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Sunday newspaper round-up: General election, BT, Nationwide, TSB, Rathlin Energy, Saudi Aramco

By Josh White

Date: Sunday 17 Nov 2019

Sunday newspaper round-up: General election, BT, Nationwide, TSB, Rathlin Energy, Saudi Aramco

(Sharecast News) - Labour's policies including a pledge to nationalise the bulk of Britain's broadband network threaten to "crack the foundations of our economy", according to the head of the Confederation of British Industry. Dame Carloyn Fairburn said the plan to nationalise BT had left industries wondering if they would be the next to be targeted. Asked by Sky if Jeremy Corbyn was a "friend to business" she said that the CBI "really understand the questions that Labour are asking. - The Sunday Times
Boris Johnson claimed on Sunday that every Conservative parliamentary candidate has personally pledged to vote his Brexit deal through the House of Commons if he wins a majority. In his first newspaper interview of the election campaign, the Prime Minister told the Telegraph that the promises would allow voters to be "100 percent sure" that a Tory government would "unblock" Parliament. - Sunday Telegraph

Jeremy Corbyn has said he would want his government to allow "a great deal of movement" of people, in a sign Labour would look to keep a liberal immigration regime with Europe if Brexit goes ahead. The Labour leader stopped short of saying free movement would be allowed to continue in its current form, but argued for immigration to help with shortages in the NHS and for an expansion of the rights of migrants to bring family members to the UK. - Observer

Nationwide Building Society chief executive Joe Garner is slashing his pension perks in half in a move that will pile pressure on rival bosses. Garner last year received 33 per cent, or £292,000, of his salary as a pension contribution. This is being halved to 16 per cent from 2021, leaving him with £141,600 by then. - Mail on Sunday

TSB's Spanish owner refused to help with the inquiry into a technology meltdown that locked 2m online customers out of their accounts, raising serious questions about the investigation's thoroughness. TSB's board commissioned the magic circle law firm Slaughter and May in April last year to lead a review into the debacle, which cost the bank £330m. The long-delayed report, which has cost up to £25m, is expected to be published soon. - The Sunday Times

Jeremy Corbyn has refused to rule out scrapping Trident as the price for Labour going into coalition with the SNP. The Labour leader suggested that as prime minister he would take a prominent role in the campaign for global disarmament, stating that there had been "many expressions" for a "nuclear free world". - Sunday Telegraph

The US businesswoman Jennifer Arcuri has accused Boris Johnson of brutally casting her aside "like some one-night stand" and leaving her "heartbroken" since he became prime minister and the controversy over their four-year relationship became public. In an outspoken interview with ITV's Exposure, to be broadcast on Sunday, the tech entrepreneur also tells the journalist John Ware that Boris Johnson has refused to take her phone calls at Downing Street and has cut her off before she could initiate a conversation. - Observer

Britain's dwindling energy reserves have received a major boost with the biggest onshore oil and gas discovery for more than 40 years. Rathlin Energy last week announced that its giant prospect near the village of West Newton in East Yorkshire - 25 miles from York - could be 'one of the largest onshore discoveries in the UK'. It upgraded its potential reserves to up to 283million barrels of oil and 266billion cubic feet of gas. - Mail on Sunday

Labour and BT have denounced each other's claims in a war of words over the party's pledge to nationalise swathes of the former state telecoms giant and offer free broadband. John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, said chief executive Philip Jansen's £100bn estimate for the cost of nationalising BT was "ludicrous". Labour has said it would cost £20bn to roll out full-fibre broadband across the UK by 2030, although that does not take into account the cost of compensating BT investors with gilts. - The Sunday Times

Saudi Arabia has caved to pressure from international investors by announcing a price range for its stock market float of Saudi Aramco that would value the state oil company at up to $1.7 trillion (£1.3 trillion), significantly short of the $2 trillion price sought by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Aramaco, which has struggled to convince international institutions to support such a valuation, announced a 1.5pc stake float of around 3bn shares, priced at 30 to 32 riyal apiece. - Sunday Telegraph

Nissan will recall 394,025 cars in the US over a braking system defect that has caused concerns that a brake fluid leak could potentially lead to a fire. The leak into internal circuit boards will trigger a warning to drivers, which if ignored may lead to a fire in "rare instances," Nissan said in an 8 November filing with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) under recall number 18V-601. - Observer

Jeremy Corbyn repeatedly refused to say today whether he wanted the UK to quit the European Union. The Labour leader was asked five times by the BBC's Andrew Marr what his personal choice would be if he had one. Mr Corbyn, who officially backed Remain in 2016 but has spent decades calling for the UK to leave the EU - declined to give a definitive answer. - Mail on Sunday

Prince Andrew claimed last night that he had an alibi for the night he had allegedly spent with a "sex slave" in London in 2001: he was taking his daughter Beatrice, then 13, to a pizza party. The Duke of York said he remembers "weirdly distinctly" going to a Pizza Express in Woking, Surrey, because it was "very unusual" for him to have gone to a high street restaurant chain. - The Sunday Times

The Chinese owners of Pizza Express are refusing to engage with a group of lenders vying to rescue the ailing restaurant chain. The owners of £200m of junior ranking bonds have hatched a plan to shore up Pizza Express's debt-laden balance sheet, City sources said. Their scheme involves raising fresh capital to buy out senior ranking bonds of £465m and writing off their own debt. - Sunday Telegraph

Customers are being left out of pocket because of arcane rules that force them to wait eight weeks before they can take unresolved complaints to an ombudsman. Campaigners are calling for the system to be updated after research by the consumer website MoneySavingExpert showed that 89% of respondents wanted the waiting time halved to allow swifter redress when companies fail to deliver. - Observer

Piers Morgan has led a fierce online backlash against Prince Andrew as he branded the Royal's car crash interview last night as 'desperate toe-curdling bulls***'. The Good Morning Britain presenter, 54, heaped praise on Newsnight interrogator Emily Maitlis's 'brilliant forensic dissection', but questioned why the Duke of York agreed to be grilled for an hour on his friendship with paedophile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein. - Mail on Sunday

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