Andrea Leadsom

  1. MP writes to prime minister over Cummings' Durham trip

    BBC Politics

    An MP says she has written to Boris Johnson asking whether Dominic Cummings had undermined public adherence to the lockdown rules through his trip to Durham.

    Andrea Leadsom, Conservative MP for South Northamptonshire, said she had received about 1,100 emails from constituents who did not agree with his actions, and about 100 from people telling her they supported him.

    "I think it is really important that government ministers and advisers do set a good example", she said.

    Andrea Leadsom
  2. Northants MP 'claps for Boris'

    Katy Lewis

    BBC News Online

    Last night, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson prepared to spend a second night in intensive care receiving treatment for Covid-19, some of his supporters took part in a Clap for Boris.

    They included the Conservative MP for South Northamptonshire, Andrea Leadsom, and her family.

    In a tweet, she said they were "clapping for Boris Johnson and all those who are in hospital - get well soon".

    The PM is being kept in St Thomas' Hospital in London "for close monitoring", Downing Street said.

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  3. Alok Sharma appointed business secretary

    Alok Sharma arriving at 10 Downing Street today
    Image caption: Alok Sharma arriving at 10 Downing Street today

    Number 10 have confirmed that international development secretary Alok Sharma will replace Andrea Leadsom as secretary of state for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

    Mr Sharma has been MP for Reading West since 2010. He was housing minister between 2017 and 2018, and employment minister from 2018 to 2019.

  4. Video content

    Video caption: Harry Dunn: Family's determination 'stronger now'

    The teenager's family have responded defiantly to the US's refusal to to extradite Anne Sacoolas.

  5. Business rate review 'to make sure it's still fit for purpose'

    Today Programme

    BBC Radio 4

    Andrea Leadsom

    Boris Johnson will announce a review of business rates at the CBI Conference.

    Business Secretary Andrew Leadsom was asked on the the Today Programme how the review will be different from the one the Conservatives promised in its 2015 manifesto and the one it promised in its 2017 manifesto.

    She said: "This is a more fundamental review. Business rates is a critical source of revenue for the Exchequer and we do need businesses to continue to pay their taxes.

    "We want to review the entire system to make sure it's still fit for purpose."

    She added: "We want to restructure business rates so its fairer so that high street shops aren't penalised against online businesses."

  6. Thomas Cook rescue 'poor decision' for taxpayer

    thomas cook staff

    The Business Energy and Industry Strategy Committee has also published a number of documents that have been submitted as part of its inquiry into the collapse of Thomas Cook.

    There is a letter from Andrea Leadsom, in which she says says government "rescue deal would have been a very poor decision for the taxpayer".

    She said it was "too early at this stage to give a clear summary of total costs, as the liquidation process is yet to be concluded".

    "By way of indicative costs, the repatriation of Thomas Cook customers is expected to be about double the cost of the Monarch repatriation operation in 2017, which was about £40m.

    "The majority of Thomas Cook passengers were Air Travel Organiser’s Licence (ATOL) protected and the costs for repatriating those passengers have been covered by the ATOL scheme.

    "The Official Receiver’s costs for the first three weeks of the liquidation amount to approximately £21m. This includes salaries for employees retained to assist with the repatriation and the liquidation, fees for the Special Managers and legal advice. As the liquidation is on-going, the costs will rise; we will only be able to provide a total, substantiated figure once the process is concluded."

  7. Video content

    Video caption: Brexit: MPs heckled after vote

    Members of the public confronted ministers near Parliament buildings.

  8. 'People want answers' about Thomas Cook collapse

    Today Programme

    BBC Radio 4

    Andrea Leadsom

    Business secretary Andrea Leadsom has written to the Insolvency Service asking for the conduct of Thomas Cook management to be investigated.

    She says: "It is not really that I suspect anything - it is part of the Insolvency Service's statutory duties to look at the behaviour and performance of directors in the run-up to an insolvency, and I'm just asking them to make that as fast as possible, because I do believe that people want answers.

    "I'm waiting to hear what the Insolvency Service comes up with."

  9. Whose fault is it anyway?

    Dominic O'Connell

    Business Presenter, BBC Radio 4 Today programme

    Thomas Cook chief executive Peter Fankhauser
    Image caption: Thomas Cook chief executive Peter Fankhauser

    The Insolvency Service must look into every company collapse to see if directors have been up to no good, but the inquiries can take years.

    Business secretary Andrea Leadsom would like something quicker with Thomas Cook; public outrage at the company’s rapid collapse and the attendant chaos for holidaymakers is running hot.

    If Mrs Leadsom is expecting the head of Peter Fankhauser, its chief executive or chairman Frank Meysman on a stake, she should not hold her breath.

    It’s hard to see how an investigation could show that they or the other directors deliberately drove the company into the ground. It might well find that they built up too much debt, and failed to grasp the severity of the challenges to trading posed by weaker sterling, travel bookings’ move online and some untimely heatwaves. But that is a world away from a calculated attempt to enrich themselves while pushing the company into insolvency. While Mr Fankhauser and his predecessors were well rewarded for what was, in the end, a failure, the company’s investors voted in favour of their remuneration at successive meetings.

    There might, however, be a case for an investigation along different lines, something which is hinted at in Mrs Leadsom’s letter.

    She has asked the Insolvency Service to look at director’s conduct at the “ immediately prior to and at insolvency.” There could be grounds to look at the timeliness of the board’s announcement to the stock exchange about the progress of its financial restructuring talks – how soon did directors know they would need to find an extra £200m, and when was the market told?

  10. Business secretary 'really sorry' to hear of Thomas Cook collapse

    Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom has said she is "really sorry" to hear of Thomas Cook's collapse and that the government will "do all it can for customers and employees".

    "I will personally write to insurance companies to ask them to process claims quickly," Mrs Leadsom wrote on Twitter.

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  11. Cobham: what's one more sale?

    Dominic O'Connell

    Business Presenter, BBC Radio 4 Today programme

    Successive governments have shown themselves to be intensely relaxed about foreign ownership of important bits of British infrastructure.

    Our power and water supplies, ports and airports are all owned by overseas investors. That relaxed attitude has even extended to defence, particularly when the foreign owners are from allied countries.

    Boeing, the American defence contractor, provides all kinds of kit, including Chinook helicopters, to the UK armed forces, while the new F-35 Lightning, the cutting edge of the Royal Air Force, is made by another American contractor, Lockheed Martin.

    That’s why this morning’s intervention by Andrea Leadsom has taken many by surprise. There was no groundswell of public opinion against the Advent bid for Cobham, despite the best efforts of the founding family to whip one up. An American buyer for a supplier of defence kit might be thought not to raise many issues of national security.

    But City sources pointed out this morning that silence should not have been mistaken for a lack of activity. Mrs Leadsom could not have intervened while the bid was still live – governments hate to affect commercial processes – but she was free to do so once Cobham shareholders approved the deal on Monday.

    Meanwhile defence experts say that Cobham’s speciality, air-to-air refuelling, could well be seen as a matter of national security. It is impossible to fight a modern war without the ability to keep aircraft in the air for long periods of time.

    When the Royal Air Force had to find a way to attack the Port Stanley airfield at short notice during the Falklands War, Cobham engineers made it possible.

    Cobham is also the undisputed world leader in the field, something that gives UK industry a big entrée to defence contracts round the world.

    Most think that in the end the Advent deal will go through – but that the Competition and Markets Authority investigation will result in legally binding undertakings that Cobham keep research and development capabilities here in the UK.