May to ‘crack down’ on tax havens

Theresa May 25-07-16Theresa May has ordered a crackdown on companies’ use of offshore tax havens as part of her drive to “reform capitalism” after the BHS scandal. Sir Philip Green and his wife, who is based in Monaco, used private companies registered offshore to reduce tax bills on cash extracted from the chain before its collapse, according to MPs. Two Commons committees said that the “moral case” for paying UK tax on profits made in Britain was “evidently not a consideration for Sir Philip” and that his use of offshore companies had reduced “corporate transparency”. The prime minister restated her commitment yesterday to clean up business after the indictment of the retail boss as the “unacceptable face of capitalism”. The Times (£)

  • May’s ‘blitz’ on corporate tax avoidance – Daily Mail

More on Philip Green and ‘reforming capitalism’:

  • May’s ‘action’ on Green-style approach – The Guardian
  • Frank Field calls for Green fraud inquiry – The Times (£)
  • Green ‘threatens to sue’ Frank Field over ‘thief’ comments – Independent
  • MPs tell companies to return ‘dirty money’ – Daily Mail


  • Can Green afford to secure pension fund? – Alex Brummer, Daily Mail
  • Green’s ‘pals’ should be blamed, too – Grace Dent, Independent
  • The melodrama is real – Simon Walker, The Times (£)
  • MPs are just ‘grandstanding’ about Philip Green – John McTernan, Daily Telegraph
  • Sports Direct conditions are better compared to a sweatshop than a workhouse – Paul Mason, The Guardian
  • Britain needs a ‘pro-enterprise future’ – William Hague, Daily Telegraph


  • Anger is justified towards ‘Sir Shifty’ – Daily Mail

>Today: Spencer Pitfield on Comment: We need a new, Conservative trade union

Ministers 1.) Rudd tells parents to report hateful bullying to the police 

Amber Rudd“Parents and teachers are today urged to report homophobic,racist and religious bullying to the police, the Home Secretary has says today as she vowed to “stamp out” hate crime. Amber Rudd says that Britain is a proud and diverse society and warn that hate crime has “no place in a 21st Century Great Britain that works for everyone”. The plan comes after a sharp rise in so-called “hate crime” incidents such as barging, spitting and assaults directed at racial and religious minorities around the time of the European Union referendum a month ago. Mrs Rudd is today publishing a hate crime action plan which encourage schools and parents to “challenge” hate crime in the playground and report it to the police. She will announce a survey to establish the levels of bullying in schools, while teachers will given new teaching materials to children understand that hate crime is unacceptable.” Daily Telegraph

  • Rudd’s awareness campaign – FT

Ministers 2.) Rail minister calls for transparency over fares

“Millions of passengers are being overcharged as train operators use a range of techniques to hide the cheapest fares, an investigation by The Times has found. Rail companies are failing to show the cheapest tickets on two thirds of cross-country routes, causing travellers to pay up to £85 more than is necessary. Paul Maynard, the rail minister, said yesterday that train operators must come up with an urgent action plan to make the system more transparent. Mr Maynard said: “Rail passengers should always be able to get the best deal and the industry must work harder to make this a reality.” The Times (£)


More ministers:

  • May criticised by Farron and Smith for ‘scrapping’ refugees minister position – The Guardian
  • Like Grayling, Truss lacks relevant experience – Charles Falconer, The Guardian
  • May shuts under-used centre for asylum seekers – Daily Express
  • Report suggests Britain should do more to prevent child refugee trafficking – Daily Telegraph

Ruth Dudley Edwards: May will work with the DUP to solve the Irish border question 

Screen Shot 2016-07-26 at 08.23.57“Mrs May will get on much better with the down-to-earth, plain-speaking Mrs Foster than she ever could with the rhetorician Ms Sturgeon. It’s just as well, for as the pair noted when they met in Belfast, Brexit poses serious – though not insoluble – problems on both sides of the 317-mile Irish border. Since Irish independence, Ireland and the UK have normally operated a Common Travel Area, though during wartime and the Troubles there were security checks. To facilitate keeping the border open between Northern Ireland and the Republic, the latter also stayed out of Schengen… The protestations and flights of romantic fancy will die down. It’s time for the hard-headed to get down to problem-solving. Mrs May and Foster look ideally suited to the task.”- Daily Telegraph


Ofcom won’t ‘break up BT’s monopoly’ 

“Millions of households will be left with “dire” broadband speeds because the regulator if refusing to break up BT, MPs have warned. The Telegraph understands that Ofcom, the broadcasting regulator, has rejected calls to end BT’s monopoly by forcing the company to sell off its broadband division. The decision, which comes after a year-long review, will infuriate campaigners who have accused the BT of leaving millions of people with sub-standard broadband connections.” Daily Telegraph

Will Hammond lift Osborne’s post-referendum block on payments to EU development fund? 

