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Coronavirus: Lockdown should ease to help economy, says Philip Hammond

Coronavirus: Lockdown should ease to help economy, says Philip Hammond

Business
Former chancellor Philip Hammond has urged the government to set out its plan to restart the economy. Ministers have been reluctant to discuss a lockdown exit strategy, arguing that it might undermine the message for people to stay at home.Mr Hammond said the country cannot afford to wait until a vaccine is developed and called on the government to start easing lockdown measures.But Conservative MP Damian Green said the government was acting "sensibly". Mr Hammond told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "The reality is that we have to start reopening the economy. But we have to do it living with Covid. "We can't wait until a vaccine is developed, produced in sufficient quantity and rolled out across the population. The economy won't ...
From Rylan to Alison Hammond: The reality stars who became TV presenters

From Rylan to Alison Hammond: The reality stars who became TV presenters

Entertainment
Several Love Island contestants have now secured TV presenting gigs since leaving the villa. But why do some reality and talent show contestants succeed as presenters when so many others fail? Nobody who watched Love Island this year is going to forget Maura Higgins in a hurry.Whether it's for her sense of humour, her accent, her "flutters" or her larger-than-life personality - she was undeniable dynamite on screen.Which is perhaps why she's been signed up for a role on This Morning, presenting a segment called "Maura Than Meets The Eye" (brilliant) which will see her taking on a series of challenges around the country as well as fronting her own phone-in.Her fellow Islander Ovie Soko hosted a cooking segment with Ruth Langsford on This Morning last week,...
Climate change: Emissions target could cost UK £1tn, warns Hammond

Climate change: Emissions target could cost UK £1tn, warns Hammond

Science
The chancellor has warned Theresa May that reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 could cost the UK more than £1tn. The Financial Times reports that the PM wants to introduce the legislation to Parliament next week as "one of her most important legacies". Philip Hammond has written to her, saying it would mean less money for schools, police and hospitals. The Committee on Climate Change recommended the target in May. The BBC's assistant political editor Norman Smith said next week would see the first stage in the process of making this new target law - but any legislation would "have to wait until after Mrs May and after Brexit, so it could still be some time off". The CCC, which is the independent adviser to government on climate change, p...
Philip Hammond to decide on future of 1p and 2p coins

Philip Hammond to decide on future of 1p and 2p coins

Business
Chancellor Philip Hammond will this week rule on the future of 1p and 2p coins, a year after he called them "obsolete".In his Spring Statement in 2018, a Treasury consultation about the mix of coins in circulation appeared to pave the way for the end of both of them.A swift reverse by the Prime Minister's official spokesman declared there were no plans to scrap the copper coins.The Treasury has declined to comment on a report that there will be a reprieve.But it confirmed that "the result of the review will be announced shortly".The Mail on Sunday quoted a government source as saying: "We will confirm the penny coin won't be scrapped."That Treasury consultation document said surveys suggested six-in-10 of UK 1p and 2p coins were only used once before bein...
Hammond: 'Ticking clock' will 'focus minds' on Brexit

Hammond: 'Ticking clock' will 'focus minds' on Brexit

Business
By Alan McGuinness, political reporter The chancellor has rejected suggestions Brexit should be delayed - saying the "ticking clock" will "focus minds" and ensure Theresa May gets an exit deal passed in time.Speaking to Sky News at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Philip Hammond dismissed calls from some MPs for Article 50 - the legal mechanism a country triggers to leave the EU - to be extended. Mr Hammond told Sky's economics editor Ed Conway: "The problem with that suggestion is that it is pretty clear, if you look at the situation, the only thing that is pushing people at all towards pragmatic compromise is the ticking clock and the deadline."I'm afraid if you remove the deadline, you would run the risk of just entrenching people in their positions ...