointing to see the Conservative party lose flagship councils in London and across the country, there was one particular council that bucked the trend and shone a ray of light for the Tories. Harrow – the hometown for both of us – was the only council across…

Rishi Sunak ‘not naturally attracted’ to windfall tax idea

PRIME minister Boris Johnson warned that a windfall tax could deter investment by energy companies, amid the indications that the government could choose to be practical about such a levy.Rishi Sunak, the chancellor of the exchequer, said he was "pragmatic" about the idea of a windfall tax on the profits…

Starmer to ‘offer to resign if fined for Covid rule…

BRITAIN'S opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer will offer to resign if he is found by police to have broken Covid rules at a gathering last year, Sky News reported on Monday (9) without citing sources.The 59-year-old, who previously served as the country's top prosecutor, has led calls for prime…

Nandy declines to rule out another attempt at Labour’s top…

LABOUR politician Lisa Nandy has not ruled herself out of contention for her party’s top position even as its leader Keir Starmer is facing a police probe for potentially breaching lockdown rules a year ago.The alleged offence involving Starmer took place at a gathering in Durham, northern England, in April…

Labour and its anti-India stance

SIR Keir Starmer and other Labour leaders, including notably the shadow attorney general, Emily Thornberry, who targeted Rishi Sunak and his wife, Akshata Murty, over her tax arrangements, have been made to look utterly foolish by Lord Geidt, the prime minister’s adviser on ministerial interests. After investigating whether the chancellor…

Starmer faces police probe over lockdown gathering

KEIR STARMER, leader of the UK's opposition Labour Party, will face a police probe into whether a campaign gathering in 2021 breached lockdown rules, weeks after prime minister Boris Johnson was fined for breaking the rules. "We can confirm that an investigation into potential breaches of Covid-19 regulations relating to…

Can’t help everyone through cost-of-living crisis: Johnson

PRIME minister Boris Johnson said on Tuesday (3) the government could not help everyone through the current cost-of-living crisis and had to remain prudent with its spending to avoid stoking an inflationary spiral.Surging prices are contributing to the biggest squeeze on household incomes since at least the 1950s, putting pressure…

Sunak cleared of ethics breach

The British government's ethics advisor said on Wednesday he had cleared embattled chancellor Rishi Sunak of breaching ministerial codes after investigating his family's tax affairs. Sunak earlier this month asked the adviser on ministerial standards, Christopher Geidt, to review whether he followed all the rules after revelations about his family's…

UK to set up new authority to ‘chase down’ frauds

BRITAIN said on Wednesday (27) it will set up a new authority to crack down on financial frauds as chancellor of exchequer Rishi Sunak admitted that the government’s pandemic assistance schemes were abused.The announcement comes amid a series of reports that economic offenders milked the government’s low-interest loan scheme at…

Survey: Nearly a quarter of Britons struggle to pay bills

ALMOST a quarter of people in Britain said it became harder to pay household bills even before increases in regulated energy prices took effect, according to an official survey that underscored the breadth of a cost-of-living crisis. Some 23 per cent of people surveyed in March by the Office for…

Johnson backs under-fire chancellor Sunak

BRITISH prime minister Boris Johnson gave his backing to his under-fire chancellor Rishi Sunak, saying he will remain in his job as the country's second most powerful politician after the next cabinet reshuffle expected later this year. Sunak, once seen as a strong candidate to succeed Johnson, has faced a…

Infosys begins ‘transitioning’ out of Russia

Indian software giant Infosys said on Wednesday it was 'transitioning' out of the Russian market following the Ukraine war and conflict of interest accusations levelled at Rishi Sunak, the British chancellor. Sunak's wife Akshata Murty holds a nearly $1 billion stake in the IT firm, which was founded by her…

Rishi Sunak’s wife set to receive £6m from Infosys

AKSHATA MURTY, the wife of Britain’s chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak, is set to receive a dividend payment of £6 million from the Indian IT major Infosys in which she has a 0.93 per cent stake.The company, founded by her father NR Narayana Murthy, has declared a dividend of…

UK inflation strikes 30-year high

BRITAIN'S annual inflation rate soared to the highest level in three decades last month as energy prices rocket, official data showed Wednesday (13), worsening the cost-of-living crisis.Inflation surged to 7.0 per cent in March from 6.2 per cent in February, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a statement."Broad-based…

Johnson and Sunak fined for breaching lockdown rules

British prime minister Boris Johnson and chancellor Rishi Sunak are to receive fines for breaching strict coronavirus lockdown rules, a government statement said on Tuesday (12). Police have been investigating 12 gatherings at Downing Street and the Cabinet Office after an internal inquiry found Johnson's staff had enjoyed alcohol-fuelled parties,…

Sunak subjects himself to scrutiny

PRIME minister Boris Johnson has agreed to a request from the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, for a review to determine whether he stuck to the rules on ministerial declarations.The move caps days of criticism over the financial arrangements of Sunak’s family and the allegation of “political hypocrisy” as questions emerged over…

Johnson agrees to Sunak’s investigation request

British prime minister Boris Johnson has agreed to a request from his chancellor Rishi Sunak for a review to determine whether he had stuck to the rules on ministerial declarations following criticism over Sunak's family financial arrangements. Sunak said on Sunday he had written to the prime minister asking him…

Sunak requests independent review of his financial declarations

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said on Sunday he had asked prime minister Boris Johnson for a review to determine whether he had stuck to the rules on ministerial declarations following criticism over his family's financial arrangements. Sunak said he had written to the prime minister asking him to refer Sunak's ministerial…

Rishi Sunak under new attack over Green Card

BRITAIN's embattled finance minister Rishi Sunak stood accused of political hypocrisy as new questions emerged over offshore tax havens reportedly held by his Indian wife. Sunak was also criticised for a lack of transparency, after he admitted to holding a "Green Card" for US permanent residents until last year. Sunak's…

Richer than the queen: Rishi Sunak’s mega-wealthy wife and in-laws

Akshata Murty, the Indian wife of embattled British chancellor Rishi Sunak, is richer than the queen as the daughter of a self-made tech billionaire and a no-less-formidable engineer and philanthropist mother. Sunak, once seen as a future prime minister, has seen his popularity sink because of surging consumer prices, while…

Sunak’s wife to pay UK taxes on worldwide income

AKSHATA MURTY, wife of Britain's chancellor Rishi Sunak, announced on Friday (8) she will start paying UK tax on "all worldwide income," amid controversy over her non-domiciled status.Sunak has accused critics of mounting a "smear" campaign against his wealthy Indian wife, whose substantial foreign earnings have been shielded from UK…

Rishi Sunak hits out at ‘smear’ campaign over wife’s tax…

Britain's chancellor Rishi Sunak has accused critics of mounting a "smear" campaign against his wealthy Indian wife, whose substantial foreign earnings are shielded from UK taxes. The Labour party has accused Sunak of "breathtaking hypocrisy" after he raised taxes on ordinary Britons in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis. But…

Sunak under scrutiny over wife’s tax dealings

UK chancellor Rishi Sunak, once a leading contender to become prime minister, faced new criticism on Thursday after it emerged his Indian wife holds non-domiciled status, shielding her from UK taxes. Akshata Murthy, daughter of Indian billionaire NR Narayana Murthy, confirmed she "is treated as non-domiciled for UK tax purposes"…

Chancellor Sunak’s wife is non-domiciled for tax purposes

The wife of Britain's chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak is treated as non-domiciled for UK tax purposes but pays taxes in Britain on all her UK income, her spokeswoman said on Wednesday. Akshata Murthy is the daughter of Narayana Murthy, the billionaire co-founder of IT services company Infosys, and…

Rishi Sunak and wife donate more than £100,000 to Winchester…

RISHI SUNAK and his wife Akshata Murty have donated more than £100,000 to Winchester College, the chancellor’s old private school. The school’s journal from 2020 puts Sunak on a list of benefactors who have donated over £100,000 in total, suggesting he is a regular donor. “Rishi and his wife have…

Infosys shuts Russia operations

INDIA's Infosys has said that it is in the process of urgently closing down its Russian operations, media reports said. Staff in Moscow are being relocated to other countries. UK chancellor Rishi Sunak has been facing burning questions over wife Akshata Murty's shares in Infosys, which was co-founded by her…

It’s wrong to attack my wife: Rishi Sunak

BRITAIN’S chancellor of exchequer Rishi Sunak said his wife was unfairly attacked over her connections with Indian IT major Infosys.A news channel had last week asked Sunk if he was “giving advice to others you’re not following in your own home”, referring to his wife Akshata Murthy’s reported stake in…

Uber, Bolt may hike prices this week to help drivers

UBER and Bolt are contemplating passing the high fuel costs to customers as the ride-hailing firms seek to help their divers.Uber’s UK arm said last week that it remained focused on offering drivers “the benefits and protections they deserve”.RAC Foundation data showed that the pump prices of unleaded petrol in…

Infosys plays down Russia ties

INDIA's Infosys played down its business ties in Russia after British chancellor Rishi Sunak came under fire over his wife's stake in the IT giant. Infosys, with a market value of some $100 billion, was co-founded by Sunak's father-in-law NR Narayana Murthy. His daughter Akshata Murty, Sunak's wife, owns a…

Rising star Sunak loses some of his shine

British chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak is being accused of being out of touch with ordinary voters, in a sudden fall from grace just months after he was tipped as the next prime minister. The star of the 41-year-old had been in ascendancy for his handling of public finances…

Restaurateur’s Asma Khan: Women Chefs are a ‘recipe for success’

ONE OF Britain’s leading restaurateurs (Asma Khan) has urged Asian women to consider a career in the industry, saying that the skills needed in a professional kitchen were “intuitive” to south Asian females. Asma Khan runs the popular Darjeeling Express in Covent Garden, having moved to the bigger site in…

Asian leaders warn of growing pressure on healthcare and the…

AN INFLUENTIAL doctors’ leader has raised concerns about the pressure GPs are likely to face as the imminent cost of living crisis bites, while a leading business figure said higher taxes will stifle economic recovery as he also urged ministers to continue free lateral flow tests beyond March. Dr Chaand…

Sunak denies family benefiting from Putin’s regime

CHANCELLOR Rishi Sunak denied his family is benefiting from Russia when his government has imposed sanctions on Moscow.Sunak’s wife Akshata Murthy is the daughter of Infosys co-founder NR Narayana Murthy. She is believed to have a stake in the IT services company which has operations in Russia.“I don’t think so,"…

Spring Statement 2022 : Sunak cuts fuel duty as UK…

BRITAIN'S economy will grow more slowly this year than previously predicted and inflation will be much higher, chancellor of exchequer Rishi Sunak said as he gave a budget update which included measures to ease a cost-of-living squeeze.Sunak, announcing forecasts drawn up by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), said on…

Rishi Sunak unveils a mini-budget aimed at ‘cost-of-living’ crisis

BRITAIN unveils on Wednesday (23) a mini-budget update aimed at easing a cost of living crisis, as data revealed inflation spiking to a three-decade high on soaring energy prices.Annual inflation accelerated to 6.2 per cent in February from 5.5 per cent in January, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said…

GG2 Power List shows rise of Asian female high-fliers

WOMEN are very much on the move – rising to roles not previously seen before and smashing glass ceilings in the process. The GG2 Power List was unveiled on Tuesday (8) evening at Eastern Eye publisher AMG’s high-profile and glittering GG2 Leadership & Diversity Awards, where the role of highflying women…

Sunak extols lower taxes as UK tax burden heads for…

BRITISH finance secretary Rishi Sunak underscored his faith in low taxes on Wednesday (23) ahead of an increase in social security contributions in April that will take the government's tax take to the highest since the 1950s. "I firmly believe in lower taxes," Sunak, widely seen as a possible future…

UK annual inflation hits fresh 30-year high

BRITAIN’S annual inflation has hit the highest level since 1992, data showed on Wednesday (16), adding pressure to the cost of living and on the Bank of England to keep raising rates.The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) edged up to 5.5 per cent in January from 5.4 per cent in December,…

Squeaky-clean Sunak: chancellor tipped as UK’s first Hindu prime minister

Britain's chancellor Rishi Sunak is on a meteoric trajectory that could, if Boris Johnson is forced out, propel him next door to 10 Downing Street to become Britain's first Hindu prime minister. It would mark a historic landmark, for a descendant of immigrants from Britain's old empire in India and…

Company backed by Rishi Sunak’s wife is on the verge…

A company backed by Rishi Sunak's wife is on the verge of collapse due to the challenges faced by Covid-induced lockdowns, reported The Telegraph.  Gym chain Digme Fitness, in which the chancellor’s wife Akshata Murthy holds a 4.2 per cent stake, has filed a notice of its intention to appoint administrators…

Amazon announces major UK film studio investment

AMAZON streaming service Prime Video announced a major "long-term" deal for the exclusive use of new production facilities at studios near London, further boosting Britain's booming film industry. The "landmark multimillion-pound... contract with Shepperton Studios" was for "original TV series and movie productions", its owner Pinewood Group said in a…

Prince Charles tests positive for Covid-19 for a second time

PRINCE CHARLES has tested positive for COVID-19, his office said on Thursday (10), the second time he has contracted the disease. "This morning The Prince of Wales has tested positive for Covid-19 and is now self-isolating," Clarence House said, adding he had cancelled his planned engagements for later in the…

Lord Gadhia named British Asian Trust’s new chair

CHANCELLOR Rishi Sunak and home secretary Priti Patel joined Prince Charles and his wife Camilla at an event hosted by the British Asian Trust (BAT) in London last night (9).Leading business, political and community leaders from the subcontinent attended the trust’s annual dinner at the British Museum, where Lord Jitesh…

After Labour leader hounded, Johnson under pressure over slur

AFTER protesters hounded Britain's Labour leader Keir Starmer, prime minister Boris Johnson faced pressure on Tuesday (8) to withdraw a claim that the opposition leader had failed to prosecute one of the country's most notorious child abusers "Jimmy Savile". Johnson, who won a landslide in a 2019 election, is facing…

Sunder Katwala: Is the UK ready for Rishi Sunak?

