Morning Call: pick of the comment

The ten must-read pieces from this morning's papers

1. The politics of ownership could define the next decade (Independent)

Steve Richards says the debate over ownership and the role of co-operatives will shape the next decade as privatisation did in the 1980s.

2. This parody of the nanny state helps neither children nor adults (Guardian)

Timothy Garton Ash argues that not even Orwell's pen could do justice to the absurdities of Labour's vetting service.

3. Britain's power gap and why politicians have to narrow it (Times)

The Demos head, Richard Reeves, says that calls for "localism" will ring hollow until ordinary people have more power over their own lives.

4. Mr Obama, here's your Copenhagen speech (Guardian)

George Monbiot writes the speech Barack Obama must deliver to turn the Copenhagen talks around.

5. Civil servants intent on evading all responsibility (Independent)

Adrian Hamilton argues that the Chilcot inquiry has exposed how bureaucrats are willing to blame anyone but themselves.

6. How America let banks off the leash (Financial Times)

John Gapper says that Obama has wasted the opportunities provided by the financial crisis.

7. Quiet diplomacy will get our voice heard (Times)

Baroness Ashton, the EU's first representative for foreign affairs, says that Europe can punch above its weight through soft power.

8. Curling up with a good e-book? (Daily Telegraph)

Philip Hensher says that digital books will transform our view of literary merit.

9. Mysterious peer Lord Ashcroft is an inconvenient truth for Cameron (Guardian)

Michael White calls on David Cameron to order Michael Ashcroft to stop playing coy games about his tax status.

10. Locking up children shames us (Independent)

Matthew Norman says that we must all resist the state's mistreatment of children.

Getty
Show Hide image

Lord Sainsbury pulls funding from Progress and other political causes

The longstanding Labour donor will no longer fund party political causes. 

Centrist Labour MPs face a funding gap for their ideas after the longstanding Labour donor Lord Sainsbury announced he will stop financing party political causes.

Sainsbury, who served as a New Labour minister and also donated to the Liberal Democrats, is instead concentrating on charitable causes. 

Lord Sainsbury funded the centrist organisation Progress, dubbed the “original Blairite pressure group”, which was founded in mid Nineties and provided the intellectual underpinnings of New Labour.

The former supermarket boss is understood to still fund Policy Network, an international thinktank headed by New Labour veteran Peter Mandelson.

He has also funded the Remain campaign group Britain Stronger in Europe. The latter reinvented itself as Open Britain after the Leave vote, and has campaigned for a softer Brexit. Its supporters include former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg and Labour's Chuka Umunna, and it now relies on grassroots funding.

Sainsbury said he wished to “hand the baton on to a new generation of donors” who supported progressive politics. 

Progress director Richard Angell said: “Progress is extremely grateful to Lord Sainsbury for the funding he has provided for over two decades. We always knew it would not last forever.”

The organisation has raised a third of its funding target from other donors, but is now appealing for financial support from Labour supporters. Its aims include “stopping a hard-left take over” of the Labour party and “renewing the ideas of the centre-left”. 

Julia Rampen is the digital news editor of the New Statesman (previously editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog). She has also been deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines. 

0800 7318496