Business Diary: The taxman stopped short

UK Uncut, the campaign against tax dodging businesses, has claimed another scalp: none other than Dave Hartnett, the embattled boss of HM Revenue & Customs. Teaming up with student demonstrators, UK Uncut forced Hartnett to abandon his keynote speech to the Tax Journal Conference, with activists dressed as tax-dodging businessmen storming the stage to present the HMRC's man with bottles of wine, flowers and champagne as a thank you for his alleged generosity to some of our largest companies.

Barton's turn to wade in on Murdoch

We welcome a new analyst to the News Corporation hacking affair, with his views made available courtesy of Twitter. Step forward Queen's Park Rangers star and sage of our times Joey Barton. "Do u think he's worried by anyone in parliament or any peasants, no he's not," was just one of the footballer's tweets during yesterday's select committee's hearing. "Too much power."

Europe has only itself to blame

Knowing smiles in Paris, where a book from the influential economist Jean Pisani-Ferry makes this allegation: "In 2005, Eurostat [the European Union's statistics authority] was starting to harbour serious doubts about the Greeks' accounts and asked that it be given extra investigatory powers". Guess who made all the running in vetoing that request, fearing they might be targeted by Eurostat too? Step forward France and Germany.

Hills pays out to all concerned

Fair play to William Hill, which, as reported yesterday, was offering punters the chance to bet on tomorrow's England game against Spain being cancelled owing to the poppy row (it pledged to give any profits to armed forces charities). Now Fifa has climbed down, Hills has agreed to pay out to everyone who placed a bet – it will also be making a £5,000 donation to the poppy appeal.

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