Election 2015: Ashcroft poll says Clegg on course to lose his seat – live

As fresh polling shows Clegg is heading for defeat in Sheffield, follow the latest from the campaign trail with Andrew Sparrow and the Guardian politics team

Ashcroft poll: Clegg on course to lose seat at electionMiliband pledges to end ‘epidemic of zero-hours contracts’ONS: UK productivity growth is weakest since second world war
Election photo highlights: beer, dogs and rosettes on day three
100 business chiefs sign letter backing government’s economic policies
Lunchtime summaryAfternoon summary

8.07am AEST

Today was only the third day of the election campaign, and I’m sure you’ll agree, it feels like we’ve been here forever. The story that dominated the day was a Daily Telegraph letter signed by 100 business leaders in support of Conservative policies. The letter stated that a “Conservative-led government has been good for business” and warned that “a change in course will threaten jobs and deter investment … and put the recovery at risk”. This led to much debate and speculation by all parties and newspapers throughout the course of the day.

Less than a week ago you may have heard the prime minister say that he couldn’t live on a zero-hours contract. Well, I couldn’t live on a zero-hours contract either. But I’ve got a simple principle; if it’s not good enough for us, then it’s not good enough for you, and it’s not good enough for Britain. And that’s the way I want to run the country.

As already stated, Ed Miliband said workers on zero-hour contracts should have the right to a regular job after three months. This was then criticised by the CBI, who said the UK’s flexible jobs market “has given us an employment rate that is the envy of other countries”.

The Government likes talking about the jobs it has created over the past five years. They can wax lyrical about the 1.8m net jobs created in the past five years.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Conservatives are a bit more reticent about the UK’s abysmal productivity record on their watch. Like the record balance of payments deficit – the fact that Britain appears to be going backwards in terms of economic effectiveness – is not something David Cameron and George Osborne wish to dwell upon.

7.33am AEST

You can explore the background of every signatory of the Telegraph letter yourself in our new interactive, entitled The Tory 100: Captains of industry, party donors (and a few tax avoiders). Signatories can be searched for by name or industry.

7.30am AEST

The Guardian’s Holly Watt and Rowena Mason have produced a detailed breakdown of all the signatories of the Telegraph letter. Some interesting observations below:

The former chairman of Marks and Spencer Lord Rose and JCB’s chairman, Lord Bamford, have both joined the House of Lords since Cameron became prime minister. They continue to publicly support the Conservatives.

A number of the signatories have attracted controversy in recent years. Rooney Anand, chief executive of the pub chain Greene King, lent his name to the letter. Greene King has been involved in a decade-long tax battle with HMRC over a tax scheme dismissed as “purely artificial” by the Tory MP Richard Bacon.

7.10am AEST

63% of MPs are predicting a hung parliament, according to market research company Ipsos MORI.

The inevitability of coalition? MPs and candidates predict the election @IpsosMORI @HannahFMerritt #Election2015 pic.twitter.com/09DgBV6BJz

7.05am AEST

Same here, michaelsylvain. I find all these terms so reductive.

Interesting that Miliband is viewed as more genuine and in touch than Cameron.

It’s almost as if the entire Tory narrative is some kind of lie constructed in order to try and sell something that’s the opposite of genuine, isn’t it?

6.52am AEST

Here’s US presidential debates commission chair Fran Fahrenkopf discussing the significance of TV debates on Sky News. Fahrenkopf says:

Our polling shows 65-75% of the American people say that the debates are an important factor – not the only factor – but an important factor in how they eventually cast their votes. There’s no question they can [swing it from one candidate to another]. I think the American people are looking for body language, how individual candidates look each other in the eye, maybe question each other, what sort of dynamics take place in the debates. And of course one of the things that can really swing it is a mistake that’s made in the debates. That can have a devastating effect upon a candidate.

6.37am AEST

Interesting that Miliband is viewed as more genuine and in touch than Cameron.

As eyes turn to tomorrow’s #leadersdebate, how are Cameron and Miliband viewed by the public? #GE2015 pic.twitter.com/OApw7xTXcy

6.19am AEST

Nick Clegg has said his party will carry out a review of the the British government’s flagship anti-radicalisation strategy, Prevent, if his party remains in power. Clegg said that that there was a “strong feeling that Prevent does not enjoy the confidence of many of our Muslim communities”. As the Press Association reports:

The review is partly in response to concerns raised by former police chief superintendent Dal Babu, who warned that the strategy aimed at stopping people being drawn into extremism had become a “toxic brand”.

