skynews's blog

Mark’s blog entry at reveals that Lloyds Banking Group, in which the taxpayer owns a 43pc stake, has in the last week laid out a fresh blueprint before the City regulator that details how it might avoid participating in the Government’s scheme to insure toxic loans.

Mark wrote: ‘…Lloyds (which wants to extricate itself from the Asset Protection Scheme (APS) to avoid the Government’s stake in the bank creeping higher and paying the fees associated with the scheme) has decided that it can raise up to £25bn from private sources (such as asset sales, a rights issue of well over £10bn, and other, more complicated measures).’

He continued by explaining that the £25bn figure was significant because it’s around the same number that the Financial Services Authority thinks Lloyds needs to raise privately to have enough capital to withstand a renewed economic downturn when it doesn’t have the buffer of the toxic loans insurance.

According to Kleinman: ‘Under the original plan, Lloyds would place £260bn of loans into the APS. It’s pretty clear now that the eventual number will be lower. Lloyds said in a statement issued last month that it was “considering possible alternatives to entering into [the APS] and is in discussions with HM Treasury, UK Financial Investments and the Financial Services Authority in this regard”.

‘At that time, Lloyds felt it needed to raise less capital than the FSA did (a battle that only the regulator could win). There was a gap of about £6bn between the two sides, apparently.

As I understand it, the refined proposals offered by Lloyds acknowledge the higher figure suggested by the FSA, and are now being seriously considered by the FSA and the Treasury.

‘Essentially, unless the Government believes that Lloyds is not living in fantasy-land and really can get its hands on the new capital, it’s hard to see how Lloyds can avoid the APS altogether. That may then have implications for which assets Lloyds will be forced to sell off by the European Commission in return for the state aid it has received. It’s a fiendishly complicated process. But as I just said to Jeremy Thompson on Sky News’ Live At Five, raising this much money privately in the current environment might prove to be a pretty tall order.’

The blog entry ended on a cautionary note: ‘A few words of warning: as people familiar with these discussions are at pains to point out, this is an evolutionary process, and what is on the table one day may be modified, enhanced or abandoned the next.

‘Equally, there may well be no final verdict on this for some time. I should also point out that Lloyds, the Treasury and the FSA are all declining to comment this evening.’

Mark joined Sky News in September from his previous role as City editor of the Sunday Telegraph, and since then has broken a series of off diary and big industry stories through the ‘Kleinman’ blog since then.


Jack Warner On England’s World Cup bid:

“I have yet to see the formal bid document and I will see what they have to offer… but if I were an Englishman today, I would not be happy at the progress that has been made to date. I don’t think they have progressed as far as i would have liked. They have some good plans in place. But the perception out there amongst my colleagues is that England has not yet wowed them, they have not given them the raison d’être to support the bid.

“You name it, England have it. But yet they haven’t been able to wow the guys who have to vote for them, then there is something wrong.

“England, in the eyes of my colleagues and me, does not have a divine right to host the World Cup. England has to earn that right. All the objective factors suggest that this is the place for this to be held. But England has to compete with others and has to justify its position relative to the other countries.

“If I were England and I had the best Premier league in the world, I had the best football tradition in the world, the best football stadia in the world, if I had players of the class that England has playing on their soil, if i had a Beckham – as England has a Beckham, if I had a Sebastian Coe – as England has a Coe – if I had all these things, I am telling you, any country that wanted a World Cup bid would be far, far behind me. I don’t know why this is not so in England. All I will say is, let us find the reason. Look at these attributes you have, look at the resources that England has and find the reason why she [England] is not further than she is today.”

Asked how England would fare if vote for the World Cup 2018 was held today:

If I were to go by the perception then it may not be. At this point in time.

Ian Dovaston: “They wouldn’t win it?”

Jack Warner: “At this point in time. If I was going by what my colleagues were saying then England, at this point in time, would be coming a close second. Don’t ask me who would be first.”

Put to him by Ian Dovaston that the England bid’s problem was one of leadership:

JW: “It may very well be. But that alone couldn’t be the reason (for England’s “problem”). There must be other reasons as well. So, Lord Triesman apart can’t be the only reason. England has to find the reason or reasons why there seems to be this lethargy in the minds of my colleagues and then correct it.

