LONDON (Reuters) - Queen Elizabeth’s 97-year-old husband Prince Philip escaped uninjured from a car crash while driving on Thursday near the Sandringham estate in eastern England. Police said two people in a car that collided with that of the prince, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, were both taken to hospital for minor injuries but later discharged. Pictures from the scene showed a Land Rover overturned on the side of the road. The accident occurred when Philip was pulling out of a driveway onto a main road, the BBC reported, quoting a witness saying he was very shaken. Philip drove former President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle to lunch during their state visit to Britain in 2016. Buckingham Palace confirmed Thursday’s accident. “The Duke was not injured,” it added in a statement. A palace spokeswoman later confirmed Philip was at the wheel and was checked by a doctor afterwards. He did not go to hospital and was now back at Sandringham, the private country residence o..
LONDON (Reuters) - The outlook for Britain’s housing market is darkening fast ahead of Brexit, with sales expectations falling to their lowest level in at least 20 years by one measure, surveys showed on Thursday. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) said the net balance of -28 in December among surveyors about the short-term outlook for housing sales was the weakest since it began asking the question in 1999. The housing market has slowed since the June 2016 Brexit referendum, with house prices, as measured by mortgage lenders Halifax and Nationwide, growing at the slowest pace in around five years. Britain is due to leave the European Union on March 29 and there is still no clarity over the terms of its departure, after MPs rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s proposals by a huge margin on Tuesday. A separate survey from the Bank of England showed lenders in Britain expect demand for mortgages and credit cards will fall by the greatest extent seen for several year..
WELLINGTON (Reuters) - A group of British tourists has been asked to leave New Zealand after they were reported for shoplifting, littering, threatening residents and causing chaos, an immigration official said on Thursday. The family, who are travelling on British passports, were involved in a series of incidents in Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, and Hamilton this week that have shocked New Zealanders. Peter Devoy, assistant general manager for Immigration New Zealand (INZ), told Reuters five individuals from the group had been served with Deportation Liability Notices, the first stage in the deportation process. The individuals can appeal against the deportation orders and can only be deported if they agree to waive their appeal rights or if the appeal rights expire, he said in an emailed statement. The group, which included children and women, made headlines in New Zealand newspapers after littering at the North Shore beach in Auckland and threatening residents. A video p..
LONDON (Reuters) - British inflation hit its lowest in nearly two years in December as fuel prices fell, leaving the Bank of England under no pressure to carry on raising interest rates as uncertainty over Brexit dominates the economic outlook. Consumer prices rose at an annual rate of 2.1 percent in December, slowing from 2.3 percent in November, the Office for National Statistics said, as a Reuters poll of economists had predicted. The rise was the smallest since January 2017. Although inflation remained just above the Bank’s 2 percent target, it was likely to fall below that level soon and there was little immediate urgency for the BoE to move, economists said. The central bank has sketched out a range of Brexit scenarios including a worst-case no-deal outcome in which sterling would plunge to parity against the dollar, inflation would exceed 6 percent and the economy contract by 8 percent. On Tuesday, MPs voted against Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit plans by a crushing mar..
WELLINGTON (Reuters) - A New Zealand man accused of murdering a British backpacker pleaded not guilty on Wednesday at a court in Auckland. The killing of 22-year-old Grace Millane shocked New Zealand, where serious crime is relatively rare and its cities and countryside are considered safe. The accused, whose name has been suppressed by the court, pleaded not guilty when he appeared in court for a second time, the New Zealand Herald reported. Justice Simon Moore said the trial would begin on Nov. 4. It is expected to last for three weeks. Millane, who was travelling after finishing university, went missing in Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, on Dec. 1. Police found her body in a bush area just a few metres from a scenic drive in Auckland’s Waitakere Ranges. Police have declined to say whether Millane knew the 27-year-old man charged with her murder, but he had been seen with her before she went missing. A judge earlier refused the accused man’s request to suppress his name ..