Mr Babu has claimed most Muslims are suspicious of the Prevent scheme and see it as something used for spying on them.

6.14am AEST

Meanwhile, Sebastian Payne in the Spectator asks why Osborne doesn’t admit to one his greatest successes – that of a 1.9 million rise in employment, even if it was accidental. “Instead of extolling this success, Osborne devoted his first speech of the campaign to negative campaigning,” Payne writes. Read the full article here.

Labour says it’s the party of working people but Conservatives are party that increases the number of working people pic.twitter.com/3a9pjovfDa

6.05am AEST

The Guardian’s John Crace has written a sketch about George Osborne’s speech in Leeds today. I’ve included the first couple of paragraphs below.

On the very day that 103 business leaders signed a letter to the Daily Telegraph thanking the Conservatives for their magnificent handling of the economy, George Osborne just happened to find himself dropping in on two of the companies whose head honchos had been signatories of the billet-doux. Truly God moves in mysterious ways; though it never hurts to make your own luck.

After necking a quick pint at Marston’s brewery in Wolverhampton at lunchtime, Osborne headed north to the Britvic soft drinks factory on the outskirts of Leeds. Here the chairman, Gerald Corbett, was so thrilled by the pace of the country’s economic recovery that he had shut down the entire plant for the afternoon to allow his staff to worship at the shrine of St George. “Thank you, thank you, Chancellor,” Gerry gushed. It was very much a first-names kind of day. “Thank you for visiting and for making me whole. You complete me. You are my rock. I can’t live, if living is without you…”

6.00am AEST

Labour are asking for more people to sign their “working people” letter.

5.56am AEST

The age old question:

The first election leaflets have arrived in our house. Blur or Oasis? pic.twitter.com/XBRkeZQozn

5.42am AEST

My colleague Severin Carrell has just sent me the below. He reports that ahead of tomorrow night’s leaders debate, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has been given dossiers on the government’s welfare and spending cuts to allow her to prepare a detailed attack on David Cameron.

Nicola Sturgeon is preparing to mount a detailed attack on David Cameron’s record on welfare cuts, focusing heavily on benefit cuts for disabled people, the impact of the bedroom tax and the surge in foodbank use, SNP sources have disclosed. She is expected to accuse Cameron of pursing “austerity politics” repeatedly during the debate.

A highly focused former lawyer known for absorbing detailed briefing documents as a minister, Sturgeon has been given dossiers on welfare and spending cuts by her inner circle of government aides. One adviser said she was “absolutely immersing” herself in the briefing papers, and drilling questions and answers.

5.33am AEST

On the issue of productivity, Guardian economics editor Larry Elliott writes that Britain is going backwards in terms of economic effectiveness, a fact David Cameron and George Osborne do not wish to dwell upon.

In reality, the Government’s employment and productivity record are the two sides of the same coin. The economy could have had a better productivity record since 2010 but only if fewer people had been employed. Why? Because productivity is a measure of national output divided in one of two ways: by the number of people employed or by the amount those people produce per hour.

Output per hour worked is the better measure. Judged by this yardstick, productivity in the UK is 27-31% below that in Germany, France and the US. The gap with the rest of the G7 is 17 percentage points – the widest since 1992. Only Japan among the leading western industrial nations has a worse record.

5.23am AEST

Click through to watch Labour Peer Lord Levy on Sky News asking what the Telegraph signatories’ annual income is.

5.19am AEST

Channel 4 News just interviewed Norman Pickavance, former HR director at Morrisons, and Lord Bilimoria, entrepreneur and cross-bench peer, about today’s Telegraph letter.

Lord Bilimoria, one of the signatories of the letter, said there are a lot of people on that list who are Labour supporters who signed because they think the cut in corporation tax is the best thing this government has done. He said more competitive businesses create more employment, which means more taxes and more funding for public services. He added that Labour’s policies of increasing taxes and borrowing are worrying to businesses.

5.04am AEST

YouGov have redesigned their website for the election. Have a look, it’s quite sleek.

4.58am AEST

Nick Clegg has refused to rule out cutting the 40p tax threshold, one day after shadow chancellor Ed Balls came under pressure to do the same. While the Lib Dems have ruled out increasing VAT, national insurance and income tax, Clegg declined three times to rule out lowering the 40p tax threshold. As my colleague Frances Perraudin reports:

On Wednesday Clegg declined three times to rule out lowering the threshold for the 40p tax, saying that his party’s priority was raising the amount you have to earn before you start paying income tax.