“The problem can be a whole collective problem. Leadership can be one. On the bid team, people don’t know the people who are there. I know Lord Triesman,Ii know him. I don’t know how many other persons do. Or how many persons know “Baroness whatever-her-name-is” and so on [in reference to Baroness Amos]. I don’t know. What you need [England] is a Franz Beckenbauer as Germany had. What you need is a Michel Platini, as France had. And I don’t know where you can find that. And that plus other attributes would help push you [England] forward.”

Put to him that Lord Triesman is not well known enough around the world:

JW: “The only person who can correct that is Lord Triesman. And he will correct that in the fullness of time.”

ID: “What? By stepping down?”

JW: “No, by stepping up. He needs to be more visible. That will help. Stepping down is not the answer at this point in time. He has to be more visible… he’s a Lord… he needs to use that Lordship to his advantage. If I were a Lord, you wouldn’t believe what I would do (laughing)… I would find every Lady and get her to help with the bid.

“I will have a meeting with Lord Triesman and Sir David Richards within the next 24 hours in broad terms and in an open and candid way tell them their shortcomings.

“I will talk to them about the negatives being perceived outside (about England’s bid) and most importantly that it can’t be the same old, same old. Nobody wants to see the England bid of 2005, 2004. We want to see something innovative, something creative.  They need to find new ways of doing things if they want to be successful.”

Put to him that England’s bid is not imaginative enough:

JW: “In a nutshell, yes, you are correct. I haven’t seen the bid documents yet, not even a draft, but this is the perception of my colleagues.”

On Sin Bins being used at the World Cup in South Africa next year:

JW: “The fact is the referees themselves have to be more vigilant. For example, a guy fakes an injury, and he acts as if it’s the end of the world, and then after you give him the foul he then flies up and kicks the ball. That guy should be sent off, and he should be sent off for five minutes. What I’m saying to you is that they will be sent off and there will be a time limit for them to stay off the field, before they come back. I’m not saying that this is the answer but we should make the rules so stringent that it will mitigate against this kind of behaviour.”

ID: “Could you do a sin bin for the 2010 World Cup?”

JW: “We can try. Anything is possible.”

ID: “Will you try?”

JW: “We shall. To improve the sport sure.”

ID: “Have you spoken to FIFA about that?”

JW: “We have spoken and we are speaking still. We have formed a task force to look into it. And the fact is they report to us in December, at our meeting in South Africa. But the fact is this: we have to keep the sport and keep it entertaining for spectators. It cannot be a sport where people simulate and fake. It can’t be. That’s what this whole thing is about. We have to change that.”

ID: “So when I watch the World Cup in South Africa next year, there is a chance that I will see sin bins?”

JW: “Most definitely. I’m quite sure.”

In the latest daily voting intentions poll, the Conservatives are up one point on 41%, 13 points ahead of Labour who are up one point on 28% and the Liberal Democrats who are down two points from yesterday to 18%.

On the second day of the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, voters of today’s poll were also asked a series of questions on David Cameron and the Conservative Party.

Asked if they thought David Cameron is, broadly speaking, in touch with the concerns of voters 38% agreed. The majority of people however (43%) think he is out of touch and 19% don’t know. The same percentage (38%) agreed that the leader of the Conservative Party is trustworthy, but a slightly lower percentage (35%) think he is not trustworthy and nearly a third (27%) said they didn’t know.

The same questions were asked about the Conservative Party in general. 35% of people questioned think it is in touch with people’s concerns but half (50%) think it is out of touch, with15% unsure. Under a third of people (31%) think that the Conservative Party is trustworthy but 45% voted it not trustworthy with a quarter (25%) saying they didn’t know.

When asked which party would handle problems facing the country best, 32% thought that the Conservatives would manage unemployment better than Labour on 25%, and the Liberal Democrats on 10%. Voters in the poll also suggested that the Conservatives would manage the economy better (34%)  than Labour who scored 28%, and the Liberal Democrats with, again, only 10% of the vote.

