Newspaper headlines: EU benefits ban, Plebgate, Phillip Hughes and PD James

David Cameron may not have delivered his long-touted speech on immigration before the front pages were put to bed but his intentions fill countless pages nonetheless.

The Daily Mail sets out his "battleplan" in table form, spelling out "what happens now", the cost of current arrangements, the PM's planned reform and its likely chances of success. Rating the latter as slim in most cases, the paper argues: "Given the intransigence of many of our continental partners, history may well record it as the moment he put Britain on the road to exiting the EU."

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In the opinion of the Times: "Parts of the package will be unenforceable. Parts may have unforeseen and unwelcome consequences, among them the arrival in Britain of whole families rather than just breadwinners in order to get round new rules on child benefit. The whole raft of restrictions is likely to be resisted by the European Commission. Still, they have the advantage of being sensible."

And the Daily Telegraph argues: "With good will, a deal can be one that would not undermine the fundamental principles of the EU, but would also show that voters are being listened to at last."

However, while the Daily Express says the "radical commitments" are "by far the toughest policies [Mr Cameron] has ever proposed", it argues: "They will not satisfy the British people."

Pointing to evidence suggesting migration is a "net benefit" to the UK, Labour's Alan Johnson writes in the Independent that Mr Cameron is "listening to the wrong people" by allowing UKIP to frame the debate. "It has successfully pushed Cameron into a perverse negotiating position where the definition of 'success' involves a UK exit," he says.

As the Financial Times's Martin Wolf puts it: "It makes sense for the UK to have a debate on immigration and to recognise both the opportunities and challenges it creates." However, he adds: "The decision on whether to stay in the EU will shape the UK's future... it would be folly to let a paroxysm of anxiety over immigration drive this debate."


'Arrogant idiot'

The Sun revels in its court victory over Andrew Mitchell, the former government chief whip who was adjudged to have used the word "pleb" during a confrontation with a Downing Street policeman. It dedicates five pages to the "snob story", declaring: "Andrew Mitchell's Plebgate humiliation is a story of one rich man's overbearing arrogance. He was defending what he saw as a God-given right to disrespect those he deemed his social inferiors," it says.

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The Daily Mail sets out the politician's "history of high-handed insults to police", as revealed during the case. Despite that, columnist Simon Heffer argues that his friend from Cambridge University "may be an arrogant idiot... but he's not evil".

As the Daily Telegraph highlights, the constable in question had told the court he "did not even know what the word 'pleb' meant". And the Independent's Oliver Wright points out: "The single word that ended [Mr Mitchell's] political career was one that only a man of his class and background would have used in anger."

The Daily Mirror says Mr Mitchell has lost both his reputation and career, while newspaper estimates of the legal costs he must face ranging from £1.5m to £3m. Yet, in the Guardian's opinion, the matter "should never have come to court". It says: "A year ago, the Police Federation, a few of whose members played a shaming part in inflaming the situation, apologised and declared the matter closed. But Mr Mitchell decided to pursue the case that had forced his resignation."

As the Times puts it: "A simple apology would have done the trick. A little common courtesy would have been enough to avert this whole disgraceful episode."


'Massive talent'

Poignant photographs of Phil Hughes, the Australian test cricketer, appear in news and sports pages alike following his death as a result of being hit by a bouncer at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

"The day cricket wept," is how the Daily Mail describes the situation. And the Daily Express captures the solidarity in the sport across the world with a photograph of players from two local sides in Kolkata, India, observing a minute's silence. Summing up the stunned reaction of the cricket fraternity, the Guardian's Mike Selvey writes: "Death is a hazard faced with immense courage by many every day of their lives. But this is cricket, a game. We don't expect this."

It was, as Independent health editor Charlie Cooper points out, a "freakish" injury that killed Hughes, one that has only been reported 100 times and "caused by the kind of impact experienced in a car crash".

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Tributes pour in from figures such as Graeme Swann - the last bowler to take Hughes' wicket in a test match - who writes in the Sun: "I was absolutely shattered, totally sickened, when I heard the horrible news." Angus Fraser, who signed Hughes to play briefly for Middlesex, remembers not just a "massive talent" but the Australian's "lovely, carefree, simple attitude to life... underpinned by a strong work ethic and a fierce desire to score runs and be the best he could".

Gideon Haigh, a columnist for the Australian newspaper, writes in the Times that - even when dropped from the Australia side - Hughes "had the look". "Here was a cricketer, we told ourselves, with time on his side." Instead, he writes, he will remain "good and young for ever".

Much concern now focuses on the man who delivered the fatal ball - Sean Abbott - with former England batsman David Lloyd asking in the Mail: "How, as a bowler, do you deal with something like this? How can you love the game again?" While the cricket world has rallied round Abbott, former England fast bowler Steve Harmison expresses fears in the Telegraph that he may never play again.

As the Telegraph's Paul Hayward puts it: "If cricket was unprepared for the funeral of a 25-year-old batsman who was on the verge of an international recall - and was hailed as a boy wonder on an Ashes tour of these shores - then the process of feeling 'normal' about cricket again will take years, not months, and may never reach its end."


'Cherished writer'

Novelist PD James's death at 94 may have come as much less of a shock but the praise is no less glowing for the woman the Daily Express labels the "first lady of crime". Nearly all her books were adapted for TV or film, it says, noting: "[She] didn't have her first one published until she was 42."

The Independent's Boyd Tonkin pays tribute to a "cherished and prolific writer... whose talent and insight often broke through the boundaries of her genre". Fellow author Ruth Rendell writes in the Guardian that James "wrote books about real things that could have happened". She says: "If one of her books had policework in it, the policework would be true, it would be very real."

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AN Wilson, in the Mail, writes of James's "devastatingly hard life" before her first novel was published, citing her "cold-hearted" father, a mother who was committed to a mental hospital and a first glimpse of death aged 10 when a little boy was fished out of a river near her home: "What material was here for the murder writer!"

Like Wilson, the Express recalls her "skewering" of ex-BBC director general Mark Thompson over the quality of programming and salary levels on BBC Radio 4's Today programme. However, despite being a baroness and often lunching with the Queen, "the Phyllis I knew was far too down-to-earth to succumb to grandeur", according to the Independent's John Walsh.

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