Ministers ready to ignore £20 million airports report

Banks Face 6 Billion Of Libor Litigation“Ministers will signal today that they are prepared to overrule the findings of a three-year, £20 million report into airport expansion in London in order to head off a political row… Many Conservative MPs believe that opposition to Heathrow could lead to turmoil in the cabinet, given the opposition of Justine Greening and Greg Hands, Boris Johnson, the London mayor, and the front-runner as his successor, Zac Goldsmith — all of whom are west London MPs” – The Times (£)



Osborne seeks to bolster “northern powerhouse”

“Stung by accusations last week that the northern powerhouse was ‘a brand lacking substance’, the chancellor plans to use next week’s Budget to galvanise a project that has become central to his economic vision and Mr Osborne’s own personal political reputation… The shelving of work on the Leeds-Manchester line and the fracking ruling are the first big setbacks for Mr Osborne’s northern powerhouse agenda” – Financial Times


Hammond confirms gunman’s Libyan link

HAMMOND Philip white background“The gunman who killed an estimated 30 British tourists at a Tunisian holiday resort was trained in Libya by Islamic State militants, a senior official disclosed yesterday…The Libyan link was confirmed yesterday by Britain’s foreign secretary, who said that the spread of Isis had opened the way for last week’s beach attack. “I think the thing that has changed is the spread of [Isis] into the ungoverned territory of Libya, a neighbouring country to Tunisia,” Philip Hammond said” – The Times (£)

  • Tunisian PM calls for help to fight terror – Financial Times
  • Where the FCO believes a terror attack is most likely to happen – Daily Telegraph
  • Britain must declare war on Islamic State – Ann Widdecombe, Daily Express
  • Thatcher would have treated this as the deep national wound that it is – Allison Pearson, Daily Telegraph
  • Sunbed gunman was high on cocaine – Daily Mail

UK universities provide platform for Islamist extremists

“Universities are providing a platform for more than 100 Islamist extremists every year, a disturbing report will reveal next week. The fanatics are being allowed to make speeches at leading academic institutions despite ministers calling for a crackdown on radicalism. The study says that more than 20 students who attended UK universities have been convicted of terrorism, or have lost their lives waging jihad in Syria” – Daily Mail

Johnson: universities must improve their teaching

BARRIE CHARACTER EDUCATION“As my predecessor, David Willetts, himself acknowledged in a recent interview, ‘teaching has been by far the weakest aspect of English higher education’. This must change… Students must have the information they need to judge teaching quality, just as they can already compare a faculty’s research rating” – Jo Johnson MP, The Times (£)

US general warns UK against troop cuts

“Army chiefs are ‘deluded’ if they believe they can keep cutting the number of soldiers while relying on new forms of technology to make up for lost capability, a senior US general has warned. Lt Gen HR McMaster told an audience of defence chiefs in London on Tuesday that officials were in danger of undervaluing ground troops in favour of new capabilities such as cyber warfare” – Financial Times

Merkel unmoved by final Greek plea

merkel“Angela Merkel brutally dismissed frantic Greek efforts to reopen negotiations on its bailout as Athens was hurtling towards bankruptcy last night. Throughout the day Alexis Tsipras, the Greek prime minister, pleaded for another extension of the loan programme keeping his country afloat in a round of telephone calls to European leaders. Germany insisted, however, that it was too late to salvage the deal needed to release up to €20 billion” – The Times (£)

  • ECB poised to raise heat on Greece’s banks – Financial Times
  • Greece’s IMF payment: When is a default not a default? – Financial Times
  • Echoes of Greece in Britain’s growing reliance on debt-fuelled growth – Jeremy Warner, Daily Telegraph
  • Greek failure to make IMF payment deals historic blow to eurozone – Guardian
  • Let me tell you about referendums: threats won’t help – Nicola Sturgeon, Guardian
  • Don’t just blame Greece – Ben Chu, Independent



Finkelstein: Why Cameron had to be liberal on gay marriage

“As economic achievement becomes more closely aligned with educational attainment in our so-called ‘knowledge economy’, the Conservatives have had to become more socially liberal to keep the backing of their main economic supporters. Cameron’s gay marriage proposal emerges from this not as the political error some thought it but very nearly essential” – Daniel Finkelstein, The Times (£)

Lib Dem contender says it’s time for a gay Peppa Pig

gay wedding cake“More gay characters are needed on children’s television to send out the message same sex relationships are of ‘equal value’ to any other, Lib Dem leadership contender Norman Lamb has said. Mr Lamb, who is standing against Tim Farron for the party leadership, said having a gay Peppa Pig should ‘absolutely not be out of the question’. The former care minister said the lack of same-sex relationships on children’s TV suggests there is a ‘limit’ to gay rights” – Daily Mail

News in brief

  • Confusion over plans to appoint “named person” for every child in Scotland – Herald
  • Queen invites the Middletons to tea after Charlotte’s christening – Daily Mail
  • Sexy MPs website is most popular banned website at Parliament – Daily Telegraph
  • Britain gripped by travel mayhem on hottest day of the year – The Times (£)