As the volatile Westminster mood shifts daily, predictions are perilous. But the bookmakers odds capture the fragility of the prime minister’s position, giving Boris Johnson a one in three chance of remaining in office to the end of this year, and only a one in five chance of fighting a…

Sunak admits attending Downing Street lockdown party

CHANCELLOR Rishi Sunak has admitted to attending prime minister Boris Johnson's lockdown birthday party in 2020 but refused to say what happened when he entered the room and claimed that he was there for a meeting to discuss the Covid-19 situation. His comments came after Johnson's five aides, including longstanding…

Johnson on staff exodus: Change is good

BRITISH prime minister Boris Johnson invoked Disney's "The Lion King", insisting "change is good" as he rallied his dwindling inner circle in the fallout over lockdown-breaking parties held in his Downing Street office. Chief policy advisor Munira Mirza unexpectedly quit on Thursday (3), delivering a serious blow to the embattled…

Defending diversity in the Tory party

ALLEGATIONS of Islamophobia within the Conservative party have been deeply damaging. They go against the fundamental social fabric of what the party stands for – to promote equality of opportunity to all for a better life, regardless of colour, background or creed. Such allegations must quite rightly be investigated. There…

Johnson’s top aide Munira Mirza quits over his Jimmy Savile…

THE policy chief of Number 10 resigned on Thursday (3) afternoon over prime minister Boris Johnson's Jimmy Savile attack on Keir Starmer.  Munira Mirza, the Downing Street head of policy, worked with Johnson for 14 years, from the time he was the mayor of London. He previously named Mirza as…

Four top aides desert embattled Johnson

BRITISH prime minister Boris Johnson suffered four staff defections on Thursday (3) as pressure intensified on the embattled leader over lockdown parties and his loose-lipped style of politics.One of the departures – that of the head of policy Munira Mirza - was linked to an inflammatory remark made by Johnson,…

‘Tories have a problem with Asians’

As party faces Islamophobia allegations, Sunak touted as next leader THE Conservative party has a problem with black and Asian ministers, an influential Tory politician has said, after MP Nusrat Ghani’s claimed last week she was sacked in a reshuffle because of her ‘Muslimness’. Former junior transport minister Ghani, who…

Google buys London office complex for $1bn

GOOGLE has agreed to buy a central London building complex for $1 billion, but stressed it remained committed to new hybrid working patterns in the wake of Covid. The tech titan will purchase the Central St Giles office site, where it is a tenant, for the equivalent of $1bn. Google…

Johnson sparks anger, resignation on streets over ‘partygate’

"I'd think twice about it," Uxbridge resident Veronika Machu said of voting again for her local MP Boris Johnson, after a slew of lockdown partying allegations. Voters in suburban Uxbridge, on the fringes of Greater London, feel anger, disappointment and resignation at the ongoing accusations, including that the prime minister's…

UK economy finally bigger than before pandemic in November

BRITAIN'S economy grew strongly in November to finally surpass its size just before the country went into its first Covid-19 lockdown, official data showed on Friday. The world's fifth-biggest economy expanded by a much faster than expected 0.9 per cent in November - before the latest wave of Covid-19 infections…

EXCLUSIVE: Lord Bilimoria urges UK government to “lower taxes to…

The president of the organisation which speaks for UK businesses has urged the government to lower taxes immediately to help the country’s “very fragile economy”. Speaking exclusively to Eastern Eye, Lord [Karan] Bilimoria, founder of Cobra Beer, said that families and businesses were suffering from a triple whammy of higher…

Cost of living crisis: Sunak tries to quell growing Conservative…

UK chancellor Rishi Sunak will try to quell growing Conservative unrest over the cost of living as delegations of MPs press him to cancel a planned tax rise and ditch VAT on energy bills in exchange for savings on tackling the pandemic, the Guardian reported.  Sunak is committed to national…

Finding solutions to old problems in the new year

Building bridges across divisions in society will be key in 2022 EVERY new year is a time for optimism, but 2022 begins with that natural instinct checked by recent experience. Few expected this Covid-19 pandemic to go into a third year. In its first year, we pulled together rather than…

Tackling climate change must be a whole government effort: Alok…

BRITISH minister who chaired the Cop26 climate summit has said that tackling the climate crisis must be a whole government effort or risk becoming “just a bunch of meaningless promises”, reported The Guardian.  Alok Sharma has added that all of his colleagues must bear joint responsibility for the UK’s net-zero…

Former local councillor found guilty of Covid grant fraud

A former politician and his wife have been convicted of fraud by false representation after they were found guilty of falsifying information to acquire a COVID-19 support loan offered by the UK government. Harman Banger, 40, and wife Neena Kumari, 38, were convicted at Wolverhampton Magistrates’ Court last week and…

EXCLUSIVE: As Omicron surge continues doctors’ leaders warn…NHS ON BRINK…

Senior Tories urge PM not to “exacerbate and aggravate” pandemic fallout One in 10 health workers could be forced to stop working because of Covid come the New Year, according to the chair of the British Medical Association (BMA). The warning comes as senior Conservatives urged the prime minister to…

Sunak launches £1 billion support package for Covid-hit businesses

BRITAIN on Tuesday (21) launched a £1 billion support package for Covid-hit businesses, as staff absences from rising cases began to bite in the run-up to Christmas. Chancellor Rishi Sunak said some 200,000 firms would be eligible for one-off grants to offset losses from what is normally the busiest time…

Sunak to say more about hospitality support talks soon

BRITISH finance minister Rishi Sunak will talk soon about his discussions with representatives of the hospitality industry who are demanding more government support as the Omicron coronavirus variant hammers their sector, a government minister said. "He was in calls with industry leaders last night and he will be saying more…

Sunak resists new Covid restrictions before Christmas

BRITAIN'S finance secretary Rishi Sunak is one of 10 cabinet ministers who are resisting the introduction of new restrictions before Christmas to curb the spread of the Omicron variant by casting doubts on the accuracy of official modelling, the Times reported. The UK government's chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance told…

British hospitality businesses reel from Omicron surge

Britain's pandemic-weary hospitality businesses have taken a fresh hit from soaring coronavirus cases fueled by the Omicron variant, as anxious customers curtail socialising and cancel bookings over the Christmas period. Pubs, restaurants and bars -- already struggling after nearly two years of reduced revenues due to the pandemic -- now…

Sunak cuts short US trip to discuss new Covid-19 aid

BRITISH finance secretary Rishi Sunak cut short an official trip to the United States on Thursday (16) to consider help for Covid-hit hospitality businesses but said firms were already receiving support through tax reliefs. Britain has reported record numbers of new Covid-19 infections for two days running, and on Wednesday…

Public opinion for Boris Johnson collapses, poll shows

A new poll has revealed a collapse in public opinion for prime minister Boris Johnson and the Tory government.  According to the poll by Survation, for ITV’s Good Morning Britain, Labour have maintained their recently gained lead over the Tories at 39 per cent, with the latter polling at 32…

Survey: British Indians are defecting in sizeable numbers from Labour…

NEW research has revealed that British Indians, who, along with most other ethnic minorities, have long been core Labour party voters, are defecting in sizeable numbers, reported The Guardian. The report, based on a recent survey, added that a shift in the diaspora’s voting patterns would be significant in UK.…

‘Climate activism is vital in the fight for social justice’

AS WORLD leaders met for COP26 in Glasgow, we were reminded of the sobering fact that we are currently in a climate emergency. There is a climate breakdown and globally we must do more – we need real action if we are to slow and correct climate breakdown. Climate activism…

UK inflation soars to near decade-high on energy bills

BRITISH inflation spiked close to a decade-high in October partly on higher energy bills and resurgent post-lockdown demand, official data showed on Wednesday (17), sparking fresh talk of an interest rate hike. The annual rate jumped to 4.2 percent, the highest level since November 2011, the Office for National Statistics…

‘No Drama Sharma’: UK’s low-key COP chief

ALOK Sharma was hardly a household name in Britain, let alone the rest of the world, when appointed to lead the UN climate talks. But with the planet's future at stake, the COP26 president has had to emerge from the shadows to stand in a blindingly bright spotlight over the…

Mind the COP26 finance day gap

Why turning climate change promises into practical policies will be challenging FINANCE DAY at COP is always the point when the rhetoric of the leaders’ speeches hits the ground with a thump. During two days of high-level sessions, a succession of presidents and prime ministers were keen to explain to…

EVERY DAY 11 ASIANS DIE FROM COVID

Sadiq Khan: Bring back police enforcement on mask wearing More south Asians will catch and die from Covid during the traditional winter health crisis unless the government toughens its stance on vaccinations and mask wearing in public places. That is the warning from the British Medical Association, the London mayor,…

Sunak unveils Gandhi coin to mark Diwali

Britain on Thursday (4) unveiled a new commemorative coin to mark Diwali, celebrating the life and legacy of Indian independence leader Mahatma Gandhi. The special coin, available in gold and silver, features an image of India's national flower, the lotus, and one of Gandhi's most famous quotes: "My life is…

Sunak promises more spending as UK emerges from pandemic

Britain's pandemic-hit economy is set to extend its solid recovery into next year despite strong inflationary pressures, chancellor Rishi Sunak announced on Wednesday (27). Confirming plans for multi-billion-pound funding projects, Sunak said in a budget speech that the government was reducing state debt that soared during the pandemic. And after…

UK vows to restore foreign aid budget after cuts

The UK government, after triggering an outcry by cutting its foreign aid budget, vowed to restore the funding in the coming years ahead of a UN climate summit where help for poorer countries will be pivotal. Presenting his budget for the next fiscal year, chancellor Rishi Sunak said the aid…

Sunak tries to move on from pandemic with new spending

FINANCE SECRETARY Rishi Sunak will try to show that he is moving Britain on from the coronavirus pandemic on Wednesday (27) when he announces multi-billion-pound investments to help prime minister Boris Johnson meet spending promises to voters. But Sunak, who has racked up the biggest ever peacetime budget deficit to…

Sunak to unfreeze public sector wages, Treasury says

BRITISH finance secretary Rishi Sunak will unfreeze public sector pay when he presents his budget in two days' time, the finance ministry said on Monday (25). The fact he would do this was first reported by the Sun newspaper on Sunday (24). The size of the pay rise will depend…

UK plans £6 billion package to boost health service capacity

BRITISH finance secretary Rishi Sunak's budget this week will include an extra £5.9 billion ($8.1 billion) of spending for the health service over the next few years to drive down waiting lists, the finance ministry said on Sunday (24). The sum comes on top of an £8 billion package announced…

Britain’s 20-year binge on cheap food is over: Boparan

BRITAIN’S 20-year binge on cheap food is coming to an end and food inflation could hit double digits due to a tidal wave of soaring costs, Britain’s biggest chicken producer said. As it emerges from the twin crises of Brexit and Covid, the world's fifth-largest economy is facing an acute…

Britain to apply corporate sustainability disclosure standards

BRITAIN will be among the first countries to apply corporate sustainability disclosure standards from a new global board to be unveiled soon, a government minister has said. The London-based IFRS Foundation is set to unveil a new International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) in the run up to next month's COP26…

UK nightlife sector lost 86,000 jobs during Covid: study

SOME 86,000 jobs have been lost in the UK's nightlife sector since 2019, an industry body said on Monday (11), blaming coronavirus closures. The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) said the sector accounted for 1.6 per cent of GDP in 2019, the equivalent of £36.4 billion and employed 425,000. But…

UK to charge for rapid Covid-19 testing early next year

BRITAIN is aiming early next year to be ready to start charging for some previously free Covid-19 tests, two sources close to the health service said, a step one described as driven by the finance ministry's desire to rein in spending. The government and health officials have said that rapid…

Johnson vows ‘long overdue’ revamp of UK’s post-Brexit economy

British prime minister Boris Johnson rallied his Conservative party faithful on Wednesday (6), vowing a far-reaching overhaul to wean the UK economy off cheap foreign labour after Brexit. Shrugging off panic buying at petrol stations, bare supermarket shelves and retailers' warnings of a bleak Christmas to come, the Tory leader…

Sunak launches new artificial intelligence strategy

UK chancellor Rishi Sunak on Monday (4) announced a new £34 million National Artificial Intelligence Fund that will support the creation of 2,000 elite AI scholarships to create a high-tech economy of the future. The Cabinet minister said the fund will help the UK build the skills needed for the…

Pandora papers: UK, India and Pakistan vow to probe ‘hidden…

BRITAIN, India and Pakistan have all said they will investigate a leak of financial documents published by news organisations that allegedly tie world leaders to concealed wealth. “Pandora Papers”, the dump of more than 11.9 million records, amounting to about 2.94 terabytes of data, came five years after the leak…

Tax cuts only after public finances are fixed: Sunak

RISHI Sunak said on Monday (4) that tax cuts could only come once public finances were put on a sustainable footing. Last month the UK government set out plans to raise taxes on workers, employers and some investors to try to fix a health and social care funding crisis. Speaking…

Manchester India summit focuses on free trade pact

Mayor Burnham emphasises need to build trust and people-to-people ties MANCHESTER, which is apparently “the most liveable city in the UK”, is taking the whole business of attracting inward investment from India very seriously. Last Thursday (9), it held an “in person” Manchester India summit which was attended by more…

Greensill review proposes new code of conduct and greater lobbying…

A government review into the Greensill scandal has called for a new code of conduct and greater transparency over lobbying in Whitehall, The Guardian reported. The report released on Thursday (16) also recommended the government curb its use of supply chain finance, a method of deferring supplier payments for a fee.…

Rishi Sunak, Priti Patel retain top jobs as Johnson shuffles…

British prime minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday (15) undertook a reshuffle of his top team, keeping two of his senior Cabinet ministers Rishi Sunak and Priti Patel in their posts. Sunak will remain next door to Johnson at Downing Street as his chancellor of the exchequer and Patel, who had…

UK employee numbers surge above pre-pandemic level

BRITISH employers added a record 241,000 staff to their payrolls last month, lifting the total number of payrolled employees just above the level they were before Britain first went into a Covid-19 lockdown last year, official data showed on Tuesday (14). Tuesday's (14) data show continued recovery in Britain's job…

Sunak wants insurers to explore products for social care costs

BRITISH finance secretary Rishi Sunak has directed Treasury officials to explore with the insurance industry new financial products that would help people cover their share of costs for social care, a Treasury source said on Friday (10). Prime minister Boris Johnson set out plans on Tuesday to raise taxes on…

Johnson to hike taxes to pay for social care

PRIME MINISTER Boris Johnson will address lawmakers on Tuesday (7) on his plans to fix Britain's social care system, with many in his own party furious that he wants to pay for it by hiking taxes in a clear breach of his election pledges. After splurging on the Covid-19 pandemic,…

Johnson to announce NHS boost before cabinet reshuffle

THERE are chances of a cabinet reshuffle as Boris Johnson is expected to hand £34 billion to the NHS as part of a reform of health and social care. According to a report by The Sunday Times, the first ministreal reshuffle by the prime minister in more than 18 months…

‘A cultural thing’: Cricket defines British-Indian identity

Three flags fluttering above the pavilion of London's Oval cricket ground neatly symbolised the interchangeable identities of Britain's ethnic minorities at the fourth Test between England and India on Thursday. A British Union Jack flew highest in the middle, flanked by England's Saint George's Cross and an Indian tricolour, as…

UK, India sign $1.2bn investment package in green projects

THE UK and India on Thursday (2) signed a $1.2bn package of public and private investment in green projects to tackle climate change. Indian finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman and UK chancellor Rishi Sunak have cleared the agreement at the 11th UK-India Economic and Financial Dialogue (EFD) held via video conference.…

Two Businesses, in which Sunak’s wife had shares, gone bust…

TWO businesses- in which Chancellor Rishi Sunak's wife owned shares- have gone bust in the pandemic owing £623,000 to the taxman, media reports claimed on Wednesday (18), adding that one of the firms had also secured £1.3million from Sunak's Covid loan scheme. Sunak’s wife Akshata Murthy owned part of Lava…

UK reports record-high vacancies as economy reopens

THE UK reported record-high vacancies in the second quarter as the economy reopened during the period, according to official data. There has been a drastic decrease in Britain's unemployment rate as well. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) data showed that the number of payroll employees has surged during the…

UK unemployment falls as payrolls jump to pre-pandemic level

THE number of employees on British company payrolls has moved closer to pre-pandemic levels and pay growth hit a record high, despite being hit by Covid-19 lockdowns, official data showed on Tuesday (17). As Britain's economy extends its recovery from last year's slump, payrolls rose by 182,000 in July to…

Boris versus Rishi

EARLIER this month, Rishi Sunak received some bad news when the conservative Home website, edited by Paul Goodman, made the chancellor favourite to take over from prime minister Boris Johnson. Goodman does concede that by the time the next Conservative leadership election comes along, there might be a very different list…

UK economy rebounds in second quarter as Covid curbs ease

THE UK’s economy rebounded 4.8 per cent in the second quarter as government eased Covid restrictions and most businesses emerged from lockdown. Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that the expansion in gross domestic product (GDP) was fuelled by retail, restaurants and hotels. It was also supported…

‘Sunak continues as UK’s golden boy, outranks Johnson in popularity’

MORE than half of Tory voters want Chancellor Rishi Sunak to replace prime minister Boris Johnson when he leaves No 10, as per a recent poll which added that about 47 per cent of Conservatives think the handover should take place in the next 12 months.    As per recent…

Greensill: David Cameron took home £7m from company he lobbied…

FORMER British prime minister David Cameron made more than £7 million from Greensill Capital before the collapse of the finance company, media reports claimed on Monday (9) citing recently-emerged documents which show that the former Conservative leader cashed-in about £3.25m alone through Greensill shares in 2019.   Cameron made a…

Johnson allegedly threatened to demote Rishi Sunak over leaked letter

British prime minister Boris Johnson is said to have been furious over a letter being leaked to the media last week, which claimed his chancellor Rishi Sunak had written to push for easier international COVID-19 travel norms ahead of a planned review. The reaction followed media reports that Sunak had…

UK to provide £750m Covid insurance for music festivals, live…

THE UK has launched a £750 million Covid insurance scheme to cover music festivals and other live events. The sector has been demanding protection after months of mass cancellations due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Live Events Reinsurance Scheme, announced by the finance ministry, follows pressure from organisers and venues…

Ritual humiliation at Olympics

THE world is divided between the haves and have nots by the availability of Covid vaccines, but even more dramatically by the Olympics. Every four years we witness a dispiriting occasion – the ritual humiliation of the vast majority of countries. Is there a case for scrapping the Olympics? More than…

‘Amber watchlist’ idea scrapped after cabinet revolt

PLANS to create an "amber watchlist" for countries at risk of moving to red have been shelved after a revolt in the cabinet and a backlash from the travel industry, media reports said on Tuesday (3).   The plans for the extra level namely “amber watchlist”- other than existing red,…

Sunak warns working from home may harm career

CHANCELLOR Rishi Sunak has urged Britons to go back to the office as he warned home working may harm careers, reports said on Tuesday (3), amid claims that people are still being cautious over returning to offices despite the end of all restrictions on July 19.   Speaking during an…

Sunak urges Johnson to ease travel restrictions

CHANCELLOR Rishi Sunak is urging prime minister Boris Johnson to scrap Covid travel restrictions and save summer holidays this year, warning that border rules are wrecking the UK economy, squandering Britain's vaccine advantage and are stricter than other European arrivals, said media reports.   Sunak has written to Johnson calling…

Amit Roy: Sajid ‘cowering’ from Tory right?