“Because that means that even people who are 40p taxpayers, they are certainly no worse off and in some cases they are better off because the raising of the point at which they start paying income tax far outweighs what tax they might pay in the 40p bracket,” he said.

4.42am AEST

On Sky News just now, Treasury minister David Gauke said a cut in corporation tax sends a signal that we [Britain] are open for business, and to reverse that is extremely dangerous. He added that a competitive tax rate is good for workers because it means more investment and more jobs.

Labour’s Chuka Umunna – who appeared on the show for a few seconds before his connection cut off – dismissed the Telegraph letter as “a coordinated effort between the Conservatives and business leaders published in a Conservative supporting paper”.

4.36am AEST

The Independent revealed earlier that one in five of the business leaders who signed the pro-Tory letter in the Telegraph were given honours by David Cameron and one third are Tory donors.

Among the 103 signatories of the letter, published on the front page of the Daily Telegraph this morning, are four Conservative members of the House of Lords – all ennobled by David Cameron.

The Prime Minister also doled out 18 MBEs, OBEs, CBEs and knighthoods to signatories of the letter over the last parliament.

4.16am AEST

Labour have released their own 100 signatory letter about economic policy. Published in The Mirror, the letter is signed “by shelf stackers, firefighters and retired farm hands”, as well as by business owners and public figures such as Wayne Hemingway, Trevor Beattie and Peter Duncan, the paper’s political editor Jason Beattie reveals.

Letter to Mirror signed by 100 people backing Labour. Includes cafe workers, business leaders and celebrities #GE2015 pic.twitter.com/88lJqGJV2H

Dear Sir,

We all care about Britain’s economy and we all have a stake in the future.

More #ge2015 letters than the opening scene of Harry Potter

4.03am AEST

Is the Telegraph letter an endorsement of the coalition rather than the Tories?

Senior business figure tell me at least 1 signatory of Telegraph letter is a Lib Dem and letter wording endorses the coalition not Tories

Some Labour folk baffled why Tories deployed businessmen letter today. Gets drowned out by ITV debate tomorrow and Easter, then forgotten?

4.01am AEST

A preview of tomorrow night’s leaders debate from Green party leader Natalie Bennett… are you excited yet?

.@natalieben previews the big #tvdebate taking place tomorrow night #leadersdebate pic.twitter.com/69yO4vf19J

3.58am AEST

Zac Goldsmith, the former Conservative MP for Richmond Park & North Kingston (remember – no Parliament, no MPs) is due to give a lecture at the RSA in central London tomorrow calling for citizens to be given more power and for MPs to experiment with direct democracy over the next parliament.

In a statement I’ve just received, Goldsmith says:

A significant cause of political disengagement is that our politics has spectacularly failed to adapt to the modern world. I believe we have reached a pivotal moment in our history where our democracy must evolve to survive, as it has had to at other times in the past.

3.50am AEST

Our political correspondent Rowena Mason has sent me this report from the Britvic plant in Leeds where George Osborne has just given a speech. Note that Osborne says the only way to end zero-hour contracts is by creating more jobs.

George Osborne has admitted he would find it “very difficult” to live on a zero-hour contract, even though the Conservatives do not think they should be banned or further restricted.

The chancellor also acknowledged that the contracts are a sign of job insecurity for workers, but said they were not as bad having no work at all.

3.42am AEST

Some of you are saying you can’t find the BBC piece on economists claiming the coalition’s austerity policies have been bad for growth and jobs. Here’s a link to the BBC post and here is the original Centre for Macroeconomics survey.

3.28am AEST

The Conservatives and Lib Dems are currently attacking Labour for employing workers on zero-hour contracts themselves.

Revealed:Labour councils behind 21,798 zero hours contracts.1st on list: Doncaster Council- 300 staff on ZHCs in Miliband’s own back yard

Staff on zero hours contracts at Labour councils:738- Wolverhampton, 442- Liverpool, & 20,040 contracts used by 37 other Lab councils

For Labour, it’s a case of “do as I say not as I do” on zero-hours contracts pic.twitter.com/5ToEovUqyN

Statement from Doncaster Council on zero hours contracts pic.twitter.com/Clp5PHdCrK

3.23am AEST

Though Sky New’s Sophy Ridge reported that Conservative Party Co Chairman Andrew Feldman is understood to have helped organise today’s letter from business leaders in the Telegraph, and has been emailing business leaders asking them to add their signatures today, the Tories are not admitting to this. Tory cabinet minister Sajid Javid also dodged the question earlier. But, as my colleague Rowena Mason points out to me, George Osborne today toured two places – Britvic in Leeds and Marstons in Wolverhampton – whose chairman Gerald Corbett and chief executive Ralph Findlay both signed the letter. Both visits were organised before the letter appeared in the Telegraph last night.

