Friday newspaper round-up: Partygate, consumer confidence, Shanghai lockdown, Twitter, Brexit checks

by | Apr 22, 2022

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Boris Johnson was forced to submit to a third investigation over lockdown parties yesterday after facing a “revolt” by junior ministers who threatened to resign rather than back him. The Times understands that at least six members of the government told whips they could not support a Downing Street plan that would have put off a decision on holding a parliamentary investigation into the events. – The Times
After three weeks of Covid lockdown, authorities have further tightened restrictions on movement in some districts, and warned Shanghai’s 25 million residents that strict measures would continue until the virus was eradicated, neighbourhood by neighbourhood. In some districts restrictions were tightened even when they met the criteria for people to be allowed to leave their homes. – Guardian

The billionaire Issa brothers are planning to open more Leon cafés and Cooplands bakeries on Asda sites and petrol stations, creating 22,700 jobs. The Blackburn-based entrepreneurs will also accelerate openings for brands such as KFC and Starbucks on hundreds of forecourts and Asda car parks. The brothers have been expanding their operations at breakneck speed over the years through a series of acquisitions. They are now seeking to combine their various offerings. – Telegraph

Consumer confidence is in freefall as the cost of living crisis bites, with a closely watched measure dropping to a near-record low this month. Confidence as measured on the monthly barometer produced by GfK fell seven points to -38, with consumers expressing more concern about the outlook for the wider economy than they did in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crash. The lowest score since the index began in 1974 was -39 in July 2008 at the peak of the financial crisis. – The Times


Boris Johnson has hinted that physical Brexit border checks on food imports from the EU due to be introduced in July will be delayed for the fourth time amid fears that European supplies of everything from cheese to Parma ham would collapse. Industry sources said an announcement on a new border operating model was expected next week that could push back the checks by up to nine months. – Guardian

Elon Musk has raised $46.5 billion to fund a possible takeover bid for Twitter, with the billionaire putting up about $21 billion of his own money. Paperwork filed with American regulators indicates that the Tesla chief executive has secured backing from a group of investment banks, led by Morgan Stanley, to explore “whether to commence a tender offer” to Twitter investors to buy their shares. – The Times

Disney has been stripped of its long-held special status as a self-governing area of Florida, after Republican governor Ron DeSantis punished the company for refusing to back his culture war waged over “woke” LGBT policies. The Florida House of Representatives on Thursday gave final passage to a bill that would dissolve Walt Disney World’s private government. – Telegraph


Homebuyers are paying more for properties with heat pumps or other low-carbon technology installed, and are looking closely at energy ratings, according to analysis by the estate agents Savills. Energy-saving credentials are becoming important considerations for people who are looking to move and reduce soaring energy bills. Nearly six out of 10 (59%) prospective buyers told the company they were willing to pay more for a home primarily powered by renewable energy. – Guardian

Cancer treatment is set to be revolutionised by a “mindblowing” gene study by the University of Cambridge, which has found 58 new mutational signatures, experts said. The findings, from the largest study of its kind, will allow medics to provide more personalised treatment, matched to individual tumours. Until now, scientists have been able to identify 72 mutational signatures which could cause cancer. – Telegraph

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