Andy Hayman moans about select committee treatment

"There was cat-calling, there was loud laughter from the wings of Chris Bryant. It was an appalling

Poor old Andy Hayman. He might give the impression of being a hard-as-nails, Sweeney-style copper, but actually he's a sensitive soul, easily hurt by the cat calls of the notorious bully Chris Bryant (a former priest). Here's what he told LBC Radio this morning (via Andrew Sparrow at the Guardian).

I've been through the mill several times in court, in journalistic interviews. I've never been treated like yesterday. There was cat-calling, there was loud laughter from the wings of Chris Bryant. It was an appalling display from them. The irony really is that they don't like being treated in this way disproportionately and yet they're prepared to put us through that.

I think all four of us were up for tough questioning, but not on that sort of basis. And to be accused, as I was, of being a dodgy geezer, which is probably on the basis on my accent, I think that's a really poor show ...

Despite trying to actually be helpful to them, all they want to do is score points and most of that is political and with this sort of lynch mob mentality. Bring on the formal inquiry with a respectable judge, when we can actually get some sense out of this. But what we've actually got here is a very, very senior, I guess you could call it a court. It's non-negotiable to be able to go there and when you go along there, you're treated like a bit of dirt.

I'm not asking for special treatment, I just ask for a little bit of respect and not to be [treated] basically as a product because of the way in which you speak.

Bless!

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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. 

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