House of Commons
The House of Commons is in recess until 18 October 2021.
Years to build, seconds to break
Written by Katie Armour, senior associate
Edited by Iain Gibson, associate partner
1 October 2021
Trust in the Metropolitan police has been “shaken” by the Sarah Everard case, Dame Cressida Dick told crowds gathered outside the Old Bailey.
“Shattered” is how her critics put it.
Yesterday, Wayne Couzens was sentenced to spend his whole life in prison for the murder of Sarah Everard. He joins the evil ranks of serial killers and Jo Cox’s killer in receiving this unusual lifetime tariff.
In explaining the judgment, Lord Justice Fulford said: “The police are in a unique position, which is essentially different from any other public servants. They have powers of coercion and control that are in an exceptional category.”
It’s that power and control which is now under question from many many women, who would have “concerns and reservations” about being approached by a male officer alone.
An ex-policeman told Sky that Couzens should “never have been near a uniform”. But that’s just the problem, he was, and now women who are approached by the police have just cause to be suspicious of what they say and instruct.
Police authority has been eroded alongside public trust and leadership needs to take swift steps to demonstrate they are serious about clawing that trust back. Some are questioning if Cressida Dick is up to that challenge.
So far the home secretary has stood by her commissioner, saying she will work with her to hold police to account for their conduct, but others aren’t quite as convinced.
Harriet Harman has called for the police chief’s resignation, arguing that it would be “impossible” for her to restore confidence having overseen an organisation that missed so many warning signs. Yvette Cooper, chair of the home affairs select committee, similarly called for an independent investigation into violence against women and girls within the police service itself and Labour leader Keir Starmer has said victims’ law needs to be strengthened.
The vast majority of the police are honest, decent people keen to uphold law and protect the vulnerable. Cressida Dick seems genuinely “rocked” by the revelations.
But the reason Sarah’s murder was felt so keenly by millions of women across the country is because the threat of violence on the streets each night they walked home was all too familiar.
One woman every week is coming forward to report domestic abuse by a police officer and five officers are now being investigated for the “discriminatory and inappropriate” messages they shared with Couzens on a whatsapp group. In a letter to MPs last night the Met admitted: “this is part of a much bigger and troubling picture”.
This awful case, and landmark verdict, is not the end of the story, it’s the beginning of the change.
As one commentator puts it, “slamming the cell door” and “promising merely to learn lessons” won’t cut it from a force that “failed to spot a killer in its midst”.
The furlough scheme came to a close yesterday. The Resolution Foundation has estimated that almost one million people were still relying on the scheme when it was wound up. Since the beginning of the pandemic furlough has helped pay the wages of more than 11.6m million people and the chancellor said he was “immensely proud” of the £70bn support scheme.
The Scottish government’s vaccine passport app was launched yesterday and users have been hit by a series of faults which prevent them from registering. From 05:00 today it becomes a legal requirement for people in nightclubs to provide proof of double vaccination but many are reporting being unable to get past the first page of the app.
France has urged the EU to punish Britain over a fishing dispute to gain leverage in the migration crisis. Paris is expected to request curbs on UK fish imports and restrictions on British students who want to study in the EU and France’s minister for the sea has warned railway links could be dragged into the debate. The increased tensions come in the wake of the Aukus submarine pact which president Macron’s team has suggested was “reckless sabotage”. (£)
Business and economy
Zoom has abandoned plans to bid to buy cloud company Five9, a deal that had a projected value of $14.7bn, and had raised national security concerns in the US government. The companies announced the termination of the agreement following a meeting of shareholders. (£)
Ofgem is reportedly on standby for a “big collapse” and the energy regulator has hired a firm ready to act as an administrator in case leading suppliers need to be rescued. Forecasts of cold weather have raised concerns after the price of natural gas in the UK rose to another high yesterday. (£)
Shares in Oxford Nanopore surged by more than 40% after its IPO in London. The company has helped researchers track the pandemic through devices it creates which have been dubbed the “smartphone of sequencing”. IP Group saw gains of 2.94% after announcing it had realised £84m through the initial public offering of Oxford Nanopore. (£)
Columns of note
Jeremy Black writes in The Telegraph that people should “ignore Greta” and be proud of the industrial revolution. He argues that it lifted our country, and many parts of the world, out of poverty and says we are “in debt to those who came before” for our health, education, culture and much more. (£)
Emma Duncan argues in The Times that ministers could begin to solve the mess they’ve made with migration by “auctioning off entry to Britain”. She suggests there’s never been a better time to be an HGV driver and postures that the government could auction off working visa slots to employers to maximise value to business and society. (£)
What happened yesterday?
London stocks closed in a lower state on Thursday, as investors considered the latest GDP data and weakness in the travel sector.
The FTSE 100 ended the session down 0.31% at 7.086.42, while the FTSE 250 was down 0.52% at 23,031.29.
Sterling, however, was in a stronger state, trading 0.31% higher against the dollar at $1.34 and 0.47% stronger against the euro, changing hands at €1.16.
In company news:
Shares in Diageo rose by 1.25% after recording “organic net sales momentum” across all regions.
Mining firms enjoyed rising stock price. Anglo American were up 2.58%, BHP rose 1.42%, and Rio Tinto grew by 1.92%.
As noted above IP Group saw gains of 2.94% after announcing it had realised £84m through the initial public offering of Oxford Nanopore.
Travel stocks slumped however, with British Airways’ parent firm IAG falling 4.28%, Wizz Air shares down 4.71% and easyJet shares dropping 2.53%.
What’s happening today?
UK Economic Announcements
(09:30) PMI Manufacturing
International Economic Announcements
(07:00) Retail Sales (GER)
(08:55) PMI Manufacturing (GER)
(09:00) PMI Manufacturing (EU)
(13:30) Personal Consumption Expenditures (US)
(13:30) Unemployment Rate (US)
(13:30) Personal Spending (US)
(14:45) PMI Manufacturing (US)
(15:00) ISM Manufacturing (US)
(15:00) Construction Spending (US)
(20:30) Auto Sales (US)
Russia is so big that it’s home to 11 time zones (Source: Insider)
House of Commons
The House of Commons is in recess until 18 October 2021.
House of Lords
The House of Lords is in recess until 11 October 2021.
There is no scheduled business today.
Share this post