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Sunday newspaper round-up: Boris Johnson, no-deal Brexit, Neil Woodford, Starbucks, Centrica, Whitbread

By Josh White

Date: Sunday 21 Jul 2019

Sunday newspaper round-up: Boris Johnson, no-deal Brexit, Neil Woodford, Starbucks, Centrica, Whitbread

(Sharecast News) - Philip Hammond has announced that he will resign from the government before Theresa May leaves office instead of waiting to be sacked by Boris Johnson. The chancellor is the second cabinet minister to pre-announce his departure after David Gauke, the justice secretary, also ruled out serving under the frontrunner for the Conservative leadership. - The Sunday Times
Iain Duncan Smith has accused the Government of a "major failure" after Iranian forces seized a UK-flagged tanker amid escalating tensions in the Middle East. The former Conservative leader said: "I think there are genuine questions to be raised right now about the British Government's behaviour, I say this as a supporter of the Government." - Sunday Telegraph

New questions have emerged over leaks of confidential UK diplomatic cables criticising Donald Trump after a 19-year-old Brexit activist was revealed to be the person who obtained them. In a lengthy feature in the Mail on Sunday, Steven Edginton, who describes himself as a freelance journalist and who since April has worked for the Brexit party, said he was passed Sir Kim Darroch's briefings on the White House. - Observer

The future of two of Neil Woodford's key investment funds is extremely bleak, one leading City expert told the Mail on Sunday. He makes this devastating assessment of flagship vehicle Woodford Equity Income and investment trust Patient Capital because of their stakes in a number of unquoted or thinly traded holdings whose value appears highly questionable. - Mail on Sunday

EU countries are secretly wooing Boris Johnson in a bid to thrash out a new Brexit plan that would avoid a no-deal disaster as he prepares to take over as prime minister this week. Senior Irish politicians and diplomats have held peace talks with two of Johnson's cabinet allies in recent days. - The Sunday Times

Amber Rudd today warns Philip Hammond to support Boris Johnson or face Labour winning a general election by Christmas. Writing in The Telegraph, the Work and Pensions Secretary, who backed Jeremy Hunt in the leadership contest, describes Mr Johnson as a "friend" and declares that he is "ready for Number 10". She urges MPs to now "come together again no matter who wins." - Sunday Telegraph

Campaigners have welcomed government plans to open up its rogue landlord database to prospective tenants, as part of proposals to give greater protection to renters. A package of reforms published for consultation includes proposals to stop no-fault evictions, which the charity Shelter has described as "far and away the most important thing the government can do" to help renters. - Observer

Starbucks' loss-making UK chain has closed dozens of outlets in London, marking a retreat from a city where it once dominated the coffee shop scene. The Mail on Sunday reported that the US giant, which became synonymous with the Friends-style cafe culture in the late 1990s, has shuttered as many as 35 stores across the capital in the past 18 months. - Mail on Sunday

Centrica is set to slash its dividend and put its oil and gas business up for sale as chief executive Iain Conn attempts to revive the struggling British Gas owner. Britain's biggest supplier of gas and electricity is expected to join Vodafone and Marks & Spencer in cutting its payout, in a desperate attempt to maintain its credit rating. BT recently warned investors it was also likely to cut its dividend. - The Sunday Times

A "Flash Boys" US trading firm is leading a £1.5bn bet by hedge funds against leisure giant Whitbread. Jane Street Global Trading, a specialist high-frequency trading firm based in Manhattan, has the biggest short position against the Premier Inn owner amid warnings that it is poised for a stock market sell-off. - Sunday Telegraph

The former boss of Unilever is seeking a team of "heroic chief executives" to drive a shift to a low-carbon, more inclusive way of doing business. Paul Polman, who stepped down from the Anglo-Dutch owner of Marmite and Dove in November last year after a decade at the helm, warns that the rise of populism and Brexit are symptoms of capitalism's failure to adapt. Bosses, he insists, must commit to fighting inequality and tackling the climate emergency. - Observer

German airline Lufthansa has resumed flights to Cairo after it joined British Airways who suspended all flights to the Egyptian capital for a week amid heightened terrorist activity in the area. However, BA has said the cancellations will continue for another six days, leaving the holiday plans of hundreds of families in chaos as the school summer break begins. The decision reportedly follows growing concerns about IS activity in Egypt. - Mail on Sunday

Sterling is braced for further weakness if, as expected, Boris Johnson takes over as prime minister this week. The pound's fall, which took it below $1.24 last week, was briefly halted over hopes that Conservative Party rebels would be successful in averting a no-deal Brexit in October. - The Sunday Times

Two brothers from Blackburn have handed a clutch of advisers tens of millions of pounds as they quietly build one of the world's biggest petrol station empire. Zuber and Mohsin Issa, who opened their first site in Bury in 2001, embarked on a dramatic expansion of their company Euro Garages last year, recently filed accounts reveal. - Sunday Telegraph

Police and demonstrators have clashed after hundreds of thousands of anti-government protesters took to the streets of Hong Kong on Sunday in the city's largest demonstration in recent weeks.Riot police armed with batons and shields fired teargas to disperse the crowd as protesters ran toward officers who tried to push them back from a main road in the western district near Beijing's liaison office with the city. One demonstrator threw a bottle at police. Officers advanced on the crowd, setting off smoke bombs. - Observer

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has dismissed his own government's data on tracking deforestation levels as 'lies' and told European countries to stay out of his country's environmental affairs, because 'the Amazon is Brazil's, not yours.' Bolsonaro made the remarks during a meeting on Friday morning with foreign journalists. - Mail on Sunday

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