Osborne faces off against EU bid to force UK to bail out Greece

OSBORNE non-broken sword“Chancellor George Osborne will today attempt to fight off a European bid to force the British public to contribute almost £1billion towards any bailout of Greece. Sources close to Jean-Claude Juncker, the arch-federalist European Commission president, say he wants the UK to release the funds as part of emergency loans to the country. But this would break an agreement made by David Cameron in 2010 that Britain would not have to pay, because it is not a member of the eurozone. Commission officials say this deal was nothing more than a ‘political’ accord with no legal force.” – Daily Mail

  • Britain faces £850 million bill for Greek deal – The Times (£)
  • UK angered by moves to be forced to contribute to Greek bailout – Financial Times
  • No British money will be used, says Chancellor – The Independent
  • Farage calls on Greeks to reject deal and protest – The Independent
  • Backlash mounts in Greece against ‘neo-colonial servitude’ – Daily Telegraph
  • Lucas claims dark forces have staged a coup in Athens – The Independent


  • If you think what’s happened in Greece is a coup, you’re an idiot – James Kirkup, Daily Telegraph
  • The Euro-exit genie is now out of the bottle – Ed Conway, The Times (£)
  • Osborne’s experience of failure is the secret to his success – Janan Ganesh, Financial Times


>Today: Paul Goodman in Comment: The case for Brexit 2) Better immigration control


Cameron forces companies to publish gender ‘pay gap’

“Companies will be forced to reveal the gap between the average pay of male and female staff, David Cameron will announce today. Firms employing more than 250 will have to publish the information as part of the Prime Minister’s ambition to end the ‘gender pay gap’ within a generation. He will say the move is needed to drive up women’s wages and ‘cast sunlight’ on discrepancies in the salaries of men and women. He hopes that forcing employers to publish the gap would put pressure on them to deliver equal pay.” – Daily Mail

Fallon admits to broadening definition of defence spending

Armed Forces“Michael Fallon effectively admitted to ‘creative accounting’ yesterday in a bid to comfortably hit the Nato target of two per cent. The Defence Secretary yesterday said the remit of the defence budget would be ‘marginally’ wider to include elements of intelligence. By stretching the definition of defence to include money from other departments, the Tory party will stay easily above the target set by Nato. Defence spending now includes all of a £1billion pot designated for peacekeeping missions and part of a new £1.5billion joint intelligence and defence fund.” – Daily Mail

  • Stop using the name ISIS, calls the Defence Secretary – The Times (£)
  • Ministers accused of cooking the books on defence spending – Financial Times


  • An astonished Fallon cries: No books will be cooked! – Quentin Letts, Daily Mail
  • The Defence Secretary goes on the defensive – John Crace, The Guardian

>Yesterday: Michael Fallon MP in Comment: The Budget proved our Conservative commitment to our Armed Forces

Norman casts doubt on the future of Radio One

“The future of Radio 1 must be considered as part of the BBC’s charter review, a senior Tory has warned. Jesse Norman, who has been put in charge of monitoring the renewal of the BBC Charter, said that the BBC’s focus on entertaining is “getting a bit out of whack”. Mr Norman, chairman of the culture and media select committee, said he “looked forward to having the debate” over Radio 1’s future. He said: “I don’t hold a particular view on whether BBC Radio 1 should stay or go but the debate has got to be had.” Mr Norman also questioned the future of popular shows such as The Voice.” – Daily Telegraph

>Yesterday: ToryDiary: The BBC is a political issue whether it likes it or not

SNP to vote down hunting amendment as revenge for EVEL

SNP logo white background“The SNP has vowed to vote down proposed changes to the fox hunting ban in England in revenge for the Tories curbing its MPs’ voting rights. Angus Robertson, the party’s leader in Westminster, accused the ‘arrogant’ Government of treating Scots as second-class citizens by proposing to introduce English Votes for English laws. Tomorrow’s vote will consider whether to water down the ban on traditional fox hunting with dogs. Currently in England and Wales, only two dogs can be used to flush out a fox so that a farmer or landowner can shoot it.” – Daily Mail


  • The hunting debate is truly toxic, but to the Union rather than the Tories – Philip Johnston, Daily Telegraph

Kinnock the Younger leads revolt against welfare cuts

“A Labour MP described yesterday the government’s proposal to limit child tax credits to the first two children as reminiscent of Nazi-style ‘eugenics’. Stephen Kinnock, son of former leader Neil and the newly elected MP for Aberavon, told the BBC that the move raised ‘moral and ethical’ issues, for example if a woman became pregnant with a third child as a result of rape. ‘Are we going to be asking women to go to the DWP and prove how their pregnancy came about?’ Mr Kinnock asked. ‘It’s simply not pragmatic and it is awfully reminiscent of some kind of eugenics policy’, he said.” – Daily Mail

Comment and Editorial:

>Yesterday: Video: WATCH: Labour candidates outline their ‘Clause 4 moments’

Greg Hands MP: Harman admits we’re right on welfare… why can’t her party?

