The Sun gives Cameron a pass on Europe

Where are the cries of betrayal?

Is the Sun going soft? Today's leader on the Lisbon Treaty is uncharacteristically pragmatic. Far from attacking David Cameron's decision to abandon his "cast-iron guarantee" of a referendum, it resignedly accepts the treaty as a "fact of life" and bizarrely declares that the Tory leader "stuck by his original pledge".

The red-top does not even adopt the position taken by David Davis, who today calls for a wider referendum on EU powers to be held within three months of Cameron taking office.

Instead, it argues that the Tories cannot waste precious energy battling the Eurocrats so long as the economic crisis goes on. As ever, the possibility that greater European integration could combat the recession is not considered. Were it not for the euro, Ireland would now be known as Reykjavik-on-Liffey.

Trevor Kavanagh et al insist: "We are not prepared to tie David Cameron's hands just as he is about to take the wheel."

Andy Coulson, who secured the paper's endorsement of the Tories, has clearly persuaded his old Wapping colleagues to go easy on Cameron until he's safely installed in Downing Street.

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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Gordon Brown contemplated making Alastair Campbell a minister

The move is revealed in Ed Balls' new book.

Gordon Brown contemplated making Alastair Campbell, a sports minister. Campbell had served as Tony Blair’s press chief from 1994 to 2003, Ed Balls has revealed.

Although the move fell through, Campbell would have been one of a number of high-profile ministerial appointments, usually through the Lords, made by Brown during his tenure at 10 Downing Street.

Other unusual appointments included the so-called “Goats” appointed in 2007, part of what Brown dubbed “the government of all the talents”, in which Ara Darzi, a respected surgeon, Mark Malloch-Brown, formerly a United Nations diplomat,  Alan West, a former admiral, Paul Myners, a  successful businessman, and Digby Jones, former director-general of the CBI, took ministerial posts and seats in the Lords. While Darzi, West and Myners were seen as successes on Whitehall, Jones quit the government after a year and became a vocal critic of both Brown’s successors as Labour leader, Ed Miliband and Jeremy Corbyn.

The story is revealed in Ed Balls’ new book, Speaking Out, a record of his time as a backroom adviser and later Cabinet and shadow cabinet minister until the loss of his seat in May 2015. It is published 6 September.