Russian military aircraft have entered Ukrainian airspace on several occasions, says the US. A spokesman for the Pentagon called on Russia to “de-escalate the situation” as tensions rise in the east of the Ukraine. Meanwhile, the G7 group of nations has agreed to “swiftly” impose fresh sanctions on Moscow. Russia accuses the West of wanting to “seize” Ukraine.
TREASURY MINISTER WILL ‘FIGHT’ HS2 PLAN
David Cameron faces a new opponent to the HS2 rail project – from within his own cabinet. New treasury minister Andrea Leadsom is urging him to rethink the project, arguing that the £50bn investment represents poor value for money. The economic case for the rail line is “questionable and rapidly deteriorating”, she says, vowing to “fight against” the project.
JAVID DRAWS PRESS REGULATION LINE
The government has attempted to draw a line under the press regulation saga by staying that it has “no further role” in the issue. New culture secretary Sajid Javid, in his first interview since taking the role, said it is a “decision for the press” whether it agrees to be governed by the contentious royal charter agreed by the Tories, Labour and Lib Dems in the wake of the Leveson inquiry.
GOVE PULLS OUT OF TEACHER SUMMIT
Michael Gove has pulled out of addressing the country’s largest headteachers’ organisation’s annual conference, citing a “competing” engagement. The education secretary endured a frosty reception and heckling aplenty from members of the National Association of Head Teachers last year, when the association’s president compared Gove to a “fanatical personal trainer”.
PALIN HANGS UP TRAVELLING BOOTS
Michael Palin is giving up his globetrotting after 17 years and 100,000 miles of travelling. The broadcaster roamed across 80 countries whilst making much-loved shows such as Around The World In 80 Days, Pole To Pole and Full Circle. "I'm too old now for these big series,” says the 61-year-old. He has won numerous honours and accolades, including a Bafta special award.
LIB DEM QUESTIONS OVER ABUSE CLAIMS
The Liberal Democrats need to answer "serious questions" over who was aware of sexual assault allegations against Sir Cyril Smith, says the party’s president. Police are investigating allegations that the former MP, who died in 2010, abused boys at homes and hostels in his constituency of Rochdale. It has been alleged that many in the party have long been aware of the allegations.
PRESS TURNS ON ‘TOAD’ FARAGE
The press is turning the screw on Nigel Farage and Ukip this morning. The Sun says the party includes "a large number of individuals who would struggle to run a whelk stall". The Daily Telegraph wonders if Farage is seen as a “smug southern Thatcherite who dresses like Mr Toad”, while The Guardian says the best he can hope for is to be seen as a “chaotic amateur”.
CBI IS FOR TURNING ON SCOTLAND VOTE
The CBI has done a u-turn over its position on Scottish independence. The business lobby group is petitioning the Electoral Commission to cancel its registration as an official supporter of the no campaign in the Scottish independence referendum. The move comes after several organisations resigned from the CBI to maintain neutrality on the issue.
MAYFAIR REVOLTS AGAINST LIBERTINES
The people of Mayfair are up in arms over the reformation of The Libertines. The indie band, fronted by Pete Doherty and Carl Barat, will play in Hyde Park on July 5. A spokesman for a Mayfair residents group says locals are worried about the hedonistic outfit’s slot, saying: "We can't be supportive about this show for obvious reasons".
MAN UTD: GAME ONE OF GIGGS ERA
Manchester United’s first match of the post-Moyes era takes place today in the form of a tea-time kick-off against Norwich. Ryan Giggs, who has taken the reins at Old Trafford until the end of the season, says Sir Alex Ferguson has offered him his guidance. "He has given me advice and told me he is always at the end of the phone," Giggs said.