Bitesized Blighty: June 14, 2019

Toyosi Adebayo  Follow

  • London’s annual Tech Week has rolled around again - an opportunity to bang the drum for Britain’s economically crucial technology sector. According to the London Tech Week Update 2019, 13 new unicorn companies (valued at $1 billion or over) have been created in the U.K. over the past year, bringing the national total up to 72. The majority are concentrated in and around London, but six other British cities are home to at least two unicorns.
  • Boris Johnson has secured the highest number of votes in the first MPs' ballot to select the Conservative Party leader and next prime minister. Mr Johnson received 114 votes, significantly more than his nearest rival Jeremy Hunt, who came second with 43. Michael Gove was third with 37. Seven candidates progress to the next round of voting next week. The two who prove most popular after the last MPs' ballot will go to Conservative Party members in a final vote later this month.
  • Theresa May proposed legislation on Wednesday that would commit the UK to bring its net production of greenhouse gases to zero by 2050. This would make Britain the first of the world’s major economic powers to commit to ending emissions. The legislation does not propose costs or how the UK would accomplish the feat and leaves Britain with an opportunity to exit if other nations do not follow suit.
  • The 72 victims of the Grenfell Tower fire have been remembered with a moving ceremony on the second anniversary of the tragedy. Friday marks 24 months since a small kitchen fire in a west London high-rise turned into the most deadly domestic blaze since the Second World War. Bereaved families, survivors and campaigners made up the hundreds of people who gathered for a memorial service at the nearby St Helen's Church, across the Westway from the 24-storey block. Britain's Got Talent semi-finalist and Grenfell survivor Leanne Mya sung during the service, which was attended by Communities Secretary James Brokenshire, fire minister Nick Hurd and London mayor Sadiq Khan.  

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