Voters were also asked whether they supported or opposed the Conservatives’ new employment policy which proposes the retesting of current recipients of Incapacity Benefit with a view to moving those deemed fit to work over to Jobseekers Allowance which pays less per week. An overwhelming 70% supported the policy, with 35% strongly supporting and 35% tending to support the policy.  Just 24% opposed the policy, with 13% tending to oppose and 11% strongly opposing to the policy.

Each day, Sky News will be delivering daily YouGov opinion polls to its viewers, based on a fresh sample of over 1000 adults online carried out every weekday throughout Great Britain all this week.

The daily polls will allow viewers, as well as Sky News’ political team, to analyse the effects that different announcements and speeches during both the Labour and Conservative party conferences are having on voter opinion.

The daily online YouGov polls will measure fluctuations in voting intentions across the two weeks, as well as asking respondents to register their opinion on different topical questions coming out of the conferences each day.

In the latest daily Sky News/YouGov voting intentions poll, support for the Conservatives is up another point to 41%, following a three point rise yesterday to 40%, and up from 37% on Wednesday.

Labour support has recovered slightly today to 29%, following a drop yesterday down to 26%. Labour support briefly rallied following Gordon Brown’s conference speech on Wednesday when voting intentions for Labour rose to 30%.

Lib Dem support has continued to slide, down today to 17% from 20% yesterday.

Also in the most recent poll, when asked about the different qualities each of the leaders have, Gordon Brown scored highest for ‘sticks to what he believes in’ with 37% of respondents noting it. David Cameron’s highest scoring quality was that he is ‘charismatic’, with 41% of respondents noting it as a feature. ‘honest’ came top in Nick Clegg’s list of qualities.

Gordon Brown scored the least for his charisma at 2%, David Cameron’s least recognised quality was being ‘good in a crisis’ at 10% and Nick Clegg also scored lowest in this category on just 3%.

Other qualities that respondents were asked to rate, were whether the three leaders were: ‘strong’; ‘in touch with the concerns of ordinary people’; ‘decisive’ and ‘a natural leader’ – full details of the results are at the bottom of this release.

Today’s results are being delivered as part of a daily YouGov opinion poll taken between 30th September and 2nd October. The overall survey is based on a fresh sample of an average of 1000 adults online carried out every weekday throughout Great Britain all this week and next week.

The daily polls will allow viewers, as well as Sky News’ political team, to analyse the effects that different announcements and speeches during both the Labour and Conservative party conferences are having on voter opinion.

The daily online YouGov polls are measuring fluctuations in voting intentions across the two weeks, as well as asking respondents to register their opinion on different topical questions coming out of the conferences each day. The results can be seen at

“I think I know more about women, because I’ve studied them, more than any other man.”

Mr Davies also said he has always been wary of banks.

“The reason I’ve not been near a bank for twenty years is I knew what they’d do to me, what they’re doing to everyone today.”

His comments, made on Sky News Jeff Randall Live, came as he launched his latest venture, the GIVe chain.

It is aimed at women over the age of 30 and features in-store stylists and tailors to help customers get the look they want.

Shoppers can make minor alterations on purchases free of charge as part of the drive to put the customer in charge, said Mr Davies.

The stores are being promoted as offering affordable luxury but come at a time when the recession has claimed numerous high street scalps.

Mr Davies has ploughed £20m of his own cash into the venture – and is adamant his concept has “zero chance” of failing.

Some 22 shops are opening this week, with a flagship store being unveiled in London’s Regent Street.

As well as stand-alone stores in Bristol, Liverpool, Kingston, Sheffield and Bluewater, GIVe will open concessions in 16 department stores, mainly in Beales branches.

Mr Davies, who is budgeting for sales of £60m in the first year of trading, said 5-10% of his profits would go to charity.

Sky News has announced that it is working with YouGov to deliver daily national opinion polls during the remaining party conferences. And – in an entirely separate move – is also working with MindTracker to provide virtually instantaneous Sky News viewer reaction to both Gordon Brown and David Cameron’s speeches.

YouGov Daily Opinion Polls

From today, Sky News will be delivering daily YouGov opinion polls to its viewers, based on a fresh sample of 1000 adults online carried out every weekday throughout Great Britain all this week and next week.

