The John Lewis Partnership has struck a £500m deal with the investment firm Abrdn to build 1,000 residential rental homes, redeveloping three sites already owned by its Waitrose and eponymous retail store chains. The group intends to redevelop Waitrose shops in Bromley and West Ealing, and a vacant John Lewis warehouse in Reading, as the first part of a plan ...

The first four scale-up visa licences have been approved by the Home Office three months after the scheme began, prompting lawyers to question the slow take up. Macademia, a children’s educational TV and games producer based in Arkley, north London, was the first to be approved after it applied for the licence to bring an Argentinian freelancer to the UK ...

Barclays has been fined £8.4 million by the payments industry watchdog for failing to be transparent with retailers about the fees they were being charged to use its card services. The Payments Systems Regulator (PSR) said the FTSE 100 bank had breached the so-called interchange fee rules between the end of 2015 and 2018. “During this time Barclays processed a ...

Ministers have called on Britain’s biggest rail union to be “altruistic” and suspend strike action over Christmas and new year amid warnings that it will cost the economy more than £1.7 billion. The RMT union is planning eight days of strikes before Christmas and after the new year as part of the longest and most damaging period of industrial action ...

ToDate, a ‘same day’ dating app which prioritises secure online dating, has launched in the UK. All users that sign up for ToDate have to be fully ID verified and approved via AWS photo recognition software, which eliminates catfishing and boosts online safety. ToDate has partnered with Credas to undertake the identity verification, and each user must take a live ...

Proposed Labour plans to help small businesses get their unpaid invoices paid on time is “exactly what the UK’s 5.5m SMEs need”, according to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). As it stands, more than £20bn in unpaid invoices are outstanding at any one time, costing small businesses £684m. Labour noted that late payments also act as a hindrance to ...

Decentralized applications (dApps) are growing in number thanks to the mainstream breakthrough of blockchain technology, which happened on the back of the 2021 NFT boom. DApps are powered by smart contracts and are the future of the internet, which is often referred to as Web 3.0. dApps are managed by a community of nodes (computers), which are responsible for security, ...

Ofcom has appointed a former executive from Google to oversee its new role as regulator for online safety, ahead of new laws to police the internet which are due to be introduced in the UK next spring. Gill Whitehead was a member of Google’s UK management group and also ran the Digital Regulation Co-operation Forum, which brought together bodies working ...

Ministers will make it harder for new properties to be turned into holiday homes under plans to see off a Tory rebellion on planning rules. Michael Gove, the housing secretary, is in talks with a group of up to 60 Conservative MPs who are threatening to inflict a string of Commons defeats on the government that would severely restrict housebuilding ...

Further train strikes have been announced by rail staff, stoking fears of severe travel disruption for millions of passengers over the festive period as the transport system is struck by widescale industrial action. It comes as RMT announced that security staff working for Eurostar will strike for four days in the run-up to Christmas, action the union said would “severely ...