MORNING BRIEFING – By Benedict Brogan (Daily Telegraph).
Another day of Eurogeddon awaits. Nick Clegg is giving a speech, warning that Grexit could be disastrous for the UK. Follow the day’s events on our live blog here.
He’ll echo the PM’s call for “decisive” action, saying that the European response to the crisis has been “woefully fragmented”, before adding that Britain must stop treating the euro crisis as a problem that affects only the members of the single currency. He is expected to say:
“We have created different classes of country: strong and weak, spenders and savers, eurozone and non-eurozone. But these divisions are false. It is piecemeal politics; endless tactics with no strategy. This is a European crisis. It must be solved at the European level.”
Dave’s backbenchers won’t like that. Much like they didn’t like Nick’s comment yesterday that “no rational person” would want the euro to break up.
The atmosphere is really heating up though. Yesterday, Germany’s central bank called for a suspension of financial support to Athens. For more details read our report.
All this and closer to home, Dave has other problems. Adam Smith and Frederic Michel appear before the Leveson Inquiry today. Jeremy Hunt must be nervous.
And then there are Business Questions at 10.30am – another chance for Cameron’s Right wing to enjoy the fall out from the Beecroft Report. (Yesterday, Dr Cable attacked Beecroft again for his review of “one man’s anecdotes”.)
Poor Vince Cable. At least Peter Oborne thinks he’s great . In his column today, he says:
“[Mr Cable] is a formidable Cabinet minister, an important ally of enterprise, and, above all, one of the most loyal and supportive members of this Government… The core point to understand is that the Business Secretary did not block Beecroft. Indeed, he accepted almost all of his recommendations. On only one issue, Mr Beecroft’s now notorious proposal for “no fault dismissal” – the disastrous consequences of which were unwisely described by the private equity mogul as a ‘price worth paying’ – did Mr Cable object.”
An ally of enterprise? I can think of people who definitely won’t agree with that. The Business Secretary is actually in today’s FT trying to be just that though – as they report, yesterday, Dr Cable published his enterprise bill.
Again, I doubt many of Mr Cameron’s Right wing will agree. But then they’re not happy about much at the moment. Dave has thrown them a bone though: senior party sources are saying that he’s going to give them a free vote on gay marriage.
Gerald Howarth, a defence minister, is delighted, saying that it’s “absolutely right and proper.” For more details read our report.
We’ve splashed on the A4E scandal. Eddie Hutchinson, the former chief auditor of the company, submitted written evidence to Parliament yesterday showing that the company had an unethical culture, which led to systemic fraud.
In his evidence, Mr Hutchinson says: “I encountered unethical behaviour or wrongdoing that fell way below standards that should be expected of organisations funded by significant sums from the public purse,” outlining systems that encouraged “unethical” behaviour and alleges that the fraud was not confined to one area. We’ve published the document here.
DWP are saying that they have since changed the way they run their welfare to work programmes. Our leader column argues:
“The risk of fraud has been substantially reduced by new procedures…. But whatever the safeguards now in place, the taxpayer should be given as much information as possible to judge whether these schemes offer value for money.”
Latest YouGov/The Sun results: Conservatives 32%, Labour 42%, Lib Dems 9%, UKIP 9%
Overall government approval rating: -36
TWEETS AND TWITS
Zac Goldsmith rushes to defend the PM after he lost his temper at yesterday’s PMQs:
“@ZacGoldsmith: Thing is, if the camera focussed on Balls for the full 30 mins of PMQs, people would be amazed by the PM’s restraint. Genuinely bizarre.”
In The Telegraph
Peter Oborne: Leave Business Secretary Vince Cable alone – he’s the moral centre of this Coalition
Sue Cameron: Another daft plan to ‘reinvent government’
Leader: A right to know
Leader: There is no excuse for economic timidity
Best of the rest
Camilla Cavendish in the Times (£): To help good workers you must fire bad ones
Zoe Williams in the Guardian: What’s the point of social mobility? It still leaves some in the gutter
Martin Jacomb in the Financial Times (£): We must break up the failing euro
Steve Richards in the Independent: Call it Plan A, B or C, just give us some growth
Today: Parliament rises for recess
Today: Prime Minister to attend meeting of the dementia champions group
Today: Transport minister Norman Baker is to announce the remaining allocations of the Local Sustainable Transport Fund
Today: Iain Duncan Smith is to make an announcement regarding Universal Credit
9.30am: Sir Jeremy Heywood gives evidence to the Commons Public Administration Committee. Committee Room 15, House of Commons
9.30am: Second estimate of first quarter GDP is published by the Office for National Statistics.
10am: Adam Smith, Frederic Michel and Lord Brooke to give evidence to the Leveson Inquiry. The Royal Courts of Justice, The Strand
10am: A judge gives his decision in a damages action brought by MP Chris Huhne’s partner Carina Trimingham
10.30am: Business Questions
4.15pm: Boris Johnson supports a Met Police project to steer youngsters away from crime and anti-social behaviour by teaching them martial arts. Nuffield Health and Wellbeing Centre, Wimbledon
10.35pm: Question Time fromKing’s Lynn. David Willetts, John Prescott,Caroline Lucas, Minette Marrin and Griff Rhys Jones will appear on the panel