Peter Kellner, YouGov’s President, said: “This represents a major breakthrough in tracker research. Past “daily” tracker polls in Britain, as in the US, have generally involved only 250 fresh interviews each day, with “daily” data reflecting four days of research. YouGov’s polls for Sky News will provide a completely fresh and up-to-date report of the public mood daily during the Labour and Conservative conferences.”

The daily polls will allow viewers, as well as Sky News’ political team, to analyse the effects that different announcements and speeches during both the Labour and Conservative party conferences are having on voter opinion.

The daily online YouGov polls will measure fluctuations in voting intentions across the two weeks, as well as asking respondents to register their opinion on different topical questions coming out of the conferences each day.

YouGov’s daily polls will be reported each day at 5pm on Sky News’ Live at Five programme, except on the days of the keynote speeches of Gordon Brown (Tuesday 29 September) and David Cameron (Thursday 8 October) when YouGov’s daily poll report will be brought forward to noon. On those days, the findings of the YouGov surveys of a specially selected group of at least 500 voters’ responses to those keynote speeches will be reported on Live at Five at 5pm.

Peter Kellner said: “These will be the fastest scientific, full-scale surveys ever conducted in Britain. As Britain’s pioneering online polling company, YouGov is delighted to partner Britain’s pioneering 24-hour news channel, to bring the public’s voice, without delay, into the heart of the news and public debate.” Stephan Shakespeare, YouGov’s Chief Innovations Officer, added: “This YouGov/Sky News experiment is the next stage in expanding the role of public opinion in our national debate. There’s a lot more of this still to come!”

Sky News viewer leader speech surveys – provided by MindTracker

And for the first time, Sky News viewers will be invited to take part in two MindTracker surveys immediately after each of the speeches by the Labour and Conservative party leaders.

The first survey will go live on shortly after the end of Gordon Brown’s speech tomorrow (Tuesday 29 September) and the second will be available shortly after the end of David Cameron’s speech the following week, Thursday 08 October.

A short segment of each of the speeches will be selected and posted online by MindTracker on . People taking part in the survey will simply visit the website and watch the video. As they are watching, they indicate how they’re feeling about what they see and hear by means of an interactive scale designed to bypass their reasoning and record their gut reactions.

MindTracker will record the results and participants in the survey will be able to measure their responses against the other participants immediately after completion. Initial overall results of both surveys will be revealed on air on the show with Martin Stanford at 7pm on the day they each take place. A more detailed breakdown will then be available the day after each survey on Sky News and the sky news website.

Sky News’ Political Editor Adam Boulton will be presenting Sunday Live from the Labour Party conference in Brighton this weekend. He will be joined by Labour Deputy Leader Harriet Harman, Shadow Foreign Secretary William Hague, the Welsh Secretary Peter Hain. The former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith joins ex-Europe Minister Caroline Flint to talk about life outside a Gordon Brown government.

The Labour MP Tom Watson will debate with the Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee as to whether Gordon Brown is a fighter or a quitter.   Adam will also be speaking to political journalists Matthew Parris and Jackie Ashley for the newspaper review, actor Robert Carlyle and he will be discussing the future of Labour with three Labour prospective Parliamentary candidates.

Sky News Exclusive

ITV has identified the respected media executive Sir Crispin Davis as one of the leading candidates to replace Michael Grade as the chairman of the troubled broadcaster, Sky News has learned.

Sir Crispin, who previously ran the publishing and media group Reed Elsevier, is one of a small number of contenders in the frame to succeed Mr Grade following ITV’s decision to abandon talks about appointing Tony Ball as the company’s new chief executive.

Negotiations about Mr Ball’s recruitment were halted abruptly today after the two sides failed to reach agreement on his remuneration package and about the appointment of a new chairman. Mr Grade is to step down once a replacement is announced.

“Mr Ball is understood to have objected to Sir Crispin and some other candidates on the basis that they lacked experience of chairing a major public company,” said Sky News’ City editor, Mark Kleinman.

