Front pages: MPs' pay rise 'fury' makes headlines

There is anger in a number of papers at news that MPs are in line for an 11% pay rise after the next election.

The Daily Mirror says it will come as "millions of struggling workers" in the public sector get just 1% - effectively a pay cut once inflation is taken into account.

Image caption Beautiful images of Northumberland national park - awarded Dark Sky status - feature in many papers

Elsewhere, the Daily Telegraph reports comments from a senior High Court judge urging couples to marry before having children - while the Daily Mail carries the story of a father denied any opportunity to see his.

There's also another bad weather warning on the front of the Daily Express and news of a possible sell-off of part of HSBC in the Financial Times.

Discussing the papers for the BBC News Channel, pensions expert Ros Altmann expressed disbelief at judge Sir Paul Coleridge's remarks about marriage, saying: "What era is this man living in? We've moved on from all that. People do live quite happily with children without being married."

James Lyons, deputy political editor of the Daily Mirror, was also bemused at Sir Paul's claim that there's "a level of ignorance" among politicians about the benefits of marriage.

"I don't know where this man has been hiding but barely a week goes by without David Cameron banging on about marriage and his ridiculous marriage tax break," he said. "So this man seems to not only have views from the dark ages, but he seems to be completely out of touch with what's happening in Britain as well."

Greedy or deserved?

The majority of papers are unequivocal in their opinion of that proposed pay rise for MPs - they're appalled. Some though, dare to suggest - albeit gingerly - that maybe it's the right thing to do, although not now.

The Daily Mirror is definitely in the first camp, issuing the warning: "Woe betide the MP who puts his or her financial interests first." It calls on every MP not to accept the rise "because to take the money during this austerity drive would not only be greedy, it would repeat the backlash of the expenses scandal by turning the public against politicians".

The Sun also doles out stern advice for MPs, telling them it would be "political suicide" to accept the rise. "Every backbench MP should examine their conscience and be ready to answer this at election time: Did you trouser your 11% or not?"

There is a similar sentiment in the Guardian which agrees it would be "a self-destructive act for the political system to take the rise.

Westminster is "at war" over the issue says the Daily Mail, pointing out that while ministers and opposition front benchers might be "tripping over themselves to condemn" the recommendation from Ipsa, backbenchers are "arguing that they deserve pay rises". Of ministers, the Mail wonders if they really don't like the system, "why don't they legislate to change it?"

Elsewhere, some editorials take a more moderate stance to the proposal but with major caveats.

The Independent says the rise "cannot be defended" in these straitened times - despite agreeing MPs may be underpaid - but suggests: " Why not simply wait until national wage levels have recovered from the financial crisis to remedy the situation?"

The Daily Express also feels MPs' pay is too low, but says "this rise must be phased in over five years" to lessen the blow to the public. "If members are truly honourably they'll accept this curb without complaint," it adds.

And the Daily Telegraph says a pay rise can only be accepted if more is also done to punish politicians who misuse public money. It says the "most flagrant cheats" who abused the expenses system may be gone, but there are still problems.

Only the Times could really be said to support the rise as proposed, describing it as "an important catching up", adding: "If we want the best quality representation then we cannot begrudge paying them properly."

'Only dry eyes'

On a designated national day of prayer, many papers sent correspondents to one particular church - Regina Mundi in Soweto - a place the Guardian says "still bears the bullet holes of apartheid".

Perhaps surprisingly, correspondent Gary Yonge reports, "there were only dry eyes in the house" and "if Soweto is anything to go by, then the nation at large seems to be bearing its grief in a festive spirit". He says the mood has gone "beyond the man to a nostalgic embrace of the moral certainty and sense of resistance he came to embody".

Lucy Bannerman and Ruth Maclean, writing in the Times, agree, saying: "South Africans made sure they mourned Nelson Mandela with singing, whistling and laughter... It was a deliberate and uplifting display of unity."

Elsewhere, the papers continue to look ahead to the rest of the remembrance events later this week.

The Daily Mail says there are "fears" things "could descend into chaos" because some key details of planning and security have yet to be organised. It says the "most serious concerns" relate to the funeral itself, to be held in the remote village of Qunu, which the paper says is "accessible by only one minor road".

"Signs of stress" are already visible reports Tracy McVeigh, in the Guardian. She says there were "disgruntled scenes" on Sunday at Johannesburg's Nasrec Expo centre as up to 3,000 journalists tried to collect press passes. A broken printer meant a long wait and later there were "tensions between media outlets at some church events as cameras could barely film without getting another camera in the shot".

Lenin toppled

Image caption Protests began in Kiev last month and show no sign of abating

The ongoing protests in Ukraine claimed a victim on Sunday - a statue of Lenin, which was pulled down, decapitated and beaten by demonstrators. They are furious at what they see as the government turning its back on Europe in favour of ties with Russia.

"A solution to the crisis appears elusive, with the government pretending not to notice the protests, and the opposition issuing contradictory statements on how to proceed next," says the Independent.

The Financial Times says the "stand-off is putting further strain on the cash-strapped government and an economy in the grip of a second recession in five years".

Balls defiant - and tuneful

Ed Balls said on Sunday he "couldn't give a toss" about calls for him to get the boot following his performance at the Autumn Statement last week.

With somewhat disturbing results, the Sun transposes the shadow chancellor's face onto the body of comedian Catherine's Tate's character Lauren, famed for her "Am I bovvered?" catchphrase.

The Daily Express certainly thinks he should be bothered by the criticism, suggesting Mr Balls could be "the Conservatives' best weapon" in the run-up to the nest general election.

Meanwhile, the Daily Telegraph shows a very different side to Mr Balls - playing the piano at a concert in North London. The paper's classical music critic Ivan Hewett says his approach was "confident but ultra cautious". He adds: "Credit where it's due. Through the hesitations you can feel a real tenderness in those closing bars. I reckon he'll sail through his Grade 3 exam."

Image caption Some of Britain's most familiar countryside birds are in steep decline, the papers report. They include, clockwise from top left, the lapwing, wood warbler, cuckoo and yellow wagtail

Cost of independence

A top executive at one of the big four supermarkets has told the Financial Times that Scottish consumers face higher food bills if they vote in favour of independence. The paper says that "doing business in Scotland is more expensive because of a combination of higher transport costs and more onerous business rates... but retailers absorb this into their UK margins to adhere to a 'national pricing' policy".

However, if the UK splits, warns said unnamed executive, Scotland would be treated "as an international market" and firms would therefore put prices up.

Making people click

What's top of the most viewed on some of the papers' websites:

Guardian - Bonnie and Clyde: can the History Channel get away with this?

Daily Telegraph - Pope Francis's life 'was saved by a nun'

Times - Princess Michael: 'I am not going to write Fifty Shades of of Royal Purple'

Daily Mirror - X Factor Sunday show catch-up: Rough Copy sent home in semi-final sing-off against Luke Friend