29/11/2015 The Papers


29/11/2015

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That's all the sport, now on BBC News, Gavin Esler has The Papers.

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Hello and welcome to our Sunday morning edition of The Papers.

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With me are Lisa Markwell, the editor of the Independent on Sunday,

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and Ian Birrell, contributing editor at the Mail on Sunday.

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The Mail on Sunday leads with Grant Shapps' resignation and the scandal

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The Telegraph reports that David Cameron has also been dragged in

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to the crisis of alleged bullying inside the Conservative Party.

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Grant Shapps and his wife are pictured on front

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of The Sunday Express - but it leads with story that up to 100 prisoners

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serving life sentences could be let out of jail for Christmas.

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The Observer reports that David Cameron is to risk a Commons

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vote over Syria strikes despite a split in the Labour Party.

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The Times also goes with that story and claims that if David Cameron

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wins the vote, he will order RAF air strikes to target the masterminds

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There's more on that story in the the Independent On Sunday - it

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has a warning to Jeremy Corbyn from his deputy that he must back down.

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And finally the Sunday Post has a poll which says that

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the public cautiously back bombing raids against IS, but that 74%

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of people fear a terrorist attack on the UK within the year.

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Let's begin. The big story, presumably, of the week, is The

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Observer, Cameron to risk the vote over Syria is the Labour crisis

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deepens. It is a risk because he does not know what the Labour MPs

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will do, nor does anybody. On an issue like this where the divisions

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are not purely down party lines, it is really important for him that he

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knows how many Labour MPs are likely to vote four. There is a lot of

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behind-the-scenes machinations which we will probably come onto. The word

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risk is key in that headline. Nothing is certain. Especially since

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he has said, effectively, I will not do this unless we get a reasonable

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majority, it would be a propaganda coup for Islamic State. And they

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can't risk what happened in 2030 with Ed Miliband, he has to be sure

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that if it goes to a vote can he gets the answer. I don't think it is

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such a big risk. He will not have any risk if there is any chance of

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him losing, especially after what happened in 2013, when he was

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pushing for attacks on the other side regime, and then he had to turn

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around and say to Obama and others, I am sorry, I can't go ahead with

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it. There are arguments in favour of air strikes, one of them is that if

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we do not stand by our allies, why are we with them? Is that

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reasonable? I think it is the weakest argument, along with the

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fact that it is somehow about Britain being a big guy in the

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world. I think Cameron spoke very well last week and was very

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presidential and authoritative, that I think it is wrong, I think the

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argument is all flawed for attacking Syria. I think the only winners will

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be Assad, the guy who has killed far more people, and Putin, both of whom

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we were being told by the Prime Minister were threats to our

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security and enemies of our state. The newspapers are split in terms of

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the editorial, and not done straightforward party lines. The

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Daily Mail is saying... Interestingly, or perhaps not

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interestingly because they are separate papers, the Mail on Sunday

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has come down on the separate side. The Observer says absolutely no. I

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have taken a lot of advice from one of the world's 's leading expert on

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the Middle East. When people like him, Patrick, and very many

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political and military experts are unable to absolutely pinpoint which

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way to go, I think it is very, very difficult. On balance, I think the

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case has not been made. Air strikes is one thing, we have looked about

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the paper, but it is afterwards. Cameron talked very well, not only

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the military part of it but the political strategies. And it going

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forward, but I think it is by no means certain. I have talked to a

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number of people, one argument that has been made is that you can never

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foresee where any of this will turn out, decapitation strategy is in

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Libya and Iraq went badly, this is not the same, this is not trying to

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overthrow a government. Bit in Iraq their ground forces with the Kurds,

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who when you do the bombing raids, they are basically good guys, there

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are not that many of them, they are pushing forward on the ground. So

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the air strikes that have a purpose. In Syria, we do not know who the

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good guys are, the allies are, the beneficiaries are, the forces. The

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talk of 70,000 moderate forces, they are attacking Assad, not Isis, and

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they are in the south anyway. Even advisers goes, it will not deal with

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the underlying problems to do with sectarianism, repression, the old

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colonial borders, foreign intervention. This is not just a

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problem in Iraq and Syria but we conceded with Boko Haram in Nigeria,

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in Yemen, in Mali, in Bangladesh. Isis are claiming to have carried

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out some political murders in Bangladesh. This will not be solved

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by bombing Isis. It is much, much more complicated. In some ways, the

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public are being duped by thinking that an attack on Isis will solve

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the problems. Obviously it is a horrible, malevolent force causing

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untold misery, but getting rid of them aid going to solve the

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problems. The Independent on Sunday, Watson warns Corbyn that you must

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back down. His boss fights on for a majority against bombing, Watson

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would like a vote. The fact that Tom Watson is saying that is a big

