Client Weekly Update – Friday 8 July

UK Prime minister resignation

Boris Johnson has told his cabinet ministers his government will not seek to implement new policies or make major changes of direction after he resigned as Conservative Party leader yesterday.

Addressing his reshuffled top team of ministers for the first time since resigning Mr Johnson said his priority is “to continue delivering on manifesto pledges and making sure the government is on the side of the public, on the cost of energy, transport and housing and all else that matters to them”.

He also said the government “would focus on delivering the agenda on which the government was elected” and that “major fiscal decisions should be left for the next prime minister”.

Mr Johnson was addressing his new-look cabinet for the first time, having over the past two days replaced the avalanche of ministers who quit in protest against his leadership.

Boris Johnson makes resignation statement to country

Addressing the nation just after midday, Mr Johnson offered his resignation but said he intended to remain in office until his successor is elected, a process which could take months. This prompted a backlash from senior Conservative figures, including former party leader Sir John Major, who in a letter to 1922 Committee chairman Sir Graham Brady said that it was “unwise and may be unsustainable” for Mr Johnson to stay in place until the autumn.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has also threatened to call a vote of no confidence in the Commons, with the support of other opposition parties, if Tory MPs cannot oust him straight away. In his speech, Mr Johnson said he had over the last few days fought to stay as prime minister because he felt he had a “duty” to the “millions of people who voted” for the Conservative Party in 2019.

“I have tried to persuade my colleagues that it would be eccentric to change governments when we are delivering so much and when we have such a vast mandate and when we are actually only a handful of points behind in the polls,” he said. But, he added: “I regret not having been successful in those arguments.”

Details of the leadership election to replace Mr Johnson will be made clear next week.

British Airways cut flights

Ports of Jersey are in contact with British Airways after the airline announced plans to cut 10,300 short-haul flights later this year, but it remains unclear what impact the move will have on Jersey, according to the Island’s airport director. Robin MacRae said that Ports were expecting to receive a revised summer schedule from British Airways ‘shortly’.

The cancellations affect flights to and from London Heathrow, Gatwick and City airports. The announcement means that almost 30,000 flights have been taken off the airline’s schedule between April and October this year.British Airways is one of a number of airlines that have been hit by staff shortages.

Reports in the national media on Thursday also revealed that the airline had agreed an improved pay offer for its workers – many of whom had planned to go on strike which would have affected passengers travelling to and from Heathrow at the start of the school summer holidays.

Mr MacRae said: ‘We are in contact with British Airways, after their announcement regarding their intention to reduce some short-haul flights until the end of October across their network. They have stated that their objective is to consolidate some services to protect as many of their holiday flights as possible. As yet, it is not clear what the impact will be on Jersey. We do expect to receive a revised summer schedule from British Airways shortly, however we do not currently know what the exact changes will be. As soon as we have more information, we will share what we know.’

He added: ‘British Airways has assured passengers that most of their flights will be unaffected and will offer to rebook new flights or issue a full refund in the event of cancellation.’

Condor Passenger cancellations

Scores of passengers have had their ferry crossing cancelled after Condor was forced to reduce capacity on the Voyager because one of its life rafts was damaged when it struck the Harbour wall. A total of 140 people booked on a day-return to St Malo this Saturday were contacted this week and told that they would not be able to sail. The vessel has a capacity of 850 passengers.

Condor confirmed that the life raft was damaged when it came into ‘light contact with the quay in St Helier Harbour last weekend following Voyager’s arrival from St Malo.’ Passenger numbers have not been affected during the week, but the volume of travellers booked on the busy Saturday crossing was above the revised operational capacity following the loss of the raft.

In a statement, Condor said: ‘Due to an issue with a life raft that is temporarily out of action on Condor Voyager, there is a restriction on the number of passengers we can carry in accordance with safety regulations.‘We are therefore providing a free day return voucher to some passengers who are unable to travel between Jersey and St Malo on Saturday 9 July and offering an additional complimentary day excursion ticket for their use over the summer.

Heatwave on the way

Just weeks after the Island recorded its warmest ever June day, when the mercury peaked at 33.2°C, JERSEY is set for another blast of hot and sunny weather – with temperatures possibly hitting 30°C. Large parts of the British Isles and western Europe will see a heatwave lasting throughout next week. Temperatures are expected to hit 25°C this weekend and rise to 29°C by Tuesday, with the possibility of increasing further later in the week.

The hot and sunny weather follows the joint-fifth-warmest June on record, with average temperatures more than 1°C above the monthly norm. According to Jersey Met figures, each of the first six months of the year have had above-average temperatures.

Bryan de Gruchy, duty forecaster at Jersey Met, said: ‘We are looking at a period of dry and settled weather lasting throughout next week and we are confident with the temperatures up until Tuesday. There is a bit of uncertainty after that but the temperatures still look like being warmer than average and we could reach 30°C at some point at the end of the week.’

Islanders taking a refreshing dip will also find that the water is warmer than normal, with a current sea temperature of 17.4°C – well above the long-term average for early July of 16°C.

Mixed Markets

London’s FTSE 100 is lower by 0.21%.

European markets are also lower today with shares in France off the most. The CAC 40 is down 0.58% while Germany’s DAX is off 0.35%.

S&P 500 futures slipped 0.4% in the early hours of this morning and futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.3%.

Asian markets finished mixed as of the most recent closing prices. The Hang Seng gained 0.38% and the Nikkei 225 rose 0.10%. The Shanghai Composite lost 0.25%.