Newspaper headlines: Food banks, X Factor 'war' and political battles

Conflict, in a metaphorical sense, features in many of Sunday's headlines.

Ahead of a report into hunger across the UK, the Mail on Sunday envisages a "clash" between the Archbishop of Canterbury and the prime minister.

The paper says the Most Reverend Justin Welby backs calls for state support of food banks, while it notes that "Tory ministers and MPs have questioned the need for them" and that PM David Cameron turned down European funding to support them.

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In a comment article, the archbishop speaks of his shock at seeing British families going hungry as a result of a "mercilessly straightforward" event: "When an additional expense arrives out of the blue or expected income is missed, bare cupboards and empty stomachs swiftly follow."

Financial incentives must not discourage food companies from donating products to charities, he argues. One example is highlighted in the Sun on Sunday, which says public subsidies let supermarkets and restaurants claim up to £70 a tonne for sending food to be made into biofuel. It says only 2% of unsold produce is given to help feed the poor.

Charities are, however, getting help from gleaners - volunteers who salvage rejected crops - says the Independent. Reporter Karen Attwood finds 10 picking edible but pest-damaged sprouts from 120,000 trees on an organic Norfolk farm. Its manager expects to incur "thousands and thousands" of pounds in losses because supermarkets will not take them but they are later collected by a Wisbech homeless project.

Meanwhile, the Observer reports of "champagne wars" in the House of Lords, where peers rejected a shared catering department with the Commons in case "the quality... would not be as good", according to evidence given to MPs. Since the coalition took office, says the paper, £265,000 has been spent on more than 17,000 bottles of fizz for the Lords - enough for five bottles a year per peer.


Internal politics

Another war is reported on the Sunday Times front page - one declared by Chancellor George Osborne on the Lib Dems who, he reportedly says, are "plotting to slap 'hefty' income tax and national insurance rises on families because they will not agree to deeper cuts in public spending".

The Independent describes "cracks in the coalition", suggesting Lib Dem Business Secretary Vince Cable's critical public reaction to Mr Osborne's Autumn Statement was not the "excellent" one he expressed in cabinet. It also runs through other coalition spats, including Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg "desperately trying to avoid being pictured" with the PM and the party's Civil Liberties Minister Simon Hughes at loggerheads with his Conservative boss Chris Grayling.

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Conservatives are said to be fighting among themselves, with the Guardian describing a "fierce battle" for influence between Education Secretary Nicky Morgan and her ousted predecessor Michael Gove.

The Sun reckons Home Secretary Theresa May "has stepped up her Tory leadership war with Boris Johnson" by drawing up plans that would allow voters to remove him from his role in charge of London's policing. Meanwhile, the Telegraph says leadership rivals are "jockeying for position" in case Mr Cameron fails to hold on to power, suggesting Mr Osborne has been "lending support" to Culture Secretary Sajid Javid.

What of Labour? There are fears of "dirty tricks" in the battle to become its leader in Scotland, according to the Sunday Times. Supporters of Jim Murphy are concerned about the influence of the Unite union over the ballot, it reports. The paper also quotes from a book that suggests the party's former Chancellor Alistair Darling advised leader Ed Miliband not to put Ed Balls in charge of economic policy.

Damian McBride - whose unfounded smears of Conservatives forced his resignation as a Labour spin doctor - has advice for Messrs Miliband and Balls on how to win over voters on the economy: "Tell the truth." He writes in the Sun that voters don't want to be persuaded of "some magical alternative solution" and would prefer an admission that the deficit is "going to be with us a long time" and that Labour would cut it more slowly than the Conservatives.


Fiery Currie

If readers find political infighting tiresome, then there's little respite in the world of reality TV.

"X Factor judges Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Mel B are at war with each other," reports the Sunday People, quoting "insiders" who point to an on-screen row about boyband Stereo Kicks as the incident which triggered the breakdown of their working relationship.

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Meanwhile, under the headline "Currie sauce" the Sunday Mirror says former Conservative minister Edwina Currie has "outraged" fellow contestants on I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! with "smutty innuendos and bawdy behaviour". It reports rapper Tinchy Strider's discomfort at hearing the 68-year-old recount the night she lost her virginity.

Meanwhile, the Daily Star on Sunday quotes fellow contestant Kendra Wilkinson complaining that verbal attacks from Currie left her "on the verge of a nervous breakdown". The ex-MP's outspoken approach leads the Daily Telegraph's Nigel Farndale to imagine her take on the world in a piece headlined: "Zen and the art of Edwina Currie."

Another political figure, Labour activist and wife of the Commons Speaker Sally Bercow, is following up her appearance on Celebrity Big Brother by appearing in skiing show The Jump, the Sun reports. The Channel 4 show - featuring 12 personalities trying to master the ski jump, giant slalom and skeleton bob - isn't due to air until next month but is already proving a bone of contention for the husband of one of the contestants, according to the People. The paper claims Strictly Come Dancing's Ola Jordan's other half has been banned from the set.


In the real world...

The UK is "waging war on terrorism" as the Telegraph puts it in its description of developments in the Middle East, including the shooting dead of a British-born hostage by al-Qaeda during a failed rescue mission.

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The Daily Mail uses a graphic to show how US Navy Seals engaged extremists in a firefight in Yemen, only for the captors to shoot Luke Somers and South African teacher Pierre Korkie. According to the Sunday Express, the SAS also took part in the operation which the Telegraph says was foiled by a "dog's bark" that alerted the kidnappers.

The Observer is among those to profile Mr Somers, who had grown up in the US before moving to Yemen to teach English and becoming a photojournalist during the country's 2011 uprising. "Passionate about giving a voice to Yemen's people, he often put their stories before his own career and finances," it says.

Other papers focus on British military developments, with the Independent quoting activists who describe the development of a naval base in Bahrain as a "reward" for the UK's silence on human rights issues. The Sunday Times, meanwhile, suggests the RAF is "considering sending warplanes back to Afghanistan, six weeks after it officially ended its war in the country" after pleas from its president over the deteriorating security situation.


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