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Downing Street attacks ‘selfish and irresponsible’ union over rail strike chaos

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Good morning.

The UK’s rail network is set to be effectively shut down for an entire week later this month in the biggest strike for more than 30 years.

Nationwide strikes have been announced on June 21, 23 and 25 by the RMT in what it described as the biggest dispute on the network since 1989.

More than 50,000 workers from National Rail and 13 other operators will walk out on June 21, coinciding with a Tube strike in London, and another 40,000 union members will strike on the subsequent dates.

Two critical by-elections will be disrupted, while revellers also face chaos heading to events including Glastonbury, several concerts and England’s cricket match against New Zealand.

5 things to start your day 

1) Ban gas boilers to tackle cost of living crisis, demands infrastructure tsar Sir John Armitt, chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission, said ministers should replicate the enforced ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030 to also apply to natural gas boilers.

2) 50,000 rail workers to shut down UK travel network with three days of strikes in June Rail union bosses have launched the strikes to coincide with by-elections and Glastonbury festival as they pile pressure on the Government.

3) UK launches first post-Brexit sat nav system to ward off Russian hack threat The British satellite navigation system will give pinpoint locations to aircraft, ships and driverless cars after Brexit meant the UK was ejected from the European alternative.

4) Tesco vegan burger adverts banned over ‘misleading’ environmental claims The Advertising Standards Authority said Tesco had implied that buying Plant Chef burgers would “positively affect the environment” by suggesting that customers could “do their bit” for the environment by swapping to plant-based burgers. 

5) Three in four Londoners will never return to the office full-time The study found that few agree with Boris Johnson’s criticism that working from home is inefficient because people find themselves “walking very slowly to the fridge, hacking off a small piece of cheese” and forgetting what they were doing.

What happened overnight 

Hong Kong shares on Wednesday began with a big gain following a strong lead from Wall Street.

The Hang Seng Index rose 1.2pc. The Shanghai Composite Index added 0.1pc, while the Shenzhen Composite Index on China’s second exchange inched up 0.06pc.

Tokyo stocks opened higher, with the benchmark Nikkei 225 index up 0.6pc.

Coming up today

  • Corporate:  Aveva Group, Wizz Air Holdings, Workspace Group (full-year results); Nexus Infrastructure, Ramsdens Holdings (interims)
  • Economics: Halifax house price index, PMI construction (UK); Industrial production (Germany); GDP (EU); Crude oil inventories (US)



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