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An amusing spat has broken out between The Guardian and Defra, the Department for the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs.

You can read the full details here if you wish, but the short version is that the paper’s environment reporter was left out of a briefing on the water industry.

Defra says it invited a Guardian journalist and that there is only one invite per publication. The fact that journalist is on holiday doesn’t seem to have dented its stance.

This smacks of cock-up rather than conspiracy, but it is not the first time it has happened lately.

The GuardianMirror and Independent were last month excluded from a Home Office trip to Rwanda to discuss immigration policy.

Guardian editor Kath Viner sees a “chilling” pattern of behaviour from the government.

There’s a professional — ethical? — conundrum here for the flaks involved in enforcing this sort of stuff.

They are mostly civil servants – they work for the public, not the politicians.

It feels like it is time for someone very senior to have a word with ministers along the lines of – my guys aren’t going enforce this silliness anymore.

For hacks, who get invited to 50 briefings a day they have no interest in, being shut out of the one they did want raises a laugh. And is strongly motivational in ways that hardly help Defra and the rest.

Press release of the day

Decent house price fodder here from Investing Reviews, based on ONS data.

The area that has seen the biggest growth in the last ten years is Hastings, where prices are up 124%. Waltham Forest, Thanet and the Shetland Islands come next.

The City of Aberdeen has done worst. House prices there are down 15% in ten years. 

Stories that will keep rolling

1) Is Robert Walters leaving his recruitment agency just as the market is about to tumble?

2) How has the Swiss bank crisis hit Ferrexpo?

3) Which bits of Trump’s empire are attractive to bidders?

4) How does the betting look on interest rates? 


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