BBC 1) Whittingdale presents licence fee reforms

WhittingdaleThe future of BBC Radio 1 and 2 came under threat yesterday as ministers cleared the way for a reduced licence fee, with viewers paying a top-up subscription charge for “premium” shows such as sport and drama. Signalling one of the biggest restructurings of the BBC in its 93-year history, the government warned that the corporation could no longer justify trying to be “all things to all people”. John Whittingdale, the culture secretary, presented proposals that could create a “narrower” BBC, remove much of its public funding and lead to many of its most popular programmes being scrapped as overly commercial or not distinct enough.’ – The Times (£)

BBC 2) More rich luvvies panic…

‘Save the BBC goddammit – no BBC, no me. No Not the Nine O Clock News. No Big Train. No Vic and Bob, or French and Saunders. No the Young ones, Blackadder, Miranda, Not Going out, or Some Mother’s do Ave ’em. No Hancock, Boys from the Blackstuff, Edge of Darkness, Dad’s Army, Steptoe and Son, Clangers, Magic Roundabout, or Ripping Yarns. No Happy Valley, League of Gentleman, or The Day Today…’ – Lenny Henry, The Guardian

BBC 3) …as it turns out Corporation executives organised the original letter

Biased BBC‘The BBC was accused of deceit last night after it denied orchestrating a celebrity letter to the Prime Minister backing the Corporation. Despite overwhelming evidence that Danny Cohen, its director of television, masterminded the involvement of signatories, the BBC repeatedly refused to admit its involvement. Last night MPs demanded an investigation into whether Mr Cohen had broken BBC rules by secretly asking a host of its stars to front Tuesday night’s open letter to David Cameron.’ – Daily Mail

Gove proposes prison perks should be directly linked to learning

‘Prisoners could be allowed out of jail early if they sign up to English and maths courses behind bars, Michael Gove will say today. In his first speech on prison policy since becoming Justice Secretary, he will throw open the prospect of ‘earned release’ for those inmates who knuckle down to gain educational qualifications.’ – Daily Mail

Osborne secures ‘impregnable’ guarantee we will get our Greek bailout cash back

Euro meltdown‘An EU-wide rescue fund backed by all 28 member states will be used to provide the loan, but the European Commission agreed the UK’s share would be fully protected. Mr Osborne said: ‘These have been tough talks, but the agreement means an impregnable ring-fence around British taxpayers’ money, which will not be at risk in any way in this emergency financing for Greece. Importantly, we have also managed to secure the same protections for all other member states who are not members of the single currency.’ – Daily Mail

  • Merkel reduces girl to tears by telling her why she will be deported – Daily Mail
  • Germany raises the prospect of Grexit again – FT
  • Tusk fears political contagion – FT



NHS reforms aim to improve patient safety

‘Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt wants all NHS staff to be able to report errors without fear of reprisal. The health service will “buddy up” with the world’s safest hospital, the Virginia Mason Institute in Seattle, US, which pioneered the approach. It transformed care by copying the Toyota production line…He said: “I want to make the NHS the safest healthcare system in the world.”’ – The Sun (£)

>Yesterday: Jeremy Hunt MP on Comment: The NHS must lead the pack in innovation, transparency and patient power

Downing Street softens line on MPs’ pay rise

commons‘David Cameron performed a surprising U-turn last night and claimed that MPs should accept a £7,000 pay rise in the face of opposition from the public. The prime minister said on Thursday night that the 10% pay increase was “the rate for the job” despite the rest of the public sector being capped at 1% for another four years. His bold position, a reversal of his past statements that the rise is unacceptable, will give cover to many Tory MPs who wish to keep the cash.’ – The Guardian

Devolution deal for Cornwall

‘Cornwall is to become the first English county to benefit from devolution, with David Cameron announcing plans to transfer control over transport, adult skills and investment during a visit to the region on Thursday. The prime minister described it as a “major shift for the people who live and work in Cornwall — putting power in their hands and giving them the tools to take charge and make the most of the fantastic potential that Cornwall holds”.’ – FT

Harman is forced to back down on welfare

LABOUR dead rose‘Ms Harman, as Labour’s acting leader, had suggested at the weekend that the party wouldn’t oppose moves to limit benefits to two children in a Commons vote next week. She was forced to back down last night in the face of a growing rebellion led by the former welfare spokesman, Helen Goodman. The party debate continued as momentum grew behind Mr Corbyn’s leadership campaign.’ – The Times (£)

>Yesterday: Left Watch: Corbyn for Shadow Chancellor

My party is behaving ‘like a petulant child’, frets Umunna

‘Chuka Umunna has accused Labour of “behaving like a petulant child” following his party’s election defeat amid a row among his colleagues over the Government’s proposed welfare cuts. Mr Umunna, who was a leadership candidate before withdrawing, said the party was “screaming at the electorate” when it should be attempting to “meet people where they are at”.’ – Daily Telegraph

Hoey: Labour should support Brexit

Kate_Hoey_1395758a‘There is a hugely positive case to be put to the British people during the referendum as to why we should leave. I question why powerful corporate interests such as the CBI — the same interests that urged membership of the euro — are so desperate to keep us in a failing EU. I have enormous confidence in the common sense of the British public. They understand that if we leave we can increase our trade with the rest of the world.’ – Kate Hoey MP, The Times (£)

And the new Lib Dem leader is…Tim Farron

‘Tim Farron, the MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, has been named the new leader of the Liberal Democrats, winning the vote among party members by 56.5% to 43.5%. Farron, a former party president who was one of the eight Lib Dems to retain their seats in May’s general election, beat the MP for North Norfolk, Norman Lamb, by 4,500 votes out of a total of 34,000.’ – The Guardian

SNP MPs ordered to annoy England

Scottish flag‘SNP chiefs have ordered their army of MPs to infuriate the Tories by getting involved in local issues across England and Wales. Just days after scuppering the Prime Minister’s bid to ease a ban on fox hunting, the SNP’s Westminster leader Angus Robertson said the party wants to “engage with the rest of the UK”.’ – The Sun (£)

Bank Governor hints at rate rise next year

‘Rates in Britain have been at a record low of 0.5 per cent since March 2009 – slashing the cost of borrowing for millions of families. But Mark Carney said households should now get ready for rates to rise at ‘around the turn of this year’ – opening up the possibility of a rate hike before Christmas or in the New Year.’ – Daily Mail

News in Brief

  • Why police snooping on Michael McIntyre should worry you – Ross Clark, Daily Mail
  • Putin plans to eliminate us, Ukraine warns – The Times (£)
  • Four US marines shot in Chattanooga attack – Daily Mail
  • ISIS blows up Egyptian ship with a rocket – The Independent
  • Young Conservative comes second in Big Brother – WalesOnline
  • Commons voting is changed to accommodate the influx of ‘Macs’ – The Times (£)
  • A hot Dorito almost killed me – The Sun (£)
  • Drunk squirrel banned from private members’ club after rampage – The Independent