Overnight news digest - Hammond to help workers and NHS labs at 'tipping point'

Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond reads through his Autumn Statement in his office in 11 Downing Street, London

Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond reads through his Autumn Statement in his office in 11 Downing Street, London

0
Have your say

Catch up with all the latest news with our quick round-up of this morning's headlines

HELP FOR WORKERS AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING AT HEART OF PHILIP HAMMOND'S STATEMENT

Measures to help low-paid workers and invest in affordable housing will be at the heart of Philip Hammond's first Autumn Statement as Chancellor.

Mr Hammond will announce a 4% rise in the minimum wage for over-25s - known by ministers as the National Living Wage - to £7.50 an hour from April 2017.

And he will help an estimated three million families with changes to the "taper rate" for Universal Credit, which will allow low-paid workers to keep an additional 2p of every extra pound they earn.

PARLIAMENT WATCHDOG CALLS FOR GREATER TRANSPARENCY OVER PUBLIC SPENDING

Ministers must do more to show taxpayers how they are spending their money, Parliament's financial watchdog has warned.

The influential Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has insisted there is currently no adequate approach for safeguarding value for money across Government departments.

A new transparency drive to allow MPs and the public to better scrutinise Government plans and performance is needed, the PAC report states.

NHS LABS AT 'TIPPING POINT' PUTTING CANCER TESTS AT RISK, CHARITY WARNS

Crucial tests for early cancer diagnosis are under threat as NHS labs are at a "tipping point", a report by Cancer Research UK has warned.

Pathology services in the UK are struggling to keep pace with the rising number of samples that need analysing in order to spot the disease while it is easier to treat, the charity said.

Increasing demand on services due to an ageing population and inadequate staff numbers have created a "diagnostic bottleneck" that will get worse without urgent action, it added.

VOLUNTARY SECTOR STRUGGLING TO COPE WITH DESTITUTE MIGRANT FAMILIES, STUDY SAYS

Small charities and faith-based groups are struggling to meet the needs of rising numbers of destitute migrant children and families, according to a report.

The organisations are stepping in to provide housing, food and clothing, the study said.

But it warned that the voluntary sector faces a lack of capacity while demand for services increases.

MP ASKS IF SIR PHILIP GREEN'S ASSETS CAN BE SEIZED OVER BHS PENSIONS DEFICIT

MPs have raised the prospect that Sir Philip Green's multi million pound super yacht and other assets could be seized to help plug the hole in the BHS pension fund.

The chairman of the Commons Work and Pensions Committee Frank Field has written to The Pensions Regulator (TPR) seeking clarification as to its powers following the store chain's collapse.

In particular, he asked whether it was possible to settle claims "through acquiring assets other than cash from a person or company from which payment is being sought".

JURY DUE TO RETIRE IN TRIAL OF MAN ACCUSED OF MURDERING JO COX

A jury is due to retire today to consider verdicts in the trial of an alleged far right extremist accused of murdering Labour MP Jo Cox.

Thomas Mair, 53, allegedly shot and stabbed the mother-of-two as she arrived at Birstall library in West Yorkshire for a surgery on June 16, a week before the EU referendum.

The defendant, who allegedly shouted "Britain first", had a stash of neo-Nazi material at his home and had collected a dossier on his 41-year-old Remain campaigning MP, the Old Bailey heard.

CAR TO BE RECOVERED FROM SWOLLEN RIVER IN SEARCH FOR DRIVER MISSING IN STORM

A car belonging to a pensioner who disappeared during Storm Angus is expected to be pulled from a swollen river later as parts of the country remain on flood alert.

Russell Sherwood, 69, went missing after leaving his home in Neath, South Wales, on Monday morning as the storm that claimed at least one life wrought widespread havoc.

On Tuesday evening teams searching the River Ogmore said they had discovered a car believed to be Mr Sherwood's silver Ford Focus lying upside-down in the water.

SOUTHERN RAILWAY COMMUTERS FACE FURTHER DISRUPTION AS 48-HOUR WALKOUT CONTINUES

Workers on Southern Railway are continuing with a 48-hour strike, leading to more travel misery for hundreds of thousands of passengers.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union will remain on strike until midnight tonight in the long-running dispute over the role of conductors.

Picket lines will again be mounted outside stations including London Victoria and Brighton. Southern is planning to run 61% of its normal timetable and said more services will be available compared with previous strikes.

HEINZ BEANZ #CANSONG ADVERT BANNED OVER DRUMMING ON CAN SAFETY

A Heinz advert teaching viewers how to use tin cans to drum out a song has been banned for encouraging behaviour that risks health and safety.

The advert featured children, teenagers and adults using empty or full Heinz Beanz tins to drum out the rhythm of the song, with the catchline "Learn the #CanSong".

Nine viewers complained that the advert encouraged "unsafe practice" and six believed it featured behaviour that could be dangerous for children to copy.

DRIVE-BY SHOOTING BY GUNMAN ON MOTORBIKE LEAVES 72-YEAR-OLD WOMAN IN HOSPITAL

A 72-year-old woman has been hurt in a drive-by shooting by a gunman riding a motorbike.

Merseyside Police said the woman is in a stable condition in hospital with a gunshot wound to her leg which is not thought to be life-threatening.

She was attacked while standing in the doorway of a house in Peckmill Green, in the Netherley area of Liverpool at around 6.10pm on Tuesday.