Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. Is Rupert Murdoch a fit and proper person to run a company? (Daily Telegraph)

The boss must take final responsibility for the culture of criminality at News International, says Peter Oborne.

2. Egypt a year on: This is not the Tahrir dream, but there's much to be won (Guardian)

The country is torn between an entrenched security state, politically savvy Islamists and anxious revolutionaries, writes Timothy Garton Ash.

3. This postgraduate brain drain needs plugging (Times) (£)

All the fuss about fees has obscured the bigger issue of unfunded research students, says Andrew Hamilton.

4. The regime calls it 'cleaning', but the dirty truth is plain to see (Independent)

The word being used by Syria is a chilling one, says Robert Fisk.

5. Why does this coalition wobble like a jelly at every whinge and wail from the left? (Daily Mail)

The Cameroons, moistly tolerant, are being comprehensively outmanoeuvred, writes Quentin Letts.

6. On capitalism we lefties are clueless - it's not just a rightwing caricature (Guardian)

Emma Harrison and her ilk are free to reap the benefits of our shame at being smart with money and investment, writes Zoe Williams.

7. London must scare insider traders (Financial Times)

The UK should reconsider use of phone-tap evidence, argues John Gapper.

8. You might expect it from North Korea. Not Britain (Daily Mail)

It is not in the public interest to allow clumsy cover-ups in the name of "national security", says David Davis. That is why secret courts must be rejected.

9. The prime minister needs to think long (Financial Times)

The governing habits of the coalition need to change, writes Gavin Kelly.

10. Please end this disgrace, Mr Pickles (Independent)

Instead of more confrontation it is time for a mediated settlement on Traveller sites, says Thomas Hammarberg.

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Michael Heseltine calls for “second referendum or general election” on the Brexit deal

The Tory peer and former deputy prime minister accuses Theresa May of having “flip-flopped” on the “intellectual conviction of the last 70 years of Conservative leadership”.

The Conservative party is deeply divided on the subject of Europe, and I don't see a short-term resolution to that position. I just reread the speech that the Prime Minister made to the Institute of Mechanical Engineers before the referendum. It was thoughtful, careful, balanced, and highly persuasive – arguing that we should remain in Europe.

A few weeks later, Brexit is Brexit. She has apparently changed her mind, and people like me have not. The idea that the intellectual conviction of the last 70 years of Conservative leadership on this subject can be flip-flopped is asking too much of those of us who believe that our self-interest as a nation is inextricably interwoven with our European allies.

I believe that this is the worst peacetime decision that Parliament has been asked to make. It is very possible, as the negotiations unfold, that members of the Conservative Party in the House of Commons who believe as strongly as I do in the Remain argument will feel that their commitment to our national self-interest is being stretched unacceptably.

I know all the lonelinesses of their position. I'm well aware of the herd instinct of party politics. Only on two significant occasions have I worked to change the official policies of the Conservative party. I have no regrets, it didn't actually do me any harm. They have to evaluate the nature of the decision they're being asked to take.

I don't believe any of the arguments that there's a two-year time scale, the guillotine comes down. If there's a will to change within the community of European leaders, change will happen regardless of the letter of the law.

I believe that there needs to be a second referendum or a mandate of a general election. I believe the sovereignty of this country is enshrined in the House of Commons, and that they must be involved in the final decision with absolute power to determine the outcome. It took Nicola Sturgeon a matter of months to be back on the trail of a second referendum and Nigel Farage would have been doing exactly the same if he had lost. So what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. I cast myself in the unlikely role of gander.

[May’s opposition to a Scottish referendum] completely undermines the whole basis for supporting the referendum judgement in the first place, because they weren't in possession of the facts, and so when we are in possession of the facts, it follows there must be a second choice.

Michael Heseltine is a Conservative peer and a former deputy prime minister.

As told to Anoosh Chakelian.

This article first appeared in the 30 March 2017 issue of the New Statesman, Wanted: an opposition