Sunday press review
Round-up of Queen Elizabeth II coverage and business news
Hello everyone. Welcome to Off to Lunch’s Sunday press review, where I run through what is interesting in the Sunday newspapers and likely to be followed in the days ahead. Usually this is business-focused and for paying members only, but today I have included coverage of the death of Queen Elizabeth II and made this edition available for everyone.
A quick reminder, I am away for a short break in Italy this week. I had intended to do two special editions for paying subscribers while I was away but I am now going to hold those for another time. Off to Lunch will be back next week.
With that, let’s start the press review:
The Sunday Times has done a piece on Liz Truss’s week, which is unlike any other for a UK prime minister. The week started with her being named the new prime minister of the UK but by Thursday she was outside 10 Downing Street giving a speech about the death of Queen Elizabeth II. In between, Truss announced the freezing of energy bills, a policy likely to cost well over £100 billion, and conducted what Tim Shipman writes is “one of the most radical shake-ups of how government is run that anyone can remember”. He adds: “It has left Conservative MPs wondering if Truss has bitten off more than she can chew.” The full feature is here.
Julian Payne, King Charles III’s former press secretary (who also used to work for the BBC and Burberry and is now at Edelman), has written about what it’s like to work for the new King. The piece paints a glowing picture of him. “The working day is pretty relentless. Beginning with the radio news headlines and a breakfast of seasonal fruit salad and seeds with tea. Despite rumours that the King is served a line of eggs to choose from every morning, I never saw a single boiled egg at breakfast in all the years I worked there.” Full piece here.
Staying with the Sunday Times, some economists have forecast that the bank holiday on the day of Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral next Monday could ensure that Britain falls into recession. Story here.
David Cameron revealed on Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg that he had helped King Charles III practice for his weekly meeting with the prime minister while he was Prince of Wales. Telegraph story here.
I mentioned Emmanuel Macron’s emotional tribute to Queen Elizabeth II’s death in Friday’s edition. The Telegraph has done an in-depth piece on the reaction in France, where the story has dominated the news. Queen Elizabeth II spoke fluent French and made five state visits to the country. Piece here.
The Mail on Sunday says that Princess Anne will be a “key confidante” to King Charles III and that the siblings are closer than ever. Piece here.
In other news, the Sunday Times reports that discount retailer Wilko has switched its rental payments to landlords from quarterly to monthly to manage its cash flow and is also working with Interpath Advisory to refinance a £37.5 million revolving credit facility. The chief executive of Wilko is quoted as saying: “Trading is tough for everybody…we’re having to make smart choices.” Story here.
The boss of Revolut has given an interview to the Sunday Times after a difficult week that involved headlines about pressure from the Financial Reporting Council about its internal controls and the online payments group scrapping job offers to graduates. “We are a very complex financial institution with more than 20 million customers and more than 5 million in the UK,” Nikolay Storonsky tells Jill Treanor. Interview here.
I enjoyed this from Ed Conway, economics editor from Sky News, about how tomatoes and fertiliser show why high energy prices have had such a powerful impact on the global economy. He writes: “I’m quite serious about this. I have a suspicion that part of the reason economists at the FT and for that matter the Bank of England missed the recent build-up of inflation (which pre-dated the Ukraine war by many months) is that they didn’t spend enough time pondering tomatoes. They failed to understand that energy costs are not just a sub-category of inflation, they are everywhere: in food prices, product prices, services prices.” The full column in the Sunday Times is here.
Barclays is facing a £54 million High Court claim from the National Crime Agency over allegations it harboured the assets of criminals, the Sunday Telegraph reports.
The Mail on Sunday has an interview with Pippa Wicks, the boss of John Lewis. The piece says that £6 in every £10 spent with John Lewis is now online rather than in its department stores, up from £4 in every £10 pre-Covid. “I don’t think retail is back to a normal yet and I don’t think we know what the new normal looks like. I don’t think there is any need to rush and do crazy things. We’re helping each store to be the best it can,” Wicks says. Interview here
Finally, this is a story that would be getting way more coverage without events in the UK right now, but Ukraine’s counter-offensive in its war with Russia is extraordinary. The Guardian is tracking the latest news here.
Thanks for reading Off to Lunch. I will be back next week. Please do get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org with any feedback, questions or ideas