Government Bonds Correspondent
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Mar 17, 2015

British PM Cameron, broadcasters agree to pre-election TV debate

LONDON, March 17 (Reuters) – British Prime Minister David
Cameron said on Tuesday he had agreed with broadcasters to join
a seven-way televised debate with other political leaders ahead
of the May 7 election.

Months of bitter wrangling culminated earlier this month in
Cameron being labelled a coward by rivals after he issued an
ultimatum on the format of the debates and ruled out a
head-to-head debate with opposition leader Ed Miliband.

Mar 17, 2015

UK to raise minimum wage by 3 percent, biggest rise since 2008

LONDON, March 17 (Reuters) – Britain’s minimum wage will
rise by 3 percent to 6.70 pounds ($10) per hour, the biggest
real-terms increase since 2008, Prime Minister David Cameron
said on Tuesday, presenting the rise as a measure of economic
strength before a May 7 election.

The change will take effect from October 2015 and comes a
day before the government makes an appeal for voters’ support
with its last budget announcement ahead of an election in which
voters’ living standards and economic competence are expected to
be key issues.

Mar 11, 2015

British parliament votes to ban branding on cigarette packs

LONDON, March 11 (Reuters) – Britain’s parliament approved
legislation on Wednesday to ban branding on cigarette packs,
drawing immediate threats of legal action from the country’s $29
billion tobacco industry.

Aimed at improving public health and cutting the number of
child smokers, the measure is likely to crimp tobacco company
profits and emulates Australia, which in 2012 enacted a law
forcing cigarettes to be sold in plain olive green packaging
with images showing the damaging effects of smoking.

Mar 8, 2015

UK plans airline laws to stop Britons from joining Islamic State

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain will introduce new laws on Tuesday to try to stop airlines carrying passengers who may be traveling to join Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq, a junior minister said on Sunday.

Security services estimate some 600 Britons have gone to Syria or Iraq to join militant groups, including the man known as “Jihadi John” who has appeared in several Islamic State beheading videos.

Mar 5, 2015

Britain’s Cameron torpedoes TV debate plans before election

LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister David Cameron torpedoed plans for a series of U.S.-style TV debates before a close-fought national election in Britain, a spoiling tactic widely seen as a move to protect his own high personal ratings and to deprive rivals of publicity.

His intervention injects further uncertainty into what is becoming the most unpredictable British election since the 1970s with neither of the two main parties able to establish a clear lead and the rise of fringe parties making it unusually hard to predict who will govern the world’s sixth largest economy.

Mar 5, 2015

British PM Cameron rules out head-to-head TV election debates

LONDON, March 5 (Reuters) – British Prime Minister David
Cameron ruled out a head-to-head televised debate with the
opposition Labour leader ahead of the May 7 election,
sidestepping a potentially risky clash with Ed Miliband but
drawing accusations of cowardice from rivals.

While the Conservatives and Labour are neck and neck in the
polls, Miliband has the most to gain from a head-to-head debate
as his personal ratings are far lower than Cameron’s.

Mar 4, 2015

UK hardens line against oligarch buying North Sea fields

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain will not drop its opposition to Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman’s purchase of North Sea oil and gas fields after cementing its objections at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister David Cameron, a government source told Reuters.

German utility RWE on Monday finalised the sale of its oil and gas production unit DEA UK to Fridman’s investment vehicle LetterOne, ending months of uncertainty over whether the 5.1 billion euro ($5.7 billion) deal would go ahead.

Mar 4, 2015

Britain won’t back down on Fridman’s North Sea deal with RWE -government source

LONDON, March 4 (Reuters) – Britain will not back down over
its opposition to Russian tycoon Mikhail Fridman’s purchase of
North Sea gas licences having cemented its objections at a
meeting attended by Prime Minister David Cameron, a government
source told Reuters.

The British government discussed the sale of German utility
RWE’s oil and gas production unit to Fridman at its
National Security Council in recent weeks, the source said on

Mar 3, 2015

British parliament may be forced from Westminster home: Speaker

LONDON (Reuters) – British lawmakers might have to abandon the Houses of Parliament in London’s Westminster unless a large amount of money is spent on the building within the next 10 years, according to the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow.

Repairs would cost as much as 3 billion pounds ($5 billion), experts say, double the amount cited in a 2012 report on modernizing the gothic-revival palace which has problems with heating, sewage and limited capacity for computer cabling.

Mar 3, 2015

UK’s Cameron says child sex abuse to be classified “national threat”

LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister David Cameron will make tackling child sexual abuse a national priority on a par with organised crime on Tuesday, announcing measures to prevent systematic abuse.

Britain has been rocked by a series of child sex abuse revelations, including a case in Rotherham, northern England, where some 1,400 children, some as young as 11, were abused by gangs of predominantly Asian men.