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The Guardian (U.K.) 

Cuts to the BBC would threaten the whole TV industry, says Pact chair

Expected cuts including £650m cost of free licence fees for over 75s being taken on by corporation would harm quality, claims Laura MansfieldCuts to the BBC would threaten the rest of the TV ecosystem and the UK’s entire creative sector, according to the chair of the trade body representing independent TV producers. “There is a very real concern that if the licence fee is reduced, frozen o

Boris Johnson: cut top rate of income tax but only if firms pay living wage

London mayor backs calls to cut top rate from 45p to 40p but says ‘business has got to start paying people a wage they can live on’Boris Johnson is calling for the top rate of income tax to be cut to 40p and for large firms to pay the living wage to employees just days before the first Conservative budget for 19 years. The former minister John Redwood has also backed reducing the top rate f

George Osborne urged Boris Johnson to provide grant for garden bridge

Chancellor overruled London mayor’s wish to merely underwrite private funds for proposed bridge over Thames, FoI request revealsGeorge Osborne pulled rank on his Tory colleague Boris Johnson to insist he use his budget as London mayor to fund the garden bridge, it has emerged.Letters between the chancellor and the mayor, obtained by the Architects’ Journal, reveal how Osborne overruled Joh

Ministers consider shelving personal liability cap for long-term care costs

Senior figures in the social care sector say the idea of ‘pausing’ cost cap, due to be brought in next April, is being discussed urgently in WhitehallMinisters are considering shelving the promised introduction of a cap on personal liability for the cost of long-term care, after council leaders asked for the funding set aside for it to be used instead to ease the crisis in day-to-day services

Simon Danczuk steps back from campaigning against child abuse

Rochdale MP who helped expose Cyril Smith as a paedophile says he is suffering from depression and has decided to seek helpThe Labour MP who helped expose the late Liberal MP Cyril Smith as a paedophile is to step back from campaigning against child sexual abuse to seek help for depression.Simon Danczuk, who has been the MP for Rochdale since 2010, said victims’ accounts of their experienc

No 10 hopes Greece will stay in EU but refuses to discuss its eurozone future

David Cameron chairs meeting to discuss implications of Greek referendum result and calls on eurozone to reach ‘sustainable solution’ with AthensDowning Street has expressed hope that Greece will remain a member of the European Union but refused to discuss the country’s future in the eurozone. Related: Greek referendum: optimism fades as eurozone says gulf has widened Continue reading...

Osborne announces cut in benefits cap to £20,000 a year outside London

Chancellor says £23,000 figure in manifesto only applies in Greater London as he launches further attacks on BBC during interview about welfare savingsBenefit payments to families living outside Greater London are to be capped at £20,000 a year.In the first Conservative budget for 19 years, George Osborne will say that the previously announced figure of £23,000 will only apply to families

Press watchdog reprimands Daily Telegraph over Nicola Sturgeon story

Independent Press Standards Organisation upholds complaint by Scottish first minister’s office about ‘significantly misleading’ front-page story The new press regulator has reprimanded the Daily Telegraph for its “significantly misleading” front-page story which claimed that Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, secretly supported the election of a Conservative government.In a critic

Unite gets carried away over Jeremy Corbyn

Believing a candidate should be included on the ballot to widen debate is not the same as endorsing him for leaderSo the Greeks have voted no, China’s stock market is in turmoil and Unite is backing Jeremy Corbyn to become the next Labour leader. We can’t do much about the first two major events. So let’s take a look at the lesser one. Related: Jeremy Corbyn gets backing of Unite in Labour

Ukip and Greens demand more peers in House of Lords

Parties which won 16% of total vote at election but have only four peers in Lords argue upper chamber should see appointment according to national vote shareThe Green party’s leader, Natalie Bennett, and Ukip’s only MP, Douglas Carswell, have called for their parties to be given more peers in the House of Lords in the dissolution honours list, in recognition of the share of the vote they achi

