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Live Reporting

By Dearbail Jordan and Mary-Ann Russon

All times stated are UK

  1. Sterling trims earlier fall

    Pounds, dollars and euros

    The pound has trimmed earlier falls and is now marginally up against the dollar at $1.2085 as well as 0.06% ahead against the euro to €1.0775.

    According to's chief market analyst Neil Wilson, the latest employment data is responsible.

    "Sterling has found some very mild support from better wage data – pay up by the most in 11 years makes for a good headline for sure, but the risk of no-deal Brexit ultimately weighs," he said.

    "Extreme positioning could signal we are in for a snapback, but it all rests on the politicians come September.”

  2. Scotland sees surge in unemployment

    People walking down a street in Scotland

    Scotland's labour market saw a surge in unemployment in recent months, according to new figures.

    From April to June, Scots out of work rose by 12,000 to 102,000 (3.6%), although this was below the UK rate.

    The data from the Office for National Statistics also showed employment marginally decreased by 1,000 to just under 2.6 million.

    The employment rate of 75.4% was close to the highest figure on record - 75.9%.

  3. 'Hong Kong's reputation under threat'

    Distressed passengers try to get through Hong Kong's airport

    Further to the news that anti-government protesters have disrupted the Hong Kong airport for a fifth consecutive day - there are concerns about the wider impact it will have on the territory.

    "The situation has become increasingly risky for all involved and threatens the city's reputation as a safe and stable business hub, served by a world class airport," said Loizos Heracleous, a professor of strategy at Warwick Business School.

    "While the disruption caused by the protests at Hong Kong airport may be bad for business, a wholesale crackdown would have even worse consequences for the territory's reputation. That could linger for decades if handled inappropriately.

    "A better approach would be peaceful and meaningful engagement between the parties, that should ideally be handled internally."

  4. UK stock indexes down

    London Stock Exchange

    London shares this morning have continued to slide, despite upbeat employment figures, as markets continued to weigh on US-China trade war fears and concerns over a potential no-deal Brexit.

    The FTSE 100 is now down 34.2 points or 0.5% to 7,192.37. Top of the losers is United Arab Emirates-based healthcare chain NMC health, sliding 5.8% to £19.98.

    The FTSE 250 has fallen 89.5 points or 0.5% to 18,823.71. British automotive fluid systems maker TI Fluid Systems heads the losers, falling 7.3% to 153.6p.

  5. Hong Kong protests disrupt airport for second day

    Large crowds are continuing to gather at the airport on Tuesday
    Image caption: Large crowds are continuing to gather at the airport on Tuesday

    Flight check-in has been suspended at Hong Kong International Airport for a second consecutive day because of anti-government protests.

    The airport, which is one of the world's busiest, has been the site of protests for five consecutive days.

    Videos on social media show passengers struggling to get through demonstrators, who have been sitting inside blocking departures.

    The city's leader, Carrie Lam, earlier issued a fresh warning to protesters.

    Ms Lam said Hong Kong had "reached [a] dangerous situation" and that violence during protests would push it "down a path of no return".

    Read more here

  6. No blackout near-misses, claims National Grid

    A shop in darkness at Clapham Junction station during the power cut
    Image caption: A shop in darkness at Clapham Junction station in London during Friday's power cut

    The government is currently investigating whether procedures followed by National Grid are fit for purpose following last week's huge power cuts across England and Wales.

    The Guardian yesterday reported that National Grid had experienced three “near-misses” in as many months and was aware of the growing potential for blackouts.

    But National Grid disagrees...

    Quote Message: Contrary to media reports there have been no near misses nor early warning signs of incidents similar to last Friday’s power cuts. This was a highly unusual event, without precedent in the past 10 years. We work with Ofgem to set the agreed limits of frequency of electricity output to keep the whole system safe and the lights on. All the time until Friday’s events, the system has remained within safe limits. We are conducting a thorough internal investigation and will report our interim findings in detail to Ofgem by the end of this week. We can and must learn lessons from Friday’s events – however rare their occurrence – as National Grid and as an energy industry." from Spokesman National Grid
    SpokesmanNational Grid
  7. Business sentiment darkens in Germany

    Map of Germany

    Ahead of Germany's second quarter GDP figures on Wednesday, research institute ZEW said that business sentiment among investors was worse than expected in August.

    Its measure of optimism fell to -44.1 from -24.5 in July.

    It blamed trade disputes and higher chances of a no-deal Brexit for a worsening outlook in Europe's biggest economy.

    There is speculation that Germany could show a contraction in the second quarter, joining the UK which last week said GDP shrank by 0.2% between April and June.

