The UK economy has shrunk for the first time since 2012, Chancellor Sajid Javid revealed today. The Office for National Statistics said GDP had been ‘particularly volatile’ this year given uncertainty surrounding the date of Brexit and its resulting impact on the economy, particularly for car manufacturers. Nevertheless, Javid told the BBC "I am not expecting a recession at all. And in fact, don't take my word for it. There's not a single leading forecaster out there that is expecting a recession, the independent Bank of England is not expecting a recession. And that's because they know that the fundamentals remain strong."
Labour’s shadow chancellor John McDonnel has told The Times that Labour is preparing to bring down Boris Johnson’s Conservative government next month to form a caretaker government should he lose a vote of no confidence in Parliament. McDonnel noted Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will go to Buckingham Palace in a taxi to tell the Queen ‘we’re taking over’, and that in government, Labour would block a no-deal Brexit.
Defending champion Ian Ashmeade won the 49th annual world pea-shooting competition in England last Saturday, with Sally Redman-Davies taking home the female title. In case you don’t already know, contestants stand 12ft from a target and blow out peas from a tube at a dartboard – 5pts for the inner circle, 3pts for the middle and 1pt for the outside. "You've got to do the same puff every time,” Ashmeade explained. “Otherwise … if you puff too hard then you will raise above the bullseye. If you blow too low then you will drop down below it." – nailbiting stuff.