HAMMOND Philip white background“Payments from a £3bn European development fund were suspended indefinitely by the UK Government, just days after the vote to leave the EU, The Independent can reveal. In a move that exposes the almost immediate impact of Brexit on the UK economy, businesses say they have been told they will not now receive money that was due to be paid out under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)… The suspension came into effect when Mr Osborne was Chancellor and whether to lift it will be a key early decision for his successor Philip Hammond to take. The Government is expected to make an announcement on the situation in the next few days.” – Independent

More Brexit

  • Nat West warns of negative interest rates – The Guardian
  • Junker concedes that ‘months of preparation’ are needed before official Brexit negotiations – Daily Telegraph
  • Foreign offenders haven’t been deported – Daily Mail


  • May will face Brexit ’revolt’ if she ignores calls for ‘self government’ – Melanie Phillips, The Times (£)
  • We’ll all be disappointed with May’s Brexit solution – Rupert Myers, Daily Telegraph
  • ‘Tackling educational inequality’ is overdue and can salve societal division – Brett Wigdortz, Daily Telegraph

Independence fans speak of ’safe’ option for Scotland

“Supporters of Scottish independence argue that the only way now to guarantee continued EU membership is to leave the UK and there are signs that Scots who voted no to independence in September 2014 are beginning to switch. Three polls since the EU referendum show that support has increased from about 45 per cent to up to 54 per cent. If independence campaigners are to overturn the defeat they suffered two years ago, they will need to focus on pro-European voters who voted no in 2014 but are now ready to switch sides. These will often be relatively prosperous, well-educated Labour voters, say pollsters — like David McArdle, a university lecturer from Dunblane. Mr McArdle originally comes from England and voted against independence in 2014 largely because it seemed at the time like the best way to guarantee EU membership. Now, that same logic pulls him towards supporting independence.” – FT

  • Not her ‘starting point’, but Sturgeon claims independence could bring stability – Daily Telegraph
  • Sturgeon fears ‘hard’ Brexit – The Guardian
  • Sturgeon’s ‘five demands’ to May – Daily Express

Corbyn’s first front-bench resigner asks for job back 

Jeremy Corbyn 16-06-16

“In a letter to Mr Corbyn [Sarah] Champion said: “I would like to formally retract my resignation and ask to be reinstated to my role as shadow home office minister for preventing abuse and domestic violence with immediate effect.” The MP for Rotherham was one of dozens to step down in an attempt to unseat Mr Corbyn. The resignations followed a no confidence vote in Mr Corbyn among MPs and were an attempt to force him to step down.”Independent

More Labour:

  • Members suing Labour over £25 voting top-up – The Guardian
  • New film footage of McDonnell joking about assassinating Thatcher – Daily Mail
  • Both sides of Labour are suing the party – Independent


  • Labour is choosing to suffer – Janan Ganesh, FT


>Yesterday: Left Watch: What happens if Labour splits

Daniela Schwarzer: Germany is showing resilience to attacks, so far

“Up to now, the government has managed to convey a sense of control. A poll conducted in the three days following Würzburg showed sustained support for the parties in the governing coalition, while the AfD’s rating dropped to 11 per cent. So far, the AfD and other anti-immigration movements have failed to sow distrust and fear, as populists in other countries have done. After the Munich shooting, Germans stood together in a remarkable way. The city was in lockdown within minutes, with all public transport closing. Meanwhile, the hashtag “offenetuer” (open door) trended on Twitter as citizens gave shelter to strangers. This reaction is a hopeful sign in a society that, like others in the west, will have to get used to being targeted, from within and without. That resilience will be put to the test if the attacks continue.”  – FT

  • Under pressure, Merkel attempts to prevent immigrantion backlash – Independent
  • German bomber ‘declared support’ for IS – The Guardian


  • Radical dictators are the biggest threat to international order – Vernon Bogdanor, Daily Telegraph
  • Prevent strategy is ’toxic’ – Homa Khaleeli, The Guardian


>Today: ToryDiary: High on ambition. Low on resources. Time to abandon the murderous Defence Spending consensus

Sanders: Clinton must become the next President of the United States 

Hillary Clinton

“Senator Bernie Sanders appealed for unity at the Democratic convention, mentioning Hillary Clinton’s name 15 times in his speech on Monday and declaring that she “must become the next president of the United States.””New York Times


Presidential battle hinges on Hillaryphobia – Edward Luce,  FT

News in Brief


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