Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. Tax England's green and pleasant land (Financial Times)

The case for a land tax is one of the oldest and least disputed propositions in economic thought, says Samuel Brittan.

2. If the Sun on Sunday soars Rupert Murdoch will also rise again (Guardian)

What was hailed as a victory for journalism is a sign that despite it all, News Corp's boss won't get his comeuppance in the UK, writes Polly Toynbee.

3. The private sector exposes fraud where the state only lets it fester (Daily Telegraph)

The left's campaign to keep profit out of public services must not be allowed to succeed, says Fraser Nelson.

4. How to free RBS from state ownership (Financial Times)

The government must accept that it may not recover all of its £45bn investment, write Paul Myners and Manus Costello.

5. Business must start a giving revolution (Independent)

Giving back to society is a no-brainer and should be an intrinsic part of today's capitalism, says Victor Blank.

6. Adele and her ilk have mangled the ancient art of rhetoric (Guardian)

Awards ceremonies highlight the amateurism of modern public speeches - most are an exercise in tedium and torture, says Simon Jenkins.

7. Firms will hire more workers if we make it easier to fire them (Daily Telegraph)

The US is showing Britain how to create jobs - everything else we've tried has failed to stimulate economic growth, writes Jeremy Warner.

8. If we can't intervene, at least we can isolate Syria (Independent)

There is no point in talking to a regime which has lost all credibility, argues Adrian Hamilton.

9. Rewarding failure at our expense... again (Daily Mail)

The Care Quality Commission has overlooked the most glaring examples of neglect, says a Daily Mail editorial.

10. The Malvinas/Falklands: diplomacy interrupted (Guardian)

Sending Prince William to the Malvinas, or Falkland Islands, sends a message of intimidation, argues Sean Penn.

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Will Jeremy Corbyn stand down if Labour loses the general election?

Defeat at the polls might not be the end of Corbyn’s leadership.

The latest polls suggest that Labour is headed for heavy defeat in the June general election. Usually a general election loss would be the trigger for a leader to quit: Michael Foot, Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband all stood down after their first defeat, although Neil Kinnock saw out two losses before resigning in 1992.

It’s possible, if unlikely, that Corbyn could become prime minister. If that prospect doesn’t materialise, however, the question is: will Corbyn follow the majority of his predecessors and resign, or will he hang on in office?

Will Corbyn stand down? The rules

There is no formal process for the parliamentary Labour party to oust its leader, as it discovered in the 2016 leadership challenge. Even after a majority of his MPs had voted no confidence in him, Corbyn stayed on, ultimately winning his second leadership contest after it was decided that the current leader should be automatically included on the ballot.

This year’s conference will vote on to reform the leadership selection process that would make it easier for a left-wing candidate to get on the ballot (nicknamed the “McDonnell amendment” by centrists): Corbyn could be waiting for this motion to pass before he resigns.

Will Corbyn stand down? The membership

Corbyn’s support in the membership is still strong. Without an equally compelling candidate to put before the party, Corbyn’s opponents in the PLP are unlikely to initiate another leadership battle they’re likely to lose.

That said, a general election loss could change that. Polling from March suggests that half of Labour members wanted Corbyn to stand down either immediately or before the general election.

Will Corbyn stand down? The rumours

Sources close to Corbyn have said that he might not stand down, even if he leads Labour to a crushing defeat this June. They mention Kinnock’s survival after the 1987 general election as a precedent (although at the 1987 election, Labour did gain seats).

Will Corbyn stand down? The verdict

Given his struggles to manage his own MPs and the example of other leaders, it would be remarkable if Corbyn did not stand down should Labour lose the general election. However, staying on after a vote of no-confidence in 2016 was also remarkable, and the mooted changes to the leadership election process give him a reason to hold on until September in order to secure a left-wing succession.

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