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BBC 1) Corporation “faces shake-up” after Bashir scandal

“The BBC was facing a major shakeup on Friday night to ensure the Martin Bashir scandal can never be repeated. Ministers are considering an overhaul of the BBC’s editorial oversight in the wake of Lord Dyson’s damning report, which found Bashir had deployed “deceitful behaviour” to secure his world exclusive interview in 1995 with Diana, Princess of Wales and that the corporation had covered it up. Boris Johnson, in his first intervention, said such an episode “must never happen again”, while Scotland Yard said it was assessing Lord Dyson’s findings to see if there was any scope for a criminal investigation into Bashir’s conduct. On Friday night, it was reported that the Princess’s brother, Earl Spencer, had contacted Dame Cressida Dick, the Met Commissioner, to allege his sister was the victim of blackmail and fraud.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Executive who ruled out foul play quits Ofcom – The Times
  • More than minor reforms are needed – Leader, Daily Telegraph
  • BBC rehired Martin Bashir even after being told about Diana deceit – The Times
  • Whistleblower demands face-to-face apology – The Guardian
  • Tory MPs claim that trust has been eroded – Daily Mail
  • Bruised broadcaster is left facing cut to £3.2bn licence fee – The Times
  • The BBC is damaged beyond repair – John Humphrys, Daily Mail

>Today: ToryDiary: Whatever change is needed at the BBC, Dowden must ensure he ‘reforms to conserve’

BBC 2) Moore: public service broadcasting and fake news can’t mix

“What should happen after the Bashir affair? Changes of editorial governance are talked of. Yes, the system could be improved, but long governance reviews are easily captured by the bureaucracy. The more immediate weapon which lies to hand for the Government is the mid-term Charter review, due next year. It should surely insist on no increase in the licence fee (“flat cash”) for the remaining five years of the current Charter. The more fundamental issue is leadership. When he succeeded Tony Hall, Tim Davie announced that the BBC must restore its impartiality if it is to retain its unique rights and revenues. He seems sincere and repeats his line strongly. But impartiality is not a narrow concept about balance between coverage of political parties. It requires an attitude to broadcast public-service journalism in which facts and fairness come first and ego comes nowhere.” – Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph

Free trade 1) UK offers a deal to Australia that would phase out tariffs and quotas over 15 years

“The UK has offered trade deal terms to Australia under which both countries would phase out taxes on imports over 15 years. The cabinet was reportedly split on what terms to propose, amid concerns UK beef and lamb farmers could be undercut by larger Australian producers. But the dispute was apparently resolved after Boris Johnson pushed for unity. International Trade Secretary Liz Truss formally made the UK offer to her Australian counterpart on Friday. If accepted, it would also lead to quotas – limits – on tax-free trade between the two countries to be phased out.” – BBC

  • Australia is pushing for a transition of about 10 years – Financial Times

Free trade 2) Duncan Smith: It is of strategic importance for us

“Relations with Australia and New Zealand are key to the UK accessing the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTTP). Not only would joining this bloc open huge markets for our exports but it would also give the UK a leadership role as part of a critical bulwark against aggressive Chinese expansionism. I believe that China now poses the single biggest strategic threat to the free world, which is why this opportunity for us is enormous in every respect.” – Iai Duncan Smith, Daily Telegraph

  • UK agriculture must adjust to a new reality – Alex Brummer, Daily Mail

Big weddings “will be allowed” from June 21st

“The Prime Minister is poised to announce that big weddings will be allowed to take place from June 21, The Telegraph has learned, despite it emerging that scientists urged the Government to “overreact” to the Indian variant. Boris Johnson vowed on Friday to give the public an update “by the end of the month” on the results of the review into relaxing social distancing rules, including the “one metre plus” and face mask regulations. He gave a strong hint that the fourth and final step in his roadmap out of restrictions, which is due to scrap the cap on attendees at weddings and other large-scale events, will go ahead as planned on June 21. “I am still seeing nothing in the data that leads me to think that we’re going to have to deviate from the roadmap,” he said, signalling his confidence that the Indian variant will not derail his blueprint.” – Daily Telegraph

