Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. How hateful is Britain? Insulted, bullied and murdered – for being disabled (Independent)

In our supposedly civilised society, people who are ‘different’ still face abuse, vigilante justice and death, writes Ian Birrell.

2. The last prejudice? Don’t be fat in fashion or politics (Times) (£)

Women have broken through many ceilings and barriers but they’re still not allowed to be size-16s , writes Janice Turner.

3. Parliament needs to rein in the sinister growth of the payroll government (Telegraph)

The time has come for a proper inquiry into one of Westminster’s biggest open secrets - the growth of prime ministerial power through the payroll vote, says Paul Goodman.

4. Jeremy Paxman is as much 'stuck in' politics as you or I, Nick Clegg (Guardian)

To cast the Newsnight presenter as a parasite reveals Clegg's alarming delusion that politics is only done by politicians, says Marina Hyde.

5. Dig deep, sow seeds and watch Britain grow (Times) (£)

The UK needs HS3 as well as HS2. We need two new cities and more technical colleges. We need long-term vision, says Matthew Parris.

6. John Cole: on paper and on TV, a man of integrity (Guardian)

His integrity was never in doubt, visible in newspaper offices as it would later become to millions of BBC television viewers, says Michael White.

7. Swallow your contempt – Wonga is the symptom, not the problem (Financial Times)(£)

Disdain is no guide to regulating a socially useful sector, writes Tim Harford.

8. Politicians, learn this: people cannot live by bread alone (Guardian)

Russell Brand, Grayson Perry and co are our new priests, plugging a gap the church no longer fills and that our leaders fear to address, writes Jonathan Freedland.

9. Clean up the police, Theresa - or forget about No.10 (Daily Mail)

May has a massive obstacle to overcome if she is to lead: the catastrophic crisis of confidence in the police, for whom she is ultimately responsible, says Simon Heffer.

10. Prince Charles at 65: A modern man of undimmed energy ready to be king (Telegraph)

As the Prince of Wales approaches his 65th birthday, he has made a success of his current, unique role, and that bodes well for his next, argues Charles Moore.

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Jeremy Corbyn challenged by Labour MPs to sack Ken Livingstone from defence review

Former mayor of London criticised at PLP meeting over comments on 7 July bombings. 

After Jeremy Corbyn's decision to give Labour MPs a free vote over air strikes in Syria, tonight's Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) meeting was less fractious than it could have been. But one grandee was still moved to declare that the "ferocity" of the attacks on the leader made it the most "uplifting" he had attended.

Margaret Beckett, the former foreign secretary, told the meeting: "We cannot unite the party if the leader's office is determined to divide us." Several MPs said afterwards that many of those who shared Corbyn's opposition to air strikes believed he had mishandled the process by appealing to MPs over the heads of the shadow cabinet and then to members. David Winnick declared that those who favoured military action faced a "shakedown" and deselection by Momentum activists. "It is completely unacceptable. They are a party within a party," he said of the Corbyn-aligned group. The "huge applause" for Hilary Benn, who favours intervention, far outweighed that for the leader, I'm told. 

There was also loud agreement when Jack Dromey condemned Ken Livingstone for blaming Tony Blair's invasion of Iraq for the 7 July 2005 bombings. Along with Angela Smith MP, Dromey demanded that Livingstone be sacked as the co-chair of Labour's defence review. Significantly, Benn said aftewards that he agreed with every word Dromey had said. Corbyn's office has previously said that it is up to the NEC, not the leader, whether the former London mayor holds the position. In reference to 7 July, an aide repeated Corbyn's statement that he preferred to "remember the brilliant words Ken used after 7/7". 

As on previous occasions, MPs complained that the leader failed to answer the questions that were put to him. A shadow minister told me that he "dodged" one on whether he believed the UK should end air strikes against Isis in Iraq. In reference to Syria, a Corbyn aide said afterwards that "There was significant support for the leader. There was a wide debate, with people speaking on both sides of the arguments." After David Cameron's decision to call a vote on air strikes for Wednesday, leaving only a day for debate, the number of Labour MPs backing intervention is likely to fall. One shadow minister told me that as few as 40-50 may back the government, though most expect the total to be closer to the original figure of 99. 

At the end of another remarkable day in Labour's history, a Corbyn aide concluded: "It was always going to be a bumpy ride when you have a leader who was elected by a large number outside parliament but whose support in the PLP is quite limited. There are a small number who find it hard to come to terms with that result."

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.