France isn’t heading for a belle époque, but its future looks better than Britain’s

Emmanuel Macron new dawn may be a false one, but at least his country has some industry, a decent education system and no Brexit bindThe French economy is growing at the same pace the UK managed in 2016 and looks set to maintain it for the rest of the …

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Libor rigging: chancellor urged inquiry into Bank of England allegations

Labour’s John McDonnell brands government silence over claim of collusion from within Threadneedle street as unacceptable

John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, is calling on Philip Hammond to hold an urgent public inquiry into whether Bank of England officials colluded in the rigging of the Libor rate.

The senior Labour politician said Hammond’s silence on the issue was unacceptable after a BBC Panorama programme said it had evidence of pressure exerted by Threadneedle Street on the setting of Libor – the London interbank offered rate, which is the interest rate banks charge each other for short-term loans.

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BBC to air recording that implicates Bank of England in Libor scandal

Panorama says it has recording of 2008 call in which Barclays bankers discuss alleged pressure by Bank of England to lower rate

The Bank of England has found itself under the spotlight again over the fixing of a key interest rate during the credit crunch after new details emerged of bankers discussing Threadneedle Street’s alleged involvement in the setting of Libor.

BBC1’s Panorama programme said it had obtained a recording of a 2008 call between two bankers at Barclays in which the more senior person said the government and Bank of England were exerting pressure on it to lower the rate it offered for Libor – the London interbank offered rate, which is the interest rate banks charge each other for short-term loans.

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Barclays boss admits errors over whistleblower and says ‘I got too personally involved’ – as it happened

Also:

2.20pm BST

Here’s a roundup of the day’s events involving the Barclays whistleblower:

Regulators are investigating the bank and its chief executive Jes Staley after he attempted to unmask a whistleblower who had written anonymous letters expressing concerns about a senior executive.

Related: Barclays boss investigated over attempts to unmask whistleblower

1.20pm BST

Reuters Breaking Views columnist Dominic Elliott says Jes Staley’s actions may seem morally defensible since he wanted to defend a colleague from what he saw as unfounded smears, but the situation calls Barclays’ internal procedures into question. Elliott concludes:

Given Staley should have known the rules, it reflects badly on him. It also looks bad for Barclays: the incident only came to light as a result of a separate complaint about the bank’s whistleblowing regime this year. That suggests more profound failings. A board-instigated review of the related procedures feels like too little, too late.

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