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Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. Russia is a hostile power, but this is not a new cold war (Guardian)

The west needs to step back from the Ukraine crisis and devise a new strategy of containment towards Vladimir Putin, says Martin Kettle. 

2. Man Utd and Britain share a problem – debt (Times)

The football club is paying off its borrowings, writes Tim Montgomerie. But for Labour, the deficit will force tough decisions on tax and spending.

3. Boris, George and selfish scheming that could hand Labour the keys to Downing Street (Daily Mail)

The Mayor and the Chancellor should leave their machinations until after the election, says Stephen Glover. 

4. This war on 'Islamism' only fuels hatred and violence (Guardian)

Tony Blair's anti-democratic tirade chimes with David Cameron's toxic manoeuvring at home and in the Muslim world, says Seumas Milne. 

5. The mysteries of the UK economy unravel (Financial Times)

Three almost universally held ‘truths’ will wither when new standards are adopted, writes Chris Giles. 

6. Rebellion is brewing against the elite that has ruined Europe (Daily Telegraph)

"The idiot in Brussels" and his like may keep their jobs for now, but trust is evaporating fast, says Peter Oborne.

7. Enjoy the sushi and hot noodles while you can, Barack – the Chinese will remain cold (Independent)

For two of the countries on his itinerary, the timing is especially poor, says David Usborne. 

8. London borough elections: Britain's other other country (Guardian)

London elected 14 more MPs than Scotland in 2010 – this other country is under parliament's nose, notes a Guardian editorial. 

9. Kim turns into the Macbeth of North Korea (Times)

Planning is already in place in case the leader’s brutality leads to his assassination and the collapse of the regime, writes Michael Burleigh. 

10. Latin rebels turn to pragmatism (Financial Times)

But take Venezuelan and Argentine reform with pinch of salt, says an FT editorial. 

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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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