Tuesday, 30 June 2015

All alone..

If Greece ends up leave the eurozone, it won't go quietly - with Yanis Varoufakis threatening to block the country's expulsion from the euro through the courts. "The EU treaties make no provision for euro exit and we refuse to accept it. Our membership is not negotiable," the Greek finance minister told Ambrose Evans-Pritchard.

This comes as Greece's bailout officially expires today, leaving it with a €1.6bn IMF loan to repay tonight (18.00 Washington time/2300 GMT), something it refuses to do until its citizens vote on the terms of the €12 billion bailout offered by international creditors in a referendum on Sunday. If you want to see how "default day" pans out, it's worth following Mehreen Khan on our liveblog.  

Judging by the Greek referendum's baffling 72-word question, asking voters if they like the sound of the "Reforms for the completion of the current program and beyond" (i.e. more austerity), Alexis Tsipras' government is doing its best to nudge Greeks towards voting 'no'. "In the event of a no vote, it's the end of the road for Greek membership of the euro; and if a yes vote, it is presumably the end of the road for Syriza. And that may well have been the game plan all along," writes Jeremy Warner.

The vote is still days away, but the markets have been getting jittery, with £34bn wiped off Britain's FTSE100-listed companies on Monday. Europe's leaders have bluntly warned that Greece could be forced out of the Eurozone and potentially the EU if voters reject the bailout.  European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker asked voters not to "commit suicide" by rejecting further austerity. With thousands of Greeks taking to the streets to back the no campaign, Juncker didn't quite have a captive audience. One Syriza MP caught the mood in Athens. "Juncker is calling for the overthrow of the government," he said acidly.

What happens if Greece defaults on the loan due today? Christine Lagarde, the fund's head, has warned that it won't be able to provide any more financial aid until the country pays off its debts, but Syriza dismiss such talk as a bluff.. Greece will still remain a member of the IMF - at least for two years. Greece could risk much more by missing the payment due on July 20 to the European Central Bank, as it might see emergency liquidity to Greek banks frozen, which would be calamitous as the system is being propped up by ECB money. "Leftist politics have doomed Greece to collapse", writes Allister Heath, "These are grim days indeed."


British Muslims must report concerns about family members or friends becoming radicalised or they risk allowing a terror attack in Britain as deadly as the one in Tunisia, David Cameron has said. In a passionate intervention, the Prime Minister said that Muslims in the UK "need to act" if relatives are seeing extremist preachers or visiting radical websites, Peter Dominiczak reports. He also told MPs that "we will prevail" in the fight against extremism.

"If we are to talk about uniting as a nation, then we need to have a pretty good idea what we are defending," writes Philip Johnston. "We did once; but I am not convinced that we do any more."


One in five of the MPs elected in May's general election employs their wives, husbands, children, brothers, sisters and even in one case his father, a new register shows. The decision to offer work to family members in their private offices offers a way for MPs to top up their pay, as the expenses watchdog considers giving them a 11 per cent rise. Which MPs employ a family member? Chris Hope has the full list


Business leaders have shown their hand too early by coming out in support of Britain staying in the European Union before negotiations have even begun, the Business secretary has said. Sajid Javid told the Confederation of British Industry, the country's biggest lobby group, that it was wrong to say the UK should remain in the EU "no matter what", Steven Swinford reports. He also likened the CBI's position to poor "poker player" who has showed his hand too early.


Proposals to give English MPs a veto on English-only laws will be revealed on Thursday and could become law before the summer, senior government sources have told Ben-Riley Smith. Number 10 hopes to use an obscure parliamentary procedure known as standing orders to lock Scottish MPs out of shaping legislation that only affects English voters.


A Labour general election candidate has sparked outrage by posing for a selfie at the spot where the Tunisian beach massacre happened. Amran Hussain, 29, who was on a week-long holiday with four friends, was pictured holding his selfie stick aloft just 48 hours after dozens of tourists were slaughtered. Leon Watson has more

Meanwhile "selfie queen" Karen Danczuk has revealed that her obsession with photos led to her split from her MP husband Simon. She told the Sun newspaper: "He was overwhelmed that suddenly it was all about me!" Olivia Goldhill has been looking at previous political couples who split up. "Politicians aren't immune to fights and heartbreak," she wrote. "But when power couples break up, it can be embarrassing for their high-profile careers."


Forget the ley lines and the mysticism of the Tor: one Labour candidate in the London Mayoral election says that Glastonbury Festival should be moved to the capital for one year, reports Kat Brown. Gareth Thomas, the MP for Harrow West, says that if London wins a bid to become European Capital of Culture in 2023, moving Glastonbury 140 miles east would be the perfect way to mark it, suggesting Hackney Marshes or Epping Forest as potential venues for the festival.


School governors will have to be publicly named and be registered on a national database for the first time in the wake of the 'Trojan Horse' scandal, Steven Swinford reports. There is presently no central register of who serves as a school governor, raising concerns that schools could be taken over by groups with radical agendas.


