EY, KPMG, Deloitte and PwC could have their UK audit and consulting services separated. Photo: Shutterstock
Big 4 break-up gets UK parliament backing, topless protests and White House dubious security clearance. Delano’s breakfast briefing for Tuesday.
Big 4 monopolies
The UK Parliament has urged for the country’s Big Four accounting firms to legally separate audit and consultancy services after a series of corporate failures. Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority has yet to issue its final recommendations which would impact the firms EY, KPMG, Deloitte and PwC. More from Reuters, The Guardian and FT.
Brexit deadlock, again!
UK MPs on Monday voted down four separate proposals for a soft Brexit, a second referendum and an insurance mechanism in case of a no-deal. Former Conservative minister Nick Boles resigned from the party after his bid to keep the UK in the single market and a customs union failed. They have now 11 days before the country’s rescheduled departure from the EU, the FT reports. The Guardian shows how each MP voted in Monday’s indicative votes, while inews reports that UK Prime Minister Theresa May ordered a five-hour cabinet meeting to discuss snap general elections. Perhaps the most exciting thing to happen was a topless protest by Extinction Rebellion activists in the public gallery hours before the vote, drawing attention to the climate crisis.
White House security clearance
It seems they’ll let anyone in The White House these days after a whistleblower claimed the administration overruled security clearance denials for as many as 25 people. Reuters and politico report on employee Tricia Newbold’s allegations that President Trump’s administration officials rebuffed national security concerns to grant high-level security clearances to people who were originally denied access to the president. The reasons for initial disqualifications included alleged drug use and criminal conduct.
It seems if Facebook is not making the news then it is publishing it. The social network founder Mark Zuckerberg told politico on Monday that the firm is considering a news product for the social network, using content from third-party publishers. Zuckerberg was quoted as saying the arrangement would enable better monetisation for publishers and would only apply to “really high-quality content”. Meanwhile, writing in the Washington Post on Saturday, Zuckerberg called for governments to develop standardised rules for the internet and said he supports the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation as a global lodestar for privacy issues. More on this from Reuters.
It’s probably not the epitaph he would have hoped for but former British Prime Minister David Cameron has been branded “one of the greatest destroyers of modern times” for calling the referendum. Politico reports that European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker described Cameron that way in a speech to the Saarland regional parliament on Monday, blaming him for banning the Commission from playing any role in the Brexit referendum campaign.
The party of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan suffered a defeat in Ankara, appeared to be narrowly behind for Istanbul and lost a string of other provinces in local elections on Sunday. His Justice and Development party (AKP) said it would challenge the results in both cities. On Monday recounts were ordered. Erdogan began his own political career after he was voted as Istanbul mayor 25 years ago. More on this from the FT, and The Guardian.
Did they get you?
Media outlets around the world embraced the fool on 1 April with an array of pranks, ranging from the French police saying they were using sniffer rabbits and Google’s claim it can translate from dozens of languages, including Tulipish. Euronews has done a helpful roundup of the best April Fool’s messages.
And finally, an off-duty Swedish police officer arrested a violent fugitive drug dealer in a Stockholm sauna, The Guardian reports. And yes, the pair were naked at the time!