Cameron frustrated as Britain dragged into Greek bailout

CAMERON EU flag“Britain has been dragged into the eurozone’s efforts to rescue Greece… Disregarding strong objections from British ministers, the European Commission on Wednesday proposed using a mothballed EU-wide rescue fund — the European Financial Stability Mechanism— to give Greece the €7 billion it needs to cover debt repayments on Monday. Aides say the British prime minister was ‘frustrated’ by Brussels’ attempt to pull the UK into the Greece bailout” – Financial Times

  • You can’t trust Juncker, source close to Cameron says – Daily Telegraph
  • Tsipras wins vote but faces revolt within Syriza – Independent
  • Merkel’s tough tactics prompt criticism in Germany and abroad – Financial Times
  • Merkel says she disagrees with gay marriage – Daily Mail
  • Soft EU rules let 265,000 move here – Daily Mail


Hunt to tell doctors they must work at weekends

“Hospital consultants will be forced to work at weekends, the health secretary is to announce today as he opens a new front in his war with doctors. Jeremy Hunt is planning to lay down an ultimatum to the doctors’ union, ordering it to discuss a radical overhaul of hours and pay or face having new terms imposed from on high… ‘I will not allow the BMA to be a road block to reforms that will save lives,’ he will say” – The Times (£)

Boles defends union reforms

BOLES valley of death“New laws curbing industrial action will have most effect on public services, which tend to have a lower turnout in strike votes, according to anecdotal figures produced by unions… Nick Boles, skills minister, insisted that the planned new strike ballot thresholds were proportionate and struck a balance between the rights of unions and the public” – Financial Times

  • Trade unions need putting back in their place – Norman Tebbit, Daily Telegraph
  • Union leaders need to be shackled even more – Tim Montgomerie, The Times (£)
  • What Sajid Javid learned on Wall Street – Joshi Herrmann, Guardian


Osborne’s plan to cut poverty dismissed by OBR economist as “hopeless”

“George Osborne’s plan for a higher minimum wage to compensate people for lost tax credits has been criticised by an economist who has the task of giving the government independent advice. Steve Nickell, one of the three members of the Office for Budget Responsibility’s policymaking committee, said: ‘Raising minimum wages as a means of reducing poverty is completely hopeless’ because people with low wages often live as secondary earners in households with relatively high incomes. ‘This has been known for years,’ he added” – Financial Times

  • Osborne has hit on a better pension plan – Chris Giles, Financial Times


Gove replaces courts with town halls

GOVE, Michael blue sky“Magistrate hearings will be held in town halls and other public buildings under radical plans to close up to 140 courts in England and Wales. The plans are due to be announced this week. Michael Gove told MPs that there must be court closures that some would find difficult as part of a ‘transformation of civil and criminal justice in the lifetime of this parliament’” – The Times (£)

Whittingdale’s BBC proposals could hit middle classes

“Middle class families will be forced to pay more for the licence fee than poor households under plans for a Finnish-style means tested broadcasting levy to pay for the BBC. John Whittingdale, the Culture Secretary, will today publish a green paper which will propose ‘root and branch reform’ of the BBC as part of its royal charter renewal. He will consider plans for a new means tested levy to be paid by better-off taxpayers based on their annual income – regardless of whether or not they own a television” – Daily Telegraph

  • Ditch the licence fee and force the BBC to compete for its audience – Allister Heath, Daily Telegraph
  • Carswell compares BBC stars to greedy bankers – Daily Express

Fallon declares “new Battle of Britain” against ISIS

Fallon “Britain is to step up its role in defeating Islamic State jihadists in Syria by sending a spy plane to identify enemy positions so other countries can bomb them.The Defence Secretary will today announce the deployment of a £700million intelligence-gathering aircraft which will be flying missions over the extremist stronghold by the end of August. Michael Fallon will deliver a speech declaring that the UK is fighting a ‘new Battle of Britain’ against a ‘fascist enemy’ that must be defeated” – Daily Mail

