Live updates

Pfizer assurances 'not worth paper they're written on'

Labour have hit out at Pfizer over their proposed takeover of AstraZeneca, saying the company's claims about its commitment to the UK are "not worth the paper they are written on".

Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna dismissed Pfizer's claims about its commitment to the UK's pharmaceuticals sector. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna issued a statement, saying:

"The assurances Pfizer has given Ministers are not worth the paper they are written on, given that Pfizer has since refused to rule out breaking up the AstraZeneca business and selling off parts of it in the future if this takeover proceeds."

Mr Umunna called on ministers to order a "proper, independent assessment of the takeover" to determine whether it is in the public interest.

'Taxpayer disgracefully short-changed' by Royal Mail sale

Labour has hit out at the sale of Royal Mail, accusing the Government of leaving the taxpayer "disgracefully shortchanged".

Shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna said:

This report delivers a damning verdict on the Tory-led Government's botched Royal Mail fire sale, leaving the taxpayer disgracefully short changed by hundreds of millions.

At the same time, stamp prices have shot up by 30% and vital services have been put at risk at a time when families are already hit by a cost-of-living crisis.

We now know...far better value for taxpayers could have been possible had ministers adopted a different timetable for the sale.

The NAO could not be clearer: the inflexible timetable set by ministers for Royal Mail's privatisation resulted in the public losing out.

– Chuka Umunna

Advertisement

Umunna: 'Not healthy' for Carney to enter political row

Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna has said the Bank of England Governor should not be involved in big political matters after he said he did not support the view that a cap on banks' market share would improve competition.

Labour leader Ed Miliband is expected to pledge that he will refer high street banks to the competition authorities if his party wins the next general election in 2015, in a speech today.

Chuka Umunna said it was "not a good thing" for Mr Carney to comment on political issues

Mr Umunna said “I think it’s not healthy for us to involve governors of the Bank of England in big political debates and I don’t want to drag him into that", the Times reports.

He also suggested Mark Carney had only expressed his view after being asked a "leading question".

"He was asked a leading question by a Conservative MP who put it to him whether crude market caps on the share of a market that banks have are a good thing or not.

"We’re not proposing a crude or arbitrary market cap, we’re proposing something that would be set by the independent Competition and Markets Authority". he added.

Labour: Banking sector needs more 'competition'

Competition among global banks is good for small businesses and will provide better rates on loans taken out by small to medium enterprises, the shadow business secretary told Daybreak.

Chuka Umunna said there was "a large degree of consensus" on the need for more competition among multi-national banks like HSBC and Barclays.

Umunna: Need more competition in banking sector

The shadow business secretary Chuka Umuunna has confirmed the reports that Labour is to call for a cap on the size of British banks in an attempt to increase competition in the domestic market:

Advertisement

Umunna: Should follow Mandela's example on politics

The shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna has told ITV's The Agenda programme that politicians should follow Nelson Mandela's example "and try and do politics differently in this country."

It wasn't just about what he stood for and what he achieved but it was also the way he did his politics.

I think we have a big problem in the way that we do politics in this country.

In many respects it's broken, it's too adversarial, it's very yah-boo, it's a bad thing sometimes to acknowledge agreement.

In some senses the easy part is celebrating what he did, I think the challenge he sets for us as politicians is actually to follow his example and try and do politics differently in this country.

– Shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna

Mr Umunna was joined on the panel by Sun columnist JaneMoore, comedian Dom Joly and Countryfile presenter Julia Bradbury.

The Agenda with Tom Bradby is on ITV at 10.35pm.

Get involved in the debate during the show on Twitter by following @agendaitv and using the hashtag #theagenda.

Umunna: Taxpayer 'shortchanged' by Royal Mail sale

The Government is selling Royal Mail short by "pressing ahead" with its current sale, despite selling it at a "huge undervalue", the shadow business secretary said.

Chuka Umunna told Daybreak Royal Mail was valued at "between £2.6-3.3 bn" and endorsed by City brokers.

He warned the sale was becoming "a dream" for City speculators but a nightmare for the taxpayer.

Load more updates