Olympic legacy failure: Tessa Jowell attacks ‘wicked’ coalition government

• Former Olympics minister calls London 2012 a squandered opportunity • Jowell blames ‘negligent’ successors for failing to inspire children to play sport• Inspiring London 2012 message has become a millstoneThe former Olympics minister Tessa Jowell has claimed a “once in a lifetime” opportunity to use the London Games to inspire children to play sport has been squandered, blaming her “wick

Jeremy Corbyn gets backing of Unite in Labour leadership race

Party’s biggest donor urges union members to vote for the Islington North MP for his anti-austerity stance, in a move that will be seen as a snub for Andy BurnhamBritain’s biggest union is urging its members to vote for Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour leadership election, a spokesman has confirmed. The decision by Unite, the party’s most generous donor, will be seen as a major boost for the Is

Tories want businesses to pick up slack as budget targets in-work benefits

Former Conservative advisers criticise companies over low pay and call for compulsory living wage with George Osborne expected to cut tax creditsMark Payne and his partner Agnes both work but are struggling to survive. They have not yet had to resort to food banks to feed their three children but know many who have.The couple, from Port Glasgow, Inverclyde, work for a major supermarket and

FCA's £819m in fines revenue gives Osborne room to fund worthy causes

Chancellor expected to give details of spending in Budget, including allocation of Barclays’ record £284m over foreign exchange transactionsThe Financial Conduct Authority has imposed more than £800m of fines on banks and other companies in the first half of this year – giving the chancellor the opportunity to make eye-catching allocations to worthy causes in this week’s budget.The City re

Theresa May backs down in college ‘hate preachers’ row

Home Office responds to criticism over how universities could apply ban on radical speakersTheresa May has been forced into a U-turn on key counter-extremism proposals designed to ban “hate preachers” from university campuses, the_ Observer_ understands.The most contentious measures in an original draft of the rules published last year, including the demand that universities obtain advance

West Lothian question still needs answering | Letters

Your analysis of the potential implications of Chris Grayling’s proposals on English votes for English laws (Editorial, 3 July) may well be correct, but I think you significantly misrepresent the past impact of Scottish MPs voting on English-only matters.You state that “the power of Scottish MPs in particular either to obstruct laws the English want, or to force through ones that they reject,

It's all Greek to Osborne as he makes a drama out of a financial crisis

The chancellor certainly made a better fist of handling Greece’s debt turmoil than he did leaking his budget changes to the BBC licence feeCourteous. Dignified. Almost statesmanlike. There’s nothing like the problems of other countries to bring out the best in the chancellor. “Greece is a proud nation and a very longstanding ally of the UK,” George Osborne declared solemnly at the start of hi

Jamie Rentoul obituary

My brother Jamie Rentoul, who has died of cancer aged 50, was a distinguished civil servant, but he was modest about his brilliant career. It wasn’t until he died that I realised just how important he had been in so many of the important changes in the NHS over the past 30 years, including the campaign to change Britain from a country where lots of people smoked, everywhere, to one where far few

Greece referendum: government will protect UK economy, says George Osborne - video

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne says the government will 'do whatever it takes' to protect United Kingdom's economy, after Greece voted 'No' in a referendum on an international bailout. The chancellor also warns that the eurozone crisis could rapidly deteriorate and calls upon all parties to come to a solution Continue reading...

