Newspaper headlines: Eurozone boost and Leon Brittan death

The main story for many of the papers is the 1.1tn euro injection into the eurozone by the European Central Bank to aid its ailing economy.

It is the lead story for the Guardian, Times and not surprisingly the Financial Times. The FT says the landmark decision to embark on large-scale quantitative easing "came in the teeth of fierce opposition in Germany where political and business leaders fear it could reduce the pressure on European countries to reform their economies".

Image copyright AP
Image caption The move was announced by ECB president Mario Draghi

In an editorial comment, the paper says it has taken far too long for the ECB to go down this path but welcomes its "belated action".

The Times considers what effect this might have closer to home - according to experts, it will mean cheaper holidays and cut-price imports for Britain.

The paper quotes David Lamb, a senior dealer at a foreign exchange firm, who says the falling euro and strong pound would be an "unalloyed bonus", meaning Britons' holiday money "will now go much further".

In a leading article headed "better late than never", the Times says: "It is the right course and has been carefully designed. Unfortunately it is late and it will not on its own cure Europe's malaise. The eurozone's flagging economy needs radical restructuring."

"1tn euro 'shock and awe' move to save the eurozone," says the Guardian. "Central bank to pump £60bn a month into economy despite German anger."

The paper says the the ECB had been reluctant to follow the example of the US and UK, in the face of German opposition and fears that it could unleash inflation.

"Two and a half years have passed since (ECB president) Mario Draghi promised to do 'what it takes' to save the euro," says the Guardian in a leading article. "But it took until Thursday for him to get around to doing what his counterparts in Washington, London and Tokyo did long ago - and set the printing presses whirring in the battle against economic depression."

"Cheaper holidays, rising pension funds and property bargains on the Continent are in store for British families," is the cheery message from the Daily Telegraph.

In a comment piece, the paper's Ambrose Evans-Pritchard says Mr Draghi has achieved a "spectacular triumph": "His headline offering comes in the face of scorched-earth resistance" from the German Bundesbank and the richer euro states.

The Daily Mail says a £900bn bailout for the "crisis-torn" eurozone was unveiled in a "last-ditch bid to kick-start growth".


Brittan remembered

The papers mark the death of former Home Secretary Leon Brittan, a key figure in Margaret Thatcher's government in the 1980s, who has died at the age of 75.

The Times says David Cameron was among the first to pay tribute to the peer, describing him as a "dedicated and fiercely intelligent public servant".

In an obituary, the paper says Lord Brittan was one of Mrs Thatcher's most able ministers but was sacrificed in the wake of the Westland affair, over the takeover of a struggling Yeovil helicopter manufacturer.

The Telegraph says Lord Brittan "overcame a humiliating end to his ministerial career during the Westland crisis to become the longest-serving and most effective of Britain's European commissioners".

The Guardian notes that, as home secretary in the 1980s, he played a key role for the government in its handling of the bitter miners' strike.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Leon Brittan was a key figure in the Thatcher governments of the 1980s

The paper says contemporary opinion and historical perspective have both suggested that his resignation over the Westland affair "was also significant in helping to ensure that Margaret Thatcher survived in office as prime minister".

Paul Routledge in the Mirror describes him as the "shadowy power behind Thatcher's war against the miners in their strike 30 years ago".

The Independent pictures him on its front page, and the paper's Andrew Grice says he was a political high-flyer whose ascent was grounded by an initially obscure but eventually explosive cabinet dispute over a helicopter company.

The Daily Express says he had a towering presence over British politics for three decades but his career was beset by troubles.

The Sun takes a similar line, saying he was the golden boy in Mrs Thatcher's 80s governments but his final months were "dogged by controversy".

Some papers adopt a more recent perspective, referring to questions about the way he handled child abuse allegations while he was home secretary.

"Now will we ever find truth on abuse dossier?" asks the front page headline of the the Daily Mail. It says it is feared Lord Brittan "may have taken the secrets of a VIP paedophile dossier to his grave".


Royal denial

The papers reflect on Prince Andrew's denials in his first statement in public since a US woman made claims that she was forced to have sex with him when she was 17.

The prince is pictured on the front of the Daily Telegraph, Guardian, Daily Mail, Daily Express and Daily Star.

The Times said he looked resolute and calm as he addressed the allegations in a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

"His remarks were brief and unsensational, but it was the fact that he made them at all that marked a watershed moment," says the Daily Telegraph.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Prince Andrew briefly spoke about allegations in at an economic summit

"He felt he had no alternative but to become the first senior member of the Royal Family to make a televised statement denying serious sexual impropriety."

The Guardian describes how he looked relaxed and at ease as he joined guests at the reception for British business.

"In an unprecedented move," says the Daily Mail, "the strained-looking royal used a televised speech to repeat Buckingham Palace's 'emphatic' denials that he had ever had 'any form of sexual contact or relationship' with his accuser." The paper notes that his "brief and limited" reference to the claims contained 46 words and lasted only 37 seconds.

"In a carefully-worded statement, Andrew referred to denials that have already been issued by Buckingham Palace," says the Star. The Independent says his voice was "noticeably shaky".

The Sun says the prince happily mingled at the packed event after spending the day dodging journalists' questions and trying to keep up a "business as usual" image.


Political shot

Finally, there are plenty of pictures of London Mayor Boris Johnson lying prone, in his suit, and pointing a rifle on a visit to Iraq to meet British troops who are training Kurdish Peshmerga soldiers.

"Taking aim! Boris on manoeuvres in Iraq" is the headline in the Daily Express. "He usually shoots down his rivals with a witty quip," says the Express, "but Boris Johnson had different targets in his sights during a training exercise with British troops."

The Sun says the mayor broke long-standing political protocol to pick up an AK-47 assault rifle as he lay down in the dirt alongside the Peshmerga during a "high-risk trip to northern Iraq". The Mirror describes how Mr Johnson "proudly brandished an AK-47 rifle as he met soldiers".

Patrick Wintour in the Guardian says that with every move of the mayor open to interpretation, the visit will raise eyebrows from those who believe he is burnishing his credentials as an international statesman capable of thinking more broadly than the next London police committee meeting.