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In the Sunday papers

November 30th, 2008

Cameron – “this is a watershed moment”: Brown must speak out

How will Clegg’s aeroplane comments play in the Lib Dems?

Writing in the News of the World, David Cameron calls on the PM to “make his opinions clear” on the Green arrest.

“…does he think it is right for an MP who has apparently done nothing to breach our national security to have his home and office searched by a dozen counter-terrorist police officers, his phone, BlackBerry and computers confiscated, and to be arrested and held for nine hours? …if this approach had been in place in the 1990s, then Gordon Brown would have spent most of his time under arrest. He made his career from passing on Whitehall leaks. And he’ll be guilty of hypocrisy if he doesn’t speak out.”

The Mail on Sunday reports on the claim that the police used phone calls from a Home Office whistleblower Christopher Galley in a bid to entrap Green, trying to persuade him to call the shadow minister.

The Independent reports that the Commons offices of Green and other senior Tories are routinely swept for bugs, and that there is a fear among MPs that the security services now have an open door to snoop, while John Rentoul argues that the police are now a law unto themselves.

Meanwhile, the Sunday Times focuses on Scotland Yard, reporting that it is in a state of turmoil, with senior police officials criticising its new boss and admitting the handling of the Green arrest had been “catastrophic”, while David Blunkett has called on the cabinet to review the process by which the police have access to the offices and confidential material of MPs.

The Observer’s editorial argues that Brown’s silence betrays Parliament, while Andrew Rawnsley compares the situation to “Harare, Minsk, or Rangoon”. Matthew d’Ancona in the Sunday Telegraph says that Labour doesn’t mind leaks – so long as it is doing the leaking: “the arrest has turned Mr Green into the Andrew Sachs of politics”.

Finally, the Sunday Mirror reports on Nick Clegg slagging off his colleagues while on a packed aeroplane:

    He revealed his dislike for Steve Webb… “Webb must go,” he said. “He’s a problem. I can’t stand the man. We need a new spokesman. We have to move him. We need someone with good ideas. At the moment, they just don’t add up.”

    …He then slated rising star Julia Goldsworthy. “We have to move her too. She gets patronised. And we can’t give her Foreign. She’s just not equipped to do it. Huhne also came in for a battering. Clegg dismissed him for the key Environment job by saying the shadow cabinet needed someone “more emotionally intelligent”. He then talked of demoting Huhne.”

Double Carpet






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