SAJID JAVID has written his “isolation diary” in the Spectator, expressing satisfaction that after more than a year in the political wilderness, he is back in the cabinet as health secretary. Matt Hancock’s misfortune brought Sajid good luck. He reveals, “my mum was delighted – like many Asian mothers she…

IMF raises UK economic growth forecast to 7 per cent

THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND (IMF) has raised forecast for the UK economic growth for this year to seven per cent in line with other major advanced economies. The latest forecast was 1.7 percentage points higher than the IMF forecast in April. British economic output dropped almost 10 per cent in…

Power List salute to Covid heroes

Rishi Sunak tops annual ranking of most influential Asians in the UK PANDEMIC heroes who went above and beyond their call of duty have been honoured in a special edition of the GG2 Power List, which ranks the 101 most influential Asians in Britain. Thirty Asian doctors, nurses and researchers…

‘Britain heading for biggest cut since World War II’

WITH upcoming Universal Credit cut, England is heading for the biggest cut to the basic rate of social security “since the creation of the welfare state at the end of World War II”, experts have warned, adding that workers in south-west England will be hardest hit with some half a…

Sharma: Man of the moment

LAST week’s horrifying floods in Germany make Alok Sharma, president of COP26, just about the most important man in Britain – possibly even in the world. It’s his job to bring competing nations together as mankind confronts climate change at the conference due to be held in Glasgow from November…

Exclusive: ‘Eat out scheme triggered higher deaths in Pakistani, Bangladeshi…

CHANCELLOR Rishi Sunak's Eat Out to Help Out scheme last summer may have triggered a rise in Covid-19 related deaths among Bangladeshi and Pakistani communities, a scientist has said.   Since more people from the Bangladeshi and Pakistani communities in the UK work in small restaurants and eating joints, Professor…

England lifts Covid curbs as experts warn of surge in…

THE government on Monday (19) lifted Covid restrictions on daily life in England, scrapping all social distancing in a step slammed by scientists and opposition parties as a dangerous leap into the unknown. From Sunday midnight, nightclubs were able to reopen and other indoor venues allowed to run at full…

UK’s unemployment falls as economy reopens

UNEMPLOYMENT rate has come down in Britain with the opening of the Covid-hit economy, but businesses are struggling to recruit sufficient staff, official data released on Thursday (15) showed. The country’s unemployment rate dipped to 4.8 per cent in the three months to May, the Office for National Statistics (ONS)…

Philanthropists to partly cover UK foreign aid cut

PHILANTHROPIST organisations, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, will provide £93.5 million funding to cover some cuts in the UK foreign aid. This follows the government’s decision to cut this year's spending on overseas aid from 0.7 per cent of national income to 0.5 per cent due to the…

G20 finance ministers back global tax reform

FINANCE ministers from the G20 economies endorsed a global tax reform on Saturday (10), and urged the hold-out countries to support the deal. So far, the proposal has been backed by 132 countries. "We have achieved a historic agreement on a more stable and fairer international tax architecture," the ministers…

First edition of UK-India financial markets dialogue held

THE inaugural meeting of the UK-India Financial Markets Dialogue (FMD) between senior representatives of both countries was held virtually on Friday (9). As part of the dialogue, discussions were held to strengthen cooperation on four key themes- Gujarat International Finance Tec (GIFT) City, banking and payments, insurance and capital markets.…

G20 finance chiefs meet in Venice, tax reform top agenda

FINANCE ministers from the G20 economies gathered today (9) in Venice, with global tax reform at the top of the meeting agenda. The current meeting is being convened under the presidency of Italy. US treasury secretary Janet Yellen, European Central Bank (ECB) chief Christine Lagarde and Russian finance minister Anton…

Go back to office so ‘young can learn’, Sunak tells…

UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak wants workers to return to the office when coronavirus restrictions are lifted on July 19, media reports claimed. Saying that he is looking forward to the return, Sunak has insisted there was a benefit of workers being with their colleagues, particularly for the young. "I think…

Learning to live with anti-lockdown Tories

POLITICAL analysts have detected a dangerous jihadi strain in the Conservative party first detected in Westminster. Those infected with this deadly mutation say: “We want all Covid restrictions lifted, no matter what the cost. Raising alarms about the 25,000 people a day testing positive for the Delta strain from India…

Chancellor Sunak indicates ruling out 8 per cent pension hike

CHANCELLOR Rishi Sunak hinted at ruling out a predicted 8 per cent rise in the state pension next year, backtracking on his manifesto promise to keep the triple lock, the BBC reported. The annual rise in pensions is governed by the triple lock - a conservative manifesto promise until 2024.…

Sunak says government looking at ‘pinged’ frustration due to Covid…

CHANCELLOR Rishi Sunak said the government was looking at changes to its Covid-19 app due to frustration among the public about the continued need for 10 days of self-isolation if it alerts them to a possible exposure to the virus. The government plans to lift capacity restrictions on pubs, restaurants…

Asians urged to join a union for ‘fair and equal…

TRADES Union Congress (TUC) leader Frances O’Grady has called for more Asian, black and minority ethnic workers to join the organisation as she said being part of a “union means you are much more likely to get fair and equal pay”. In an exclusive and wide-ranging interview with Eastern Eye,…

Sunak lays out plans for UK’s green sovereign bonds

CHANCELLOR Rishi Sunak on Thursday (1) laid out plans for the country's green sovereign and savings bonds to be launched later this year. He said the introduction of the bonds are part of his financial strategy to make UK the best place in the world for green finance. "We're giving…

Javid returns to the centre of UK politics

IT WOULD be ironic if Sajid Javid, who is back from the political wilderness as Matt Hancock’s replacement as health secretary, and Rishi Sunak, who succeeded him 16 months ago as chancellor, fight it out one day for the top job in British politics. Asian vs Asian for the post…

Commemorative coin unveiled marking Prince Philip’s ‘life well lived’

A new coin to commemorate the life of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, was unveiled by chancellor Rishi Sunak on Saturday (26). The special edition £5 coin features an original portrait of The Duke to celebrate his remarkable life. The coin’s design was approved by The…

Sajid Javid returns to government as health secretary

FORMER chancellor Sajid Javid will replace Matt Hancock as the UK's health and social care secretary, Downing Street said on Saturday (26). Javid resigned as chancellor early last year after he refused to fire his political advisers as demanded by Johnson. The British Asian MP from Bromsgrove has previously held…

Social distancing to be scrapped ‘definitely’ on July 19 amid…

ONE METRE social distancing rule will definitely be scrapped on July 19, media reports said citing government sources, even if the Freedom Day plan gets altered again due to the rise in Covid cases. The news came amid rising numbers which are said to be at their highest level since…

Sneak peek into Sunak’s mornings

AN EARLY rise, a grueling Peloton workout to Britney Spears songs, followed by either no breakfast at all or a minimal one - this is the morning routine of chancellor Rishi Sunak. Discussing how his routine has changed after becoming the chancellor, Sunak told a podcast on Monday (21) that…

Hancock kept Johnson in dark over effectiveness of vaccines against…

UK health secretary Matt Hancock failed to tell prime minister Boris Johnson about a Public Health England (PHE) study showing the effectiveness of vaccines against the delta variant during a key meeting to decide whether to extend Covid restrictions, according to a report in The Telegraph. Hancock had known about…

Chancellor Sunak opens UK’s first infrastructure bank in Leeds

CHANCELLOR Rishi Sunak on Thursday (17) opened the UK’s first infrastructure bank in Leeds that will channelise money into big projects and help tackle climate change. In his March budget speech, Sunak said the UK Infrastructure Bank (UKIB) would support regional economic growth and help get rid of the north-south…

There is no institutional or systemic racism in Conservative Party

LAST month Professor Swaran Singh published his independent investigation of discrimination within the Conservative Party. This was a thorough and comprehensive independent report, with Singh having full access to party records and conducting interviews with prime minister Boris Johnson and cabinet ministers. Clearly, the party took the investigation seriously, and…

Government may soon introduce right to choose work from home

MILLIONS of office staff in Britain may soon be given the right to choose work from home arrangement permanently, media reports claimed, adding that the government is planning to introduce legislation that will bar bosses from forcing employees to come to the workplace. A reported leaked Whitehall paper suggests that…

Johnson set to announce delay of final unlocking amid rising…

PRIME minister Boris Johnson is set to announce a four-week delay in easing Covid restrictions today later at a press conference from Downing Street, media reports claim.  Johnson will be accompanied by the UK’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty and the Government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance.  Reports…

No change expected in Furlough scheme withdrawal plan as lockdown…

DEMANDS from businesses to extend the furlough scheme are said to be rejected by UK exchequer Rishi Sunak, claim media reports, saying that the timetable for gradually withdrawing furlough will remain unaltered. The Chancellor reportedly will continue to wind down the wage support scheme from the start of next month,…

Johnson may push back Freedom Day until July amid rising…

THE UK government is considering a delay of four weeks in lifting remaining Covid restrictions, a media report claims, amid growing concern over rapidly increasing cases and the higher transmissibility of the Delta variant. Ahead of an announcement scheduled to be made by the prime minister Boris Johnson on Monday…

Amazon, Flipkart face investigation by India’s Competition Commission into their…

THE Competition Commission of India (CCI) has relaunched an investigation into Amazon’s selling practices in the country after an Indian court dismissed pleas by Amazon and the Walmart-owned Flipkart to quash the investigation. Originally announced in January 2020, it will also examine the company’s £1 billion-a-year joint venture with UK…

UK economy grows 2.3 per cent in April as Covid…

BRITAIN’S economy grew 2.3 per cent in April as easing of Covid-19 lockdown boosted consumer demand, official data showed Friday (11). It was the fastest monthly output for UK gross domestic product (GDP) since July "as government restrictions affecting economic activity continued to ease", the Office for National Statistics (ONS)…

UK to seek exemption for finance firms in London from…

CHANCELLOR Rishi Sunak will seek exemption for financial services firms in London from a new global tax system, agreed last week by the G7 member nations. Proposed by US president Joe Biden, the new tax plan aims to "redistribute" the profits of the world’s 100 largest businesses, such as Google,…

Britain’s airlines say extra support needed to protect jobs

AIRLINES based in Britain have told the government they will need industry-specific support to help them protect tens of thousands of jobs if Covid-19 rules continue to keep travel markets shut. Companies including British Airways, easyJet and Ryanair are in a crisis after Britain's plans to restart travel on May…

Rishi Sunak Hails ‘historic’ G7 Global Tax Agreement

UK chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak on Saturday (5) welcomed “seismic tax reforms” agreed by the world’s richest economies at the G7 finance ministers meeting, chaired by Britain. Finance ministers meeting in London agreed to battle tax avoidance through measures to make companies pay in the countries where they…

Finance ministers from G7 group confident of striking tax deal

FINANCE MINISTERS from the G7 group of countries are confident of reaching a deal on a global minimum rate for taxing multinational companies at their meeting in London on June 4-5. It would target tech giants such as Amazon and Microsoft. German finance minister Olaf Scholz said a 15 per…

Tories react to Singh review on party’s ‘Muslim problem’

THE Conservative government needs to prioritise engagement with ethnic minority communities, a former MP has said, following a report which found anti-Muslim sentiment “remains a problem” in the Tory party. An independent inquiry, led by Professor Swaran Singh, found a “widespread perception” that the Tories have a “Muslim problem”. The…

Children to ‘spend more hours in school to catch-up after…

CHILDREN may have to spend an additional two and a half hours each week at school to overcome a year of disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a media report citing leaked details of the plan by the government’s education recovery commissioner. Sir Kevan Collins has called for all…

From Mahabharat to Bridgerton, Sunak reveals his binge-watch list

CHANCELLOR Rishi Sunak said he grew up watching Bollywood films and the epic Indian mythological series Mahabharat, with Baywatch and Blind Date also included as part of his weekend viewing at the time. “I watched Bollywood movies, but the big, defining TV thing for probably all Indian families was Mahabharat,”…

UK calls for more G7 progress to ensure green, sustainable…

CHANCELLOR Rishi Sunak has called for more progress towards ensuring green and sustainable global economic recovery, while speaking with other finance ministers and central bankers from the G7 group of nations in a virtual meeting on Friday (28). He asked for setting up consistent international rules on how companies report…

Chancellor Sunak defends his Greensill texts with ex-prime minister Cameron

CHANCELLOR Rishi Sunak defended his text messages with former prime minister David Cameron on Thursday (27), saying the Treasury has nothing to learn from the Greensill lobbying scandal. He told the Treasury select committee that he would not have changed his approach to the company and Cameron despite allegations that…

UK borrowing shows first annual fall since outbreak of pandemic

BRITAIN'S massive public borrowing began to head downwards last month for the first time since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, bolstered by a brightening economic outlook that pointed to a potentially faster improvement in public finances. Public sector net borrowing in April totalled 31.7 billion pounds, official figures showed…

Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance faces UK fraud probe over Greensill

BRITAIN's Serious Fraud Office on Friday (14) launched a probe into steelmaker GFG Alliance, focusing partly on links with its collapsed financier Greensill. GFG Alliance, owned by Indian-British billionaire Sanjeev Gupta, had been Greensill's biggest customer at the time of the finance giant's notorious collapse. GFG said it would cooperate…

David Cameron to face MPs over Greensill lobbying

BRITISH lawmakers will get their first chance on Thursday (13) to question former prime minister David Cameron about his controversial lobbying for collapsed finance group Greensill Capital. The former Conservative leader, who was an adviser to the company and reportedly held lucrative stock options that are now worthless, will appear…

