News digest 26 June 2014

News digest 26 June 2014

26 June 2014

Today’s top reads: Stories to keep an eye out for:

·                David Cameron's judgment in the dock after phone-hacking case - Guardian

·                Why isn’t Wonga in the dock? - Mail

·                The Wonga conspiracy - Indie

·                Prince Charles pays less tax under Tories - Mirror

·                Britain’s tax relief loopholes ‘recipe for abuse’ - Indie

So the Cameron-Coulson brouhaha continues with prime minister David Cameron castigated by a judge for commenting on the conviction of his ex-director of communications Andy Coulson and a testy PMQs which saw Labour leader Ed Miliband take Cameron to task over Coulson’s appointment (not just a mistake by Cameron but a calculated and ultimately wrong decision) and most expressly over whether Coulson was properly vetted for the role (he wasn’t). Miliband summed up Cameron by simply saying he “will always be remembered as the first ever occupant of his office to have brought a criminal to the heart of Downing Street” but Cameron will look to try and slip and slide out of this one, the verdict of the judge could be key, as the question of whether there will be a retrial for Coulson on one outstanding charge will be taken next week, and if the story is still in the headlines that could spell more trouble…

And from dodgy practices in the heart of government to dodgy practices in the heart of business, or more expressly the payday loans industry (although the links between Wonga and the government are legion if you check out the Indie). Most of the papers report that the FCA yesterday ordered Wonga to pay compensation of £2.6 million to some 45,000 people who took out loans after they were sent threatening letters from law firms that actually did not exist. It turns out that Wonga was sending these fake letters to maximise people paying back funds as people feared they were being pursued by firms that had been sold the debt. Unite’s Liane Groves is quoted in the Morning Star calling on the government to “bring in some proper regulation to stop Wonga preying on the vulnerable and ripping people off once more.” It also seems that some 200,000 customers overpaid Wonga due to system errors by the lender, the majority by some £5, will they be compensated too? In addition to a fine perhaps Wonga should pay back the borrowers at the same level of interest it charged them – the firm has been known to charge APRs of over 5,000 per cent – rather than the 8 per cent it plans, surely there’s a petition in that… and for those that want to know, the £2.6 million would become £203 trillion if the same Wonga rates were charged, now that would help pay down the deficit…

And while those struggling to make ends meet continue to suffer its extra lolly for those at the top. A number of the papers report on the publication of the Royal family accounts which show that under the Tories Prince Charles has pocketed an extra £238,000 thanks to the top rate tax cut, and the cost of the royals has risen at twice the rate of inflation, so every person in the country is handing the royals 56p for the privilege of lording it over us, that has also paid for £3.4 million of refurbishments to Kensington Palace for William and Kate, so much for public sector cuts and the we’re all in this together line, definitely not…

Edited by Mik Sabiers

  Morning Star

  Daily Mirror

  Sun (no links all stories now behind paywall)

  • Wronga – cops called in over payday loan letters (p1/4-5)
  • Hacking trial: The old bill (p10-11)
  • Wages rising faster in north (p14) [but still below inflation]
  • Zero hours victory (p51) [Sun backs cable changes]
  • Bus fares rising fast (p51)



  Times (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Met forced to defend role in hacking trial (p1/6-8)
  • Wonga to repay £2.6 million for sending fake threats (p4/39)
  • SOS stitched into Primark clothes (p4)
  • Charles the charter-flight king (p9)
  • I come to praise Coulson, not bury him – Tim Montgomerie (p27)
  • US GDP tumbles (p37)
  • Bank aims to cool housing hotspots (p43)
  • TSB shares lose gloss (p440




  FT (no links all stories behind paywall)

  • Wonga to compensate for threats from phantom legal firms (p1)
  • Cameron stranded in Juncker fight (p1)
  • Phone hacking trial cost estimated at least £60m (p2)
  • Whitehall outsourcing up 23% (p4)
  • Record profit from Crown Estate (p4)
  • Outsourcing meets its outer limits (p14)
  • Etihad agrees to buy 49% Alitalia stake (p23)
  • Wonga plunges into credibility crisis (p25)

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