What Britain Talks About This Week – P&O Ferries Dismissals | Bank of England Base Rate Rise | West Ham vs Sevilla | Comic Relief 2022 | Baftas 2022

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P&O Ferries sacks 800 workers via video call despite receiving £10 million for furlough during the pandemic

The UK government’s furlough payment scheme for businesses during the lockdown periods set up to prevent workers from being laid off, granted P&O Ferries £10 million in furlough payments. Despite this financial support, the firm’s boss sacked 800 crew members in a Zoom call, without notice on Thursday.

Workers were told ‘they were being fired to be replaced by cheaper agency staff’. Twitter was filled with outrage with many calling for action against the injustice.

Meanwhile, a former employee tweeted about being in between jobs now, after ten years of service at P&O.

MPs and Union Leaders are calling for the firm to return UK taxpayer’s money and have asked the Government to tell the company to ‘get round the table and negotiate some sort of a deal.

Meanwhile, journalist Andrew Scott, popularly known as Otto English pointed out that this incident totally undermines ‘the lie’ that Brexit will prevent cheap labour undercutting British jobs.

While the firm boss blamed a loss of £200 million over the past two years, the Dubai-based logistics company that acquired the ferry operator in 2019, paid a striking £270 million dividends to shareholders in April 2020.

Former P&O Ferries staff and RMT members took to the road to protest and blocked the road leading to the Port of Dover.

Shingi Mararike, Correspondent for Sky News, shared pictures of the protest on social media.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said, ‘it is no way to treat employees in the 21st century and that his officials are ‘in urgent talks with P&O Ferries over the situation’.

Bank of England hikes the base interest rate again & warns inflation could hit up to 8% in the coming months

The Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England voted 8-1 in favour of a further increase in its main bank rate for the third consecutive time by 0.25%, taking it to 0.75% on Thursday.

The announcement was accompanied by the warning that inflation could reach 8% and lead to a further rise in interest rates and prices of goods. The previous forecast was 7.25%.

UK inflation was already at a 30% high before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, following the energy prices to surge.

An economic justice campaigner on Twitter, Richard Murphy, criticized the move as having no impact on inflation and would push millions into poverty and debt.

The rise is set to increase the mortgage bills of millions of homeowners across the UK, who are already struggling with the recent increase in energy bills.

Sir John Redwood, MP in the UK Parliament had recently tweeted about the probable increase in mortgages by the Bank of England, blaming their error of printing too much money for causing inflation.

However, in its Thursday report, the Bank said, “Global inflationary pressures will strengthen considerably over coming months, while growth in economies that are net energy importers, including the United Kingdom, is likely to slow”.

The UK government has allocated a one-off rebate payment of £150 for around 20 million households in England in council tax band A-D to offer financial support with the spike in living costs.

Yarmolenko was hailed as a hero as West Ham beat Sevilla 2-0 in extra time

Having a score of 1-0 after 90 minutes, which meant 1-1 on aggregate, West Ham reached the Europa League quarter-finals beating Sevilla with less than 10 minutes to play in extra time, as a Ukrainian footballer Andriy Yarmolenko’s goal sent the Hammers through.

NBC Sports’ lead soccer writer and editor, Joe Prince-Wright applauded the Ukrainian star for returning from compassionate leave and scoring for the second straight game.

Sevilla had won the first leg in Spain and Thomas Soucek levelled the tie just before halftime with an unstoppable header into the top corner for West Ham.

West Ham correspondent, Roshane Thomas tweeted about the big moments of the game saying, ‘West Ham will fear no one in Europe’ #WHUFC.

Sqawka News noted that Sevilla had been knocked out of the Europa League only two times since the start of 2013/2014, with the common factor being Thomas Soucek scoring in the second leg on both occasions.

Comic Relief reveals the huge fundraising total for 2022 Red Nose Day

Schools, shops, businesses, and even celebrities across the UK raise funds for Red Nose Day every year. This year the charity revealed a grand total of £42,790,147, thanking everyone for their support and donations.

The Red Nose Day fundraising campaign is held to raise money to help aid Comic Relief’s mission of tackling child poverty and hunger in the UK and across the world.

Observed every year on March 18, people don red noses and participate in various fundraising activities for Red Nose Day.

Here are some of the highlights from Twitter:

Comedian Jack Whitehall tweeted about his contribution to Red Nose Day, highlighting the fun side of the fundraiser:

British actress Dawn French shared her video where she teams up with actress-screenwriter Jennifer Saunders to reprise their popular characters on the set of ‘The Repair Shop’. This wonderful chaos was aired on BBC One.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson commended the thousands of people coming together in support of the good cause and announced the UK Government shall also be funding Comic Relief’s international work.

Critical voices could also be found about the fundraising event and its effectiveness:

BAFTAs 2022: Sparkling moments and a full list of winners

Returning host Rebel Wilson left the audience gasping, laughing, and astonished at the annual British awards show, BAFTAs. She previously hosted the awards in 2016 and 2020. One of the highlights this year was her showing the ‘middle finger’ to Putin.

However, Twitterati was conflicted, and many felt the Australian actress was not funny this time around.  A Twitter user shared a GIF with a rolling tumbleweed as a reaction to Rebel Wilson’s jokes.

The EE BAFTAS was broadcasted on BBC on Sunday, March 13. Among the winners were:

  • The Power of The Dog (Best Film),
  • The Harder They Fall (Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer),
  • Belfast (Outstanding British Film),
  • Joanna Scanlan (Leading Actress) and
  • Will Smith (Leading Actor)

Here’s a tweet by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts with a full list of winners.

While many winners including Will Smith and Anthony Hopkins skipped the event, celebrities like Emma Watson, Naomi Campbell, Millie Bobby Brown, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Kodi Smit-McPhee dazzled the ceremony with their presence.

And this time the couples attending the show received all the attention:

Post curated by Nidaa Koreishi & Manuela Willbold