Morning Call: the pick of the papers

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

Cameron is right about Leveson. This is a Rubicon we must not cross (Guardian)

Simon Jenkins argues against statutory underpinning for press regulation.


Carney will gain by exploring the territory (Financial Times)


Adam Posen writes that the new Bank of England governor will have to prioritise open debate and public engagement.


Nick Boles wants to build on the greenbelt, but it's too soon for us to admire man-made landscapes (Independent)


Tom Sutcliffe explores the aesthetics of nature and human development.


With Ukip's surge, do we still have a progressive majority? (Guardian


John Harris argues that Ukip's strong by-election results indicate widespread distrust of politicians.


Mick and Sonny are still rockin' on, but will Madonna and Robbie last as long? (Independent


David Lister asks why age expectations are different for musicians in rock, jazz and blues.


So what happened to your defence of liberty, Harriet Harman? (Telegraph


Dan Hodges argues that Labour's support for Leveson is driven by a desire for political revenge.


Keep the kids in Beer St, not Vodka Plaza (Times) (£) 


Janice Turner argues that education, not raising alcohol prices, will cut down on binge-drinking.


The Chancellor George Osborne's alarming device is just the weapon for a country at war (Telegraph


Charles Moore says that Quantitive Easing has prevented the crisis from becoming even deeper.


Here's what to do in the Middle East: nothing (Times) (£) 


Matthew Parris says Britain should intervene less in overseas conflicts.


Morsi has squandered Egypt's goodwill (Financial Times


Roula Khalaf and Heba Saleh explain that Egypt's president is no longer a unifying figure.

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The buck doesn't stop with Grant Shapps - and probably shouldn't stop with Lord Feldman, either

The question of "who knew what, and when?" shouldn't stop with the Conservative peer.

If Grant Shapps’ enforced resignation as a minister was intended to draw a line under the Mark Clarke affair, it has had the reverse effect. Attention is now shifting to Lord Feldman, who was joint chair during Shapps’  tenure at the top of CCHQ.  It is not just the allegations of sexual harrassment, bullying, and extortion against Mark Clarke, but the question of who knew what went

Although Shapps’ resignation letter says that “the buck” stops with him, his allies are privately furious at his de facto sacking, and they are pointing the finger at Feldman. They point out that not only was Feldman the senior partner on paper, but when the rewards for the unexpected election victory were handed out, it was Feldman who was held up as the key man, while Shapps was given what they see as a relatively lowly position in the Department for International Development.  Yet Feldman is still in post while Shapps was effectively forced out by David Cameron. Once again, says one, “the PM’s mates are protected, the rest of us shafted”.

As Simon Walters reports in this morning’s Mail on Sunday, the focus is turning onto Feldman, while Paul Goodman, the editor of the influential grassroots website ConservativeHome has piled further pressure on the peer by calling for him to go.

But even Feldman’s resignation is unlikely to be the end of the matter. Although the scope of the allegations against Clarke were unknown to many, questions about his behaviour were widespread, and fears about the conduct of elections in the party’s youth wing are also longstanding. Shortly after the 2010 election, Conservative student activists told me they’d cheered when Sadiq Khan defeated Clarke in Tooting, while a group of Conservative staffers were said to be part of the “Six per cent club” – they wanted a swing big enough for a Tory majority, but too small for Clarke to win his seat. The viciousness of Conservative Future’s internal elections is sufficiently well-known, meanwhile, to be a repeated refrain among defenders of the notoriously opaque democratic process in Labour Students, with supporters of a one member one vote system asked if they would risk elections as vicious as those in their Tory equivalent.

Just as it seems unlikely that Feldman remained ignorant of allegations against Clarke if Shapps knew, it feels untenable to argue that Clarke’s defeat could be cheered by both student Conservatives and Tory staffers and the unpleasantness of the party’s internal election sufficiently well-known by its opponents, without coming across the desk of Conservative politicians above even the chair of CCHQ’s paygrade.

Stephen Bush is editor of the Staggers, the New Statesman’s political blog.