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Morning Call: pick of the papers

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

1. Pfizer's takeover of AstraZeneca must be blocked (Guardian)

We can't allow an excellent and strategically important British company to be dismembered by American asset-strippers, says David Sainsbury. 

2. Ed will never have the look of a prime minister (Times)

The real Miliband is not a madcap Marxist but an aloof, awkward intellectual incapable of convincing the voters, writes Philip Collins. 

3. Putin could drive an army through the gaps in Britain's defences (Daily Telegraph)

Events in Ukraine show why David Cameron cannot afford to run down our military capability, says Fraser Nelson. 

4. University economics teaching isn't an education: it's a £9,000 lobotomy (Guardian)

Economics took a battering after the financial crisis, but faculties are refusing to teach alternative views, writes Aditya Chakrabortty. It's as if there's only one way to run an economy.

5. Why the Tories dread another five years of Clegg (Daily Telegraph)

Conservatives and Lib Dems are bickering ahead of next year's general election, but what if they have to work together again afterwards, asks Isabel Hardman. 

6. The NHS is on the brink: can it survive till May 2015? (Guardian)

Jeremy Hunt's main task is to keep the health service out of the news until the election, writes Polly Toynbee. Tories are praying he succeeds.

7. AstraZeneca is more than investors’ call (Financial Times)

Shareholders build diversified portfolios to avoid risk, writes Martin Wolf. Employees are far more exposed.

8. Nobody can call Ukip a racist party now (Times)

Attacks from the left and right are unfounded, says Nigel Farage. Ethnic minority voters are flocking to us.

9. The tradition of philanthropy has seemingly died out in the UK (Independent)

The advent of the welfare state was viewed incorrectly as lessening the need for charity, writes Chris Blackhurst. 

10. German angst turns Europe back to Yalta (Financial Times)

Following events in Ukraine, Berlin has to face the sort of choices it has sought to avoid, says Philip Stephens. 

Photo: Getty Images/Christopher Furlong
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A dozen defeated parliamentary candidates back Caroline Flint for deputy

Supporters of all the leadership candidates have rallied around Caroline Flint's bid to be deputy leader.

Twelve former parliamentary candidates have backed Caroline Flint's bid to become deputy leader in an open letter to the New Statesman. Dubbing the Don Valley MP a "fantastic campaigner", they explain that why despite backing different candidates for the leadership, they "are united in supporting Caroline Flint to be Labour's next deputy leader", who they describe as a "brilliant communicator and creative policy maker". 

Flint welcomed the endorsement, saying: "our candidates know better than most what it takes to win the sort of seats Labour must gain in order to win a general election, so I'm delighted to have their support.". She urged Labour to rebuild "not by lookin to the past, but by learning from the past", saying that "we must rediscover Labour's voice, especially in communities wher we do not have a Labour MP:".

The Flint campaign will hope that the endorsement provides a boost as the campaign enters its final days.

The full letter is below:

There is no route to Downing Street that does not run through the seats we fought for Labour at the General Election.

"We need a new leadership team that can win back Labour's lost voters.

Although we are backing different candidates to be Leader, we are united in supporting Caroline Flint to be Labour's next deputy leader.

Not only is Caroline a fantastic campaigner, who toured the country supporting Labour's candidates, she's also a brilliant communicator and creative policy maker, which is exactly what we need in our next deputy leader.

If Labour is to win the next election, it is vital that we pick a leadership team that doesn't just appeal to Labour Party members, but is capable of winning the General Election. Caroline Flint is our best hope of beating the Tories.

We urge Labour Party members and supporters to unite behind Caroline Flint and begin the process of rebuilding to win in 2020.

Jessica Asato (Norwich North), Will Straw (Rossendale and Darween), Nick Bent (Warrington South), Mike Le Surf (South Basildon and East Thurrock), Tris Osborne (Chatham and Aylesford), Victoria Groulef (Reading West), Jamie Hanley (Pudsey), Kevin McKeever (Northampton South), Joy Squires (Worcester), Paul Clark (Gillingham and Rainham), Patrick Hall (Bedford) and Mary Wimbury (Aberconwy)

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