David Cameron and Alex Salmond attend the Drumhead Service on June 25, 2011 in Edinburgh. Photograph: Getty Images.
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Why Cameron has said he won't resign if Scotland votes for independence

Aside from his own preservation, any hint that he would depart would aid the Yes campaign. 

For weeks, Westminster has been awash with speculation that David Cameron will resign if Scotland votes for independence (I was one of the first to report the story here). There would be no constitutional requirement for him to do so (we would, after all, be in uncharted territory) but the loss of the 307-year-old Union, combined with the fact that Cameron initiated the vote, means many regard it as the only honourable course to take. 

Today's Daily Mail, however, reports that whatever the outcome on 18 September, the PM will remain in office. The paper's James Chapman writes that Cameron has told friends he has "no intention" of resigning if Scotland votes for independence. One source comments:

Better Together is cross-party, so this doesn’t arise. He would not resign - definitely not.

In Scotland, Labour is the big, dominant political force. Does Ed Miliband have to resign too if there’s a yes vote? The SNP was elected with a clear majority in the Scottish parliament having said they would hold a referendum.

We either moved ahead with that referendum or we blocked it. Do people really think the Prime Minister could have said to the people of Scotland: 'You may have voted in favour of having a referendum but you can’t have one?'

Aside from Cameron's own interest in his preservation, there is one other reason why the Tories are keen to kill the speculation. Any hint that he would resign would only serve to energise the nationalists and encourage a Yes vote. Alex Salmond would be able to boast that not only would he free his country from Westminster, but that he would topple the prime minister in the process. And Cameron, as he self-deprecatingly remarked at a recent PMQs, is a man whose appeal "does not stretch to all people in Scotland" (where the Tories have just one MP). 

Assuming that this is no bluff (as nationalists will claim it is), we are left with the oddity that Cameron has made it clear that he will resign if he is unable to deliver an EU referendum by 2017, but that he won't if he loses the Union.

The issue, however, is likely to remain hypothetical. Despite the recent excitable commentary, the reality remains that the No side retains a comfortable average lead of eight points and that the Yes campaign has not led in a single poll. 

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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The US intelligence leaks on the Manchester attack are part of a disturbing pattern

Even the United States' strongest allies cannot rely on this president or his administration to keep their secrets.

A special relationship, indeed. British intelligence services will stop sharing information with their American counterparts about the Manchester bombing after leaks persisted even after public rebukes from Amber Rudd (who called the leaks "irritating") and Michael Fallon (who branded them "disappointing").

In what must be a diplomatic first, Britain isn't even the first of the United States' allies to review its intelligence sharing protocols this week. The Israeli government have also "reviewed" their approach to intelligence sharing with Washington after Donald Trump first blabbed information about Isis to the Russian ambassador from a "close ally" of the United States and then told reporters, unprompted, that he had "never mentioned Israel" in the conversation.

Whether the Manchester leaks emanate from political officials appointed by Trump - many of whom tend to be, if you're feeling generous, cranks of the highest order - or discontent with Trump has caused a breakdown in discipline further down the chain, what's clear is that something is very rotten in the Trump administration.

Elsewhere, a transcript of Trump's call to the Philippine strongman Rodrigo Duterte in which the American president revealed that two nuclear submarines had been deployed off the coast of North Korea, has been widely leaked to the American press

It's all part of a clear and disturbing pattern, that even the United States' strongest allies in Tel Aviv and London cannot rely on this president or his administration to keep their secrets.

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

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