Morning Call: pick of the comment

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

1. Campbell may be a true believer, but Iraq has poisoned our faith in politics (Guardian)

The corrosive sense of powerlessness felt by the public today was born in the spin doctor's dossier, says Jonathan Freedland. We need a reckoning, although the gentle questioning at the Chilcot inquiry implies that we might not find it there.

2. I am haunted by the Dodgy Dossier (Times)

Ibrahim al-Marashi, whose PhD was lifted from the internet to justify the Iraq war, describes his experience and his regrets after Alastair Campbell's appearance at the Chilcot inquiry yesterday.

3. It will take more than Chilcot to nail Campbell (Independent)

Matthew Norman argues that Campbell was perfect as the warm-up man for Tony Blair, trotting out his lines with ease despite the odd show of nerves.

4. Campbell on the stand: fascinating signs that the inquiry wasn't buying it (Telegraph)

Andrew Gilligan (who branded the dossier "sexed-up") says that the Chilcot panel met the former Chief Persuader's evidence with noticeably more scepticism than it has shown towards any other witness.

5. The most brazen disdain for democracy in modern times (Guardian)

Bumper banker bonuses are back. And what is it, really, asks Simon Jenkins, if not grand-scale theft . . . from treasuries, customers and taxpayers?

6. Why Obama must take on Wall Street (Financial Times)

Robert Reich at the FT agrees that things must not continue as they are -- it has been more than a year since hell broke loose on Wall Street and, remarkably, almost nothing has been done to prevent all hell from breaking loose again.

7. The same old row. But with one big difference (Times)

This Labour split is not about style or strategy, but about spending cuts, says Daniel Finkelstein, looking back at past public battles on the subject. And this time Gordon Brown is on the wrong side.

8. Enjoy the cheap money while it lasts (Indepedent)

Hamish McRae explores the troubling possibility that rising interest rates will choke off the recovery.

9. Welcome judgment on stop-and-search (Guardian)

Henry Porter says that the ruling by the European Court of Human Rights against the use of Section 44 stop-and-search powers is hugely important for civil liberties in the UK.

10. Google's drive to put books online needs a wider debate (Financial Times)

The underlying issues of intellectual property and how copyright should be interpreted in a technological context are too important for the current US court case, which focuses narrowly on competing economic interests, says John Kay.

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Jeremy Corbyn challenged by Labour MPs to sack Ken Livingstone from defence review

Former mayor of London criticised at PLP meeting over comments on 7 July bombings. 

After Jeremy Corbyn's decision to give Labour MPs a free vote over air strikes in Syria, tonight's Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) meeting was less fractious than it could have been. But one grandee was still moved to declare that the "ferocity" of the attacks on the leader made it the most "uplifting" he had attended.

Margaret Beckett, the former foreign secretary, told the meeting: "We cannot unite the party if the leader's office is determined to divide us." Several MPs said afterwards that many of those who shared Corbyn's opposition to air strikes believed he had mishandled the process by appealing to MPs over the heads of the shadow cabinet and then to members. David Winnick declared that those who favoured military action faced a "shakedown" and deselection by Momentum activists. "It is completely unacceptable. They are a party within a party," he said of the Corbyn-aligned group. The "huge applause" for Hilary Benn, who favours intervention, far outweighed that for the leader, I'm told. 

There was also loud agreement when Jack Dromey condemned Ken Livingstone for blaming Tony Blair's invasion of Iraq for the 7 July 2005 bombings. Along with Angela Smith MP, Dromey demanded that Livingstone be sacked as the co-chair of Labour's defence review. Significantly, Benn said aftewards that he agreed with every word Dromey had said. Corbyn's office has previously said that it is up to the NEC, not the leader, whether the former London mayor holds the position. In reference to 7 July, an aide repeated Corbyn's statement that he preferred to "remember the brilliant words Ken used after 7/7". 

As on previous occasions, MPs complained that the leader failed to answer the questions that were put to him. A shadow minister told me that he "dodged" one on whether he believed the UK should end air strikes against Isis in Iraq. In reference to Syria, a Corbyn aide said afterwards that "There was significant support for the leader. There was a wide debate, with people speaking on both sides of the arguments." After David Cameron's decision to call a vote on air strikes for Wednesday, leaving only a day for debate, the number of Labour MPs backing intervention is likely to fall. One shadow minister told me that as few as 40-50 may back the government, though most expect the total to be closer to the original figure of 99. 

At the end of another remarkable day in Labour's history, a Corbyn aide concluded: "It was always going to be a bumpy ride when you have a leader who was elected by a large number outside parliament but whose support in the PLP is quite limited. There are a small number who find it hard to come to terms with that result."

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.