‘Economic growth in March is promising sign,’ says Rishi Sunak

DESPITE being in lockdown to combat the second wave of coronavirus, Britain’s gross domestic product (GDP) contracted by only 1.5 percent in the first quarter of 2021, official data showed on Wednesday (12). In fact, the economy even managed to grow by 2.1 percent in March when the country began…

Cameron contacted senior ministers ‘repeatedly’ last year to lobby for…

FORMER British prime minister David Cameron repeatedly contacted senior ministers over a four-month period in 2020 to lobby for the now-failed, supply-chain finance firm Greensill Capital, according to documents published on Tuesday (11). Cameron's involvement in efforts to secure access for Greensill Capital to the government's pandemic funding schemes have…

Sunak pledges to support recovery as Britain’s GDP jumps in…

BRITAIN's economy began to recover strongly at the end of the first quarter despite lockdown restrictions, official data revealed on Wednesday (12). Gross domestic product jumped 2.1 per cent in March, the Office for National Statistics said, although by not enough for the UK economy to avoid contracting overall in…

British MPs to grill Lex Greensill over collapse, lobbying

AUSTRALIAN financier Lex Greensill faces a grilling by British lawmakers Tuesday (11) over his collapsed company Greensill Capital, which has triggered fears of major job losses and accusations of political wrongdoing in the UK. Greensill, whose group's demise has hit hard some of the world's biggest banks and risks thousands…

Sunak redecorated his flat ‘entirely’ at own expense, Treasury says

AFTER prime minister Boris Johnson's costly refurbishment of his flat came under scrutiny, Treasury on Wednesday (28) said that chancellor Rishi Sunak redecorated his Downing Street flat last year 'entirely' at own expense. Sunak, his wife Akshata Murthy and two daughters live in the flat above No.10. As Johnson's costly…

Greensill Capital’s parent group enters liquidation

THE Australian parent group of finance firm Greensill Capital, whose collapse led to corporate fallout and a lobbying row in Britain, has entered liquidation on Thursday (22). The company had filed for bankruptcy last month for its operations in Britain, and also in Australia where its parent group is based…

India’s Tata Group sues Liberty Steel over ‘missed payments’

INDIAN conglomerate Tata Group has sued Liberty Steel over missed payments from the latter's £100 million takeover of Tata's speciality steels business in 2017. Tata has launched proceedings against Liberty Speciality Steels, Liberty House Group PTE and Speciality Steel UK, reported The Telegraph. "This is an active court case and…

UK unemployment falls for second month in a row

BRITAIN'S unemployment rate unexpectedly fell for a second month in a row to 4.9 per cent in the December-to-February period, most of which the country spent under a tight Covid-19 lockdown, according to official figures on Tuesday (20). Economists polled by Reuters had largely forecast that the jobless rate -…

UK parliamentary committee to summon Sunak, Cameron over Greensill lobbying

A British parliamentary committee will summon chancellor Rishi Sunak and David Cameron to appear before it to answer questions about the former prime minister's lobbying for the now collapsed finance firm Greensill Capital. A series of inquiries have been launched into what access lobbyists have had to Boris Johnson's government…

UK launches consultation to create flexible apprenticeships across sectors

THE UK on Tuesday (20) launched a new consultation seeking views on how the new 'flexi-job' apprenticeship could be run to help more people gain the skills they need. The flexi-job apprenticeship schemes would enable an apprentice to work across a range of projects and with different employers to gain…

Liberty Steel crisis deepens further, UK orders independent probe in…

FORMER UK prime minister David Cameron will “respond positively” when asked to provide evidence in an investigation to probe his role in lobbying for Greensill Capital, a spokesperson for him said. Cameron, who resigned as prime minister in 2016, lobbied senior government ministers, including chancellor Rishi Sunak, on behalf of…

UK opens probe into Greensill lobbying by David Cameron

AN independent investigation has been opened by Britain government after former prime minister David Cameron's lobbying of collapsed Greensill Capital raised questions. During Cameron's tenure as prime minister from 2010 to 2016, Australian banker Lex Greensill was an adviser to the government. After leaving office, Cameron in turn became an…

I didn’t break any rules in Greensill lobbying, says David…

THE former prime minister has finally broken his silence in the Greensill Capital lobbying row and said he should have rather approached ministers formally. David Cameron, however, in a statement last night insisted that he had not broken any rules. Cameron has faced criticism for contacting chancellor Rishi Sunak and…

Cameron regrets not approaching Sunak formally in Greensill lobbying

A lobbying row has erupted after it was out in public domain that the former prime minister David Cameron has sent texts to chancellor Rishi Sunak and two other ministers seeking help for Greensill Capital. As reported in Financial Times, a friend of Cameron said he now thinks it would…

Rishi Sunak and David Cameron texts released in Greensill lobbying…

THE release of text messages between Rishi Sunak and David Cameron has put the chancellor in a spot, where he is accused of trying to facilitate Greensill Capital to gain access to emergency Covid loans. The text messages shows Sunak telling Cameron that he has told his team to see…

UK launches loan scheme to help companies recover

BRITAIN will on Tuesday (6) launch a government-backed loan scheme to help companies access finance as the economy reopens from a strict lockdown, offering maximum loans of £10 million ($14m). Finance minister Rishi Sunak said the loans, ranging from £25,001 to £10m, would replace existing Covid-19 programmes and be on…

Two million workers in the UK to benefit as wage…

AROUND two million lowest-paid workers in the UK will benefit as an increase in national minimum and living wages came into effect on Thursday (1), an official statement said. The rate hike include a 2.2  per cent increase in the national living wage to £8.91, the equivalent of more than…

UK economy grew more quickly than expected in 2020, shows…

BRITAIN's coronavirus-hammered economy grew more quickly than previously thought in the final three months of last year but still shrank by the most in more than three centuries in 2020 as a whole, official data showed on Wednesday (31). The figures also revealed the biggest pile of household savings on…

Collapsed financier Greensill may face a formal inquiry

A group of MPs in Britain will meet on Monday (22) to decide whether to launch a formal inquiry into the collapse of supply chain financier Greensill. The meeting happens amid claims that former prime minister David Cameron personally lobbied the government on its behalf, reported The Telegraph. The Treasury…

Sunak says Covid-19 affect continues as UK economy sinks in…

BRITAIN's economy hit reverse in January on renewed coronavirus curbs while the nation's post-Brexit EU goods exports suffered a record collapse, official data showed Friday (12). Gross domestic product shrank 2.9 per cent after 1.2-per cent growth in December, the Office for National Statistics said in a statement, with heavy…

‘Budget will help economy survive’

by LAUREN CODLING BUSINESS leaders have reacted to the 2021 budget, as the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, promised to “do whatever it takes to support the British people and businesses” after the economy slumped by 10 per cent last year following the coronavirus outbreak. In his annual budget speech last Wednesday…

‘Budget 2021 offers pathway to recovery after pandemic squeeze’

By Anuj J Chande THE chancellor’s 2021 budget was ambitious. Pledging to do “what­ever it takes”, Rishi Sunak announced a further £65 billion for a range of measures to support businesses through what we all hope will be the final few months of major economic restric­tions.Alongside these were initiatives de­signed…

‘Our chance to reconnect’

By Sunder Katwala Director, British Future SPRING begins with a tangible sense of hope. March will surely be a month when we look both back and forward. When lockdown began in 2020, few of us antici­pated being still caught in its grip a year later. That anniversary will provide a…

British supermarkets forgo business rates relief again

BRITAIN's big four supermarket groups - market leader Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda and Morrisons - said on Wednesday (3) they would forgo business rates relief granted to them in finance minister Rishi Sunak's budget statement. Sunak extended a year-long business rates exemption for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses to the end…

Sunak extends Covid rescue plan but moves to bring in…

Sunak announces continuation of emergency support UK economy to recover pre-pandemic size mid-2022 Borrowing forecasts revised up sharply for 2021/22 Corporation tax to rise from 2023 Sunak freezes income tax thresholds UK finance minister Rishi Sunak extended costly emergency programmes to see Britain's economy through the Covid-19 crisis but announced…

UK to extend virus support, may raise tax in budget

BRITAIN is expected to keep vast emergency financial support propping up the UK's virus-battered economy when unveiling its annual budget Wednesday (3), but could also raise tax to fight surging debt. "The key thing is right now to keep supporting the economy... but also level with people," finance minister Rishi…

UK unemployment edges up to 5.1 per cent on pandemic…

BRITAIN's unemployment rate edged up to 5.1 per cent in the final quarter of 2020, official data showed on Tuesday(23), as coronavirus lockdowns slashed economic activity. The rate compared with 5.0 per cent in the three months to the end of November, which was a 4.5-year high, the Office for…

Rishi Sunak plans new tech vsas to boost UK fintech

Chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak is planning to lay out details of new fast-track tech visas in his Budget statement next month as part of efforts to boost the UK's financial technology industry, according to a UK media report. The senior cabinet minister has drawn up details for the…

‘Young people need support to get back into work’

By Seema Malhotra Labour MP for Feltham and Heston, and shadow employment minister AS THE shadow minis­ter for employment, I have been working hard to hold the government to account on support­ing young people into work during this crisis. Figures published last month show that more than 620,000 16- to…

Rishi Sunak sees ‘signs of resilience’ as UK economy suffers…

UK chancellor of the wxchequer Rishi Sunak on Friday (12) pointed to signs of resilience and indicated further support measures in his Budget statement next month as latest statistics showed the British economy suffered its biggest decline in more than 300 years in 2020. As most businesses, shops and restaurants…

UK gives £1000 to employers to recruit new trainees

THE UK on Wednesday(27) announced a £1000 funding scheme for employers to take new trainees. Apprenticeships and skills minister Gillian Keegan said that the cash boost will help businesses with the cost of providing a high-quality work placement for a trainee, and will be available until 31 July 2021. Businesses…

UK unemployment rate highest since 2016

BRITAIN's unemployment rate hit 5 per cent at the end of 2020, the highest level for more than four-and-a-half years, as coronavirus lockdowns destroyed jobs, official data showed Tuesday(26). The rate for the three months to the end of November compares with 4.9 per cent in the quarter to October,…

British firms demand £7.6bn emergency aid; say ‘can’t wait until…

BRITISH firms called on Tuesday(19) for another  £7.6 billion ($10.3bn) of emergency government help, saying they cannot wait until finance minister Rishi Sunak's March budget to learn if they will get more pandemic support. With Britain back under lockdown and companies adjusting to life after Brexit, firms are taking big…

Sunak says November GDP fall shows challenge for economy

BRITAIN's economy shrank in November for the first time since the initial Covid-19 lockdown last spring, hit by a tightening of social-distancing rules. The 2.6 per cent monthly decline was much smaller than most analysts expected - a Reuters poll had pointed to a 5.7 per cent contraction - but…

‘Lockdown will be fatal for eateries’

By Nadeem Badshah LEADING Asian restaurant bosses and chefs have urged ministers to provide more cash to save jobs and businesses from the Covid-19 crisis. Eateries across the country have been forced to close since November under lockdown rules and owners warned that many will be unable to survive without…

Matharu seeks continued support for the UK’s hospitality sector

A LEADING Asian businessman has urged continued support for the UK’s hospitality sector as a third lockdown began in England this week. Chancellor Rishi Sunak offered a £4.6 billion support package for businesses on Tuesday (5) to soften an expected recession caused by a surge in Covid-19 cases that prompted…

Sunak announces extra £4.6bn financial aid for lockdown-hit firms

BRITAIN offered a new £4.6 billion ($6.2 billion) support package for businesses struggling to cope with a third national lockdown that began this week to stem a new wave of Covid-19 cases sweeping the country. Finance minister Rishi Sunak said retail, hospitality and leisure companies will be able to claim…

Britain announces third national lockdown

SCHOOLS and colleges across Britain closed on Tuesday(5) ahead of a national lockdown as the country battled to control surging coronavirus cases that are threatening to overwhelm its healthcare system. The tough new measures were announced Monday(4) even as Britain began rolling out the Oxford-AstraZeneca shots, a possible game-changer in…

UK businesses report deepening hit from renewed Covid clamp-down: CBI

A FALL in British business activity deepened after the country began to tighten coronavirus restrictions again last month, the Confederation of British Industry said on Wednesday(23), calling for more support for businesses from the government. The balance of firms reporting growth in the three months to December slipped to -21…

UK needs to tackle coronavirus-inflated budget deficit, says Sunak

BRITISH finance minister Rishi Sunak said he would tackle the country's coronavirus-inflated budget deficit because of the risks of a future shock to the economy and higher borrowing costs that could hammer the public finances. "Running a structural deficit years into the future, with debt rising? That's not building up…

Brexit FAQs explained

By Amit Roy THERE is nothing permanent about Brexit. If it doesn’t work, a future generation can always ap­ply to rejoin the club. What Grou­cho Marx meant to say was, “I re­fuse to be kept out of any club that won’t have me as a member.” Also, there have been…

UK jobless rate rises to highest in more than four…

BRITAIN's jobless rate rose again in the three months to October and redundancies reached a record high as companies were hit by new coronavirus restrictions and prepared for the end of government job subsidies that were eventually extended into 2021. Official data showed the unemployment rate reached 4.9 per cent,…

Conservative Friends of India co-chairs seek to engage with new…

By Amit Roy THE work of the Conservative Friends of India (CFI) in trying to strengthen links with British Indians – and with India – has been explained to Eastern Eye by the organisation’s co-chairs, Ameet Jogia and Reena Ranger. They took over in March this year from CFI’s previous…

Preet Kaur Gill MP wins MP of the Year award…

PREET KAUR GILL, MP for Birmingham Edgbaston, has won the MP of the Year award instituted by diversity and inclusion charity Patchwork Foundation. She has been recognised for her consistent championing of young people, representation of the Sikh Community and her initiative to tackle Fuel Poverty via a strategic campaign…

Rishi Sunak allocates funds for UK’s new Counter Terrorism Operations…

UK chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced to set aside millions of pounds to establish a “world-leading” Counter Terrorism Operations Centre (CTOC) based in London. As part of a Spending Review for the next year’s budgetary plans tabled in Parliament on Wednesday (25), the Sunak said he would allocate an additional…

‘It’s time to say goodbye’

By Lord Meghnad Desai I ARRIVED in London in September 1965 to teach at the London School of Economics (LSE). I had left India in 1961 and gone to the United States, thanks to Ford Foundation Fellowship to do my PhD. While there, I became aware of the racial discrimination…

‘Sunak’s ethnicity is no bar to his rapid rise in…

By Amit Roy LORD MICHAEL ASHCROFT, a former treasurer and deputy chairman of the Conservative party, has revealed why he decided to write the first-ever biogra­phy of the chancellor, Going for Broke: The Rise of Rishi Sunak. “At the beginning of the year, hardly anyone outside Westmin­ster and Yorkshire had…

Sunak says ‘investment was vital to aid the recovery’ as…

BRITAIN will borrow almost £400 billion this year to pay for the massive coronavirus hit to its economy, finance minister Rishi Sunak said on Wednesday(25), as the budget deficit jumps to its highest since World War Two. Sunak told parliament that the UK economy was set to contract by 11.3…

Sunak may announce more spending with a focus on ‘health…

BRITISH finance minister Rishi Sunak may announce more spending on Wednesday(25) against the backdrop of the heaviest public borrowing since World War Two. He has already pledged over  £200 billion ($267 billion) to fight the Covid-19 crisis, will free up more cash Sunak will announce extra investment to ease a backlog…

