BBC pay 1) Transparency sparks equality row

‘The BBC faces spending millions of pounds to boost female broadcasters’ salaries after stars threatened action over a gender pay divide. Salaries of on-screen and on-air presenters earning £150,000 or more were published yesterday, revealing the Radio 2 presenter Chris Evans, 51, as the BBC’s best-paid celebrity. He received up to £2.25 million in the last financial year. Gary Lineker, 56, the Match of the Day host, was paid up to £1.8 million. Claudia Winkleman, 45, who presents Strictly Come Dancing, was the top-earning woman, on up to £500,000. Two thirds of the corporation’s 96 highest earners are men and the top five collectively made three times the salaries of the five best-paid women. Some stars benefited from a loophole in pay disclosure rules. The salary paid to Graham Norton, 54, of at least £850,000 is dwarfed by the £2.6 million he received from So Television, the company that makes The Graham Norton Show on BBC One.’ – The Times (£)


>Today: ToryDiary: For all its blunders, faults and bias, the BBC is a price worth paying to help build a civilised society

BBC pay 2) MPs and Ministers urge the Corporation to rein in pay levels

‘Ministers and MPs have attacked the BBC’s excuse that it has to pay its biggest stars hundreds of thousands of pounds every year to stop them switching to commercial media companies. Senior BBC executives defended the large sums paid to stars like Chris Evans, Graham Norton and Gary Lineker, insisting they were necessary to stop them defecting to commercial rivals. However these claims were dismissed by ministers and MPs. One ministerial source said: “I am not sure there are many people out there who will be paying Chris Evans more than he gets for doing what he currently does. “Who [else] is going to pay Eddie Mair £300,000 a year? Nobody. For all the highly paid Radio 4 stars – Radio 4 is their only place. Where is Eddie Mair going to go?”’ – Daily Telegraph

Johnson pressures universities over ‘out of control’ Vice-Chancellor salaries

‘Universities will have to justify high salaries for vice-chancellors and provide consumer protection contracts for students, the universities minister will say today. Jo Johnson will take a swipe at vice-chancellors’ pay, which has faced growing criticism in recent weeks. The highest paid university head earns £450,000, three times the prime minister’s salary. Speaking to The Times before a speech for Reform, an independent think tank, he said that the “upwards ratchet has been out of control for too long”. The issue had been raised before but insufficient progress was being made, he said, adding that there had to be clear evidence of highly paid vice-chancellors outperforming those at comparable institutions.’ – The Times (£)

  • Degrees suffer from grade inflation – The Times (£)
  • When top grades become the norm, they cease to become top grades – The Times Leader (£)

‘There’s no such thing as an unsackable minister’, May reminds her colleagues

‘Theresa May has warned cabinet colleagues that no minister is “unsackable” in her most direct criticism yet of leaks from the cabinet room. The prime minister said the current team of cabinet ministers was safe “for the moment” but that she was prepared to sack persistent leakers. Her comments came after members of the backbench Conservative 1922 Committee told the prime minister she had their backing to sack loose-lipped ministers. “There’s no such thing as an unsackable minister,” May told LBC’s Iain Dale. “But at the moment the team is together and we are getting on with the job of delivering what we believe the British people want us to do.” May denied the briefing over the weekend was linked to her diminished authority following the party’s poor election result. Leaks over the weekend included several ministers criticising the chancellor, Philip Hammond, for cabinet room comments on public sector pay as well as stories attacking the Brexit secretary, David Davis, and the foreign secretary, Boris Johnson.’ – The Guardian

  • Gove allegedly refused to support Government position paper over ECJ control – FT

>Yesterday: Andrew Gimson’s PMQs sketch: May cannot dispel a sense of precariousness

Brexit talks yet to deliver a break-through

‘No breakthrough has been made in three days of Brexit talks, senior officials conceded last night. David Davis, the Brexit secretary, is to return to Brussels today to meet Michel Barnier, his EU counterpart, and “take stock”. Last night, however, there was frustration at a lack of progress on citizens’ rights and the Brexit divorce bill. Sources said that both sides had a better understanding of each other’s positions but were no closer to agreement. Yesterday’s talks focused on citizens’ rights. The session went more smoothly than divorce bill discussions but differences remain over to whom, how and from when residency rights would apply, and the governing court. Sources said the discord was in the detail, with both sides eager for an early deal that clarified the position of about 4.5 million citizens across Britain and Europe. Money remains the biggest problem, with sources reporting legal and technical differences over how to define Britain’s budget obligations.’ – The Times (£)

  • The EU says Brexit cannot be reversed – The Sun
  • Good – The Sun Says
  • Fox stands by ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’ – Daily Telegraph
  • Olly Robbins, the man heading the negotiations – FT
  • Brussels tries to strip Poland, a key British ally, of voting rights – The Sun
  • Britain reminds the EU it has a right to return nuclear waste to the countries that produced it – FT
  • Lords minister predicts ‘softest of soft Brexits’ – The Sun


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