Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. Now Republicans face the five stages of political grief (Guardian)

Every defeated party has to travel from denial to acceptance. At least in Mitt Romney's case the loss was unequivocal, writes Jonathan Freedland.

2. Justin Welby: oilman with a new calling (Financial Times)

The new Archbishop of Canterbury will do well to unite the Church's warring factions, says Matthew Engel.

3. A very good morning for this Prime Minister (Times) (£)

Quiet rage was the right response to Phillip Schofield, argues Matthew Parris.

4. Police commissioner elections are the first step on road to corruption (Guardian)


The Tories are pushing for private companies to take over major police roles, with insufficient safeguards, argues Yvette Cooper.
For all their fractiousness, they really are all in it together, says Andrew Martin.
Soon, China's leadership transitions will be attracting as much attention as America's, writes David Pilling.
Going on reality TV is mere idiocy. A political system friendly to corruption is what we should be worrying about, says Tanya Gold.
The poorest farmers in Africa are more advanced than the Burmese. Let the Coca-Cola consumerism begin, writes Janice Turner.
9. Farewell to our warrior nation (Daily Telegraph)
The Government is making huge cuts to the Army, Royal Navy and RAF in the mistaken belief that they no longer matter, says Max Hastings.
The "timeliness" of new play NSFW has nothing to do with Savile, argues Tom Sutcliffe.
Grant Shapps on the campaign trail. Photo: Getty
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Grant Shapps resigns over Tory youth wing bullying scandal

The minister, formerly party chairman, has resigned over allegations of bullying and blackmail made against a Tory activist. 

Grant Shapps, who was a key figure in the Tory general election campaign, has resigned following allegations about a bullying scandal among Conservative activists.

Shapps was formerly party chairman, but was demoted to international development minister after May. His formal statement is expected shortly.

The resignation follows lurid claims about bullying and blackmail among Tory activists. One, Mark Clarke, has been accused of putting pressure on a fellow activist who complained about his behaviour to withdraw the allegation. The complainant, Elliot Johnson, later killed himself.

The junior Treasury minister Robert Halfon also revealed that he had an affair with a young activist after being warned that Clarke planned to blackmail him over the relationship. Former Tory chair Sayeedi Warsi says that she was targeted by Clarke on Twitter, where he tried to portray her as an anti-semite. 

Shapps appointed Mark Clarke to run RoadTrip 2015, where young Tory activists toured key marginals on a bus before the general election. 

Today, the Guardian published an emotional interview with the parents of 21-year-old Elliot Johnson, the activist who killed himself, in which they called for Shapps to consider his position. Ray Johnson also spoke to BBC's Newsnight:


The Johnson family claimed that Shapps and co-chair Andrew Feldman had failed to act on complaints made against Clarke. Feldman says he did not hear of the bullying claims until August. 

Asked about the case at a conference in Malta, David Cameron pointedly refused to offer Shapps his full backing, saying a statement would be released. “I think it is important that on the tragic case that took place that the coroner’s inquiry is allowed to proceed properly," he added. “I feel deeply for his parents, It is an appalling loss to suffer and that is why it is so important there is a proper coroner’s inquiry. In terms of what the Conservative party should do, there should be and there is a proper inquiry that asks all the questions as people come forward. That will take place. It is a tragic loss of a talented young life and it is not something any parent should go through and I feel for them deeply.” 

Mark Clarke denies any wrongdoing.

Helen Lewis is deputy editor of the New Statesman. She has presented BBC Radio 4’s Week in Westminster and is a regular panellist on BBC1’s Sunday Politics.