Funding cut to public services unlikely as Sunak is all…

BRITAIN's finance minister Rishi Sunak will deliver his spending review to parliament on Wednesday(25) which is expected to support the pandemic-ravaged economy and the nation's post-Brexit future, Sunak will reveal the outcome of his review that will set state departmental resource and capital budgets for 2021-2022. Though he ruled out…

Blair, Cameron warn against cutting aid budget; say will impact…

TWO former British prime ministers have urged Boris Johnson to retain the government's spending on foreign aid, warning he will damage the UK's influence on the global stage if he cuts it in a finance review next week. Tony Blair and David Cameron released a statement to the Telegraph newspaper…

Race and faith diversity ‘new normal’ in politics

  By Sunder Katwala British Future “I’VE placed our rangoli outside No 11, the mith­ai is set to be delivered and the family Zoom is booked in. I know things will feel a bit different, and it’s hard not to be able to see family, but we will get through…

Rishi Sunak encourages families to meet up ‘virtually’ for Diwali…

BRITISH finance minister Rishi Sunak has said that celebrating Diwali this year will be difficult and encouraged families to meet up virtually this weekend. Sunak lit candles outside 11 Downing Street on Thursday(13) to mark the festival. "Faith is important to me, I'm a practising Hindu, I pray with my kids,…

Kickstart Scheme provides ‘hope’ for ‘young people’ as it creates…

THE UK's Kickstart Scheme, which provides high-quality, government-subsidised jobs for 16-24-year olds, has created 19,672 opportunities in tech, film and TV, communications, fitness, and the charity sectors so far. The £2 billion scheme began last week has also received more than 4,350 applications from employers and gateways in tech, construction,…

Sunak says ‘will support those affected’ as UK redundancies hit…

BRITISH finance minister Rishi Sunak on Tuesday(10) said figures showing a record increase in redundancies and a rise in the unemployment rate to 4.8 per cent "underline the scale of the challenge we're facing". "I want to reassure anyone that is worried about the coming winter months that we will…

Rishi Sunak extends furlough wage support scheme until March 2021

UK chancellor Rishi Sunak on Thursday (5) extended the furlough, or taxpayer-funded wage support scheme, until the end of March next year as England entered its second coronavirus lockdown to last at least until December 2. Sunak, who has been leading the UK's economic response to the pandemic, made a…

Improving UK-India ties offer festive cheer

  By Lord Jitesh Gadhia CELEBRATING Diwali in the middle of a pandemic is an experience which none of us will forget. The social separation from our family and friends reminds us of Lord Rama’s 14-year exile from Ayodhya, as narrated in the Ramayana. In the same way that he…

Sunak backs Bank of England’s stimulus package, says will support…

BRITISH finance minister Rishi Sunak said on Thursday(5) that he approved the Bank of England's (BoE) £150 billion expansion of its asset purchase programme to buy more government debt, and reiterated that he was taking steps to support jobs. "Our policy support is adapting to the course of the virus…

Sunak hopes four-week lockdown will be ‘sufficient’

UK finance minister Rishi Sunak on Monday(2) said that the government will seek to lift its four-week coronavirus lockdown for England in early December. There were reports that the lockdown might be extended. "Our hope and expectation is, on the basis of everything that we know today, that these measures…

Sunak in the spotlight

  By Amit Roy PERSONALLY, I don’t think it’s good for Rishi Sunak – “Dishy Rishi” to the tabloids – that the chancellor is talked about as the next prime minister. It’s bound to make Boris Johnson nervous. Rishi should read my favourite Shakespeare play, Julius Caesar, and beware that…

UK’s deep liquid capital markets can help India’s infrastructure needs:…

UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak on Wednesday (28) hailed a series of "ambitious" new UK-India initiatives across investment, trade, infrastructure, sustainable finance and research as he highlighted the role to be played by the UK's capital markets in India's infrastructure development. Sunak, addressing the UK-India Investing for Growth Forum on the…

Rishi Sunak expands COVID-19 jobs support grants for UK businesses

UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak on Thursday (22) announced an expansion of the Job Support Scheme already in place to provide struggling businesses further taxpayer support with wages and additional grants amid the lockdown measures brought in to tackle the second wave of the pandemic. In recognition of the "challenging times"…

Sunak says ‘things could have been far worse’ as UK…

BRITAIN's government borrowing in the first half of the financial year was more than six times higher than before the Covid pandemic, official figures showed on Wednesday(21), taking public debt to its highest since 1960. Responding to this, finance minister Rishi Sunak said that things could have been far worse…

Britain launches new coin as a tribute to the contributions…

AROUND 2.5 million 'Diversity Built Britain' 50 pence coins will enter into circulation next week as a tribute to the contribution minority communities have made to the history of the UK. The new 50p, designed by Dominique Evans, signals the intent of the Royal Mint and the chancellor to include…

UK unemployment rate highest in more than three years

BRITAIN's unemployment rate has hit 4.5 per cent, its highest in more than three years, in the three months to August before the imposition of new restrictions in the country to slow the pandemic. The number of people counted as unemployed rose by the most since 2009, during the global…

UK lawmakers to vote on the tiered system of further…

LAWMAKERS will vote on the new three-tiered system of further restrictions on parts of England to curb an increase in Covid-19 cases on Tuesday(13). British prime minister Boris Johnson on Monday(12) announced a new three-tiered system in an attempt to standardise a patchwork of often complicated and confusing restrictions imposed…

UK mobilises field hospitals as virus cases surge

Staff at three field hospitals in northern England are being mobilised to prepare for a surge in coronavirus admissions, health authorities said Monday, as prime minister Boris Johnson prepared to unveil a new three-tiered system of localised restrictions. A string of temporary "Nightingale" hospitals were built across the UK in…

Sunak provides ‘reassurance’ and ‘safety net’ for people and businesses…

BRITISH finance minister Rishi Sunak extended help on Friday(9) for businesses and workers who are forced to stop work during local coronavirus lockdowns. The new scheme will begin on 1 November and will be available for six months, with a review point in January. Sunak said the government would pay…

UK expects ‘magic’ from Sunak’s new plan as economy grows…

BRITAIN's gross domestic product rose by 2.1 per cent in August, official data shows, much lesser than expected. Finance minister Rishi Sunak will announce later on Friday(9) a plan to support jobs in businesses that may be ordered to close to slow a resurgence of Covid-19 infections. "The sharp slowdown…

‘Pandemic forces restaurants to reassess business model’

By Rithika Siddhartha TWO of Britain’s most influential Indian restaurateurs have cautioned that it cannot be “business as usual” for the industry after the pandemic led to a three-month lockdown earlier this year. Vivek Singh, who runs Cinnamon Club, and Asma Khan, who will open her restaurant in central London…

I was too fat like UK economy, says Boris Johnson…

British prime minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday (6) likened his own health with that of the country’s economy, which was superficially healthy but had some chronic underlying conditions which were exposed by COVID-19. Johnson, who was hospitalised after testing positive for coronavirus earlier in the year, has often spoken about…

BAME maternity staff more likely to face bullying and barriers…

THE Royal College of Midwives has called for “focus on race equality”, highlighting that maternity staff from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds face were more likely to face bullying and barriers at work. Gill Walton, chief executive of the RCM, told hundreds of delegates during its virtual annual conference…

UK hospitality sector warns of over half a million job…

BRITAIN'S hospitality trade is likely to see more than half a million job losses after the government's furlough scheme ends this month, as local lockdowns and reduced opening hours hurt the sector, an industry representative said on Tuesday (6). Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UK Hospitality, told Parliament that recent restrictions meant…

Sunak channels ‘overwhelming focus’ on jobs, says tax rises not…

RISHI SUNAK has said saving jobs will take priority over tax rises, even as he noted that record borrowing and a £2 trillion debt pile cannot be sustained for long. The UK government is grappling with one of the worst economic hits to the country in three centuries, and the…

‘Oh God! No. Definitely not,’ says Sunak on keys to…

RISHI SUNAK on Monday (5) brushed aside talk of his ambitions to replace Prime Minister Boris Johnson. "Oh God! No. Definitely not," the chancellor said, chuckling, when asked if he wanted the keys to Number 10 Downing Street. "Seeing what the prime minister has to deal with -- this is…

Vaccine plans only for ‘people over 50’, says UK as…

THE UK crossed 500,000 confirmed coronavirus infections on Sunday (4), official figures showed, in the latest grim milestone for the European country worst-hit by the pandemic. Health authorities blamed a technical glitch for a sudden spike in cases announced in evening figures that had kept several thousand cases from the…

Billionaire Asian brothers acquire Asda from Walmart for £6.8bn

The British billionaire Issa brothers and private equity group TDR Capital have agreed to buy the supermarket chain Asda from Walmart for an enterprise value of £6.8 billion and plan to roll out more smaller stores. The deal will enable British Asians Mohsin and Zuber Issa, who founded petrol station…

Covid discontent brews as Tories convene for annual conference

BORIS JOHNSON faces mounting unease from his Conservative rank and file over the coronavirus pandemic as the party opens its annual conference on Saturday in a quieter virtual format. Instead of the usual tub-thumping speeches in cavernous halls and crowded drinks gatherings, the party faithful will follow proceedings online, depriving…

‘Save money, save jobs, save planet’: UK launches £3bn green…

THE UK on Wednesday (30) set out a “biggest in a generation” £3-billion green plan to upgrade the country’s buildings to “save money, save jobs and save the planet”. Launched by Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Business Secretary Alok Sharma, the plan will enable homeowners in Britain to sign up to…

Boris Johnson unveils free college courses plan for Covid-hit workers

UK prime minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday (29) set out plans for a “radical change” to the country's education system by offering free college-level courses to benefit those hit by the adverse effects of the coronavirus lockdown. Making a reference to the various schemes set out by his chancellor, Rishi…

Rishi Sunak’s star rises despite UK virus chaos

Rishi Sunak's appointment as Britain's chancellor of the exchequer after only five years in politics raised eyebrows because of his age and relative inexperience. But he is now the subject of leadership talk as one of the few ministers to emerge largely unscathed by the government's handling of the coronavirus…

Sunak launches new job support scheme; businesses get tax relief

WITH a warning that he could save 'every business', British finance minister Rishi Sunak on Thursday(24) announced a new jobs support scheme which ensures people employed on shorter hours. The scheme would run for six months, starting in November and be open to all small and medium sized enterprises. Larger firms…

‘No doubt virus is taking off again’: UK records 6,000…

THE UK on Wednesday (23) reported 6,178 new coronavirus cases, a marked jump in the daily infection rate that comes a day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled new nationwide restrictions. It follows a rise of 4,926 the day before, and brings the total confirmed cases in Britain since the…

Professor Sunetra Gupta leads criticism of UK’s COVID-19 lockdown approach

A prominent Oxford University academic leads a group of over 30 academics who have expressed their doubts over the UK government's localised and national lockdown approach to tackling a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. Professor Sunetra Gupta, professor of Theoretical Epidemiology at the University of Oxford, co-authored a letter…

Sunak considers German ‘Kurzarbeit’ system to replace furlough scheme

RISHI SUNAK is considering more "targeted measures" to help save jobs once its furlough scheme stops at the end of October, reports said, amid speculation that he could introduce German-style wage subsidies. Opposition and business leaders have been urging the chancellor to extend the job retention scheme in some form…

Britain’s unemployment rate rises for the first time since Covid-19…

BRITAIN’S unemployment rate rose for the first time since the coronavirus lockdown began in March, sending a warning signal ahead of an expected surge in job losses when the huge government job subsidy programme of furlough expires next month. The unemployment rate increased to 4.1 per cent in the three…

UK faces one million job cuts in 2020 due to…

CORONAVIRUS could potentially cost one million jobs in Britain this year, with most losses anticipated during the current third quarter, according to a new study. Job losses could hit 450,000 between July and September, the Institute for Employment Studies forecast in a report, warning this could worsen to 690,000 positions…

Chemists urge ‘son of pharmacist’ Rishi Sunak to save community…

OVER 1,300 local chemists have urged Rishi Sunak – whose mother was a pharmacist – to save community pharmacies that are “unable to survive” without government funding. In a letter to the chancellor, they also cautioned the chancellor that without support the “inevitable result” will be mass closures leading to…

UK economy continues to recover amid unemployment woes, Brexit tensions

THE British economy continued to recover in July, expanding by 6.6 per cent, a slower pace of growth than in June when the country emerged from its virus lockdown, official data showed on Friday (11). Gross domestic product had surged by 8.7 per cent in June and by 2.4 per…

Mayor stresses job security as Newham trials Test and Trace…

by LAUREN CODLING THE mayor of Newham has criticised the government’s plan to pay people £13 a day to self-isolate, claiming the money offered is “insufficient”. The comments come after weeks of criticism regarding the NHS Test and Trace programme, a key part of the government’s Covid-19 recovery strategy since…

UK plans ‘Seat Out to Help Out’ discounts for coronavirus-hit…

The UK government is planning to introduce a so-called 'Seat Out to Help Out' scheme to help theatres and other entertainment venues reopen after an extended period of coronavirus lockdown since earlier this year. According to The Sunday Times, the scheme will be modelled on UK chancellor Rishi Sunak's successful…

‘No horror show of tax rises’: Rishi Sunak faces tough…

BRITONS face the prospect of higher taxes as the government looks to claw back vast sums spent during the pandemic -- a move that risks harming economic recovery, according to experts. While Rishi Sunak on Wednesday (2) vowed that there would not be "a horror show of tax rises with…

Rishi Sunak promises ‘brighter future for new generation’ as he…

RISHI SUNAK has launched the government's £2-billion Kickstart Scheme to create "hundreds of thousands" of six-month jobs for people aged 16 to 24 on Universal Credit and "deemed to be at risk of long-term unemployment". According to the chancellor's plan, the government will cover 100 per cent of the national…

UK house prices surge to new high, with average cost…

BRITISH house prices leapt to hit an all-time high in August, mortgage lender Nationwide said on Wednesday (2), adding to signs of a sharp rebound in the country's housing market after the coronavirus lockdown. Prices jumped by 2 per cent from July, the biggest month-on-month increase since 2004 and far…

Rishi Sunak urges people to ‘maintain momentum’ in eating out…

RISHI SUNAK urged diners on Monday (31) to keep going out to eat as a popular government scheme offering half-price food in restaurants this month drew to a close. The "Eat out to Help Out" initiative was designed to boost a hospitality sector that has been especially hard hit by…

Harris’s mixed Asian-African heritage reflects her priorities

By Sunder Katwala Director British Future thinktank THE US political conventions this year have lacked the usual razzmatazz. Social distancing converted the Democrat jam­boree into a four-day online marathon, leaving even committed political aficionados feeling Zoomed out. Yet the goal was the same – the best possible springboard in the…

London mayor’s worry over virus being used to ‘divide communities’

by LAUREN CODLING THE mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has condemned critics for blaming Asian communities for spikes in Covid-19, claiming some were using the virus as “a way to divide communities”. In recent months, local lockdowns have been implemented in areas in Leicester, Greater Manchester and Blackburn – cities…

Councils stress need for local systems to stop Covid spread

by LAUREN CODLING LOCAL councils have emphasised efforts to communicate with ethnic minorities about the NHS Test and Trace plan, as some experts raised concerns that many communities may not trust the system and will not engage with it. The NHS Test and Trace plan has been rolled out across…

UK retail sales surge past pre-pandemic level as public debt…

BRITISH retail sales surged past their pre-coronavirus level in July, the first full month that shops selling non-essential goods were open since the country went into lockdown in March. The report came as separate government borrowing data showed public debt rose above £2 trillion in July for the first time…

Gandhi glasses set to go under the hammer

By Amit Roy A FEW people have quibbled about the decision by the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, to put Gandhi on a British coin as the first ethnic minority figure. In Leicester, there was even been a petition – now apparently abandoned – to remove the Mahatma’s statue in the wake…

