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Asda faces action from thousands over equal pay

Asda is accused of paying its female staff up to £4 less than their male counterparts. Credit: PA

Supermarket giant Asda is facing legal action from up to 19,000 women over equal pay.

Law firm Leigh Day said the claims were launched after investigations revealed some store employees were being paid less than colleagues doing the same job in its distribution centres.

The pay difference between shop workers, who are mainly female, and warehouse workers, who are mainly men, could be as much as £4 an hour.

If the claimants are successful, they could be entitled to six years' worth of back pay in compensation.

Michael Newman, a discrimination and employment law expert at Leigh Day, warned the implications of these legal claims were "enormous for Asda and many other supermarkets in the UK".

The challenge is thought to be the largest challenge of its kind in the private sector and could act as a "test case" for other retailers.

An Asda spokesman said they would "robustly defend" the claims.

Dolce & Gabbana founders cleared of tax evasion

Fashion designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have been cleared of hiding hundreds of millions of euros from Italian tax authorities by the country's top court.

The Italian pair appealed the suspended 18-month jail sentence that had been upheld earlier this year for tax evasion charges.

Italian designers Domenico Dolce, right, and Stefano Gabbana, left, had faced jail for an alleged plan to avoid paying a higher rate of tax. Credit: Carlos Barria/Reuters

The star designers were accused of using a Luxembourg holding company, Gado, to avoid paying taxes on royalties of about 1 billion euros.

Today's verdict, reported by Reuters, overturns the guilty verdict first delivered in 2013 and upheld by an appeals court in Milan in April.

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Tesco CEO: Shoppers can expect positive surprises

The new chief executive of Tesco has said shoppers can expect "positive surprises" as he gets the supermarket back "to what made this business great".

Dave Lewis told ITV News Economic Editor Richard Edgar that the accounting scandal that has enguled Tesco was "not at all what I envisaged when I took the job".

But he stressed that the company's 320,000 staff had continued to do a "stunning job" throughout the recent difficulties.

ONS: Supermarket spending 'flat' since May 2013

Spending in British supermarkets has been "essentially flat" since May of last year, according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

According to the ONS 'non-specialised food stores' such as Tesco and Sainsbury's account for the vast majority of food spending.

Food spending accounts for 40% of all retail sales in the UK, the ONS added.

The ONS graph shows supermarket spending flatten out over the last year. Credit: ONS

This marks a contrast from the years leading up to 2013, where growth in spending has been strong, with a particularly rapid surge between 2006 and 2009.

The second graph shows the quantity of goods bought in all retail and specifically in supermarkets. Credit: ONS

Some of that previous growth may have been accounted for by food price inflation, as customers's spending has risen despite the quantity of goods they buy remaining more or less the same.

Tesco: No personal gain from accounting errors

Tesco has said no bonuses were paid to its executives during the period that a huge accounting error took place.

The company overstated its profits for the first half of this year by £263m, with Tesco CEO Dave Lewis saying the mis-statement was due to booking income in the wrong accounting period.

ITV News Economics Editor Richard Edgar is following developments.

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Tesco withholds payment from former CEO Phil Clarke

Supermarket giant Tesco is withholding payments for its former chief executive, Phil Clarke, as an investigation into overstating profits continues.

The company announced today that it had overstated its profits for the first half of this year by £263m, slightly higher than the £250m originally estimated.

ITV News Economics Editor Richard Edgar is following developments.

Tesco CEO: 'We will be the best supermarket again'

Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis has insisted the company will recover from "real challenges" to become "the best supermarket for customers" once more.

ITV News Economics Editor Richard Edgar is following developments.

Tesco scraps trading profit outlook as sales fall

Tesco has scrapped its full-year trading profit outlook as its domestic sales fell sharply in the second quarter of this year.

Tesco reported a sharp fall in domestic sales in the second quarter of the year. Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Results announced this morning showed underlying UK sales own 5.5% over the period.

The group said last month it had overstated its first-half profit forecast by £250 million pounds, but the group said on Thursday this had now risen to £263 million.

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