Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

Why I, as a journalist and ex-editor, believe it is time to regulate the press (Observer

Will Hutton gives his support to the forthcoming Leveson report.


Despite the sabre-rattling, an attack on Iran is now unlikely (Independent on Sunday


Patrick Cockburn explains why it's now too late for Israel to destroy Iran's nuclear facilities.


Gaza grabs the headlines as Congo once more descends into chaos (Observer


Ian Birrell calls for the world to pay more attention to the rebel takeover of Goma.


The first law of social work: politics trumps parental love (Sunday Times) (£) 


Minette Marin comments on the recent case of social workers removing a child from foster parents who were members of UKIP.


Unlike Europe, the Tories can bind together (Sunday Telegraph


Janet Daley excoriates the European governing class.


I see one last, if faint, hope for a truly free British press (Sunday Telegraph


Matthew D'Ancona argues that Cameron should offer the press "one last chance".


Why Dave doesn't give a hoot about the EU budget (Independent on Sunday


John Rentoul argues that Cameron is right to pursue a "wait-and-see" policy on Europe.


David Cameron's boldness over Europe does him credit (Sunday Telegraph


Iain Martin praises Cameron's tough stance during the EU budget negotiations.


Houdini Dave can slip the Leveson trap (Sunday Times) (£) 


Martin Ivens calls for a voluntary regulatory arrangement among newspapers.


Buck up Britain - regrets are mere whinges (Sunday Times) (£) 


India Knight says she has no time in life for regrets.

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Geoffrey Howe dies, aged 88

Howe was Margaret Thatcher's longest serving Cabinet minister – and the man credited with precipitating her downfall.

The former Conservative chancellor Lord Howe, a key figure in the Thatcher government, has died of a suspected heart attack, his family has said. He was 88.

Geoffrey Howe was the longest-serving member of Margaret Thatcher's Cabinet, playing a key role in both her government and her downfall. Born in Port Talbot in 1926, he began his career as a lawyer, and was first elected to parliament in 1964, but lost his seat just 18 months later.

Returning as MP for Reigate in the Conservative election victory of 1970, he served in the government of Edward Heath, first as Solicitor General for England & Wales, then as a Minister of State for Trade. When Margaret Thatcher became opposition leader in 1975, she named Howe as her shadow chancellor.

He retained this brief when the party returned to government in 1979. In the controversial budget of 1981, he outlined a radical monetarist programme, abandoning then-mainstream economic thinking by attempting to rapidly tackle the deficit at a time of recession and unemployment. Following the 1983 election, he was appointed as foreign secretary, in which post he negotiated the return of Hong Kong to China.

In 1989, Thatcher demoted Howe to the position of leader of the house and deputy prime minister. And on 1 November 1990, following disagreements over Britain's relationship with Europe, he resigned from the Cabinet altogether. 

Twelve days later, in a powerful speech explaining his resignation, he attacked the prime minister's attitude to Brussels, and called on his former colleagues to "consider their own response to the tragic conflict of loyalties with which I have myself wrestled for perhaps too long".

Labour Chancellor Denis Healey once described an attack from Howe as "like being savaged by a dead sheep" - but his resignation speech is widely credited for triggering the process that led to Thatcher's downfall. Nine days later, her premiership was over.

Howe retired from the Commons in 1992, and was made a life peer as Baron Howe of Aberavon. He later said that his resignation speech "was not intended as a challenge, it was intended as a way of summarising the importance of Europe". 

Nonetheless, he added: "I am sure that, without [Thatcher's] resignation, we would not have won the 1992 election... If there had been a Labour government from 1992 onwards, New Labour would never have been born."

Jonn Elledge is the editor of the New Statesman's sister site CityMetric. He is on Twitter, far too much, as @JonnElledge.