42. Weekly Newsletter
Sir David Amess
On Friday, the 15th of October, Sir David Amess died after being stabbed multiple times during a regular constituency meeting at a Methodist church in his home county of Essex. The Conservative Party politician, an MP since 1983, had spent a career focussed on his passion for animal welfare, eliminating fuel poverty and promoting his seat in the town of Southend-on-Sea to become a city- which on Monday was granted ‘city status’ by HM The Queen. He also wrote a book titled “Ayes & Ears: A Survivor’s Guide to Westminster”, for which all royalties go to charity; Sir David, additionally, once arranged for 200 students with learning disabilities to perform at the Royal Albert Hall and received a knighthood in 2015 for which he celebrated by dressing up as a knight.
The 69-year-old veteran backbencher died just five years after a fellow MP, Jo Cox, was shot and stabbed multiple times in the street on her way to a similar public constituency meeting to Sir David. The Justice Secretary, Raab, has now suggested that private security guards will be provided to MPs in the future in order to prevent future attacks on democratically elected politicians. Sir David was attacked by a 25-year-old man, believed to be a Briton with Somali heritage, who is being investigated by police due to a ‘potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism’. The church at the centre of the attack is now surrounded by large piles of flowers, heart-shaped balloons and a continuing array of tributes to the locally popular MP. His family has described Sir David as strong and courageous, a patriot and a man of peace.
The Newspapers & COVID
The UK’s newspapers, over the last week, have focused very closely upon the murder of Sir David Amess and are now uncovering details of the his attacker’s life- including his father being a former top aide to the Somali PM. Meanwhile, the Financial Times’ front page on Tuesday (18th October) details the likelihood that Bank of England interest rates could rise “as soon as next month”. The increase is expected to be 0.25% and comes after the BofE Governor said at the weekend that the central bank “will have to act” to reduce inflationary pressures.
Over 8.45m people in the UK have tested positive for COVID and with almost all restrictions lifted: cases are now rising as Britons enter the colder months which pushes the nation indoors. A total of almost 138,700 deaths have been attributed to the virus. Nationally, 49.42m people (about 90% of the eligible population) have received their first vaccine and around 45.38m of these patients have also received their second dose. This brings the total number of inoculations carried out, by the private sector and National Health Service, to over 94.8 million.
UK Firms to disclose Climate Impact
On Monday (18th October) evening, the Chancellor set out the new government standards for environmental reporting. The objective, as stated in the official announcement, is to “weed out greenwashing and support transition to a greener financial system”. New requirements will also be implemented upon pension schemes, investment products and asset managers/owners in a clear attempt to create a greener financial system. Political pressure towards ambitious proposals, such as this, are all likely to coincide with the upcoming COP26 Summit in Glasgow scheduled for the end of this month (31st October until 12th November).
Details on this policy, including scope, timing and detail, will be developed following public consultation; some of this information could likely feature in the upcoming Autumn Budget set for the 27th of October. Features within the Budget, led by Sunak, will likely include a hike in the minimum wage, an end to the one-year freeze on public sector pay, an increase in capital gains tax, climate change strategies, a reduced threshold at which people start repaying their student loans, and links to the ‘levelling up’ policy.