Jacqueline Gold, the boss of the lingerie and sex toys chain Ann Summers, has died aged 62.
The businesswoman died on Thursday evening after seven years of treatment for breast cancer.
Ms Gold is credited with transforming the firm from four backstreet shops into a multi-million pound business with outlets across the UK.
She was made a CBE in 2016 for services to entrepreneurship, women in business and social enterprise.
A statement from Ms Gold’s family said: “It is with unspeakable sadness that Ann Summers confirm our amazing executive chair Jacqueline Gold CBE passed away yesterday evening with her husband Dan, daughter Scarlett, sister Vanessa, and brother-in-law Nick, by her side.
“She was… an activist for women in business, and championed female entrepreneurs with the ambition to better the working environment for women.”
Her death comes just two months after her father, David Gold, who was joint-chairman of West Ham United, died at the age of 86.
Ann Summers chief executive and Jacqueline’s sister, Vanessa, said: “Jacqueline courageously battled stage 4 breast cancer for seven years and was an absolute warrior throughout her cancer journey.
“In life she was a trailblazer, a visionary, and the most incredible woman, all of … Read More
More than 1,000 Passport Office workers will go on strike for five weeks over a dispute about jobs, pay and conditions, unions say.
Members of the Public and Commercial Services union working across England, Scotland and Wales will take part in the action from 3 April to 5 May.
The union warned of delays to applications and the delivery of passports in the run-up to summer.
Those working in Belfast are being balloted and could join the strike.
BBC News has contacted the Home Office for a response.
More than 4,000 people are employed by the Passport Office across the UK, meaning that according to the union figures around one in four workers will be walking out.
The offices affected in England, Scotland and Wales will include Durham, Glasgow, Liverpool, London, Newport, Peterborough and Southport.
At peak times – including the month of April when the strike will take place – the Passport Office can receive 250,000 applications per week, according to travel expert Simon Calder.
It means that more than one million applications could be sent during the strike period, he said.
The government says the strike does not affect their guidance which is still to allow up to … Read More
The UK is still on course to be the only big wealthy economy to register negative growth this year, despite an upturn in growth prospects, according to new international forecasts.
Projections from the Organisation for Economic Coordination and Development (OECD) show that the UK economy will be an outlier among wealthier countries with an annual contraction in growth this year of 0.2 per cent.
That is 0.2 percentage points better than the OECD’s last forecast in November but remains the worst performance among the richest countries.
The OECD’s forecast matches updated projections from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), which said this week that the economy would narrowly avoid a technical recession this year, defined as two quarters of negative growth. The improved outlook is the result of lower energy prices and resilient consumer and business sentiment recorded this year. The economy will experience a “mild” recovery of 0.9 per cent next year, according to the OECD forecast.
Germany, which was expected to be the worst-performing economy in the eurozone, will now record positive growth of 0.3 per cent rather than a 0.3 per cent contraction, according to the OECD, which also upgraded its projections for Italy, Spain and France. … Read More
Airlines including Wizz Air and Ryanair owe millions of pounds to passengers from unpaid refunds and expenses, according to an investigation by the consumer group Which?.
It called on the government and regulators to take urgent action over the £4.5m it calculates carriers owe in county court judgments (CCJs), describing the current enforcement of air passenger protections as “fundamentally flawed”.
Which? criticised “weak regulations” and a “dysfunctional dispute resolution system” for failing to help passengers enforce their rights.
Consumers can pursue payments through county courts if they believe that an airline has failed to meet their legal obligations. CCJs can then be issued to the company requiring them to pay the passenger.
Rocio Concha, Which? director of policy and advocacy, said: “The scale of court judgments piling up against major airlines is a result of a system where the odds are stacked against passengers and airlines feel empowered to routinely ignore their legal obligations to pay out refunds and compensation.”
Wizz Air accounts for almost half of the total amount owed, according to the consumer group’s analysis of the Registry Trust, a log of court documents and fines in England and Wales.
In December, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) raised … Read More
Visitor numbers at the UK’s leading attractions are still almost a quarter lower than before the pandemic, thanks to a perfect storm of Covid, Brexit, energy prices and the wider financial crisis, according to the sector’s trade body.
Figures published on Friday by the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions show that while the number of visits to its sites rose by 69% in 2022 compared with the year before, this was still 23% lower than in 2019.
Bernard Donoghue, the organisation’s director, described the annual increase as “probably as good as we could hope for”, given the unprecedented challenges facing its members, which include the UK’s most famous museums, galleries, cathedrals and parks.
“We as a sector have never been hit by so many variables, which are completely out of our control, all at the same time,” he told Business Matters. “Not just Covid, but also the cost of living crisis, energy costs and the hangover of Brexit.
“Staffing and recruitment is one of the greatest challenges to tourism and hospitality, and some of that great challenge is replacing people … who left during Covid – but partly because of Brexit – to go back to their home countries in … Read More