Friday Update

DB Live: Davidson for Lords; PM delays easing; Halo praised

5.30pm: Halo praised

Scottish businesswoman Marie Macklin’s urban regeneration project in Kilmarnock has been praised by SEPA and international sustainability organisation Global Footprint Network for its net zero vision.

The £63m HALO Kilmarnock project will be the centrepiece of a virtual #MoveTheDate conversation on 6 August, ahead of Earth Overshoot Day on 22 August, with Dr Macklin delivering a keynote address to the Scottish business community.

In partnership with Scottish Power, the HALO Kilmarnock’s ambition is to create a sustainable community approach to mixed-use development on a 28-acre brownfield site powered by electricity with a net zero carbon footprint.

The HALO will be the first town centre net zero carbon energy project in Scotland, using 100 per cent renewable energy and adopting the latest technologies to deliver efficient power, heating and transport solutions. 

5pm: Davidson appointed peer

Ruth Davidson at election rally

Former Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson has been admitted to the House of Lords but will continue as the constituency MSP for Edinburgh Central until March 2021. She will only take up her seat in the House of Lords after her term in Holyrood ends.

Ms Davidson, who will also stand in for the party during First Minister’s questions, said: “I am honoured to follow in the footsteps of former Holyrood parliamentarians such as Jack McConnell, Jim Wallace and Annabel Goldie in being nominated for membership of the House of Lords.

“As a chamber dedicated to scrutinising and revising legislation, the upper house is stronger when it includes a range of voices with experience from different jobs, backgrounds, specialities and parliaments across the UK, and I believe I can make a contribution to its work.

“However, my main focus continues to be my Edinburgh Central constituency and I have confirmed that I will only take my seat after I cease to be an MSP in March.

4.45pm: London closes lower

Stocks in London ended lower as investors digested double-digit falls in economic output due to Covid-19, providing additional evidence that a swift recovery is getting out of reach.

The FTSE 100 index closed down 92.23 points, or 1.5% at 5,897.76, ending the week down 4.6%.

3.10pm: Stay home, don’t spread virus

The First Minister says anyone returning to Scotland from higher risk areas of the north of England should not go to the pub or restaurant or visit other people.

3.05pm: Young people in focus

Ms Sturgeon said about half of the new cases over the past week were people in the 20 to 29 age group.

She said the rise in cases among this age group had been seen in many places around the world since pubs and restaurants reopened and warned people against being complacent.

2.40pm: Virus under control

The FM says the coronavirus is “under control” in Scotland. But she adds: “the need for caution is obvious”.

2.30pm: Daily briefing – Sturgeon backs PM

First Minister says she fully supports the Prime Minister’s decision to suspend some of the easing measures planned for tomorrow in England.

Nicola Sturgeon, who took part in four-nation discussions this morning, advises against all non-essential travel to restricted areas in the north of England.

2pm: Sturgeon calls briefing

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is to hold an unscheduled daily briefing at 2.30pm.

It follows the Prime Minister’s suspension of easing measures in England.

1.45pm: BBC names new director for Scotland

Steve Carson has been named the new director of BBC Scotland.

He will replace Donalda MacKinnon, who will step down later this year after four years in the role.

Full story here

12.15pm: Johnson postpones lockdown easing

The Prime Minister has postponed the easing of the coronavirus lockdown for “higher risk” settings including sports venues, casinos, leisure centres and weddings, following a sharp spike in coronavirus cases.

Full story here

Noon: Jobs go at Edinburgh Airport

Edinburgh Airport is making 250 staff, a third of its workforce, redundant.

Full story here

11.25am: Ross seeks Tory leadership

Douglas Ross Moray MP

Scottish Conservative MP Douglas Ross has confirmed he will stand for leader of the Scottish Conservatives.

Full story here

10am: Eurozone shrinks

The Eurozone economy contracted by a record 12.1% in the second quarter of the year.

The fall in GDP was in line with economists’ forecasts and followed a 3.6% contraction in the first quarter.

8.30am: London ticks up

The FTSE 100 index opened lower but ticked up in the first half hour and was trading 26 points higher at 6,016.11.

In Asia overnight, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.3% and Japan’s Nikkei tumbled 2.8%.

IAG/British Airways

British Airways pic

British Airways owner International Airlines Group is raising €2.75 billion to strengthen its balance sheet after plunging to a loss.

Full story here

BT hit by fall in sport revenue

BT Sport

Reduced income from BT Sport and the impact of Covid-19 on business activity saw group revenue for the first quarter fall 7% to £5.25bn.

Full story here

7am: RBS/NatWest loss

NatWest/RBS swung to a first half operating loss before tax of £770 million compared to a £2.7 billion profit the previous year, but CEO Alison Rose says the underlying bank is robust.

Full story here

TSB slides to loss

TSB reported a first half statutory loss before tax of £65.5 million, compared to a pre-tax profit of £21.1m in H1 2019.

Full story here

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