3.16am AEST

Good afternoon, Nadia here. I’m taking over from Andrew for the rest of the day, so do stay tuned for all of this evening’s political developments. I’m on Twitter @nadiakhomami and I’ll be reading your comments below the line as well, so you can let me know if you think there’s something I’ve missed.

3.06am AEST

Corporation tax is the main tax on business. Increase it and you increase the tax on investment on growth and on jobs. It is as simple as that. The policy decisions you take on business in the Treasury have a direct impact on people’s lives. If you start to hike business taxes and confidence is undermined then projects are shelved and investment doesn’t come here to this country, you create an anti-business environment that leads to lost jobs, higher unemployment and families without the security of work. These are not abstract economic risks, they are an assault on everyday working people. They are concrete reasons why we have 36 days to save Britain’s economic recovery.

2.51am AEST

Wouter den Haan, professor of economics at the LSE and a co-director of the Centre for Macroeconomics, told BBC News this afternoon that it was “rare” for macroeconomics to agree as much as they did on the proposition that the coalition’s austerity policies had been bad for growth and jobs. (See 9.18am and 10.03am.)

We asked our panel members whether they agree that the austerity plans of the coalition government had a positive effect on the economy in the UK. And the result is that most people disagreed with that statement. If you leave out the people who neither agreed or disagreed, 81% disagreed or strongly disagreed. It is rare that macroeconomists are that unanimous about something.

The UK economy, even though it is recovering, is still doing very poorly. If you look at where we are relative to pre-crisis trends, we’re doing very badly. Wages are low, productivity is low. We have a fragile recovery.

2.39am AEST

My colleague Henry McDonald has more news from Northern Ireland on what the DUP might or might not do in the event of a hung parliament.

Democratic Unionist MPs will not back any government after May 7 that is also captive to the SNP’s separatist agenda, first minister of Northern Ireland Peter Robinson warned today.

The DUP leader said his MPs would not support any administration that relied on the SNP or Plaid Cymru so long as these parties were advancing policies to break up the union.

2.29am AEST

The Fawcett Society is encourage people to report examples of sexism in election coverage. This is from Belinda Phipps, the Fawcett chair.

We see more coverage of the leaders’ wives and what female politicians look like than reporting of the views and campaigns of women in politics.

The media need to get real. More than half of the population of the UK is women and women can, and will, influence who forms the next government.

2.21am AEST

Nick Clegg told reporters in East Dunbartonshire that he agreed with the signatories of the letter to the Daily Telegraph (see 8.46am) about the need for stability. But it was the Tories who were a threat to that stability, he argued.

I read the letter carefully, it talks about what this coalition government has done, and I think the signatories to the letter are completely right in saying that about the last thing that this country needs, now that we’re emerging from this long shadow of the economic crash in 2008, is a great lurch in one direction or another.

However I think they are very wrong in thinking that the Conservative party are somehow the guarantors of that stability.

2.12am AEST

Here are two more pictures from the campaign trail today.

2.02am AEST

In his speech in Glasgow Ed Balls said a vote for the SNP was a vote for continued austerity. He offered three reasons why. My colleague Libby Brooks set them out in the preview story filed overnight.

He also said that the government had failed to get rid of the deficit because of its failure on productivity and living standards.

In this parliament, weak earnings growth has led to tax receipts falling short.

National Insurance contributions in this parliament have been

Greece submits new economic reforms, but no breakthrough yet – as it happened

Athens has warned its creditors that the viability of the EU is at stake, as it submits a new economic programme in an attempt to get financial aid before it runs out of cash

Closing summaryGreece: Europe must help us, fastHere’s Greece’s reform plan (via the FT)The key charts


Greece denies it will withhold IMF payment
Pensioners protest in Greece

7.54pm BST

It’s late in London, and inching towards bedtime in Greece, so here’s a quick recap.

Greece has submitted its most comprehensive reform plan yet to its creditors, but has yet to unlock any bailout funds.

7.38pm BST

Some late breaking news….the European Central Bank has agreed to raise the emergency liquidity on offer to Greek banks by another €700m.