  8. Oil prices down on trade war fears

    Oil rig in the North Sea

    Oil prices fell on Tuesday, weighed down by the continuing US-China trade war, as concerns remained over rising US crude production and global demand.

    Brent Crude Oil Futures was down 0.5% to $58.30 a barrel.

    West Texas Intermediate meanwhile fell 0.4% to $54.71 a barrel.

  9. Employment figures, in charts

    BBC chart showing wages outpacing inflation
    BBC chart showing historical unemployment figures
    A BBC chart showing average weekly wages over the last decade
  10. Chancellor praises British economy

    Chancellor Sajid Javid

    Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid has commented on the latest employment figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) this morning.

    “Every person deserves the chance to succeed and provide for their families through a steady income. I’m pleased to see 2.9 million more people are in work every day since 2010, wages are rising at their fastest in more than a decade, and people across the UK are taking home more of what they earn," he said.

    “Thanks to the hard work of the British people and the government, we can further invest in our public services.

    "And today’s figures are another sign that despite the challenges across the global economy, the fundamentals of the British economy are strong as we prepare to leave the EU.”

  11. 'Overall, this is a good news story'

    James Tobin runs educational workshops, as one of his three jobs
    Image caption: James Tobin runs educational workshops, as one of his three jobs

    According to Dr Vincent O'Sullivan, an economics lecturer at Lancaster University Management School, today's employment figures are overall "a good news story".

    However, while the employment rate is historically high, he noted that there has been a "very slight" decline in full-time employment, with 3,000 fewer workers than in the previous quarter.

    This was off-set though by an extra 31,000 part-time employees and 82,000 self-employed part-timers.

    "Nearly three-quarters of workers are full-timers, but the rise in part-time work, especially part-time self-employment is striking. Part-time work is not necessarily a bad thing. For example, most part-timers says they prefer to work part-time rather than full-time," said Dr O'Sullivan.

    "But part-time jobs tend to be less secure. If there is a recession looming, it will be interesting to see how resilient these types of jobs will be."

  12. Productivity drops

    A man assembles a motorbike in a factory

    According to the Office for National Statistics, productivity decreased by 0.6% for the quarter between April to June compared with the same period last year.

    The Open University says that the UK must focus on developing a "more highly skilled workforce" if it wants to improve productivity.

    "Enabling the UK’s workforce to upskill throughout their working lives, not just before or at the beginning, is critical if productivity is to be maximised in the workplace," said The Open Univeristy's corporate director David Willett.

    "According to our latest Business Barometer, work-based training is the best way for organisations to achieve this.

    "A third of employers who took part in our report said that investing in training had led directly to enhanced performance such as improved productivity and engagement.”

  13. Employment is a 'bright spot for Britain'

    Man searching for job online

    Tom Stevenson, investment director for personal investing at Fidelity International, says that the labour market "is still the bright spot in the British economy".

    But he says: "There is strong evidence to suggest a more balanced outlook than these numbers imply.

    "Last week’s news that the UK economycontracted during the second quarter of the year has prompted fears of a recession. The Bank of England remains poised to cut interest rates before the end of the year - especially if, as now seems much more likely, there is a no-deal Brexit at the end of October."

  14. Jobless numbers shrink

    The number of people out of work fell by 33,000 to 1.33 million in the year to June.

    The unemployment rate is 3.9% while the number of people in work hit a record 76.1%.

    Matt Hughes, deputy head of labour market statistics at the ONS, said: "Employment continues to increase, with three-quarters of this year’s growth being due to more women working.

    "However, the number of vacancies has been falling for six months, with fewer now than there were this time last year."

  15. BreakingUK wage growth beats expectations

    Average weekly wage growth hit 3.9% in the year to June, according to the Office for National Statistics.

    It is ahead of the 3.6% recorded in the year to May and above expectations for 3.8%.

    ONS deputy head of labour market statistics Matt Hughes, said: "Excluding bonuses, real wages are growing at their fastest in nearly four years, but pay levels still have not returned to their pre-downturn peak.”

  16. Hands-free phone ban for drivers 'should be considered'

    A woman wearing a hands-free ear piece while driving

    Drivers could be banned from using hands-free mobile phones in England and Wales, a group of MPs has suggested.

    Current laws give the "misleading impression" that hands-free options are safe, they warned.

    While it has been illegal to use a handheld phone at the wheel since 2003, using a hands-free device creates "the same risks of collision", the Commons Transport Select Committee said.

    The government said that, where legal, drivers must always use phones safely.