Month: <span>April 2021</span>

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Boris Johnson deflects Electoral Commission probe into flat makeover: ‘Matter for the Conservative Party’
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Boris Johnson deflects Electoral Commission probe into flat makeover: ‘Matter for the Conservative Party’

Boris Johnson is insisting he is not personally in the frame for possible “offences” in the funding of his lavish flat makeover, after a watchdog launched an investigation. Downing Street said the prime minister would cooperate with the Electoral Commission’s inquiry, but added: “This is a specific matter for the Conservative Party.” The comment comes despite an expert warning...

Sainsbury’s slumps to £261m loss on back of Covid costs
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Sainsbury’s slumps to £261m loss on back of Covid costs

Sainsbury’s has dived to a £261m annual loss despite booming sales of groceries during the pandemic, as it spent millions of pounds on protecting staff and customers from the coronavirus. The UK’s second biggest supermarket said it had spent £485m on special bonus payments for staff who worked through the pandemic, extra staff to cover those...

Brazil begins parliamentary inquiry into Bolsonaro’s Covid response
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Brazil begins parliamentary inquiry into Bolsonaro’s Covid response

Brazil’s congress has launched a parliamentary inquiry into what critics call Jair Bolsonaro’s disastrous and potentially criminal response to a Covid pandemic that has killed nearly 400,000 Brazilians. The politically charged investigation, which rivals of Brazil’s far-right president hope will torpedo his chances of re-election, will be conducted by 11 of the country’s 81 senators,...

Housebuilder Persimmon reports 23% sales rise
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Housebuilder Persimmon reports 23% sales rise

Pent-up demand, the government’s measures to support the housing market and a “chronic undersupply” of homes have driven a 23% leap in sales for the UK housebuilder Persimmon this year. The country’s second biggest builder said it had completed £3bn worth of sales since the start of the year, almost a quarter ahead of the same period...

Boris Johnson will not apologise for false attack on Labour in Commons
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Boris Johnson will not apologise for false attack on Labour in Commons

Boris Johnson will not apologise after falsely accusing Labour in the House of Commons of voting against his EU trade deal, the prime minister’s press secretary has indicated. The press secretary accepted that it was “a matter of public record” that – contrary to the PM’s claims – Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and his party voted for the Christmas Eve...

Robot that can cook a paella is causing quite a stir in Spain
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Robot that can cook a paella is causing quite a stir in Spain

Leaving aside self-aware computer networks that send cyborgs back through time to terminate humanity’s saviour before birth, few technological developments are quite as terrifying – to Spanish palates, at least – as the prospect of a paella cooked not by a trusty Valencian hand but by a cold steel one. Since it was unveiled at...

Dixons Carphone to close all airport stores after tax-free shopping scrapped
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Dixons Carphone to close all airport stores after tax-free shopping scrapped

The retailer Dixons Carphone has decided to close permanently all of its outlets in airports, blaming the UK government’s decision to scrap tax-free shopping. The company said it did not expect a sufficient recovery in passenger numbers to make up for the loss of the retail scheme from 1 January, which enables non-EU visitors to reclaim VAT...

‘Possible corruption’ in 20% of Covid contracts awarded, campaigners warn
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‘Possible corruption’ in 20% of Covid contracts awarded, campaigners warn

Around 20 per cent of the value of Covid-19 contracts awarded – a total of £3.7bn – raises “red flags for possible corruption”, anti-sleaze investigators are warning. The detailed study of nearly 1,000 deals struck when the pandemic struck concludes they were “systemically biased” in favour of firms with political connections. Ministers are accused of undermining public confidence...