‘Hard times are here’, says Sunak as UK records deepest…

BRITAIN's economy shrank by a record 20.4 per cent in the second quarter when the coronavirus lockdown was tightest, the most severe contraction reported by any major economy so far, with a wave of job losses set to hit later in 2020. "It is clear that the UK is in…

Boris Johnson warns of ‘bumpy months ahead’ amid massive job…

BORIS JOHNSON has warned of arduous times ahead, after unemployment data showed that UK job losses hit a decade-high. "We always knew that this was going to be a very tough time for people losing their jobs," the prime minister told reporters on Tuesday (11). "Clearly there are going to be bumpy…

‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme gets ‘amazing’ response, used…

RISHI SUNAK'S 'Eat Out to Help Out' scheme, offering 50 per cent meal discounts across restaurants, cafes and pubs in the UK, seems to be a big hit as it has already been used more than 10.5 million times in its first week. The chancellor termed the figures were "amazing",…

‘Can’t protect every job’, says Rishi Sunak as UK suffers…

THE number of people in work in Britain fell by the most since 2009 in the three months through June as the coronavirus crisis took a heavy toll on the labour market. Led by a record plunge in self-employed workers, there were 220,000 less people employed in the second quarter, the Office…

BAME groups twice more likely to face job loss, financial…

ETHNIC MINORITIES in the UK are twice as likely to have lost jobs and a third more likely to face financial distress due to the pandemic compared with the national average, a new survey has found. Covering solely black, Asian, minority ethnic communities, the study by HOPE not hate showed…

‘Oh gosh, I don’t have that desire’, says ‘tired’ Sunak…

RISHI SUNAK said on Friday (7) he did not nurture a desire to be the next prime minister as he admitted that he was tired because he had been working around the clock, grappling with the coronavirus crisis. When told by a Times Radio reporter that he looked pretty tired…

Javid and a Gandhi coin

By Amit Roy THE chancellor Rishi Sunak, who is also “mas­ter of the mint”, is said to have decided that the first-ever ethnic minority figure on a British coin is to be Mahatma Gandhi. In a letter to former Conservative candidate Zehra Zaidi, who is leading the ‘We Too Built…

UK curry capital Brick Lane struggling to survive, say experts

by LAUREN CODLING A RESTAURANT owner has expressed concerns for the future of Brick Lane, the so-called “UK curry capital” as a new report warned the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated the serious challenges faced by the industry. Shams Uddin is the owner of The Monsoon on Brick Lane, east London.…

Campaigners seek to clarify confusion around UK’s Gandhi coin

Campaigners in the UK on Tuesday (4) sought to clarify confusion arising out of recent reports of Mahatma Gandhi being featured on a future commemorative coin being mistakenly associated with a separate drive for ethnic minority representation on British legal tender. The UK's Treasury department confirmed that the commemorative coin…

Rishi Sunak wants ethnic minorities on UK coins

UK chancellor Rishi Sunak on Sunday (2) backed a campaign for influential ethnic minority figures to be featured on a set of UK coins to celebrate Britain’s diversity. Mahatma Gandhi is in the running as an influential Commonwealth figure, as the UK’s Royal Mint considers the plans as part of…

Rishi Sunak considers ethnic minority figures on UK coins

UK chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak is reportedly considering a proposal for influential ethnic minority figures to be featured on a set of UK coins to celebrate Britain’s diversity. According to The Sunday Telegraph, plans have been submitted to the Royal Mint to work out some proposals as the…

‘Plan to rev up economy’

By Rithika Siddhartha CHANCELLOR Rishi Sunak’s announcement of pledging an additional £30 billion last Wednesday (8) was a plan for jobs and to kickstart the UK’s economic recovery, a junior minister has said. Kemi Badenoch MP is Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury and also a minister for equalities. At a…

Eateries seek long-term help

By Nadeem Badshah LEADING chefs and restaurant bosses have urged chancellor Rishi Sunak to provide further financial support to save the industry from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. They have welcomed Sunak’s package of measures, which in­cludes slashing VAT from 20 per cent to five per cent for food…

Rishi Sunak warns of significant recession and jobs crunch in…

Britain's Chancellor Rishi Sunak on Thursday (9) reiterated his previous warnings that he would not be able to save every job and that the UK was headed towards a "significant recession" hit by the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. A day after he tabled a mini-budget in Parliament, Sunak admitted that despite…

Tugendhat voices support for India in China clash

By Amit Roy TORY MP Tom Tugendhat, chair­man of the influential foreign af­fairs select committee in the Com­mons, has emerged as one of the strongest supporters in British politics of India and Indians. He spoke last week of backing India over its recent violent clash with China in the Galwan…

Rishi Sunak offers furlough bonus, tax cuts, eating-out discounts in…

RISHI SUNAK has announced a £30 billion plan to head off an unemployment crisis by paying employers to bring back their furloughed workers and cutting taxes for the hospitality sector and homebuyers. "I want every person in this House and in the country to know that I will never accept…

Sunak unveils £2bn ‘kickstart scheme’ to help up to 300,000 youngsters get…

RISHI SUNAK has announced a new scheme to stave off youth unemployment as he attempts to revitalise the economy following its pandemic lockdown. The £2-billion "kickstart scheme" will enable employers to hire unemployed young people aged 16-24, using government funds to pay them the national minimum wage for 25 hours a…

Government’s funding can “revitalise” UK arts and culture sector

The UK government’s £1.57 billion emergency support package for the arts and culture sector has been described as a lifeline for an industry “brought to its knees” by the coronavirus pandemic. The package covers funding for Britain’s museums, galleries, theatres, independent cinemas, heritage sites and music venues. It includes a…

UK’s Sunak plans tax cuts to boost Covid-19 recovery: report

BRITISH finance minister Rishi Sunak will try to restart the country's economy by giving homebuyers a tax break and cutting value-added tax for pubs, restaurants and other hospitality firms, The Times newspaper reported. Sunak is due to announce on Wednesday (8) the next stage of his attempt to steer the…

UK needs to ‘relearn what it’s like to go out…

RISHI SUNAK has urged people to "eat out to help out" as the economy claws its way out from a historic slump sparked by the coronavirus crisis. The chancellor's comments came on the day England reopened its beloved pubs and the rest of the hospitality sector after more than three…

Boris Johnson plans measures to make ‘the nation fitter’ as…

BORIS JOHNSON is drawing up plans to put the country on a diet as part of a wider strategy to counter obesity, which is seen as a major risk factor in those impacted by coronavirus. The 56-year-old prime minister is on a slimming regime himself, and is expected to outline…

New FCA chief, Nikhil Rathi, promises ‘more diverse’ setup, ‘focus…

RISHI SUNAK has picked London Stock Exchange head Nikhil Rathi as the new chief executive of the UK's Financial Conduct Authority. The chancellor said he was confident that Rathi was apt to play the important role at the conduct regulator for the UK's financial markets and over 59,000 financial services…

Rishi Sunak says UK poised to kickstart recovery as debt…

UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak on Friday expressed the hope that Britain is poised to kickstart its economic recovery from the adverse impact of the coronavirus pandemic lockdown as latest statistics revealed that the country’s debt had overtaken GDP for the first time in 57 years. The Office…

British Businessman says wedding industry likely to be “permanently scarred”…

SULEMAN RAZA, a successful Food Preneur, and CEO of the one of the Finest and Largest wedding venue Grand Sapphire in London shares his frustration and concerns about the Exclusion of UK's Catering & wedding industry from the Government proposals to support businesses in the wider hospitality sector. The hospitality…

UK sees shopping boom amid record-high public borrowing

BRITISH shoppers bought much more than expected in May as the country gradually relaxed its coronavirus lockdown and online retailers boomed, adding to signs that the economy is moving away from its historic crash in March and April. But official data also showed public borrowing hit a record high as…

Over 600,000 people taken off payrolls in UK as job…

THE number of people on British company payrolls fell by more than 600,000 in April and May as the coronavirus lockdown hit the labour market, and vacancies plunged by the most on record, official data showed on Tuesday (16). The unemployment rate unexpectedly held at 3.9 per cent over the…

‘Get out there, shop safely’, says Sunak as England’s stores,…

NON-ESSENTIAL shops and outdoor public attractions across England opened their doors on Monday (15) to welcome customers back after 83 days of coronavirus lockdown. The retailers have been told to ensure Covid-19-secure conditions within stores, including visible signs reminding people about hygiene and also ensuring a two-metre distance within the…

Rishi Sunak speaks out about racist abuse as child growing…

UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak on Sunday spoke out about the racist abuse he faced as a child growing up in Britain, but stressed that the country has made enormous progress over time. The finance minister, who was born in the UK, revealed that the abuse felt far worse when it…

Rishi Sunak hopes for quick recovery amid record economy shrinkage

UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak on Friday said Britain's economy was well-placed to make a quick recovery as new statistics revealed a shrinkage of a record 20.4 per cent as a result of the coronavirus lockdown. The finance minister said the "lifeline" measures he had put in place, such as a…

Sunak says racism badly ‘stung’ him as he backs protests…

RISHI SUNAK has spoken out on the raging equality protests, saying he has personally realised that racism "stings in a way that very few other things have". "As a British Asian, of course I know that racism exists in our country,” the chancellor told Sky News on Wednesday (10). He…

Safety concerns raised as Alok Sharma tested for virus after…

ALOK SHARMA has been tested for Covid-19 after feeling unwell in Parliament on Wednesday (3), just a day after the government required hundreds of legislators to resume voting in person. The business secretary "began feeling unwell when in the Chamber delivering the second reading of the Corporate Insolvency and Governance…

No ‘big bang’, but things ‘will get busier’, Sunak tells…

RISHI SUNAK interacted with traders at a London street market on Monday, assuring that business would pick up in coming days as people started to get their lives back to normal following the lockdown easing. "How's it been? Slow? It'll get busier," the chancellor told a market trader at the…

Infosys among firms aided by Rishi Sunak’s job retention scheme

INDIAN software giant Infosys is among the many UK companies to benefit from Rishi Sunak’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, it emerged on Sunday (31). Infosys, co-founded by the chancellor’s father-in-law Narayana Murthy, said it had used the furlough option for 3 per cent of its staff in order to tide…

Rishi Sunak unveils ‘flexible furlough’ plan as support scheme set…

Rishi Sunak has offered fresh help to employers hammered by the pandemic in the form of a gradual phase-in of contributions by them to the government's hugely expensive wage subsidy scheme. "As Britain returns to work, we need to adapt the emergency programmes we put in place to bridge through…

Hospitality industry ‘will need long-term support’: Lord Bilimoria

By Amit Roy LORD KARAN BILIMORIA has said that in order to survive the effects of the prolonged pandemic, “restaurants will need the support of govern­ment – they have been told they will be the last to open up”. The 58-year-old cross­bench peer is chairman of the company that supplies…

Business aid to help retailers

Produced in partnership with UK Government SHOPKEEPER EXPRESSES RELIEF AS GOVERNMENT GRANTS HELPED COVER EXPENSES IN LOCKDOWN AN ASIAN businessman facing an uncertain future after he was forced to close his textiles shop due to the pandemic lockdown has spoken of how financial support from the government has been a…

Rishi Sunak plans ‘Project Birch’ for ‘last resort’ bailout of…

RISHI SUNAK has authorised a bailout plan to rescue companies that are seen as strategically important, with the Treasury saying it may step in to support crucial businesses on a "last resort" basis after other options run out. "In exceptional circumstances, where a viable company has exhausted all options and…

UK set to ask employers to pay 20 to 30…

THE UK has drawn up plans to require employers to cover 20 to 30 per cent of furloughed employees' wages from August to reduce the vast burden of the coronavirus crisis on government finances. Rishi Sunak had extended the job retention scheme -- the centrepiece of the government's attempts to…

We’ll get through this

by PRIYA MULJI IT’S a weird world at the moment, with all sorts of unexpected things happening. One of these is chancellor Rishi Sunak currently being ogled by women of all races across the UK. Asian men generally do not do well on dating sites, but that picture of Rishi in…

Rishi Sunak warns UK headed for ”severe recession”

UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak on Tuesday (19) warned that Britain's economy was headed for a "severe recession" and that any recovery from the coronavirus lockdown impact is unlikely to be swift. Sunak, who is leading the UK government's economic response to the pandemic and related business slowdown, told the House…

UK unemployment claim count records nearly 70 per cent spike,…

THE number of people claiming unemployment benefits in Britain leapt to its highest level since 1996 in April, the first full month of the government's coronavirus lockdown, data published on Tuesday (19) showed. The claimant count rose by 856,500 -- the biggest ever month-on-month jump -- to 2.097 million, a…

Over two million self-employed people in UK have claimed Covid-19…

RISHI SUNAK has said more than two million claims for one-off grants, worth £6 billion, were made under a scheme to provide income support for self-employed people during the coronavirus crisis. "Those people will have the money in their bank accounts within six working days of their claim," the chancellor…

UK facing significant recession, says Rishi Sunak

The UK faces a "significant recession", chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak has warned after figures showed the country's economy shrank by two per cent in the first three months of the year due to the impact of the coronavirus-induced economic lockdown. Sunak, who is at the forefront of the…

British economy took a record 5.8 per cent plunge in…

BRITAIN's economy shrank by a record 5.8 per cent in March as the coronavirus crisis escalated and the government shut down much of the country, according to official data that point towards an even bigger hit to come. The monthly drop in gross domestic product was felt in almost all…

Rishi Sunak extends furlough scheme until end of October

RISHI SUNAK has extended the government's job retention scheme -- the costly centrepiece of its attempts to mitigate the coronavirus hit to the economy -- by a further four months until the end of October. The chancellor told Parliament on Tuesday (12) that there would be no changes to the…

UK retailers say bailout funds not sufficient

British retailers have warned the government that its business bailout package of reliefs, grants and loans will not be sufficient to stop the "imminent collapse of many businesses". The British Retail Consortium said in a letter to small business minister Paul Scully and finance minister Rishi Sunak that the crisis "facing…

Rishi Sunak likely to extend furlough scheme till September end

THE UK government is likely to extend its furlough scheme – reportedly at a lower rate of 60 per cent of the wages – until the end of September, say reports. Chancellor Rishi Sunak is set to make the final announcements on Tuesday (11) as part of its plans to…

Retailers seek ‘intuitive stimulus’ to prevent ‘imminent collapse’ of businesses

BRITISH retailers have warned the government that its business bailout package of reliefs, grants and loans will not be sufficient to stop the "imminent collapse of many businesses". The British Retail Consortium said in a letter to small business minister Paul Scully and Chancellor Rishi Sunak that the crisis "facing…

Bounce Back loans worth £2 billion approved in a day

THE Bounce Back Loan scheme has become an instant hit as more than 69,000 applications worth over £2 billion was approved on 4 May, the first day of the scheme, the chancellor said. As many as 130,000 requests for credit have been received on day one. These special loans are…

Community services get £2.5 million funding to divert women away…

COMMUNITY services across England and Wales will receive a funding of £2.5 million later this year to divert more women away from crime. Also, Wales has been chosen for the government’s first Residential Women’s Centre which focuses on rehabilitation for women convicted of low-level crime. The funding will help cover…

UK loan scheme for small businesses takes off as furlough…

A government-backed loan scheme to help Britain's small businesses survive the coronavirus lockdown comes into effect on Monday (4), allowing firms such as hairdressing salons, coffee shops and florists to receive emergency cash. Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the new facility on April 27, bowing to pressure to do more for…

