Chancellor U-turn gives coronavirus loan hope to millions of small firms

Rishi Sunak has launched a new “Business Bounce Back” loan scheme for more than 5 million of Britain’s smallest firms following massive pressure over fears they were being  failed by Treasury rescue efforts.

The Chancellor’s new lending programme will be backed by a 100pc taxpayer guarantee and is intended to ensure that businesses floundering in the wake of the lockdown get the support they need.

Mr Sunak also removed a key hurdle in the main Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) after growing anger over the stuttering performance of the initiative, which is designed to get vital credit to businesses

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New Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds tasked with taking on Rishi Sunak

Judging from current Government policy, Labour’s first female shadow chancellor might be forgiven for thinking her party won last December’s election.

Anneliese Dodds takes on the brief of scrutinising an economy not far removed from a John McDonnell dreamland. She finds herself opposing a Conservative administration paying 80pc of the wages of employees not working because of the coronavirus pandemic, that has effectively nationalised the railways and is spending 5.3pc of GDP on a fiscal stimulus package.

The 42-year-old former MEP and university lecturer is seen in Labour circles as a soft-left, pro-European, uncontroversial figure who’s across the detail

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