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story? It is. We were discussing this beforehand, Tom Watson has not

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said a huge amount in the last ten days or so, that he has come back

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thunderously with this exclusive that he has spoken to us about,

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which is very much a reaction to the fact that Jeremy Corbyn seems to be

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trying to circumnavigate what any other political leader would think

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would be the usual rules of how to get your Shadow Cabinet and you MPs

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behind you. He has e-mailed all the party membership trying to do the

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grassroots rebellion inside the party. Watson, as you would probably

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expect a deputy, the sober boys, it turns out, in all of this, to say

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that has to be a free vote, you will not be able to persuade the Shadow

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Cabinet. It will not work. There are lots of slightly complicated things

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going on which our something about Corbyn's offers sent out weapons

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they might, and e-mail, we have a story inside, an e-mail to selected

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Labour MPs on Wednesday night saying that Cameron has not made the case,

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I am unequivocally against. That was Wednesday night, Cameron did not lay

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out his case until Thursday. It was a bit prejudged. A little bit. It

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feels like the heels are dug in, if he has to change and, as Watson

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says, have a free vote, it will be really uncomfortable. And there are

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very senior trade union leaders expressing disquiet, the Shadow

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Foreign Secretary at the Shadow Defence Secretary as well. It is an

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utter and complete farce what is going on in the Labour party. When

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you think it can't get worse, it gets worse. It is humiliating for

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them. Robert Harris has a very powerful column in the Sunday Times,

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which I don't intently agree with, but it is fantastic Labour, he says

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it is not about splits in the party, it is an existential crisis in the

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party, what is its point, will it totally split? The MPs wrote sync

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with the party. They may think they are more in sync with the

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electorate, which they probably are, but the party has changed. There are

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lots of new members and there is a clash. The other unavoidable fact is

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that, possibly for the wrong reasons, Corbyn was right on Iraq,

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host of the guys opposing him were wrong on Iraq by backing the war,

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and I also think he is right on the Syrian crisis. That is another

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problem. I think it is right what Ian is saying, Corbyn speaks a lot

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of sense. Although it is driven a lot by anti-American is. The reasons

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might be wrong, but we do not know what we are about to do, we should

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think about it more carefully and not be rushed to action, that is

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very important. When you talk outside of Westminster and media

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bubble, you talk to people outside, the new members or some of a

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long-time members the Labour Party, they completely believe in Corbyn

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and think that he is a highly principled person and they support

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an entirely on this. It is very interesting last night after we put

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the front page up, I got so much on Twitter and other social media from

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Labour members saying that Watson is being completely disloyal, he must

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go because Corbyn is the leader and we support him. I just spoke to the

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Labour MP Stephen Kinnock, he said the trouble with that argument is

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that if you have a leader who has rebelled 500 times against previous

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leaders, or call the loyalty is fairly nonsensical. He promised a

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new politics and he is demonstrating it, but it is politics bordering on

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farce. We hear the word mandate all the time, he has thousands and

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thousands of people, he is appealing direct route to them. It is

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difficult to mute that. People will feel even more disenchanted and

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disenfranchised of their own leader does not speak to them. Shadow

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Cabinet members say that the most frustrating thing is not that they

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are at loggerheads, he just does nothing, he backs off and things

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explode in the media. It must be very hard for a politician to deal

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with. Moving onto the Mail on Sunday, it

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has campaigned quite strongly on this issue, the Tory scandal forces

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minister out, Grant Shapps, exposed after we revealed new MP blackmail

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pot doomed? The PM's pal is in the firing line over our revelations.

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This could have been an open goal for Labour, it is really mucky

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stuff? It shows the depth of the Labour crisis that we are talking

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about it third this morning, it is astonishing. The political editor of

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the Mail on Sunday, Simon Walters, has uncovered this for weeks before

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the rest of the media picked it up. Suddenly it has exploded. Sit back

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and think about it, it is astonishing. A story about sex and

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drugs and blackmail and careerist politics all going on within the

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Conservative Party, reaching the very highest levels. It involves

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three past party chairman, it involves the new deputy chairman, it

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is very extraordinary. At root, it confirms the public's worst fears

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about politics. It is like a rejected version of the Alan Busted

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normal Mark Roe -- the television story. It tars them all? Shadowy

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figure of the MP he was not named, they know who it is, they say coyly,

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but out of respect will not name them... Respect for the lawyers!

