Morning Call: pick of the papers

Ten must-read comment pieces from this morning's papers

1. The BBC's real crime was to act like the Catholic Church (Guardian)

The Corporation's instincts when confronted with allegations of child abuse were all wrong, writes Jonathan Freedland.

2. Alex Salmond faces a sceptical nation (FT)

Kiran Stacey profiles the SNP leader.

3. Slowly the Tories are embracing ever looser union (Telegraph)

Charles Moore welcomes the tendency for leading Conservatives to flirt with quitting the European Union.

4. 'If the economy comes right, we'll sail home' (Telegraph)

Revealing interview with Ken Clarke, minister for giving revealing interviews.

5. No escape from energy firm bullies (Daily Mail

Mail editorial gets frothy about dysfunctional consumer energy market, without failing to note foreign ownership of companies in question.

6. Our plans for the next election (ConservativeHome)

Tory chairman Grant Shapps breaks with his past by revealing a winning strategy online under his own name.

7. The benefits of being in this together (FT)

Brisk, insightful guide to tax and benefit changes causing George Osborne a political headache, by Tim Harford

8. Too much poverty and joblessness? Blame newborn babies (Guardian)

Tory plans to limit child benefit wilfully and vindictiely miss the point, says Tanya Gold.

9. How scared should you be of President Romney (Independent)

Indie editorial generously decides that the Republican candidate might not turn out to be a monster.

10. Sadly a hung parliament has no oomph! (Independent)

Chris Bryant MP complains about the state of the legislature, among other things, not for the first time.

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Lord Sainsbury pulls funding from Progress and other political causes

The longstanding Labour donor will no longer fund party political causes. 

Centrist Labour MPs face a funding gap for their ideas after the longstanding Labour donor Lord Sainsbury announced he will stop financing party political causes.

Sainsbury, who served as a New Labour minister and also donated to the Liberal Democrats, is instead concentrating on charitable causes. 

Lord Sainsbury funded the centrist organisation Progress, dubbed the “original Blairite pressure group”, which was founded in mid Nineties and provided the intellectual underpinnings of New Labour.

The former supermarket boss is understood to still fund Policy Network, an international thinktank headed by New Labour veteran Peter Mandelson.

He has also funded the Remain campaign group Britain Stronger in Europe. The latter reinvented itself as Open Britain after the Leave vote, and has campaigned for a softer Brexit. Its supporters include former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg and Labour's Chuka Umunna, and it now relies on grassroots funding.

Sainsbury said he wished to “hand the baton on to a new generation of donors” who supported progressive politics. 

Progress director Richard Angell said: “Progress is extremely grateful to Lord Sainsbury for the funding he has provided for over two decades. We always knew it would not last forever.”

The organisation has raised a third of its funding target from other donors, but is now appealing for financial support from Labour supporters. Its aims include “stopping a hard-left take over” of the Labour party and “renewing the ideas of the centre-left”. 

Julia Rampen is the digital news editor of the New Statesman (previously editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog). She has also been deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines. 

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