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Sunday newspaper round-up: Intu Properties, HS2, Flybe, Davos, Ofcom, Stagecoach

By Josh White

Date: Sunday 19 Jan 2020

Sunday newspaper round-up: Intu Properties, HS2, Flybe, Davos, Ofcom, Stagecoach

(Sharecast News) - The embattled shopping centre giant that owns Lakeside in Essex and the Trafford Centre near Manchester is planning to tap the City for £1bn of emergency cash as soon as next month, in a significant test of the market's appetite for retail property. Intu Properties, whose share price has collapsed after the slew of insolvencies among tenants such as Debenhams and Arcadia, wants to launch a huge rights issue either alongside its full-year results at the end of February, or shortly afterwards. - The Sunday Times
Boris Johnson is being urged to find the "courage" to cancel or dramatically scale back plans for HS2, with a former head of the civil service and a retail tycoon warning against "throwing good money after bad". Lord Turnbull, who was also permanent secretary at the Treasury, and Lord Wolfson, the chief executive of Next, told the Telegraph the rail line represented poor value for money and urged the Prime Minister to redirect funds in ways that would provide more benefit to everyday commuters. - Sunday Telegraph

The millionaire businessman Julian Richer is bankrolling a campaign that aims to stamp out the use of controversial zero-hours contracts in Britain. Zero Hours Justice, which launches today, plans to hold free legal advice clinics around the country for zero-hours workers in a bid to identify people whose experiences in the workplace could provide the basis for legal action that could help to change the law. - Observer

Sir Richard Branson, whose regional airline Flybe was controversially rescued by the Government last week, found himself at the centre of a fresh storm last night after it emerged he once slammed a mooted bailout of his arch rival British Airways. The billionaire publicly denounced a possible rescue of BA a decade ago, saying: 'We should wait for its demise.' - Mail on Sunday

Businesses have warned of higher prices and a hit to some of the most deprived regions after Sajid Javid ruled out alignment with EU regulations after Brexit. The chancellor's remarks sparked concern among companies demanding close ties with the bloc. - The Sunday Times

Flybe's rivals say they could have filled the void left if the "British Leyland" of the airline industry had it been allowed to collapse rather than rescued by the taxpayer. Regional airlines and airports wrote to the Government with a plan to ensure the continued running of flights, The Telegraph can reveal. - Sunday Telegraph

It's Davos time again. The global elite are packing their best snow boots and smartest woolly hats and firing up the Learjet for their annual pilgrimage to the World Economic Forum (WEF). This year will mark the 50th gathering since the first "European Management Symposium" was held in the Swiss ski resort in 1971. The brainchild of economist-engineer Klaus Schwab, it was more modest back then - just 450 academics and business leaders discussed the state of the world, for a fortnight, without a political leader or celebrity in sight. - Observer

While the 'abdication' of Prince Harry and wife Meghan from official duties spells bad news for the Windsor family, it may herald a boost in values for collectors of Royal mementos. Last night, the Palace announced the couple would not use their 'His and Her Royal Highness' titles, instead becoming known as simply the 'Duke and Duchess of Sussex'. - Mail on Sunday

Boris Johnson is planning to move the House of Lords permanently to York, The Sunday Times can reveal. The city has emerged as the frontrunner to host the new second chamber, with Birmingham also in the running. The prime minister last week ordered work to begin on the practicalities of a move, in further evidence that the Conservatives are serious about cementing their gains in what were once Labour's heartlands. - The Sunday Times

The communications watchdog Ofcom has been sent back to the drawing board in its hunt for a new chief executive after Downing Street raised concerns over plans to appoint a career civil servant. In the latest sign of the determination in No 10 to shake up officialdom and the BBC, the Government has refused to approve the regulator's preferred candidate and launched a search for leaders from beyond Whitehall. - Sunday Telegraph

A high court battle pitting rail operators against the government is due to start on Monday, with Stagecoach and others seeking tens of millions of pounds in compensation in a case that could have far-reaching implications for the privatised rail system. Stagecoach is suing the Department for Transport after being disqualified from bidding for three rail franchises last year for failing to comply with demands on pension liabilities. - Observer

Quaker oats were packaged by slaves at the same Chinese prison where inmates are forced to wrap Tesco Christmas cards, it has been revealed. The breakfast favourite has been placed into sachets and then bags with an English-language leaflet at Shanghai's Qingpu prison, four prisoners released within the last year have said. - Mail on Sunday

Betting companies have been given access to an educational database containing names, ages and addresses of 28 million children and students in one of the biggest breaches of government data. They have used it to help increase the proportion of young people who gamble online. It contains details of children age 14 and above in state schools, private schools and colleges in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. - The Sunday Times

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will no longer use their HRH titles or formally represent the Queen, Buckingham Palace has announced as the Royal Family severed all official ties with the couple. A seismic statement following days of frantic negotiations, revealed that the Sussexes' departure from public life would be much more dramatic than previously thought. - Sunday Telegraph

A police force in London labelled Extinction Rebellion one of its "key threats" in a counter-terrorism assessment and provided awareness training on the climate crisis group across the capital, resulting in "intelligence" tip-offs, the Guardian can reveal. City of London police grouped the environmental protest group alongside "far-right organisations" in an assessment of its counter-terrorism operations seen by the Guardian. - Observer

An actor's union has backtracked from comments it posted online branding Laurence Fox a 'disgrace to our industry' and calling on members to 'unequivocally denounce him' for comments he made on Question Time about Megxit. Equity posted the statements online before later deleting them and claiming that they had been published by two rogue members of its Minority Ethnic Members committee. - Mail on Sunday


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