(Reuters) - The cost of a comprehensive motor insurance policy fell 6 percent in Britain in 2018, according to a survey, which indicated potential trade barriers brought on by the country’s looming exit from the European Union would hurt prices in 2019. Prices in 2018 were pushed down by changes in the Ogden rate, used to calculate compensation for personal injuries, and the Civil Liability Bill, which includes reforms likely to reduce claims for whiplash injuries. Whiplash is a form of neck injury caused by a sudden jolt that snaps the head backwards but insurers argue that many claims in such cases are fraudulent. (reut.rs/2TQ4sBY) The average premium for a comprehensive policy is now £774, according to the latest index from price comparison site Confused.com, compiled by insurance advisory company Willis Towers Watson Plc (WLTW.O). The index, based on enquiries submitted to insurer Admiral Group’s (ADML.L) Confused.com, found that the final quarter of 2018 saw prices rise by an ..
LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May urged MPs on Monday to take a “second look” at her deal to leave the European Union, a last-ditch effort to win over a parliament that looks set to reject the agreement. The fate of the United Kingdom’s March 29 exit from the EU is in the balance before Tuesday when parliament is widely expected to vote against May’s deal, opening up outcomes ranging from a disorderly divorce to reversing Brexit. In the deepest crisis in British politics for at least half a century, May and EU leaders exchanged letters giving assurances on her withdrawal agreement, though there was little sign of a change of heart among rebel MPs. May used a speech at a china factory in the leave-supporting city of Stoke-on-Trent in central England to say that MPs blocking Brexit altogether was now a more likely outcome than Britain leaving without a deal. She then returned to parliament, where she asked MPs to give her deal a chance, referring to the assurances..
LONDON (Reuters) - Britain will work with the financial industry to crack down on fraud, corruption and dirty money by launching a task force that will include senior banking figures, the finance ministry said on Monday. The chief executives of Santander, Lloyds and Barclays banks will be among members of the Economic Crime Strategic Board, which will consider where further resources are needed to tackle offences such as bribery and money laundering. “We need to take action on all fronts to target the corrupt fraudsters who are lining their pockets with dirty money and living luxury lifestyles at the expense of law-abiding citizens,” said interior minister Sajid Javid, who will jointly chair the task force with finance minister Philip Hammond. An estimated 14.4 billion pounds ($18.50 billion) worth of economic crime is committed every year, a Treasury statement said. Britain has already introduced Unexplained Wealth Orders to combat the proceeds of suspected corruption by freezing ..
LONDON (Reuters) - A man was arrested on Saturday after a video of a group of men verbally abusing pro-European lawmaker Anna Soubry prompted calls for the police to do more to protect politicians outside parliament. A group of Brexit supporters was filmed on Monday asking Soubry questions about her pro-European Union stance and support for a new Brexit referendum, with some calling her a fascist and chanting “scum”. Earlier in the day, a BBC interview with Soubry was interrupted by chants that she was a Nazi, and lawmakers wrote to London’s police chief to express their concern about the “deteriorating public order and security situation” around parliament. Police confirmed that a man in his thirties, who was not named, had been arrested on suspicion of public order offences committed in the Westminster area on Jan. 7.
LONDON, Jan 4 (Reuters) - Prices in British shops rose by the most in nearly six years in December but there are signs that increases in the cost of food will ease off in 2019, an industry survey showed on Friday. Retailers lifted their prices by an annual 0.3 percent, the biggest increase since April 2013, the British Retail Consortium and market research firm Nielsen said. In November, prices rose by 0.1 percent. Retailers have held down their prices in the face of tough online competition and weaker household spending power. December’s increase represented only the fourth month of inflation in shop prices in five years, the BRC said. Food price inflation eased to an annual rate of 1.5 percent from 1.6 percent in November. But non-food prices showed the smallest decline since March 2013, falling by 0.4 percent. The easing of fresh food price increases was likely to be a first sign of downward pressures from lower international food prices which began to fall in mid-2018, the BR..