LABOUR dead rose“Things have come to a pretty pass when Labour’s acting leader Harriet Harman is the closest her party comes to a voice of reason. But that’s the position in which the Opposition now finds itself. For daring to suggest that Britain’s working age welfare bill is too high and she might therefore support some of George Osborne’s sensible savings, Miss Harman has managed to plunge Labour into a leadership crisis without a leader. The party’s resurgent hard Left is in uproar, and one by one its lacklustre field of leadership candidates has come out to oppose some or all of our proposed reforms to the welfare system. It would be laughable were it not so serious.” – Daily Telegraph

Labour leadership 1) Burnham apologises for running a huge deficit…

“Labour leadership frontrunner Andy Burnham today finally said ‘sorry’ for running up a huge deficit while he was in the Treasury. The shadow health secretary even revealed how then-Chancellor Alistair Darling told him Labour was borrowing too much in 2007 when the financial crash hit. But he insisted that Labour ‘did fix the roof when the sun was shining’, including repairing schools and hospitals.” – Daily Mail

  • One man’s quest to burst the Westminster bubble… from within – Michael Deacon’s sketch, Daily Telegraph
  • We’re still cleaning up Labour’s mess today – Norman Tebbit, Daily Telegraph

Labour leadership 2) …as he and Corbyn refuse to condemn Unite’s move toward illegal strikes

On strike“Two Labour leadership contenders have refused to criticise Unite, Britain’s biggest trade union, after it set the stage for unlawful strikes. The Times revealed yesterday that the union, which has donated millions of pounds to the Labour party, had upped the ante in a clash with the Conservative government over plans to tighten industrial relations laws. The union voted to remove a proviso from its rule book requiring industrial action to remain within the law. Jeremy Corbyn, the leftwinger who is Unite’s preferred candidate, said it was not for politicians to dictate to unions. His spokesman said: “It’s for them to determine their rules.”” – The Times (£)

  • Union leader told to resign for comparing new strike laws to Nazi Germany – Daily Telegraph
  • Corbyn loses his cool over Hamas comments – Daily Telegraph
  • Left-winger claims Labour and Tories had same economic policy at last election – The Independent


  • Cameron faces a titanic struggle with the unions – Dominic Sandbrook, Daily Mail

>Today: Chris Grayling MP’s column: Labour’s silence on the striking tube unions speaks volumes

Rachel Sylvester: Labour could soon be dead as a dodo

“Labour seems to be sinking deeper into drowsy numbness, half in love with easeful death. The momentum in the leadership contest is with Jeremy Corbyn, the most overtly left-wing candidate. Not only did he secure the backing of Britain’s biggest trade union, Unite, he also has the second largest number of nominations from constituency Labour parties. Even if he doesn’t win, his success is making it harder for other candidates to force the party out of its comfort zone. Andy Burnham has praised the Labour manifesto — which was just resoundingly rejected by the electorate — as the best he has ever stood on in four general elections. Yvette Cooper still refuses to admit the party spent too much money when in power even though the voters have made it absolutely clear they think it did. Introspection has taken hold, with some in the party more angry with the country for not voting the “right” way than willing to learn the lessons of defeat.” – The Times (£)

  • Labour hustings, the show with no stars, finds perfect TV slot – Donald Macintyre’s sketch, The Independent

Starmer u-turns on legal protections for journalists

Newspaper mastheads“Britain’s former chief prosecutor was accused of hypocrisy yesterday over a huge U-turn on legal action against journalists. Sir Keir Starmer QC said there should be a new “public interest” defence for reporters. In what is a marked change from his time as Director of Public Prosecutions, he said the “time has come for a new law governing a controversial area” and more “legal protection” for journalists. The comments by Sir Keir — made just hours before he was due to debate the Free Press in London with Sun Associate Editor Trevor Kavanagh — were immediately seen as a desperate attempt to save his career.” – The Sun (£)

Clegg’s flagship nursery policy not being taken up

“Nick Clegg’s flagship policy to educate all disadvantaged two-year-olds is not working and school nurseries are still ‘colonised by the middle classes’, a report has found. Ofsted said free nursery places for poor children have only been taken up by half of target families, meaning 113,000 eligible children are staying at home. Chief Inspector of Schools Sir Michael Wilshaw said more than £300million worth of potential investment is not reaching ‘the children it was intended for’.” – Daily Mail

News in Brief:

  • RAF drones spearhead fresh campaign against ISIS in Iraq – Daily Mail
  • The battle for Fallujah – The Independent
  • Syriza set to rebel over ‘humiliation’ – Financial Times
  • Kindertransport survivor rescues Syria Christians – The Times (£)
  • BBC defends ‘big shows’ like The Voice – Daily Telegraph
  • Economists expect UK inflation to head back towards zero – The Guardian
  • Bakewell urges over-75s to pay licence fee to ‘save’ BBC – Daily Mail