UK holds a minute’s silence for COVID-19 frontline healthcare victims

The UK came together on Tuesday (28) for a minute’s silence in the honour of hundreds of healthcare and other workers who have lost their lives on the frontline of the coronavirus fightback across the country. British prime minister Boris Johnson led the tributes with chancellor Rishi Sunak at 10…

Rishi Sunak unveils ‘Bounce Back Loan Scheme’ for UK’s small…

UK chancellor Rishi Sunak on Monday (27) unveiled a 100 per cent state-backed 'Bounce Back Loan Scheme' for the country's small businesses to help them tide through the coronavirus pandemic lockdown. Sunak told the House of Commons that the new fast-track finance scheme, to open from next Monday, would help…

Tata Steel seeks £500 million government bailout

Tata Steel's UK arm is seeking an estimated £500 million government financial package to survive through the coronavirus lockdown period, according to UK media reports. Tata Steel, which owns the UK's largest steelworks in Port Talbot in Wales, is holding discussions with the Welsh government as well as the UK…

Rishi Sunak considering 100 per cent guarantees on smallest business…

Rishi Sunak is said to be preparing to offer 100 per cent guarantees on loans to Britain’s smallest businesses after pressure from Conservative lawmakers and the Bank of England. The chancellor was "weighing up" whether to offer full state backing to loans of up to £25,000 for as many as…

Dentists left to fill their coffers after lockdown

 By Barnie Choudhury THE body which represents dentists in the UK has told Eastern Eye that it is disappointed with the government directive that self-employed members who earn more than £50,000 will not get help from a Covid-19 grant scheme. About one in four of the 11,800 practices which are…

Over two-thirds of small UK firms have furloughed staff, says…

MORE than 70 per cent of small and medium-sized British businesses have put at least some staff on leave due to the coronavirus, and are waiting for government funds from a business support programme, the British Chambers of Commerce said on Wednesday. The 71 per cent of firms furloughing staff…

Rishi Sunak unveils Future Fund in new COVID-19 package

UK businesses driving innovation and development will be helped through the coronavirus outbreak with a £1.25 billion government support package, UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced on Monday. The latest set of measures include a new £500 million loan scheme for high-growth firms, called the Future Fund, and £750 million of…

Rishi Sunak widens loan ‘safety net’ to include larger companies

BRITAIN will allow more large businesses to apply for government funds, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced on Thursday (16), after many risked being left to collapse while the coronavirus outbreak tears through the economy. All companies with revenue of more than £45 million will be able to apply for the Coronavirus…

Failure to warn BAME communities of virus risk ‘is a…

By Amit Roy ONE day when the coronavirus pandemic is over – and it will be over – there will be an in­quiry into how the government in the UK handled the crisis. But we don’t need to wait for an inquiry to realise that the lack of proper gowns,…

‘The sun will shine… again,’ says WWII veteran as he…

TOM MOORE, a 99-year-old British war veteran, completed 100 laps of his garden on Thursday (16), raising more than £13 million for the health service in an endeavour that has sown joy across the country amid the coronavirus gloom. "For all those people who are finding it difficult at the…

UK economy can bounce back ‘quickly and strongly’, says Rishi…

RISHI SUNAK believes the UK’s economy has the potential to bounce back "quickly and strongly" once the pandemic is contained, and the economic impact of the crisis would be "significant, but temporary". The chancellor led the daily Downing Street briefing on Tuesday (14) soon after the Office of Budget Responsibility…

Rishi Sunak grants more public service funds in Covid-19 fightback

UK chancellor Rishi Sunak on Monday (13) announced more than £14 billion from Britain’s Coronavirus Emergency Response Fund for the country’s public services, including the NHS and local authorities involved in the fight against the pandemic. The funding unveiled by Sunak includes more than £6 billion to support the NHS,…

Rishi Sunak says GDP may fall 30 per cent due…

Britain's gross domestic product (GDP) could fall by up to 30 per cent between April and June, finance minister Rishi Sunak told his colleagues as members of the cabinet call for easing lockdown restrictions amid the COVID-19 outbreak, reports said. Sunak discussed the possibility of a 25 per cent to…

Rishi Sunak eases residence test rules for highly skilled foreign…

Rishi Sunak has temporarily eased the tax criteria for highly skilled foreign workers, including those from India, engaged in the coronavirus fightback. The chancellor wrote to the House of Commons Treasury Committee on Thursday (9) to announce that the so-called Statutory Residence Test (SRT) will be waived between March 1…

Coronavirus will hit jobs, livelihoods, says Sunak

Britain's economy and people's livelihoods will take a hit due to the coronavirus outbreak which has forced a lockdown of much of society, chancellor Rishi Sunak said on Wednesday (8), adding that the government had taken the right steps to get through the crisis. "This will have a significant impact…

Johnson’s ‘condition is improving’, and he is ‘engaging positively’ with…

Boris Johnson's "condition is improving" and he is able to sit up in bed and engage with clinical staff, Rishi Sunak said on Wednesday (8) as the prime minister remained in intensive care battling Covid-19. Earlier, reports had said Johnson was "clinically stable" and responding to treatment. "The latest from…

NHS is a symbol of integration in multi-ethnic British society

By Sunder Katwala Director, British Future I AM a child of the NHS. Like millions of people in Britain I took my first breath in an NHS hospital; in my case, the Doncaster Royal Infirmary, on a cold April day in 1974. If it hadn’t been for the National Health…

UK urged to waive NHS fee for overseas medics

By Amit Roy THE chairman of the British Medical As­sociation (BMA) council has written to the home secretary, Priti Patel, pointing out that international doctors are dying in the service of the NHS and suggesting the government waive the health sur­charge doctors have to pay at least during the period…

If need arises, Rishi Sunak next in line to lead…

RISHI SUNAK would take responsibility for leading the country if Dominic Raab, currently standing in for hospitalised Prime Minister Boris Johnson, were also incapacitated. Johnson spent a night in intensive care receiving oxygen treatment following his admission to hospital with a persistent high temperature and cough, more than a week…

Charities need to adapt to survive the virus

By Harris Bokhari The last few years have been volatile for the charity sector, with 2019 seeing a twenty seven per-cent increase in charity closures from 2018. Against this backdrop, the sector is now grappling with the implication of the Covid-19 outbreak. The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), has…

Rishi Sunak revamps business interruption loans to aid more companies

In a move to further bolster the economy, Rishi Sunak has extended business interruption loans to all small and medium businesses. The chancellor has also banned lenders from asking personal guarantees for loans. Sunak said more than £90 million of loans to nearly 1,000 small and medium sized firms have…

 Officials urged to treat all frontline clinicians equally

By Simon Dukes Chief Executive Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee FOR me, the genuine privilege of being the negotiator for community pharmacy in England is meeting and talking to so many dedicated people up and down the country. Pharmacists and pharmacy teams are devoted to the welfare of their patients, and…

Lisa Nandy calls for ‘cross-party National Cobra’ to ‘rebuild’ UK

LISA NANDY has made a plea for rebuilding "a more compassionate, resilient country" as the postal ballot for the Labour leadership election closed on Thursday (2). The Wigan MP had called on the party to be "brave" and elect her during a series of hustings around the country. Nandy, 40,…

UK companies to lean heavily on government job retention scheme:…

ALMOST half British companies expect to furlough 50 per cent or more of their workforce, a survey by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) showed on Thursday (2), underlining demand for government support as the world's fifth-largest economy grinds to a halt. Britain promised hundreds of billions of pounds in…

Rishi Sunak works from home, wishes PM ‘speedy recovery’

CHANCELLOR Rishi Sunak is working from home after Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Matt Hancock tested positive for coronavirus on Friday (27). A finance ministry spokesperson, however, said Sunak was not self-quarantining as he had not shown any symptoms of infection. The chancellor posted his wishes for a…

Boris Johnson tests positive for coronavirus

British Prime minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for coronavirus and is self-isolating at his Downing Street residence but said he would still lead the government’s response to the accelerating outbreak. Johnson, 55, experienced mild symptoms on Thursday - a day after he answered at the prime minister’s weekly question-and-answer…

UK cheers NHS in an emotional show of solidarity

THOUSANDS of people across the UK took to their balconies and door steps on Thursday (26) evening to applaud health workers who are battling the spread of coronavirus - an emotional show of solidarity during the nation's worst crisis since World War Two. Clapping, banging pots and pans, cheering and…

Rishi Sunak announces cash grants for the self-employed

RISHI SUNAK has announced another set of "unprecedented" economic measures for those hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, offering a direct cash grant for those who are classified as self-employed workers. "You have not been forgotten," he said to this category of workers, as he addressed Downing Street's daily briefing on…

Rishi Sunak praised for pandemic support performance

By Barnie Choudhury Former BBC Journalist OM SHANTI OM. Greetings from socially distancing SouthAsiastan, better known as Leicester. You know, that Rishi is such a good boy. His parents could not have known, but they named him appropriately. Significantly, the past few weeks suggest that ‘Rish’, as our esteemed prime…

Hotelier Arora wants to support his staff ‘family’

By Amit Roy SURINDER ARORA, the founder and chairman of the Arora Group, has always prided himself on be­ing able to look after his staff “like family”, and now in the light of the coronavirus pandemic, that belief is being put to the most severe of tests. The hotelier has…

UK’s Indian doctors want ‘discriminatory’ surcharge scrapped

INDIAN doctors working with the NHS have written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson to scrap an “unfair and discriminatory” surcharge imposed on foreign doctors, many of whom are on the front line against the coronavirus pandemic that has infected over 9,500 people in the country. The Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS),…

UK government to cover 80 per cent of wages of…

The British government on Friday (20) said it would help cover the wages of people hit by the coronavirus outbreak as it tightened restrictions to curb the spread of the disease. In an extraordinary intervention, chancellor Rishi Sunak said he would pay 80 per cent of salaries of staff who…

Rishi Sunak readies extreme measures to support economy

BRITAIN will take further desperate measures to stem the collapse of its economy on Friday (20) when Chancellor Rishi Sunak will outline plans to prop up companies and workers who face hardship from the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak. Sunak has been meeting trade unions and industry associations, who have warned that…

UK businesses demand support as Covid-19 hits economy

BRITISH manufacturers demanded an immediate deferment of tax and social security payments. They warned the UK government that thousands of layoffs were imminent as the coronavirus crisis hits the economy. Stephen Phipson, Chief Executive of Make UK, said on Thursday (19): “There are alarm bells going off right across the manufacturing sector…

UK closes schools as coronavirus deaths rise

Britain announced on Wednesday (18) it would be closing schools in the coming days to stem the spread of coronavirus, as the death toll topped 100 and Londoners braced for tougher measures to tackle the outbreak. Prime minister Boris Johnson had held off following the lead of other European countries…

No substantial plan by Sunak to improve social care crisis:…

By Nadeem Badshah BUSINESS leaders have praised chancellor Rishi Sunak’s budget for scrapping business rates for small firms and his Coronavirus response fund, but critics have hit out at the chancellor’s response to the social care crisis. Sunak announced in his first spring Budget last Wednesday (11) that thousands of…

Renters affected by COVID-19 will be protected, says Boris Johnson

BORIS JOHNSON has announced that private renters affected by the coronavirus outbreak will be protected from eviction under an emergency law. The prime minister’s promise came a day after Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled a £350 billion “wartime” bailout for Britain’s businesses and workers. Welcoming the measures announced, critics alleged that…

Chancellor Rishi Sunak impressed on his debut performance

By Amit Roy  RISHI SUNAK certainly impressed with his first budget speech as chancellor of the exchequer. And it is heartening when an Indian-origin politician can get up in the Commons and embrace Britain as “our country”. It is encouraging that he is putting money into science and research and…

Indian industry in UK welcomes Sunak’s Covid-19 action plan

THE Indian industry in the UK has welcomed the “unprecedented” rescue package unveiled by Britain's finance minister Rishi Sunak to help businesses in Britain combat the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Sunak on Tuesday (18) announced a whopping £330-billion worth of rescue measures in the House of Commons, including easier…

UK rolls out tougher virus action after dire science warning

British prime minister Boris Johnson's government on Tuesday (17) unveiled a huge package of support for businesses to help them survive the introduction of tough new social measures to stem the coronavirus outbreak. The Conservative leader said Britain needed to act "like any wartime government", as chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled…

Rishi Sunak set to unveil bailout package amid coronavirus chaos

RISHI SUNAK is expected to announce a massive rescue package for businesses hit by the coronavirus outbreak. The chancellor is chairing an emergency meeting today (17), after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced “unprecedented” measures for everyone to refrain from social contact and unnecessary travel. A government spokesman said the prime…

Devolved administrations to get £1.5bn for Covid-19

THE UK government will provide at least £1.5 billion to the devolved administrations for their Covid-19 response, Her Majesty's (HM) Treasury has said. The devolved administrations will receive the sum to make sure that they have the resources they need to support people and businesses through Covid-19. With this, they…

FICCI-UK welcomes budget

THE Federation of Indian Chamber Commerce and Industry UK Council has welcomed the measures announced by Chancellor of Exchequer Rishi Sunak in his maiden budget. In a statement, it said: “FICCI perceives the budget as a balanced and pragmatic one against the backdrop of the global outbreak of Covid-19.” Commenting on…

Rishi Sunak’s Budget delivery earns him ‘PM-in-waiting’ tag

RISHI SUNAK’S Budget delivery seems to have hoisted his “PM-in-waiting” tag, with analysts hinting that he could emerge as Boris Johnson’s successor. The chancellor—who had made a “surprise entry” into No 11, after Sajid Javid quit to preserve his “self-respect”—displayed grace under fire as he had hardly a month to…

Places of worship act to contain Covid-19 infections 

By Nadeem Badshah BRITAIN confirmed that six people had died and more than 370 were infected with the coronavirus on Tuesday (10), as more than 115,124 cases have been recorded in 105 countries and territories worldwide. Airlines have cancelled flights and places of worship have adopted special measures to stop…

Diversity in British politics

NEXT month, the race for the Labour leader and deputy leader will come to a close. Following Jeremy Corbyn’s resignation in December, Indian-origin MP Lisa Nandy announced she would be standing as a candidate to succeed him. Meanwhile, fellow ethnic minority MPs Rosena Allin-Khan and Dawn Butler are both running…

Sunak’s Budget to make cost of UK visa higher

Chancellor Rishi Sunak's first Budget is set to make the cost of long-term visas to Britain higher with a major hike in the compulsory health fee charged on migrants from countries, including India. Sunak, born in the UK to a general practitioner father and pharmacist mother, announced that the Immigration…

Rishi Sunak pledges £30bn to combat coronavirus

BRITAIN launched a £30 billion economic stimulus plan just hours after the Bank of England slashed interest rates, a double-barrelled package aimed at warding off the risk of a coronavirus recession. Prime minister Boris Johnson's new Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, said in his maiden budget speech that the…

‘We will rise to this challenge’: Rishi Sunak

RISHI SUNAK started off his maiden Budget statement on Wednesday (11) with focus on a £30-billion package to tackle the coronavirus outbreak, assuring the nation that “we will get through this—together”. The chancellor said the NHS will get “whatever extra resources” it needed to cope with COVID-19, and pledged financial…

Rishi Sunak casts himself as UK finance director, with Boris…

UK chancellor Rishi Sunak has cast himself as the country's finance director with prime minister Boris Johnson as the CEO. The 39-year-old, who is putting the finishing touches to his maiden Budget to be delivered next Wednesday, was promoted last month after his predecessor, Sajid Javid, stepped down amid a…

Rishi Sunak’s good news on Tampon Tax, bad news on…

CHANCELLOR Rishi Sunak will scrap the unpopular “tampon tax” as he presents the Budget on Wednesday (11). Reports said the 5 per cent rate of value-added tax (VAT) on women’s sanitary products will be abolished from January 1, as the Brexit transition period ends. The move will be the culmination of…

