Speaking out: Jacob Rees-Mogg
On Tuesday we were treated to the launch of the Liz Truss-led group of ‘Popular Conservatives’ – or PopCons – who aim to ‘excite the public’ by offering an alternative to the perceived weakness of Rishi Sunak’s Government.
Among the attendees was Somerset MP and ex-Brexit Opportunities Minister Jacob Rees-Mogg, who proudly proclaimed in a speech that ‘the age of Davos man is over’.
He was referring to the gathering of the financial and political elite at the World Economic Forum, held in the Swiss ski destination last month.
But PopCon man might want to pass on his musings to Lord Dominic Johnson, the Investment Minister with whom he co-founded hedge fund Somerset Capital in 2007.
His lordship spent quite a lot of time at this year’s Davos gathering, going so far as to say the event had provided ‘terrific opportunities’ to trumpet the UK’s technological and investment credentials.
With friends like that…
Vodafone boss meets German Chancellor ‘in slow lane’
Vodafone boss Margherita Della Valle was globetrotting last week, flitting to Germany for a ‘an engaging and productive meeting’ with Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
Germany is the telecom giant’s largest market, but it is struggling to boost sales and a flagging share price.
Scholz is likely to be understanding, given Germany itself is stuck in the slow lane, becoming the world’s worst-performing big economy last year.
Gay Huey Evans looking for ‘interesting’ new role
What next for Gay Huey Evans who will this year leave the Standard Chartered board after nine years?
The all-American director is seeking a new role, she tells Whispers, ‘but only if it’s interesting’.
Evans has not been far from controversy in recent times. She stepped down last year as chair of the London Metal Exchange following the fallout from the crisis in the nickel market which resulted in billions of pounds worth of trades being cancelled.
The 146-year-old LME was lambasted by investors for its handling of the affair. Evans’ response? ‘It is a physical market,’ she explains. ‘Not as simple as gilts and equities.’
Not sure the red braces brigade at the LME would agree.
Good news (at last) for ‘Baroness Bra’
Good news (at last) for Michelle Mone, the beleaguered lingerie queen also known as ‘Baroness Bra’.
There were fears that a horse the peer gave her husband Doug Barrowman as a wedding present might not run in the Grand National due to a £75 million court order freezing their assets.
This is part of a criminal investigation into alleged PPE fraud in the pandemic, which they deny.
The full list of those frozen assets has now been made public and there’s no mention of Monbeg Genius, the nag in question.
That means the 14-1 fancy is free to run at Aintree for the first prize of £500,000. Giddy-up!
Contributors: Patrick Tooher, Mark Shapland