New lockdown in the North of England

Laveta Brigham

Shoppers wear face masks in Blackburn town centre - Christopher Furlong/Getty Images Europe
Shoppers wear face masks in Blackburn town centre – Christopher Furlong/Getty Images Europe

Partial lockdown reimposed across north of England

Boris Johnson last night ordered swathes of the north of England back into partial lockdown as he warned of a “damaging second wave” hitting the UK. Hundreds of thousands of people in Greater Manchester, Bradford, Blackburn and other areas were banned from holding indoor meetings involving people from different households. It comes after NHS data showed ­coronavirus reaching worrying levels in parts of Lancashire and Yorkshire, prompting the Prime Minister to take “immediate action” to keep people safe. Read the areas facing the indoor meeting ban, which include Leicester, which has had freedoms announced on June 23 reversed. How concerned should we be about a coronavirus resurgence? Science Editor Sarah Knapton analyses how, arguably, Britain is once again suffering from its haphazard testing regime, which is making it virtually impossible

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Virgin Money upbeat, Bank of England to review dividend policy, and Greggs sales recover

Laveta Brigham

Here are the top business, market, and economic stories you should be watching today in the UK, Europe, and abroad:

Virgin Money upbeat

Virgin Money (VMUK.L) has struck an upbeat tone on third quarter trading.

The challenger bank said customer deposits rose by 4.8% in the third quarter to £67.7bn ($87bn), as Brits stuck as home during lockdown spent less. The rise equates to around £600 extra in every Virgin Money customer’s current account or savings account.

Mortgage lending fell by 1% as the housing market paused by business lending surged by 5.7% to £8.8bn in the three months to 30 June.

“Our Q3 financial results reflect lower demand from consumers due to the pandemic, but strong demand from businesses for government-supported schemes, with the Group further increasing its provisions to reflect the uncertain economic outlook while maintaining a focus on margin, cost and capital management,” said chief executive David

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England confront Archer dilemma as West Indies eye history

Laveta Brigham

Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) – England will be able to recall Jofra Archer, described by skipper Joe Root as bowling “at the speed of light”, for the decisive third Test against the West Indies at Old Trafford on Friday after the pace spearhead suffered online racist abuse.

Archer was included in a 14-man squad named Thursday after missing England’s series-levelling win at the same ground following a breach of coronavirus protocols caused when he made an unauthorised trip home.

In a Daily Mail column published on Wednesday, the 25-year-old Barbados-born Archer admitted to an error of judgement but said he had not “committed a crime”.

He added some of the criticism he had faced on social media following the incident had been racist.

“I need to be 100 percent mentally right so that I can throw myself into my cricket this week,” Archer wrote.

But having reassured England captain Joe

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Church of England and Bank of England apologise for historic slavery links

Laveta Brigham

The Bank of England vowed to block any images of its notorious former leaders from being displayed there - Toby Melville/Reuters
The Bank of England vowed to block any images of its notorious former leaders from being displayed there – Toby Melville/Reuters

The Church of England and the Bank of England apologised on Thursday night for their historic links to slavery through vicars, bishops and Bank governors who benefited from the trade in the 19th century.

The Church said its links to slavery were “a source of shame” as it emerged that scores of churches, clergymen and even a bishop could have been funded by compensation paid to plantation owners.

Fresh analysis of a database held by University College London (UCL) found that nearly 100 clergymen, including a bishop, who benefited from slavery were from the Church of England. Six governors and four directors of the Bank of England are also named as claimants or beneficiaries in the database.  

They include Sir John Rae Reid, governor between 1839 and 1841 and

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Long queues as shops reopen in England after lockdown

Laveta Brigham

Pent-up demand has prompted queues at some shops as rules are relaxed in England after a three month lockdown.

Long queues were reported outside Primark shops in London and Birmingham ahead of their 8am opening time.

The chain, which like other clothing shops has been closed since 23 March, does not offer online shopping meaning customers can only buy in the store.

All shops in the country are allowed to open, although retailers have had to introduce strict safety measures.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged people to “shop with confidence”.

He said he was “very optimistic” about stores reopening – although acknowledged that retailers did not know whether there will be a “huge wave of customers” or a “trickle”.

Although food shops, pharmacies, banks and other essential retailers have stayed open, vast swathes of the High Street, from bookshops to clothes outlets, have been closed since 23 March.


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