Should Murdoch sell the Sun?

An intriguing proposal from Murdoch biographer Michael Wolff.

Trevor Kavanagh's article in today's Sun is notable for its hyperbolic attack on the police investigation (Kavanagh casually dismisses alleged bribery as "standard procedure") and for its coded critique of News Corp management.

Referring to "a sensitive domestic issue within the News International 'family'", Kavanagh, one of Murdoch's longest-serving lieutenants, writes that while it is important for News Corp to protect its reputation in the US, "some of the greatest legends in Fleet Street have been held, at least on the basis of evidence so far revealed, for simply doing their jobs as journalists on behalf of the company." Kavanagh's language ("simply doing their jobs") reflects the widespread sense at the Sun that the red-top, one of Murdoch's most successful papers, has been "hung out to dry" by News Corp.

The News of the World precedent means that there is natural speculation about the future of the Sun. In the absence of anything as toxic as the Milly Dowler scandal, it's hard to see Murdoch taking the nuclear option but one of his biographers, Michael Wolff, makes a smart suggestion in the Guardian. He argues that Murdoch should sell the Sun and use the proceeds (estimated at £500-£700m) to set up a not-for-profit trust to safeguard the future of the Times and the Sunday Times. This would strengthen Murdoch's claim to be the last of the great press barons and a supporter of "quality journalism". But as long as Rupert's alive, it's likely that the Sun will remain in the News Corp family.

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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Our new relationship with the EU may be a lot like the old one

For all the tough mood music, Theresa May has left room for concessions.

I'm sad and dismayed, but that's democracy for you.

The Mail is in a cheerier mood. "Freedom!" is their splash. "Dear EU, We're Leaving You" cheers the Express' while "Dear EU, it's time to go" is the Mirror's splash. "Dover & Out!" roars the Sun, who have projected those same words on the white cliffs of, you guessed it, Dover. "May Signs Us Out!" is the Metro's take.

"Brexit begins" is the i's more equivocal splash, "The eyes of history are watching" is the Times' take, while the Guardian opts for "Today Britain steps into the unknown".

The bigger story isn't the letter but its content, which leads the FT: "May signs historic Brexit letter and opens way for compromise". The government is finessing its red line on the competence of the European Court of Justice. (The word in Whitehall is that Theresa May hadn't grasped the importance of the ECJ as an arbitration mechanism after Brexit and for cross-border matters such as flights when she made her conference speech.)  And the PM has done a good job of not ruling out continuing payments to the European Union, her best path to the deal Britain needs.

A lot depends on what happens to the British economy between now and March 2019. The pound is down still further today but whether that's a minor eruption or the start of sustained losses will have significant consequences on how painful Britain's best path to the access we need to the single market - paying over the odds for the parts of membership that the British government wants to keep and swallowing that £50bn divorce bill - is doable or not.

For all the mood music emanating from May, she's quietly done a good job of clearing the obstacles to a deal where Britain controls its own immigration policy, continues to staff Europol and to participate in European-wide research, the bulk of our regulation is set by Brussels de facto if not de jure and we pay, say £250m a week into Brussels.

Our new relationship with the EU may be rather closer to our old one than we currently expect.

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to British politics.