Sky News’ City Editor Mark Kleinman revealed on air tonight moments ago that a controlling stake in Camelot, the National Lottery operator, is to be auctioned off next month.

According to Kleinman, the sale process raises the prospect of the Lottery effectively falling into the hands of an overseas lottery operator or an investor such as a private equity firm. He explained that four of Camelot’s five shareholders, including Cadbury and De La Rue, the banknote printer, have decided to cash in their 20 per cent stakes, which are estimated to be worth about £80m each.

Rothschild and Greenhill, the investment banks, are to send out documents to interested bidders next month. Sir Richard Branson, who bid for the licence on two previous occasions, is likely to look at the information on Camelot but it is not clear whether he will make a formal bid.

Mark Kleinman said a short while ago: “The sale of a majority stake in Camelot has been on the cards for some time. It is potentially embarrassing for the Government, which went through a lengthy licence bid process before awarding a ten-year licence to Camelot.”

Sky News has launched a unique competition for budding environmentalists to have their idea for an ad tackling climate change made into a reality, and screened on Sky News.

The competition has been launched as the countdown to the UN’s crucial Climate Conference in Copenhagen in December gets underway. Despite ad campaigns from organisations ranging from Greenpeace through to the Government, using approaches from scare tactics to more positive encouraging messages on relieving CO2 emissions, Sky News believes that the general public in the UK still isn’t properly engaged in the global warming debate.

Sky’s Environment Correspondent, Catherine Jacob, who launched the competition on Sky News this week explained: ‘Here at Sky News we want people’s best ideas. There are just months to go now until the crucial climate meeting in Copenhagen where the world’s leaders’ could sign up to a new climate treaty, and we fear that the public are not fully on board. To try to change that, we want to harness the creative ideas of those people out there who are already engaged in this vital debate, and in turn, hope that they inspire others to care enough to act.

“We have made it as easy as possible for people to get their ideas to us. You don’t have to work in advertising or marketing. You don’t have to know how to film or edit material for TV. All you have to have is a great idea and if you win, the creative team at Sky will work with you to make it become a reality.”

The competition has been endorsed by the UK’s Climate Change Secretary, Ed Miliband, who recorded a taped message for Sky News viewers encouraging them to send in their ideas, while on a recent trip to South America. In his message, taped in the middle of a dried out Amazonian riverbed, Mr. Miliband says: “I’m here in the Amazon with Mayou and Marcello, and I’ve talked to them about climate change and the impact that the cutting down of the forest is having on their way of life and their livelihood. I hope Sky viewers will help me, help them, to find the ways in which we can battle climate change. So, come up with your ideas, we have to tackle the problem, we have to help them – join us and give Sky your ideas.”

Sky News is asking for people to enter ideas for their advert to inspire people to reduce their C02 emissions via a video of no more than two minutes, which can be recorded on cameras or mobile phones, or simply by writing it down as a script on a single page. People can enter their video ideas through a simple upload tool on or by sending an email to and using ‘ClimateAd’ as the subject heading.

The entries will be judged by a panel headed by Ed Miliband and the winner will get to work with the creative team at Sky to develop their idea into an advert for the channel.

The competition closes on October 23 and the winner will be announced by early November, with Sky News starting to air the finished ad from 02 December. The winner will also be given the opportunity to visit the Sky News studios in West London, where they will receive a tour of the centre and will be able to meet and greet some of the on and off screen staff.

Sky News will be covering the climate conference extensively between 02 – 18 December.

Sky News’ Africa Correspondent Emma Hurd will be undertaking an Antarctic Expedition with a team monitoring the continuing melting of the polar ice cap and its potentially devastating effect on water levels, habitats and wildlife. Sky News’ Holly Williams will also be in Copenhagen for the duration of the conference bringing Sky News viewers news of all the debates, discussions and key decisions of World Leaders on how to tackle climate change, first.

During the Climate Change Conference Sky News Correspondents around the world will also report from across the globe on how climate change could affect some of the world’s poorest communities.

  • BBC One
  • BBC Two
  • BBC Three
  • ITV1
  • ITV2
  • 4
  • E4
  • Film4
  • More4
  • Five
  • Fiver
  • Sky1