BBC forced to take on £600m cost of free TV licences – Politics live

Rolling coverage of all the day’s political developments as they happen*No 10 lobby briefing - Summary*Lunchtime summary*Simon Danczuk says child abuse campaigning made him depressed*Whittingdale’s confirms BBC should fund cost of free TV licences*Whittingdale’s statement - Summary*Afternoon summary 5.42pm BST The situation risks going from bad to worse. Britain will be affect

Terminally ill benefit claimants asked when they expect to die, MP says

Frank Field writes to work and pensions secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, over claims of ‘intrusive and painful questioning’ by assessorsTerminally ill welfare claimants are being asked by benefit assessors when precisely they are expected to die, according to evidence seen by Frank Field, the newly elected chairman of the work and pensions select committee. Field has written to the work and p

MP Simon Danczuk says child abuse campaigning made him depressed – audio

Labour MP Simon Danczuk says he is stepping back from campaigning against child sexual abuse after suffering from depression. Talking to BBC's reporter Becky Milligan on Monday, the Rochdale MP says he sought help from a psychiatrist because hearing abuse victims' accounts had taken its toll on his mental health and left him with suicidal thoughts. He says it also took a toll on his marriage. He h

Labour leadership hopeful Jeremy Corbyn welcomes Unite's backing – video

Labour leadership hopeful Jeremy Corbyn says he's honoured to receive the backing of Britain's biggest union Unite. The decision by Unite, the party's most generous donor, will be seen as a major boost for the Islington North MP. He warns that whatever happens in the leadership election, the Labour party still has to make some key policy decisions and challenge the Tories on their austerity agenda

The Guardian view on the benefit cap: a disgraceful policy that’s about to get worse | Editorial

It is a scheme cooked up out of slogans, which arbitrarily punishes children for being born into big families. Labour should not roll over in the face of George Osborne’s budget move to tighten his capWednesday’s budget may spark much controversy, as George Osborne finally says what he wasn’t willing to before the election: whose benefits he will cut. But there is one restriction that he is con

I feel like a wally for believing George Osborne’s promises to the north

We’re sick of our rubbish trains and underfunded museums – if he wants us to take him seriously, it’s time for the chancellor to stop making flashy pledges about his ‘northern powerhouse’ and stump up the cashI’m fed up of London getting all the cool stuff. That wild outdoor pool in the heart of King’s Cross or the garden bridge across the Thames, however flawed and vain the conceit. I’m fed up

Why did the Gibson inquiry into rendition disappear? | Ian Cobain

Five years after David Cameron announced an inquiry into the UK’s involvement in rendition and torture, many of its key questions remain unansweredFive years ago today, in one of his first announcements after entering No 10, David Cameron said he was establishing a “short and sharp” official inquiryinto the UK’s involvement in so-called rendition and the torture of terrorism suspects.The new

When we blame tech for everything, capitalism gets off the hook | SE Smith

Our smartphones and computers make us permanently contactable and ‘on-call’. But we should be angry at capitalist structures, not app developersEvery other day, I’m reading a column blaming technology for something. People are too busy and don’t take time to appreciate life. People are on their phones all day. People sit at home watching House of Cards instead of going out for a walk or doing s

Xenophobia and nationalism could be the Greek vote's biggest winners | Natalie Nougayrède

On a European scale the collateral damage of Sunday’s vote risks being tremendous – with xenophobic populists emerging as the winnersThere can be no winners in Europe when anti-EU populists such as Marine Le Pen and Nigel Farage think they can claim a victory, as they did when the results of the Greek referendum came out. That kind of extremist support for the no vote will probably be describ

This budget is George Osborne’s best chance to show us austerity has a purpose | Matthew d’Ancona

With Labour prone and the Lib Dems all but extinct, the first Tory budget since 1996 must show fiscal stability is not society’s enemy, but its foundationAcross Westminster, political geeks of all ranks are immersing themselves in a door-stopper book, more than 40 years old, about the little-remembered “master builder” of New York, Robert Moses. This Pulitzer prize-winning biography, The Powe

Greek referendum result: what happens next?

A flurry of eurozone meetings are set to go ahead in Athens, Brussels, Paris and Frankfurt, but Greek exit contingency plans will also be discussed in the UKThe Greek finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, will hold an emergency meeting with the bosses of the local banks on Sunday night. He has said he is on a “war footing”. The governor of the central bank, the Bank of Greece, Yannis Stournaras


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