In this week's New Statesman: Young, angry . . . and right?

Owen Jones on the Occupy movement | The break-up of the eurozone | Steve Jobs's genius | Albie Sachs

In this week's New Statesman, Owen Jones speaks to protesters at the St Paul's Occupation about "the fastest-growing political force on earth", now staging demonstrations in a thousand cities across the globe. Jones notes the distance of both the unions and the Labour Party from the movement, and asks whether it could be the progressives' Tea Party.

In a guest-written Politics column, after the largest Tory rebellion against the government in living memory Conservative MP Jesse Norman insists that the party remains "remarkably united over the EU issue" and behind David Cameron, whilst Mark Leonard, director of the European Council on Foreign Relations, warns that the break-up of the European Union is quite possible and that a marginalised Britain makes it even more likely.

Meanwhile, Jonathan Derbyshire talks to South African lawyer and anti-apartheid campaigner Albie Sachs about the importance of "truth and reconciliation", and Bryan Appleyard wonders whether the death of Apple's chief executive, Steve Jobs, spells the end of America's age of innovation.

All this, plus Kevin McKenna on freedom for Scotland, Edward Platt on J B Priestly's Hull, Vivien Goldman on Britain's history of female punks and Stuart Maconie on the 20th anniversary of Nirvana's Nevermind.

Alice Gribbin is a Teaching-Writing Fellow at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. She was formerly the editorial assistant at the New Statesman.

Grant Shapps on the campaign trail. Photo: Getty
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Grant Shapps resigns over Tory youth wing bullying scandal

The minister, formerly party chairman, has resigned over allegations of bullying and blackmail made against a Tory activist. 

Grant Shapps, who was a key figure in the Tory general election campaign, has resigned following allegations about a bullying scandal among Conservative activists.

Shapps was formerly party chairman, but was demoted to international development minister after May. His formal statement is expected shortly.

The resignation follows lurid claims about bullying and blackmail among Tory activists. One, Mark Clarke, has been accused of putting pressure on a fellow activist who complained about his behaviour to withdraw the allegation. The complainant, Elliot Johnson, later killed himself.

The junior Treasury minister Robert Halfon also revealed that he had an affair with a young activist after being warned that Clarke planned to blackmail him over the relationship. Former Tory chair Sayeedi Warsi says that she was targeted by Clarke on Twitter, where he tried to portray her as an anti-semite. 

Shapps appointed Mark Clarke to run RoadTrip 2015, where young Tory activists toured key marginals on a bus before the general election. 

Today, the Guardian published an emotional interview with the parents of 21-year-old Elliot Johnson, the activist who killed himself, in which they called for Shapps to consider his position. Ray Johnson also spoke to BBC's Newsnight:


The Johnson family claimed that Shapps and co-chair Andrew Feldman had failed to act on complaints made against Clarke. Feldman says he did not hear of the bullying claims until August. 

Asked about the case at a conference in Malta, David Cameron pointedly refused to offer Shapps his full backing, saying a statement would be released. “I think it is important that on the tragic case that took place that the coroner’s inquiry is allowed to proceed properly," he added. “I feel deeply for his parents, It is an appalling loss to suffer and that is why it is so important there is a proper coroner’s inquiry. In terms of what the Conservative party should do, there should be and there is a proper inquiry that asks all the questions as people come forward. That will take place. It is a tragic loss of a talented young life and it is not something any parent should go through and I feel for them deeply.” 

Mark Clarke denies any wrongdoing.

Helen Lewis is deputy editor of the New Statesman. She has presented BBC Radio 4’s Week in Westminster and is a regular panellist on BBC1’s Sunday Politics.