“The Conservative contest for the next leader of party and country has drawn comparisons with both House of Cards and Game of Thrones in the last 24 hours”
The UK’s decision to leave the EU has dominated not just the media, but pretty much every conversation this week. It has also sparked political turmoil with a resignation from David Cameron and uncertainty over the future of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader leaving a leadership vacuum in UK politics. The Conservative contest for the next leader of party and country has drawn comparisons with both House of Cards and Game of Thrones in the last 24 hours, after Michael Gove dramatically entered the race and forced Boris Johnson out of it. As of this afternoon, Theresa May remains many bookmakers’ favourite. On the Labour side, a new survey commissioned by The Times reveals that while MPs would like to see Mr Corbyn step down before the next general election, there is little support for alternative Labour candidates. According to the poll of party members Corbyn would defeat rivals Tom Watson by 50 points to 39, Angela Eagle by 50 points to 40, and Dan Jarvis by 52 points to 35.
Uncertainty over the future nature of Britain’s relationship with the EU continues to grow, particularly given the lack of clarity around who will lead the UK into negotiations. The financial sector has rallied, with global markets bouncing back after falling sharply in the aftermath of the vote. However, yesterday’s announcement from Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, signalling a potential cut in interest rates, had a negative impact on the pound sterling, which has now fallen back towards post-referendum lows.
Higher Education concerns
Social listening research carried out by Linstock found that French students are particularly worried about the impact on Erasmus, a programme that offers funding to students and staff at EU Higher Education institutions for exchanges to other EU countries. In the UK, Jo Johnson, Minister of State for Universities and Science, attempted to reassure the sector by emphasising the government’s commitment to the Higher Education and Research Bill. However, he also said that future funding arrangements with the EU would be determined as part of the UK’s discussions on its membership.
If you would like to discuss what the outcome of the EU referendum could mean for you and your communications programmes, we’d be happy to talk to you. Please get in touch.
Away from Brexit…
Good week: Artificial intelligence
A robo-lawyer has successfully contested 160,000 parking tickets across London and New York. The artificial intelligence bot, named ‘DoNotPay’, was created by a 19-year-old Stanford University student after receiving 30 parking tickets in and around London. Using a chat-like interface, the bot works out whether an appeal is possible through a series of simple questions before guiding users through the appeals process without charging legal fees.
Bad week: English football
England’s football team was knocked out of Euro 2016 by underdogs Iceland this week. The loss has been described as the worst in the history of English football, and manager Roy Hodgson wasted little time in announcing his resignation shortly after the final whistle. Combined with unwanted scenes of fan violence during earlier matches, the last few weeks will have done nothing for English football’s international reputation both on and off the pitch.
Following the EU referendum, research has found that hundreds of thousands of people already regret the decision they made. In our latest blog, ‘Je ne regrette rien? Brexit and Behavioural Science,’ Director Simon Maule uses insights from behavioural science to explore what we can learn from the referendum outcome.
TheCityUK, the membership body for UK financial and related professional services, held its annual conference this week. Through a series of panel discussions and keynote speeches from speakers including Harriett Baldwin MP, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, the conference explored the role of UK financial and related professional services in securing future economic growth.
Alice Watson, Product and Communications Manager at retirement income specialists Retirement Advantage, was quoted in the Daily Telegraph. Despite market turmoil as a result of the UK’s vote to leave the EU, Watson believes that sales of equity release are set to increase, with more and more customers using it to fund holidays, cars and home improvements.
We’ll be attending a talk at the House of Commons where a panel of MPs will be discussing the future of politics.