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Batters MacGuffin for me, this is about David Cameron's choices. --

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that is a McGuffin. Until he could not support Grant Shapps any more,

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he very much supported him. As Simon Heather says in the Telegraph, the

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water had closed over Grant Shapps very quickly. He has not left any

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mark at all. Nevertheless, Cameron really believed in him and supported

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him. Lord Feldman, a very close friend of Cameron's. This is where

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it is creeping up. The idea of sex scandals is interesting, but it goes

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to the heart of the choices of who is running the country, who is

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advising the Prime Minister. Leaving this aside, Feldman has been a very

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good chairman for the party. Financially, you still very good job

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and sorted out a lot of operations. There is a friendship issue but he

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has been a very, very effective chairman behind-the-scenes.

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Nevertheless if, as we are being told today, warnings as far back as

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2009 were given to people at Lord Feldman's level and they did nothing

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about it, even if there were lots of individual, slightly lower-level

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warnings, you would expect some body running things to say, hold on a

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minute. Somebody as intelligent as Lord Feldman should have every

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lights that one day this would gather strength. -- should have

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realised. This will run and run, there is lots more in it? It is

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almost ambient good not to run. Lets not forget Elliot Johnson, the poor

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young man motivated by politics, really wanted to get involved, is

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now dead and his father, incredibly bravely and very strongly, is saying

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that Grant Shapps going is absolutely not... Grant Shapps says

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the buck stops with me, I am sorry, that is not the case, Andrei Johnson

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wants this to go all the way, he wanted those who took -- and Ray

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Johnson wants this to go all the way, he says he wants those who knew

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about it to take responsibility. On the Sunday Telegraph, I think it is

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the best political comment of the day, it often comes from

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cartoonist, on the front page there are two activists in Labour Party

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headquarters, one says to the other, obviously things won't run this

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movie when Jeremy Corbyn's honeymoon period is over. Almost always

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absolutely spot-on. We were counting up Corbyn pits days in the office,

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it is day 85, normally when they take over, the first 100 days, as

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newspaper editors, you get those pieces ready. We'll Jeremy Corbyn

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make it to 100 days? The cartoonist nails it. The mechanism for removing

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a leader of the Labour Party, especially one with a thumping

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majority, he could be the leader for as long as he chooses. But people

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are already saying publicly that he must go. In the days after he got

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the job, literally the next day, senior people said there is no

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question of him quitting. I thought that was rather indicative. The

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Oldham by-election will be very interesting. The fact that Corbyn

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has decided not to go, he may pop up in his grey tracksuit at the last

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minute, but at the moment he is not going. It is likely heartbreaking,

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you would expect that to be front and centre of what he is doing. Ukip

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have had a bad time, leadership problems, it might kick-start them.

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Internally, the Independent On Saturday had a poll saying that his

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majority is down to as little as 1000. From 15,000.

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The Sunday Telegraph has got Murrays put Britain on the brink of

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cup glory, the Sunday Times says all set for the final showdown, Andy

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Murray, the prospect of winning the Davis Cup for the first time since

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1936. What can you say, it is very exciting and stop this brings

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together two sporting stories from both ends of the spectrum, the fine

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gentleman sport of tennis and the rather more... How shall we say

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unglamorous sport of boxing, although there is more money in

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boxing. We have not had a British winner of the title since 1936 or

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1934, Ian has all the details. We would have had more recent, but it

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is amazing, a huge shock in boxing, Robert Lee the biggest shock of the

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25 years. Little was known about this guy, he came along and he has

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beaten the world champion, who has been raining for a long time. It is

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an underdog triumph, the classic rock singer story. It made the front

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page of the Telegraph sport, fists of Few read, he defeats Klitschko to

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become heavyweight champion of the world. I don't think most British

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people outside of the boxing world will know of him. -- fists of Fury.

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Boxing is not the force, no plan intended, that it used to be, they

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all papal view -- pay-per-view, you can watch them in the pub, they are

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on at crazy hours of the day and night will stop de Gea used ago to

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the pub to watch boxing? -- didn't you used ago? Not on Saturday, I am

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busy! One of the stories is not on the papers at all, the junior

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doctors strike on Tuesday. At the moment it looks like it is going

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ahead. And also the Paris climate conference, there will be a big

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march in London. And all over the place. Those are two big stories

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which made none of the front pages. The Telegraph has the junior doctors

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on it, for the public, that is probably the biggest story. Battle

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most affect people. It is difficult to see what could avert that. I

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think Jeremy Hunt, something said yesterday that they think it is too

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later but they will still attempt another talk with him tomorrow.

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Everybody is so caught up in Syria and Labour 's shenanigans that it

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has dropped away. It will be a heck of a week in politics, the

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prospective chaos in the NHS, the prospect of bombing or not bombing

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Syria, Oldham and what is going on in the Labour Party. Is that why you

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are journalist? I can keep my feet up until next Saturday! It is a

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Sunday paper. Thank you very much. Our thanks to Lisa and Ian. We take

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a look at tomorrow's front pages every evening at 10:30pm and 11:30pm

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on BBC News.

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