Daily Briefing: 21 November 2016

by Adam Shaw

Good morning,

With our football team near rock bottom, thank goodness Scottish sports fans have someone to rely on to ease our suffering. Andy Murray beat Novak Djokovic 6–3 6–4 at the O2 last night to secure his first ATP World Tour Finals title and, more importantly, ensure he ends the year with the number one ranking.

I was tired just watching the two men battle it out, which is probably more a reflection on my fitness than anything else. Some truly remarkable shots were hit by both players as Murray eventually emerged victorious.

With both Jamie and Andy Murray holding number one world titles, it’s a huge boost for British tennis and Scottish sport.

Andy’s ability to tackle insurmountable challenges also gave me some motivation to climb to the top of the Charlotte Street Partners table tennis rankings. Lyle Hill — I’m coming for you.

NEWS

‘Just about managing’ families, or JAMS as they have become known in Whitehall, are set to be £2,500 a year worse off by 2020 due to a combined impact of welfare cuts, inflation and rising rents, according to a study by Policy in Practice. This comes after Philip Hammond said that there would be “limited relief” for struggling families in Wednesday’s Autumn Statement.

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has failed in his bid to return to power after losing in the primary election to become the Republican party candidate. He secured just 21 per cent of the vote compared with 44 per cent for former prime minister François Fillon and 28 per cent for Bordeaux mayor Alain Juppé. The contest will now go to a run-off vote next Sunday.

President Obama has intimated that he may speak out as a private citizen after leaving office if he feels that Donald Trump is threatening core American values. This would be a break with convention as former presidents usually avoid commenting on their successors.

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Theresa May is set to pledge an extra £2bn a year for scientific research and development by 2020. In a speech to the CBI later today, the prime minister will outline her plans to ensure that post-Brexit Britain is at the “cutting edge”. She will also say that the government’s new approach to intervening in the economy is a case of “stepping up, not stepping back”.

Chinese President Xi Jingping has vowed that his country will not “shut the door” on globalisation, despite threats from President-elect Donald Trump to rip up free trade deals and increase tariffs.

London is attracting a disproportionate share of graduates according to think tank Centre for Cities. One in four university leavers choose the capital after graduating which is depriving other cities of the skills they need.

MARKETS

Finals 
Diploma, Future, Intelligent Energy Holdings

Interims 
Bonmarche Holdongs, Mitie Group, Omega Diagnostics Group

Q3 Results 
BGEO Group, Georgie Healthcare Group

AGMs 
Imperial Innovations Group, Mineral & Financial Investments Limited (DI), TR European Growth Trust

COLUMNS OF NOTE

In The Sunday Times, our own Kevin Pringle urges us to worry about the small things that we can control, rather than “waste time sweating about the gigantic stuff that little can be done about”.

In The Observer, Andrew Rawnsley argues that liberals cannot assume that the big arguments are so well won that that they don’t need to be fought. He calls for lessons to be learned ahead of the French Presidential Election next year to prevent Marine Le Pen being elected.

On this day

1974: Two bombs detonate in at the Mulberry Bush and the Tavern in the Town pubs in central Birmingham. Nineteen were killed and over 180 injured.

Parliamentary highlights

House of Commons

Oral Questions

Work and Pensions, including Topical Questions

Legislation

Higher Education and Research Bill — Report stage — Justine Greening 
 Higher Education and Research Bill — Legislative Grand Committee — Justine Greening 
 Higher Education and Research Bill — Third Reading — Justine Greening

Adjournment

Purpose of Shale Wealth Fund — Caroline Flint

House of Lords

Oral Questions

The Strategic Defence and Security Review and personnel numbers in the Army, Royal Navy and RAF — Lord Touhig 
Seizures of illegal arms entering into the UK — Lord Harris of Haringey 
Impact of EU withdrawal on medical research and innovation — Baroness Andrews 
Use of British steel in all future British defence contracts — Lord Hoyle

Legislation

Pension Schemes Bill [HL] — Committee stage (day 1) — Committee of the Whole House — Lord Freud

Short debate

Placing health rather than prohibition at the heart of drug policy — Baroness Meacher

Scottish Parliament

No business scheduled.

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