Regulator finds that energy companies doubled their profits…

gas-energy“Data from energy regulator Ofgem show wholesale prices have been almost flat over the past year, rising by a mere 1.7 per cent…This element of the average annual bill has gone up from £600 to £610, according to Ofgem, while the regulator estimates that the companies’ average net profit margin has more than doubled over the past year from £45 a household to £95” – Financial Times

  • Lib Dems to resist Tory cuts in green taxes – Guardian
  • Age UK says six million old people worried by fuel bills – Daily Mail
  • Miliband’s price freeze would cripple his own supplier – Daily Mail

 …as Ineos chief tells Osborne to cut tax and energy costs

“Jim Ratcliffe, the founder of Grangemouth owner Ineos, gave a recent presentation to George Osborne that began with a slide saying ‘the UK frankly has not been a very attractive place to manufacture’. Mr Ratcliffe, who owns two-thirds of Ineos, urged the Government to cut the rate of corporation tax for manufacturing companies to 12pc, reduce energy prices that are far more expensive than Britain’s main competitors, and give employers a national insurance holiday for apprentices” – Daily Telegraph

  • Miliband urged to reopen Unite vote-rigging probe – Daily Mail

Weekend rail closures for 14 years if HS2 is scrapped

“Alternatives to building Britain’s second high-speed rail link which would instead upgrade existing lines could need 14 years of weekend closures to complete, according to government-sponsored studies released today. The claims were published as ministers battle to maintain cross-party support for the controversial HS2 project connecting London to the north and before a crucial week for the scheme in parliament” – Guardian

>Today: Andrew Bridgen MP: I said Labour would U-turn on HS2

Hunt announces crackdown on NHS salaries

Hunt Jeremy 15“The Health Secretary said that the NHS needs a ‘collective reality check’ to ensure that it does not end up in a situation ‘where very high pay is normalised’. He is announcing plans to cap the number of bosses in NHS quangos earning over £100,000. Mr Hunt wants to reduce the salaries of thousands of NHS managers earning six-figure salaries” – Daily Telegraph

Brooks and Coulson to go on trial

“The trial of former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks and others linked with alleged phone-hacking at the now-defunct News of the World will begin on Monday at the Old Bailey, kicking off what is likely to be one of the longest criminal trials in recent memory. Brooks and seven other defendants including her racehorse trainer husband, Charlie, and David Cameron’s former director of communications Andy Coulson will face a jury” – Guardian

  • Hacking is universal, but the only people in the dock are journalists – Trevor Kavanagh, The Sun

MPs braced for new expenses scandal

Screen shot 2013-10-28 at 09.04.32“MPs’ rental agreements will reveal the extent of what critics claim is the ‘back-door funding’ of political parties when they are published for the first time next month. The documents will show how much public money is being funnelled to local parties and unions under leasing arrangements for constituency offices. MPs are braced for another expenses storm” – The Times (£)

Spy chiefs lose track of terrorists after Snowden leak

“A top surveillance source said: ‘Some very dangerous people have gone quiet. There is no doubt Snowden is to blame. The last time visibility was lost on this scale was when Osama bin Laden discovered we could listen to his satellite phone conversations. The next we heard of him was 9/11” – The Sun

  • Obama “approved tapping Merkel’s phone three years ago” – Daily Telegraph

How Plebgate stitch-up shook the Mitchell family

Andrew Mitchell talking to press“The daughter of former Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell told yesterday of her family’s despair at how he was ‘stitched up’ over the Plebgate affair. Hannah Mitchell spoke for the first time of the toll the allegations had taken on the Tory MP…The 25-year-old doctor also claimed Downing Street had betrayed Mr Mitchell by stopping him telling the whole truth when he was accused of calling police officers ‘plebs’” – Daily Mail

News in brief

And finally…

Boris Johnson writes an open letter to Willie Walsh, head of British Airways

“Since I am obviously having difficulty getting through to him, may I make use of your columns to invite him to a personal meeting where he can take me through my own figures and tell me precisely where they are wrong” Letters to the Editor, The Times (£)


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