Rebekah Brooks is set to return to The Sun following her acquittal last year of all charges related to the “phone-hacking” scandal. The former chief executive of Rupert Murdoch’s newspaper division in the UK – and ex-editor of The Sun – is being lined up to take charge of the paper’s digital operation and its video offering, according to well-placed sources at the red-top tabloid. Updated 15 April 2015 5pm
Business / INSOLVENCIES
Scotland suffered a sharp year-on-year rise in insolvencies while the UK as a whole saw a slight fall.
With Scotland set to be the key battleground in next Thursday’s general election, the latest data from the Exaro Insolvency Index highlights how its economy is faring worse than the rest of the country under the “austerity” strategy of the Conservative-led government in Westminster.
Companies in the UK have suffered a rise of a third in insolvencies as growth in the economy loses steam. New figures show a sharp increase in the number of companies that filed for insolvency in December compared with the same month the previous year. The data from the Exaro Insolvency Index comes as growth sagged in the final quarter of 2014.
Retailers have enjoyed a pre-Christmas boost with a year-on-year fall of more than a fifth in the number of them filing for insolvency. There were 108 retail companies that filed one or more insolvency notices in November, 22.8 per cent down on the same month last year. It comes against a backdrop of a slight increase in insolvencies for the overall economy.
Wholesale and retail companies overall saw an annual fall of around a third in the number of insolvencies, according to analysis by Exaro. The Exaro Insolvency Index shows a fall in October on the same month last year, as well as the latest quarter compared to 2013. The positive figures for the sector are set against a rising level of insolvencies across the economy.
Hotels and restaurants suffered a sharp rise in company failures as the latest insolvency figures bring further gloom for the UK economy. The sector, including bars and clubs, is under acute pressure as consumers curb spending. The number of companies in insolvency in the sector is rising at a far higher rate than for the overall economy, according to Exaro data.
Ministers are being warned against “political interference” in a bribery investigation into a massive UK contract to overhaul military communications in Saudi Arabia. Transparency International and Corruption Watch fear a repeat of the debacle in 2006 when the UK government pressured the Serious Fraud Office to shelve its investigation into alleged bribery over sales of military jets to Saudi Arabia under ‘Al Yamamah’.
Insolvencies in Scotland fell last month far faster than for the rest of the UK in a boost ahead of tomorrow’s independence referendum. But figures compiled by the Exaro Insolvency Index show that the drop came after a poor year for company failures in Scotland. Insolvencies have risen sharply in Scotland this year so far, but have fallen slightly in the rest of the UK.
Latest figures from the Exaro Insolvency Index show that company failures fell slightly amid a volatile picture for the UK economy so far this year. However, the construction sector has shown strong improvement throughout 2014, with consistent falls in insolvencies. Overall, the number of companies that filed one or more insolvency notices in July dropped by 1.6 per cent compared with July 2013.
Helicopter maker AgustaWestland faces losing the chance of defence deals with India worth billions of pounds because of bribery allegations against it. The UK’s only helicopter manufacturer and its Italian parent company, Finmeccanica, are bracing themselves from being “blacklisted” from India following formal advice issued by the country’s attorney general, its top law officer, to its Ministry of Defence.
Insolvencies in the manufacturing sector rose sharply as company failures across the UK economy suffered a setback, according to data compiled by Exaro. The number of manufacturing companies that filed one or more insolvency notices in June rose 19 per cent year on year. The Exaro Insolvency Index also shows that the figure across all sectors rose by nearly 5 per cent.