  • Holidays across Europe may soon be allowed – Interview with Grant Shapps, Financial Times
  • America has chosen to be free. Why hasn’t Britain? – Douglas Carswell, Daily Telegraph
  • This troubled industry cannot take much more delay – Olivia Utley, Daily Telegraph
  • Cummings ready to ‘napalm’ Boris Johnson over Covid lockdown delays – The Times
  • Evidence from Cummings promises to be the parliamentary event of the year – The Guardian

Hunt says vaccinating children should be considered

“The government should “definitely look into” offering Covid vaccines to children over 12, former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said. The Tory MP told the BBC it should be considered because children can spread the disease to older people, even if they are at low risk themselves. He added it was “encouraging” the United States had recently authorised the Pfizer jab for over-12s. No decision has yet been made about vaccinating children in the UK. The Pfizer vaccine is currently approved for use in over-16s in the UK, with the AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines authorised for over-18s.” – BBC

  • G7 must bear the burden of vaccinating the world – Gordon Brown, Financial Times

Netanyahu warns of “a whole new level of force” in response if Hamas attacks again

“Israel and Hamas both threatened renewed fighting over Gaza in years to come, even as they agreed to end the latest round of bloodshed with a ceasefire yesterday. Binyamin Netanyahu, accused by right-wing parties of having caved in to pressure and of calling off airstrikes too early, hailed the military operation to destroy Hamas’s missiles, tunnels and leadership as a success, saying it had set back the enemy by years. He promised to repeat it if necessary. “The rules of the game were changed,” the prime minister said at a press conference after the ceasefire early yesterday morning. “We changed the equation not only as regards the operation, but also as regards the future. If Hamas thinks we will tolerate a drizzle of rockets, it is mistaken. We will respond with a whole new level of force to every instance of aggression.” He suggested that previous “containment” of Gaza had been too soft.” – The Times

Facebook “giving terrorists a free pass”

“Enemy states routinely meddle in British politics by targeting ministers and MPs, the country’s top spook has warned. MI5 chief Ken McCallum laid bare the rising threat of hostile powers attempting to disrupt the heart of government….The spymaster also railed against Silicon Valley giants like Facebook for giving terrorists a “free pass” by allowing them to plot in secret. Facebook’s encrypted messages makes it hard for MI5 operatives to catch home-grown bomb-makers, he warned.” – The Sun

Parris: Stonewall should stay out of trans rights war

“What is the charity I helped to found doing, getting entangled in attempts to deny free speech at a university? This column should avoid getting into the trans debate itself. My single, tight focus is on this question: why Stonewall? There’s something perversely 20th-century about linking gays to trans. Gay men do not want to be women. We like being men. I doubt that being a lesbian is about not wanting to be a woman. Our issues have nothing to do with identification or changing our bodies: we know what we are and nobody disputes it. Most gay men would strongly resist the suggestion we’re boys who want to be girls. I can’t think of anything I’d like less.” – Matthew Parris, The Times

Scottish finance secretary “has to tiptoe around” her Christian faith

“Scotland’s finance secretary has revealed she has often been “guilty” of “tiptoeing around” her Christian faith. Kate Forbes was partly raised in India after her parents travelled there as missionaries when she was just six weeks old. Ms Forbes is a member of the Free Church of Scotland, which follows a strict interpretation of the Bible. It is opposed to gay marriage and believes there are few circumstances in which abortion is justified. It only allowed the singing of hymns and playing of musical instruments in its church services in 2010, and traditionally opposes doing most activities on a Sunday.” – BBC

News in brief

  • Hamas doesn’t want a Palestinian state – Efraim Karsh, The Spectator
  • Top of the cops. The new generation of PCCs shaking up the police force – Harry Phibbs, CapX
  • The railways need more competitive challenge to ensure innovation and rising service standards – John Redwood
  • Who destroyed Prince Harry? – Ed West, Unherd
  • The poorest will pay the highest price for Net Zero fantasies – Steve Baker, The Critic