Lunchtime news Thursday 1 November 2023

At yesterday’s Local Government Association launch of the report into the impact of migrants on public services, Trevor Phillips, chairman of the Commission for Equality and Human Rights, called for an inquiry to examine the claim that white families face discrimination when applying for council housing. He said there was little evidence to support the claim, but that a widespread belief in its accuracy was adding to social tensions. He also praised the role of David Cameron, Conservative Party leader, for seeking to ‘drain immigration of the racial toxicity which has held for his party for some 40 years’.

David Cameron himself, took the opportunity to call for an annual ceiling on the number of people coming to Britain from outside the European Union. He said the UK needed a proper debate about the fact that around 200,000 people are coming into the country each year. However, a survey from the Polish newspaper Dziennik has found that 67 per cent of those questioned in the UK regard the Poles as more diligent than Britons, and 79 per cent wouldn’t have a problem with their child marrying a Polish person.

There is growing concern about the state of the US housing market as fresh figures yesterday showed the number of home repossessions rose 100 per cent last quarter compared with a year ago. Rates are now at the equivalent of one every 196 households, with increases in 45 out of 50 states.

The big high street banks are short-changing homeowners on mortgage deals, compared to smaller building societies according to a report by which looked at financial services for first-time buyers and people wanting to remortgage. Of the 250 best mortgage deals, just 27 came from the country’s 10 largest banks, and the HBOS group including Halifax Bank failed to get a single deal into the top 250.

And finally, some of television’s most famous houses are up for sale as the owner of set where the soap opera, Brookside was shot, announced they were selling up. The show ended in 2003, and now several of the three- and four-bedroom houses are for sale for around £250,000 each.