May humiliates Boris by banning water cannon

“London Mayor Boris Johnson was humiliated in the Commons after Theresa May slapped down his bid to use water cannon in the capital. The Home Secretary told MPs she would not lift the ban on police using water cannon because it it was too dangerous and would damage public trust. It comes after Mr Johnson spent £200,000 of taxpayers’ money on a fleet of second-hand water cannon from Germany in the wake of the 2012 London riots” – Daily Mail

  • Mrs May blasted heckler Boris off his feet – Quentin Letts, Daily Mail
  • May is wrong to ban water cannon: she just wanted to embarrass Boris – The Sun Says (£)

Cameron to appoint 35 Tory life peers

LORDS logo“David Cameron is set to appoint dozens of Tories to the Lords in a desperate bid to get his policies through Parliament. At least 35 new Conservatives are set to be ennobled as part of the dissolution honours, amid fears the Prime Minister does not have the support in the Upper House to win battles on Europe and welfare. Controversially, around a dozen Liberal Democrats are expected to be raised to the peerage” – Daily Mail

IPSA set to approve MPs’ pay rise

“David Cameron is braced for a fresh row over MPs’ pay today after the Westminster expenses watchdog gave the final stamp of approval to an 11 per cent rise. The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) launched a final consultation last month on plans to raise pay from £67,000 to £74,000 alongside pensions changes… IPSA is expected to announce the increase today” – The Times (£)

Tories persuade Adonis to board HS2 express

“The Conservatives have appointed one of Labour’s most respected former ministers to oversee the building of the HS2 rail link, in the latest major embarrassment for the opposition. Lord Adonis, a former education secretary under Tony Blair and transport secretary under Gordon Brown, is to become a non-executive director of HS2 Ltd, the government-funded company responsible for the new high-speed rail network. He will remain a member of the Labour Party” – The Times (£)

Corbyn “on course to win Labour leadership”

CORBYN Jeremy“Hard-left Labour leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn is on course to win the race to succeed Ed Miliband, shock internal polling has revealed. Mr Corbyn, a veteran socialist who believes Ed Miliband was not left wing enough to win the election, is understood to be leading rival candidates by up to 15 per cent in the first round of votes. The 66-year-old backbencher has already shocked Labour MPs with the surge in support he has enjoyed among ordinary party members since joining the contest at the last minute” – Daily Mail

  • How you can help Corbyn win, and destroy the Labour Party – Daily Telegraph
  • Labour’s week of crisis: the inside story – George Eaton, New Statesman
  • Burnham says Labour must reconnect with White Van Man – Daily Mail
  • Burnham made 63 expenses claims for less than a pound – The Sun (£)
  • I confess to a sneaking admiration for Harriet Harman – Stephen Glover, Daily Mail

Left-wingers and unions to campaign for EU exit

“A leading shadow cabinet member, prominent Labour MPs and at least two major trade unions are holding discussions about forming their own campaign for Britain to leave the European Union. Momentum is growing among left-wing Eurosceptics who have previously supported Britain’s membership of the EU in the face of reports that David Cameron is planning to use the renegotiation to water down workers’ rights” – The Times (£)

  • Comrades, can’t you see the revolution is over? – David Aaronovitch, The Times (£)

Thatcher’s dress list revealed

ThatcherNoTurningBack“Nestled in among policy briefings and other government papers for her 1985 tour of Asia is a list showing just how seriously Margaret Thatcher took presentation. Her itinerary for the April trip includes a page – in her own writing – of outfits to take to India, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei. Next to a busy schedule of meet and greets, speeches and banquets, she listed a range of dresses including ‘white flowers, fuchsia, blue/gold velvet, black lace/long/short, gold bows, blue silk, black sparkly’” – Daily Mail

  • Thatcher wanted to destabilise Ethiopian regime – Independent
  • Farage says he shares concerns with Donald Trump but is more like Henry VIII – Guardian

News in brief

  • Pictures of Pluto reveal mountains made of ice – Daily Mail
  • Diesel fumes play part in premature London deaths – Financial Times
  • Nick Cave’s son dies in cliff fall near Brighton – Guardian
  • George HW Bush breaks bone in neck – Guardian