Lancashire county council has rejected a planning application by shale gas explorer Cuadrilla to frack in the county, in a major blow to what would have been the UK's biggest round of fracking so far, the Guardian's Adam Vaughan reports. Hundreds of anti-fracking campaigners outside the council's town hall in Preston, where the verdict was announced, reacted with delight and cheers, and people in the council chamber applauded.


Greville Janner will be prosecuted for child sexual offences, the Crown Prosecution Service has announced after public pressure, with the u-turn taking place after a review carried out by an independent legal expert. Martin Evans has more. The CPS is now being urged to publish the independent review which led to its humiliating climbdown, David Barrett reports. "Such a prosecution will serve no reasonable purpose," writes Matthew Scott. "Who can trust that anything approaching the true facts will safely emerge from it?"
Dan Hodges writes that Lord Janner's trial has "nothing to do with justice" as "the man cannot even defend himself", adding: "It's about vengeance. Vengeance for those victims of abuse – real and imagined – who have had it denied. It's about politics."

Meanwhile, lawyers across England and Wales have backed an unprecedented protest over legal aid cuts which is expected to see courts begin to grind to a halt from Wednesday. Solicitors in London are expected to back a poll asking them to stop taking on criminal legal aid work in protest over Government reforms which will reduce their payments from July 1. Here are more detials


More than half of households in Britain receive more in benefits than they pay in taxes, official figures have revealed as George Osborne prepares to make £12billion worth of welfare cuts, Steve Swinford reports. The Office for National Statistics disclosed that 13.7million households in Britain receive more in benefits, while the richest fifth of Britons pay 43.7 per cent of the nations tax.


@ChakraBortty If this is how weepy Juncker gets over fiscal consolidation, I'd hate to see him in love.


From The Telegraph

Allister Heath - Leftist politics have doomed Greece to collapse

Philip Johnston - Our tolerance for other cultures is at once our strength and weakness

Judith Potts - Should not the NHS stop 'thinking' and start 'doing'?

From the Politics blog

James Kirkup - Grexit: can David Cameron surf the European shockwave?

Norman Tebbit  - The result of David Cameron's EU referendum is far from decided

From elsewhere

Ed Conway -  The dream of closer union is melting away

Gideon Rachman - Europe's dream is dying in Greece


MPs continue to debate Scotland Bill amid SNP calls for full fiscal autonomy
Lord Heseltine speech at LGA Annual Conference
Lords debate govt's 'legal highs' bill

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan speaks in London on adoption
Trade Minister Lord Maude meets with European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom
​Treasury Committee chair Andrew Tyrie publishes an open letter to Chancellor George Osborne on the Office of Tax Simplification

Greece's access to bailout funds due to expire as a €1.5bn payment to the IMF falls due
Economic Secretary to the Treasury Harriet Baldwin speaks at the TheCityUK annual conference in London
Deadline, extended from 24 November 2014, for Iran to reach a deal with the P5+1 countries over its nuclear programme
The Independent Living Fund, which helps disabled people so they can continue to live in their communities rather than in specialist care, is to close and its functions to be taken over by local councils.

09.30 UK final GDP growth figure for Q1 2015 to be published by ONS
14.30 Alistair Carmichael leads Westminster debate on future of the Human Rights Act
16.00 Douglas Carswell MP and Caroline Lucas MP speak at an IPPR event on the electoral system 
19.00 Baroness Young attends an Industry and Parliament Trust event in the House of Commons on heritage 



11.30: Oral questions - Business, Innovation and Skills, including Topical Questions

Legislation: Scotland Bill - Committee stage (day 3) - Committee of the whole House - David Mundell
Adjournment debate on City Deal funding for Aberdeen, led by Kirsty Blackman


14:30: Oral questions, to ask the Government:
- Lord Touhig (Lab) to ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effectiveness of the Access to Work fund and what plans they have to help people with disabilities into work.
- Lord Brabazon of Tara (Con) to ask Her Majesty's Government whether they plan to change the basis on which Vehicle Excise Duty rates for new cars are calculated by carbon dioxide emissions alone.
- Lord Green of Deddington (Crossbench) to ask Her Majesty's Government what was the increase in the number of households in England and Wales between 2010 and 2014; and, over that period, what were the number and proportion of households where the head of the household was not born in the United Kingdom.
- Baroness Deech (Crossbench) to ask Her Majesty's Government what is their assessment of the performance of the Advertising Standards Authority.

Main business
Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill [HL]: Committee
Question for short debate on the current situation in Sierra Leone and plans to assist in its recovery from the effects of the ebola outbreak (Baroness Hayman, Crossbench) 


9.30 - 11 Shale gas - Kevin Hollinrake
11 - 11.30 Ampthill primary care and parking - Nadine Dorries
14.30 - 16.00 Future of the Human Rights Act 1998 - Mr Alistair Carmichael
16.00 - 16.30 Detention of MV Seaman Guard Ohio crew in India - Ian Lavery
16.30 - 17.30 Welfare reform and people with disabilities - Debbie Abrahams

Thanks very much for reading. If you want to get in touch, I can be reached via email at asa.bennett@telegraph.co.uk, or on Twitter @AsaBenn