That’s quite a small increase, suggesting the ECB is keeping the pressure on Greece to reach a deal.

ECB increased ELA limit for Greek banks by €700 mln to €71.8 bln. #Greece #economy #ECB #ELA #banking #markets

7.33pm BST

Greece’s government has also proposed setting up a ‘bad bank’ to handle the bad loans that are clogging up its financial system.

It warns that there are “Critical Deficiencies” in the banking sector today, in today’s 26-page list of reforms:

The Greek banking sector has been marred by clientelism, by too close a link with the mass media and the political systems (through the provision of loans on non banking principles) and, lastly, by lending practices that were either too tight or too loose. The economic crisis has in addition created a vast amount of NPLs [non-performing loans] that impedes credit creation.

Broad and deep structural reforms aimed at ensuring financial stability, appropriate credit expansion and governance that constitutes a significant departure from suspect practices of the recent and not too recent past. The Greek government has planned a broad reform programme in order to address critical deficiencies of the banking sector, through the establishment of strong institutions and the introduction of solid processes for the functional supervision of the banks that ensure financial stability, a robust banking sector and banks that are run on sound 8 commercial banking principles.

Dealing with the very high levels of NPLs is a top priority for consolidating the banks and restarting the economy. The government wishes to explore the possibility, in conjunction with the institutions, of a capital asset management company to be created towards dealing with NPLs utilizing the remaining buffer of the HFSF.

7.20pm BST

Greece’s government is proposing to raise the minimum wage…however, it also predicts that the fiscal impact in 2015 and 2016 will be “negligible”

The reforms plan states:

Proposed reforms will be introduced in stages: unifying the minimum wages of “white” and “blue collar” workers, abolishing wage differentiation based on age, and gradually increasing the minimum wage after consultations with the social partners.

7.18pm BST

The section on Greek privatizations begins with a pop at the failure of the past:

The initial goal for revenues from privatizations was €50 billion between 2011 and 2016, with a €5 billion target for 2011, €10 billion for 2012 and €5 billion for 2013. In practice, proceeds from privatizations amounted to €1.6 billion in 2011, no revenues in 2012 and €1 billion in 2013. Seldom has a privatization program failed so spectacularly!

7.12pm BST

Greece’s list of economic reforms contains some firm pledges to crack down on tax evasion.

The first item is called “Intensification of audits on lists of bank transfers and offshore entities”, and is said to raise €725-€875 million in 2015. €1 billion from 2016 onwards.

6.39pm BST

Agence France-Presse have also heard that eurozone finance chiefs aren’t likely to told another meeting about Greece soon.

This suggests that Greece’s reform plan, although more comprehensive than before, hasn’t persuaded creditors to release bailout funds:

[Today’s conference call] was just to take stock. There won’t be any developments in coming days,” a source close to the discussions told AFP.

“We will continue with technical work in Athens. There is no Eurogroup meeting in sight.”

Greece: still no deal after eurozone teleconf, no Eurogroup meeting in sight, sources tell AFP http://t.co/3C4XI1mI52

6.18pm BST

Over in Athens officials are denying that today’s teleconference with with the euro working group went badly.

But they are also saying April is likely to be a month packed with negotiations … suggesting that a reform-for-cash deal is unlikely to be found at least until the next scheduled euro group of euro area finance ministers on April 24.

“There is a growing sense of convergence even if the talks are difficult.”

6.14pm BST

Greece’s government has also argued that its reform programme could deliver a chunky primary surplus.

Open Europe flags up the details:

Greek reform list says impact of reform programme could lead to 2015 primary surplus of up to 3.9% of GDP. #Greece pic.twitter.com/cW1NcABSq9

6.12pm BST

So, how much progress was made on today’s eurozone conference call?

One eurozone official has told Reuters that there is been “progress and convergence”, but there is still “quite some work that needs to be done” to reach a successful conclusion.

6.08pm BST

Greece has also warned that growth in 2015 and 2016 will be weaker than previously expected, confirming that its economy has deteriorated in recent months.

The Ministry of Finance now only expects growth of 1.4% this year, down from 2.9% estimated in the 2015 budget, rising to 2.9% in 2016 (down from 3.7%).

5.55pm BST

Greece has also warned its creditors that the “viability” of the EU, and the single currency, is at stake.

The introduction of the 26-page list of reforms presented today states that:

The Hellenic Republic considers itself to be a proud and indefeasible member of the European Union and an irrevocable member of the Eurozone. Yet the viability of that Union, and especially of the common currency, is now in question, in the minds of many Greek citizens as it is in the minds of many among our European partners.

