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Sunday newspaper round-up: General election, mortgages, Premier Oil, Ted Baker, Tesco, Park First

Sun 08 December 2019 18:02 | A A A

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(Sharecast News) - Boris Johnson launched a final offensive on Brexit and immigration last night as polls suggested he should secure a comfortable working majority on Thursday. The prime minister used an interview with The Sunday Times to set out his immigration plans, which will prevent low-skilled migrants from settling permanently in the UK. - The Sunday Times

Low-skilled migrants will face sweeping new restrictions on moving to Britain, under a radical post-Brexit immigration shake-up planned by ­Boris Johnson. The Prime Minister will announce on Sunday that he is planning to prevent lower-skilled workers moving to the UK unless there is a "specific shortage" of staff in their sector, such as construction. Those who arrive will only be able to stay in the UK temporarily. - Sunday Telegraph

The shadow chancellor has expressed his concern that the row over antisemitism in Labour may have an effect on the election result, adding that the party had "done everything we can possibly do" to tackle the problem. In a BBC One interview on Sunday morning, John McDonnell apologised to the Jewish community for "the suffering we've inflicted on them". He added: "I say to them, we're doing everything possible and we are going to learn more lessons and we want to be the shining example of anti-racism that the Labour party should be." - Observer

Britain's biggest banks are preparing to sell risky mortgages and loans to millions of gig economy workers in an echo of the borrowing boom before the 2008 financial crisis. In a new battleground, RBS, HSBC, TSB, Nationwide and smaller rivals including Tandem are working on plans to cash in on the rise of agency workers, freelancers and food delivery drivers. - Mail on Sunday

Boris Johnson would be denied a majority if just 41,000 people voted tactically in 36 seats that could swing the election, according to a new poll. A survey of almost 30,000 voters found the Conservatives are on course to win 345 seats in the House of Commons, giving Johnson a majority of 40. - The Sunday Times

The Conservatives' lead has fallen back down to eight points over the last week, according to a poll which puts the party on course for a majority of 14. A Savanta ComRes poll for The Telegraph suggests the gap between the Tories and Labour has narrowed to match the lead Boris Johnson enjoyed shortly after the formal start of the General Election campaign. - Sunday Telegraph

Nearly one in five school buildings in England require urgent repairs, a Guardian investigation has found, leading to warnings that they are "crumbling around teachers and pupils". Almost 4,000 schools across the country have been judged by surveyors to be in need of immediate restoration work, and many more were found not to have the paperwork required by law, including electrical test certificates, fire risk assessments or asbestos management plans. - Observer

A Hong Kong hedge fund secretly built up the biggest ever short position in the UK by taking huge bets against Premier Oil shares. Asia Research & Capital Management should have revealed its bet to the Financial Conduct Authority in February 2017 when its short position in the North Sea oil firm's shares went above 0.5 per cent. - Mail on Sunday

Ted Baker has hired headhunters to find a new chairman, paving the way for a shake-up of its top ranks after a catastrophic year that has plunged the fashion retailer into crisis. The company has appointed Korn Ferry to find a replacement for David Bernstein, 76, who joined the board in 2003 and became chairman in 2013. He took on an executive role in March after founder and chief executive Ray Kelvin was forced out amid allegations of sexual harassment, revealed by The Sunday Times, which he denies. - The Sunday Times

Tesco could sell its operations in Malaysia and Thailand as part of a strategic review, as the retail giant prepares for a new boss to take the reins. Britain's largest supermarket chain is considering the future more than 2,000 stores in the south-east Asian countries after approaches from potential buyers. - Sunday Telegraph

The World Trade Organization is set to plunge into the biggest crisis in its 25-year history later this week as the climax to a long-running and bitter dispute means the Geneva-based body will cease to be able to settle disputes between its member states. Unless Donald Trump backs off at the last minute and agrees to a peace plan, Washington's protracted battle to safeguard US sovereignty will lead to the neutering of the WTO's ability to police global trade. - Observer

Storm Brendan is set to batter the country this week in what could be the second storm to strike in three days as Britons prepare to head to the polls. The 1,500-mile wide 100mph 'weather bomb' will see 40ft waves and will follow the 80mph Storm Atiyah. The Met Office has issued severe weather warnings until Tuesday, warning of potential damage to temporary structures amid the very strong winds, but they have not yet said if the second storm will definitely be named. - Mail on Sunday

The City watchdog faces a new headache as hundreds of pensioners prepare to take on an alleged scam over a collapsed £230m airport parking spaces scheme. Investors in Park First, which sold spaces at Gatwick and Glasgow airports, are due to meet next week to plan a legal fight against the founders in the ultimate hope of seizing control. - The Sunday Times, which sells items from shower accessories to bathroom furniture, is exploring its second sale in less than a year after changing hands nine months ago. The online retailer is looking for a new owner following its disposal by plumbing and heating supplier Ferguson, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange. - Sunday Telegraph

Data about millions of NHS patients has been sold to US and other international pharmaceutical companies for research, the Observer has learned, raising new fears about America's growing ambitions to access lucrative parts of the health service after Brexit. US drugs giants, including Merck, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Eli Lilly, have paid the Department of Health and Social Care, which holds data derived from GPs' surgeries, for licences costing up to £330,000 each in return for anonymised data to be used for research. - Observer

Extinction Rebellion protestors have performed a mass lie-in in front of a bulldozer at Heathrow after cycling there to protest the controversial third runway. The climate activists are both demonstrating the future damage which will be caused by the project and making reference to Boris Johnson who said upon his election in 2015 that he would lie down in front of a bulldozer with John McDonnell to protest the expansion. - Mail on Sunday

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