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Ex-Tesco bosses deny charges over £326m alleged fraud

The charges relate to a multi-million black hole found in the supermarket's accounts. Credit: PA

Three former Tesco executives have denied charges in relation to a £326 million accounting scandal at the supermarket.

Former UK managing director Christopher Bush, 50, finance chief Carl Rogberg, 49, and food commercial head John Scouler, 48, are charged with fraud by abuse of position and false accounting.

They allegedly failed to correct inaccurately inflated income figures, which were published to auditors, other Tesco employees and the wider market.

All the defendants' lawyers indicated pleas of not guilty to the two charges they each face.

The Serious Fraud Office has said the investigation into Tesco "remains ongoing".

The men were released on bail and ordered to appear on October 20 at Southwark Crown Court.

'Osborne was wrong' to forecast economic disaster

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has raised its growth forecast for the British economy, despite initial Brexit fears.

The OECD credited strong economic performance coupled with prompt action by the Bank of England to stabilise markets for upping its UK growth projections for 2016 by 0.1% to 1.8%.

ITV News Political Editor Robert Peston said the figure suggests former Chancellor George Osborne was wrong to issue stark warnings of an immediate economic disaster if the country voted to leave the EU.

However, despite hailing the latest figures, the OECD said growth for 2017 would be "well below" pre-referendum forecasts.

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China's CGN to submit design for Bradwell nuclear site

File photo of the former Bradwell nuclear power station in Bradwell-on-Sea in Essex. Credit: PA Wire

The Chinese firm helping to build the new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point is set to submit a design for another site.

State-owned CGN said it is now able to move forward and deliver nuclear capacity at other UK sites including Sizewell in Suffolk and Bradwell in Essex, after the government gave the £18 billion project the go-ahead.

For Bradwell, the firm plans to submit a design for UK regulatory approval, which could take four years.

The reactor design and technology will need to be approved for use in the UK before the station can be built.

Hinkley businesses celebrate nuclear plant deal

Communities around Hinkley Point in Somerset have celebrated the approval of plans for a new power plant as they look forward to an influx of new jobs into the area.

It is thought that around 26,000 jobs could be created by the created by the construction of the Hinkley C generator - with many likely to go to businesses based in the local area.

  • Video report by ITV News West of England Correspondent Rupert Everlyn

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China: Hinkley nuclear deal will offer 'mutual benefits'

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi Credit: Reuters

The long-awaited approval of a new power plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset will deliver "mutual benefits" to both Britain and China, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said.

A spokesman said China "welcomes the decision" to approve the project today which he said was in "the interests of all parties".

It comes after security concerns were raised over the involvement of the Chinese state-owned CGN energy company in the design and construction of the plant, which is being led by the French company EDF.

CGN is also set to design and build further nuclear plants at other UK sites, including Bradwell in Essex and Sizewell in Suffolk.

We hope that under the joint efforts of China, UK and France, Hinkley point and the subsequent nuclear projects in the package deal could be implemented soon, in order to reach mutual benefits and win-win results.

– Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement

Former energy secretary: Hinkley plant 'is a lousy deal'

Nigel Lawson Credit: PA

A former Conservative chancellor and ex-energy secretary has criticised the new power plant at Hinkley Point as poor value for Britain.

Lord Lawson of Blaby said he was not anti-nuclear but every independent energy expert had said this was a "thoroughly lousy deal".

He said that French energy company EDF, which has been contracted to build the plant, is "hopelessly behind schedule and in deep, deep trouble" over two similar power stations it is constructing in France and Finland.

The politician called for an assurance that if there are similar problems at Hinkley C the government would have "no hesitation in ending this contract whatever penalties there may be because it is a lousy contract and the sooner it is ended the better".

Hinkley deal is 'winning lottery ticket' for local area

The green light on the Hinkley nuclear deal is like having the "winning lottery ticket" for the local area, ITV News correspondent Rupert Evelyn reports.

Workers at a Somerset factory, where they make electrical distribution switch gear, told ITV News that the deal made them feel "more secure" and "excited" at the prospect of working on the project.

Owner of Elecsis Switchgear Ltd, Chris Pratt, said that the project is an opportunity for expansion.

"We want to be able to make sure we can not only service Hinkley Point but service our long-term customers," he said.

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