BT removing Huawei equipment from parts of 4G network. Head of MI6 had questioned Chinese firm’s involvement in UK telecoms infrastructure. BT Group (BT.A) has confirmed it is removing Huawei equipment from key areas of its 4G network as concerns are raised about the Chinese firm’s presence in critical telecoms infrastructure. Governments in the US, New Zealand and Australia have already moved to block the use of Huawei’s equipment as part of the future rollout of 5G networks. Earlier this week the head of MI6 also suggested the UK needed to decide if it was “comfortable” with Chinese ownership of the technology being used. On Wednesday it emerged that Canada has arrested Huawei’s global chief financial officer in Vancouver, where she is facing extradition to the US in a move likely to exacerbate tensions between the US and China.
Ted Baker (TED) vows swift investigation into ‘forced hugging’ claims. Senior non-executive director to lead inquiry into allegations against founder Ray Kelvin. A senior Ted Baker non-executive director will lead a “professional, impartial” and swift investigation into allegations that the company’s founder and chief executive, Ray Kelvin, forced hugs and kisses on employees. Sharon Baylay, a former BBC Worldwide and Microsoft executive who joined Ted Baker’s board this summer, has been appointed to lead a “thorough and urgent” independent inquiry into Kelvin’s alleged behaviour. The Guardian understands that the law firm Herbert Smith Freehills has been appointed to carry out the inquiry. David Bernstein, Ted Baker’s chairman, told the BBC that Baylay’s investigation would be “professional, impartial and move at pace”. The company said it would provide more details soon. The firm is due to update shareholders on the company’s performance on Thursday.
Ryanair faces legal action over refusal to compensate cancelled flights. Passenger flights grounded by strikes must be repaid under EU law, warns Civil Aviation Authority. The UK’s Aviation watchdog is taking legal action against Ryanair Holdings (RYA) over the airline’s refusal to compensate thousands of UK customers affected by flight disruption over the summer. Ryanair was hit by its worst-ever strikes in the summer, as walkouts by pilots and cabin crew over pay and conditions forced it to cancel flights, including to major holiday destinations such as Spain, Italy and Portugal. Passengers have made claims for compensation to the airline, but these have been rejected by Ryanair on the grounds that the disruption arose from “exceptional circumstances” and was therefore exempt. However, the Civil Aviation Authority said passengers were entitled to compensation under EU law.
Clothing brand Joules Group (JOUL) stocks up in case of no-deal Brexit. UK firm brings forward spring-summer orders and rents warehouse in mainland Europe. The British clothing brand Joules is stocking up early on next year’s spring and summer ranges and has rented an EU warehouse in preparation for a no-deal Brexit. The company said it was bringing forward its product orders for its spring and summer 2019 ranges, including its classic striped Breton Harbour tops, hand-drawn printed scarves and light coats and jackets. This is to ensure its deliveries will not be held up by delays at the ports if the UK crashes out of the EU without an agreement in March. In a statement, Joules, which sells clothes for women, men and children and also stocks homewares, said: “Contingency plans have been put in place to mitigate the expected disruption that could arise in the event of a ‘hard Brexit’.”