In the first statement coming out of Labour election headquarters, current U.K. Business Secretary Peter Mandelson has put up an argument stating that the sitting government has the constitutional right for the “first go” in trying to remain in power when no party wins a majority in the House of Commons.
“The rules are, if it’s a hung parliament, it’s not the party with the largest number of seats that has the first go, it’s the sitting government,” Mandelson said. “After three terms in office, of course many people have turned away from the Labour Party but they haven’t embraced the Conservatives.” He added
According to a recent survey, manufacturing output and exports in the UK expanded at their fastest rate in 15 years. These findings meant that whichever party eventually wins the right to govern in the UK, are liable to inherit an economy already showing signs of recovery with manufacturing output growing by as much as two percent in the past three months. A growth level that suggests the manufacturing sector will make a significant contribution to second-quarter gross domestic product growth in the UK.
Recent figures also show that the next government are set to inherit a jobs market that, while currently still looking a little weak, looks is poised for recovery but still fragile. Unemployment stands at 2.5 million, or eight percent of the work force, far below the three million-plus predicted last year.
Channel 4 announced the public service broadcaster would boost the budget of its film division by a fifth this year to 10 million pounds. The decision returns Film 4’s budget to its 2007 level before the recession, and partly reflects a cautious confidence at the group. Chief executive David Abraham said the Digital Economy Act had also influenced the decision to increase investment in Film 4. The Act formally stated that as part of its public service remit, Channel 4 should make “high quality films” for cinema release in the UK.
Alliance Boots has replaced Marks & Spencer at the top of an annual ranking of UK companies by the strength of their corporate reputation. Boots, which enters the Reputation Institute’s UK Pulse Report for the first time, ranks first in the survey that measures corporate reputation among the general public. Other companies in the top 10 include Cadbury, Morrisons and Rolls Royce, with John Lewis Partnership, Debenhams, Sainsbury’s and Tesco among the top 20 places. In broadcasting, the BBC came ahead of ITV and BSkyB, and HSBC has become the top-ranked bank. Companies are selected by the organization based on revenue and visibility among the general public, but can decide whether or not to be included. There is no fee for inclusion. [Read more…]