The question before us all, as Europeans, is whether the European Union can rise to the challenge before it. It is necessary now, without further delay to turn a corner on the mistakes of the past and to forge a new relationship between member states, a relationship based on solidarity, resolve, mutual respect and a new hope for common progress.

‘Viability of Union, and especially of the common currency, is now in question,’ warns new Greek eurozone document

5.50pm BST

The reforms plan submitted by Greece today could raise between €4.6bn and €6bn of revenue (according to Athens’ calculations, anyway).

Here’s the details:

5.32pm BST

Peter Spiegel of the Financial Times has obtained the list of reforms which Greece has proposed to its creditors today.

It’s 26 pages long, covering taxation, privatisations, Greece’s public sector, its labour market and healthcare, among others.

The government requests a speedy and successful conclusion of the Final Review on the basis of this list, so that shortterm funding issues may be resolved and the current crippling economic and financial uncertainties brought to an end. This is an urgent and necessary precondition for the success of the economic and reform program.

The new reform measures are similar to Friday’s initial effort and fail to address several issues that bailout monitors have insisted on, including an overhaul of the Greek pension system and further labour market liberalisation.

Indeed, the proposal appears to reverse past reforms in several of these areas. The document includes €1.1bn in new spending this year, more than half of it reinstating a so-called “13th pension” — an extra months’ pay — for low-income pensioners. The document suggests that change would add €600m this year.

5.23pm BST

With delicious timing, the European Central Bank has just advertised for a Greek translator….

Hmmm RT @ecb: Job alert: Greek Translator (traineeship) – Communications http://t.co/rtzT1aaRry

5.12pm BST

The Greek government has provided further details of its reform plans to lenders today, in an attempt to unlock bailout funds.

Helena Smith reports that:

Greek officials say in addition to €3.7bn worth of fiscal measures the left-led government is proposing, privatisations worth €1.5 bn in 2015 have also been outlined in the package the finance ministry has drafted.

The operation and management of 14 regional airports (concessions long sought after by Germany) has been included in the privatisations.

* Greek Fin Min official says toughest issues in talks with lenders are labour and pension reforms – RTRS

5.10pm BST

Over in Athens, officials say a campaign of rumour, innuendo and deliberate leaks is being waged against the new government.

“They keep saying ‘the Greeks are not well prepared, they haven’t done their homework, their proposals are vague’; all of which are grotesque and preposterous lies.

The Greek side has never been as well prepared and the issue really is not whether they agree with our figures but whether they want an agreement.”

“The banking system is at risk, outflows are growing, non-performing loans are mounting. What they are doing is criminal. The February 20th agreement was supposed to give us four months of financial stability and instead they are using it to asphyxiate us.”

“The Euro working group prepares the ground for the euro group so if anything it would be surprising if there were a breakthrough….It seems they want to push us to the brink of Grexit, squeeze us to our last drop of blood and breath in the hope that they can get just a little bit more out of us.”

“From the start we made that clear. The whole aim is to defeat this government. If they see us retreating they will wipe us out. From time of the Roman legions that is how the Germans have worked. We are not going to do them the favour.”

4.21pm BST

Heads-up: Eurozone deputy finance ministers have just ended their conference call about Greece.

Euronews’s Efi Koutsokosta reports that the Greek finance minister was also on the call:

#euroworkinggroup where @yanisvaroufakis also participated finished.

4.20pm BST

The Greek stock market has fallen again today, as the uncertainty and occasional eyebrow-raising headlines jangled nerves.

The main ATG index fell 1.3% by the close of trading.

4.16pm BST

The very fact that Greece could threaten to withhold its IMF repayment shows the need for a proper process to handle debt defaults.

So argues Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of the religious debt relief organization Jubilee USA Network.

”We’re watching a poker match between Greece, the IMF and the European Union. The stakes couldn’t be higher with the lives of millions of ordinary people on the line.

“This is more proof that we need a global bankruptcy process with rules that are above board. We can’t be playing poker with people’s lives.”

Greece, here’s what the IMF will do if you don’t repay its loans on time. h/t @IanTalley: pic.twitter.com/9ZVQeuIkkp”

4.05pm BST

Greek government bonds have weakened today, pushing up the yields on its short and long-term debt.

Over in the City, Steve Collins has kindly tweeted the details:

Greek sweep : 10-yr 11.81