Coronavirus threat makes Rishi Sunak ‘rewrite’ Budget

RISHI SUNAK had been entrusted with the daunting task of “rewriting” his predecessor Sajid Javid’s budget agenda. The looming coronavirus threat, however, has made the chancellor embark on a much more vital 'rewriting' mission—“prioritise economic security”. Sunak has ordered Treasury officials to chalk out plans to bolster public health response,…

No consensus on use of corner shop tills as free…

By Nadeem Badshah SHOPKEEPERS are divided on plans to make use of corner shop tills as a replacement for free cash machines. The move, which could be announced by chancellor Rishi Sunak in March’s budget, would see people able to withdraw money from the tills of thousands of shops across…

Rishi Sunak hints at a business-friendly budget

BRITAIN’S new finance minister Rishi Sunak is preparing the government’s first post-Brexit budget to be presented on March 11. The Chancellor of the Exchequer was very pro-active on updating his activities related to budget on Twitter. His latest tweet hints at a business-friendly budget. The businesses in the country are…

Sajid Javid fires parting shot at No 10’s ‘comings and…

SAJID JAVID minced no words in saying that the power play that saw him resign as chancellor was “not in the national interest”. Delivering a short but sharp resignation speech in the House of Commons on Wednesday (26), Javid started off saying he had hoped he would have had “a…

Rishi Sunak’s tweet stirs a storm in a teacup

RISHI SUNAK’s recent tweet on “making tea for the team” during a “quick Budget prep break” has brewed into a cause célèbre. So much so that the online outcry prompted the chancellor to post a cheeky teatime tweet today (25): “Great to catch up with colleagues this morning to discuss…

Rishi Sunak likely to oversee spending cross £1 trillion

Government spending under Rishi Sunak could cross the £1 trillion mark by 2023-24, says a new report. The chancellor was likely to push spending to 40 per cent of GDP, going past the scale of public expenditure under former prime minister Tony Blair. The Resolution Foundation, which released the report…

Axe-wielding reshuffle was stuff from ‘game of thrones’

  By Barnie Choudhury Former BBC Journalist  IT WOULD seem that British politics is more ruthless than the Game of Thrones. Last September, Sajid Javid was Ned Stark. He rallied the party faithful during the Conservative conference in Manchester. We learnt his mother thought that the first south Asians to…

Cabinet reshuffle confirms diversity is new normal

  By Sunder Katwala Director of British Future THIS was expected to be a quiet reshuffle. So, the brutal Valentine’s Eve political power play which saw chancellor Sajid Javid crash out of government took Westminster by surprise. Javid had been the only Cabinet minister to receive a public commitment that…

Domestic violence crisis ‘should top Sunak’s agenda’: Charities

by NADEEM BADSHAH NEW chancellor Rishi Sunak has been urged to focus on "prevention" and long-term strategies to support vulnerable people in his Budget on March 11. Charities working with domestic abuse victims, the elderly and the disabled have called on Sunak, who was given the job after Sajid Javid's shock…

Rishi Sunak is working ’round the clock’ on March 11…

RISHI SUNAK has confirmed that he would present the Budget on March 11, adding that it “will deliver” on “levelling up and unleashing the country’s potential”. The chancellor is reportedly working “round the clock” and has decided to skip the G20 summit of finance chiefs set to be held in…

Rishi Sunak keeps March 11 budget date

BRITAIN'S new finance minister Rishi Sunak said he will stick with the March 11 date for the government's first post-Brexit budget, dispelling speculation that the plans, likely to entail a big increase in spending, would be delayed. Sunak's predecessor Sajid Javid, who was already working on plans to increase public…

Rishi Sunak faces a tall order and short deadline

RISHI SUNAK is a man in a hurry. After his surprise promotion as chancellor last week, his first big task is presenting the government’s “scene-setter” Budget. Though he was "down to work" right from the word go, Sunak might postpone the current Budget date of March 11. He was likely to…

Suella Braverman is seen as a threat to ‘judicial activism’

BESIDES Sajid Javid’s resignation and Rishi Sunak’s elevation, Boris Johnson’s cabinet reshuffle witnessed another historic development: Suella Braverman was appointed the attorney general of England and Wales. The Fareham MP became the second woman, after Baroness Scotland of Asthal in 2007, to be elevated to the post that was created…

Rishi Sunak hopes to ‘build on Sajid Javid’s great work’

Britain's new Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said that he was honoured to be appointed as the new finance minister. He showered praises on Sajid Javid, who resigned on Thursday (13) from the post of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. "My predecessor and good friend Saj did a fantastic…

How Sajid Javid’s resignation drama unfolded

by S. NEERAJ KRISHNA BORIS JOHNSON's cabinet reshuffle wasn’t expected to raise much of a kerfuffle. The prime minister, it is said, wanted to maintain a “business-as-usual” air over the exercise. Things, however, took an unusual turn with Sajid Javid resigning as chancellor of the exchequer. He refused to bow…

Johnson asserts control over UK government with cabinet reshuffle

PRIME MINISTER Boris Johnson forced the resignation of his finance minister on Thursday (13) for refusing to toe the line, a sign he was tightening his control in a government reshuffle designed to deliver his vision for Britain beyond Brexit. Johnson, who had wanted to minimise any disruption from his…

‘Freeports’ may find a place on Rishi Sunak’s agenda

The launch of Freeports Consultation was the latest engagement of the new UK finance minister Rishi Sunak when he was Chief Secretary to the Treasury. On February 10, he launched the Freeports consultation. "Excited to launch a Freeports consultation. As a proud, independent, outward-looking country we champion global free trade.…

Rishi Sunak: Rapid rise of UK’s new Chancellor

Rishi Sunak, a 39-year-old high-flying business investor who only entered politics five years ago, has enjoyed a rapid rise to become Britain's new Chancellor of the Exchequer. Sunak entered parliament in 2015 and got his foot on the most junior rung of government in January 2018 -- and was still…

BREAKING NEWS: Sajid Javid resigns as chancellor

SAJID JAVID has resigned as chancellor after Prime Minister Boris Johnson reportedly asked him to sack his team of advisers. A source close to Javid said: “The PM said he had to fire all his special advisers and replace them with No 10 special advisers to make it one team.…

After Boris, Who?

  By Amit Roy PERHAPS it’s a little premature to consider who might succeed Boris Johnson as the next Conservative party leader, but according to The Sunday Times, “the contest to replace Johnson, in about nine years’ time, will be between Rishi Sunak (backed by Oliver Dowden and Robert Jenrick)…

Pro-India Cameron recognised importance of diaspora in Britain

By Amit Roy ALTHOUGH David Cameron has been pilloried for calling the EU referendum, leading to a disunited kingdom from which Scotland might break away, I still make him the man of the decade – politically, at least, and very much from the Indian point of view. The decade has…

Asian heritage cabinet ministers have a chance to change UK…

  By Barnie Choudhury Former BBC journalist FOR the past 20 years, I have been resolute that I would return to karate. I gave up soon after our daughter was born, and the once-toned muscles of a former British champion went to mush. Perhaps writing it down, in black and…

Priti Patel, Alok Sharma, Rishi Sunak in Johnson’s ‘People’s Cabinet’

THREE Indian-origin ministers, including UK home secretary Priti Patel, have retained their posts in prime minister Boris Johnson's Cabinet, which met on Tuesday (17) ahead of the first Parliament session since the Conservative Party won a strong 80-seat majority in the General Election last week. The newly-elected MPs and ministers…

General Election: Strong performance from Asian MPs

British Asian candidates across both the Conservative and Labour parties on Friday (13) registered strong results in the UK's general election, with around a dozen MPs retaining their seats alongside some new faces. Prime minister Boris Johnson clinched an emphatic victory in Thursday's election, setting the UK on course for…

General Election: Record number of ethnic minority MPs elected

A RECORD number of ethnic minority MPs have been elected in the general election, figures revealed on Friday morning (13). One in ten representatives are now from an ethnic minority background, an increase from a decade ago when the figure was one in 40. There will be 65 BAME MPs…

Boris Johnson: ‘Asians are UK’s assets’

by RITHIKA SIDDHARTHA PRIME MINISTER Boris Johnson has praised the Indian community in the UK, saying they are one of Britain’s “greatest national assets”. In an exclusive interview with Eastern Eye ahead of Thursday’s (12) general election, the leader of the Conservative  party also paid tributes to immigrants, saying they…

British Asian candidates set to have another good outing in…

With just days to go before the UK General Election on Thursday (12), the new Parliament set to be voted in is expected to be the most diverse in Britain's history based on projections and what experts believe has been a late surge in diversity from the country's main political…

CBI’s Bilimoria wants to ‘turbocharge UK-India ties

  By Amit Roy ASIAN peer Lord Karan Bilimoria has spoken for the first time of “the two three things I want to do” when he takes over as president of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). The CBI, which has 190,000 members who employ a total of seven million…

Rishi Sunak: I hope I stay in the GG2 Power…

Rishi Sunak, the chief secretary of the treasury, made great strides in his career this year which was reflected in his rise to seventh in this year GG2 Power list. Speaking to the BBC, Sunak reveled his delight at making in on the coveted annual list that showcases the 101…

Javid and Patel top GG2 Power List

CHANCELLOR Sajid Javid has been named the most influential Asian in Britain for the second consecutive year, as the annual edition of the GG2 Power List will be unveiled this evening. Britain’s first Asian chancellor of the exchequer tops the ranking, while Priti Patel, Javid’s successor in the Home Office and…

John McDonnell: Sajid Javid’s spending review next week is a…

Chancellor Sajid Javid's decision to cancel a planned speech on Tuesday to announce next week's spending review has been labelled a "panic measure." Labour shadow chancellor John McDonnell, in a speech on Thursday (29), will say that any pay boost for public services will last only long enough to get…

‘Maharaja of the Dales’ Sunak has important treasury role

By Amit Roy THE man to watch in Boris Johnson’s new government is 39-year old Rishi Sunak. Rishi entered the Commons four years ago as a member for Richmond, William Hague’s sprawling constituency in Yorkshire, and joined the cabinet last week as chief secretary to the treasury. The Daily Mail…

Forget takeaways, welcome the Asian take-over

By Barnie Choudhury Former BBC Journalist I WILL never forget the first time I got up close and personal with Boris Johnson. It was in New York in 2017, and we were at the UK embassy. He was the foreign secretary and I was the Commonwealth secretary-general’s media and PR…

‘Boris’s choices have made the Tories a party for BAME…

  By Nirj Deva I TRIED not to whoop with joy last Friday (26) as I saw the unfolding story of Boris Johnson’s appointments to his new cabinet and government. The chancellor is my friend Sajid Javid, son of a Pakistani Muslim immigrant; the home secretary Priti Patel from a…

Javid announces plans to spend an extra $2.6 billion on…

Chancellor Sajid Javid has announced the UK is ramping up preparations for a no-deal Brexit by spending an extra £2.1 billion pounds ($2.6 billion) to stockpile medicines, hire more border officials and fund one of the biggest peacetime advertising campaigns. Prime minister Boris Johnson, who took power last week, has…

Sunder Katwala: No tokenism in prime minister Johnson’s choice of…

By Sunder Katwala I cast my first vote just eight days after my 18th birthday, a coincidence of the timing of the April 1992 General Election. I was keen enough to stay up until 5 am on election night to find out whether John Major or Neil Kinnock would be…

Boris Johnson’s Cabinet – Full List

Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury and Minister for the Civil Service and Minister for the Union Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP HM Treasury Chancellor of the Exchequer – Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP Chief Secretary to the Treasury – Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP*&** Financial Secretary to the Treasury…

Rishi Sunak, Alok Sharma join Priti and Sajid in diverse…

Boris Johnson has appointed four British Asian leaders, including Priti Patel as the home secretary and Sajid Javid as Chancellor, as part of his top team in what has been dubbed as Britain's most diverse Cabinet as the new prime minister who has pledged that the UK would leave the…

Lord Jitesh Gadhia hails diverse Boris Johnson Cabinet

A prominent Indian-origin peer in the House of Lords on Wednesday (24) said he believes that Britain's prime minister-in-waiting, Boris Johnson, will appoint one of the UK's most ethnically diverse Cabinets in history. With British Indian Conservative Party parliamentarians Priti Patel, Rishi Sunak and Alok Sharma all tipped for frontline…

Prime minister Johnson’s vow: Brexit by Oct 31; no ifs…

BORIS Johnson took office as British prime minister today (24), vowing to implement the result of the 2016 Brexit referendum and lead Britain out of the European Union on Oct. 31 with "no ifs or buts". Speaking outside Downing Street, Johnson - who spearheaded the "Leave" campaign in the 2016…

Boris wins, but will he unite Britain?

by LAUREN CODLING BORIS JOHNSON has promised to “deliver Brexit and unite the United Kingdom”, as he won the race to become Britain’s next prime minister on Tuesday (23). The Conservative MP and former London mayor made the comments after he comfortably beat his rival, foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt, with…

Johnson to promote record number of BAME and female MPs…

NEWLY elected prime minister Boris Johnson is expected to present an ethnically diverse Cabinet after he meets the Queen later today (24). Sources close to Johnson say that his team will reflect "modern Britain." It will see more women and a better representation from ethnic minorities. "Boris will build a…

Priti Patel says EU will have to consider reopening Brexit…

PRITI PATEL believes the European Union (EU) will have to consider reopening Brexit talks with the next prime minister for their own benefit. Speaking on BBC's Pienaar Politics show on Sunday (9), Patel said a new Brexit deal would be the best way to get any money from the £39…

Most Indian-origin MPs voted against May’s Brexit deal

A majority of Indian-origin MPs voted against prime minister Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement on Tuesday (15). There are 12 Indian-origin MPs in the current House of Commons and all seven from the Labour MPs and three from the Conservative party voted against May’s withdrawal agreement. The two who voted in…

Britain’s first female Sikh MP Preet Kaur Gill appointed shadow…

Preet Kaur Gill, Britain's first female Sikh MP, has been elevated to the Shadow Cabinet by Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn. Gill, 44, won her Birmingham Edgbaston seat for the Labour party in the June 8 snap polls last year. In July, she was elected to the Home Affairs Select…

Breaking news: Sajid and Alok take up new positions in…

By Lauren Codling and Rithika Siddhartha PRIME MINISTER Theresa May has unveiled Britain’s most diverse government yet following a two-day reshuffle that began on Monday (8). Sajid Javid is the most senior Asian in the cabinet and will keep his current post, but with a renamed department, as the secretary…

Twelve British Asian candidates victorious in elections

Britain on Friday (9) elected two Sikh MPs as the general election results began pouring in with British Asian Labour Party candidates winning more seats than their rival Conservatives. Labour candidate Preet Kaur Gill won her Birmingham Edgbaston seat by polling 24,124 votes, defeating ruling Conservative party rival Caroline Squire…

UK polls may marginally increase number of British Asian MPs

The number of British Asian MPs in parliament is likely to increase marginally following next month's snap general election, according to a think tank. British Future has analysed the trends that saw 10 British Asian candidates elected to parliament in the 2015 general election and found that the ruling Conservatives are…

British Asian MPs set for tough fight in UK general…

The ten British Asian MPs who made it to the House of Commons in the last UK general elections are set for a tough fight in the June 8 polls as Britain's major political parties finalised their list of prospective candidates. While many of those elected in May 2015 are defending…

Jitesh Gadhia inducted into House of Lords

The newly ennobled Jitesh Gadhia, who was formally introduced to the House of Lords on Monday (September 12) as Baron Gadhia of Northwood in the County of Middlesex, began by paying a warm tribute to former prime minister David Cameron. Gadhia, an investment banker, helped Cameron write his well-received Wembley…