Newspaper headlines: SNP-Labour 'offer' and Tory homes plan

Sunday's newspapers carry plenty of speculation about possible post-election deals.

In an article in the Observer, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon reiterates her denials of claims that she made disparaging remarks about Ed Miliband - and challenges the Labour leader to join her in an anti-austerity alliance. Labour has ruled out a formal coalition but has not discounted a more informal partnership and the paper sees Ms Sturgeon's offer as a "new deal to help Ed Miliband into No 10" even if Labour wins fewer seats than the Tories.

But the Observer also wonders whether the Liberal Democrats will turn left or right after the election and be "kingmakers again". It says an "argument about what the party is really for is set to break out".

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The Sunday Times carries an interview with UKIP leader Nigel Farage in which he claims at least six Tory MPs will defect to his party if David Cameron attempts to form another coalition with the Liberal Democrats as they are against the terms leader Nick Clegg is trying to set for an EU referendum.

Meanwhile, a UKIP spokesman tells the Mail on Sunday that a poll suggesting Mr Farage is facing a defeat in the Kent seat he is contesting understated his support as it included people who were not likely to vote. The paper suggests UKIP tried to censor the poll to avoid panic in party ranks.

Ed Miliband tells the People's political editor Nigel Nelson of his determination to abolish the changes to housing benefit payments - dubbed a bedroom tax by campaigners - brought in under the coalition. Mr Miliband also says he does not dislike Mr Cameron on a personal level but "do hate what he has done to the country and... what he stands for".

In its front page story, the Sun on Sunday chooses to highlight a "secret crib sheet" Mr Miliband is said to have left in his ITV dressing room after last week's leaders' debate.

In the Sunday Times, David Cameron tells his journalist cousin Harry Mount how his world "collapsed" in 2009 when his severely-disabled son Ivan died. Mr Cameron's wife, Samantha, gives a long interview to the Mail on Sunday's You magazine, in which she talks about being Downing Street's "First Lady". It is the latest intervention by a spouse of a party leader in the election campaign, with Mrs Cameron saying: "Dave's even-tempered, clear-headed, compassionate and is not scared of making hard decision... The thing that worries him most is letting people down."

Chancellor George Osborne uses an interview in the Sunday Telegraph to set out his future plans for a "massive" 1980s-style boom in home-ownership if the Tories are elected. He suggests that more than two million people will be able to buy their first properties through direct government help and potential action to encourage building on brownfield sites. His remarks come a day after Labour outlined its own home building proposals and the party says the chancellor's pledges will be "cold comfort" to people priced out of home ownership over the past five years.


Eye-catching headlines


£500,000 dent

The Falklands concerns the Sunday Express. The paper reports that civil servants have been accused of handing Argentina an "invasion handbook" after forgetting to encrypt a secret document detailing technical aspects of the RAF's main military facility on the islands.

According to the Express, the Ministry of Defence removed the information from its website after being alerted by the paper.

The Mail on Sunday carries news of a different headache for military officials, amid heightened tension between Britain and Russia in the airspace over the North Sea and beneath the waves. It reports the 5,300-ton HMS Talent nuclear submarine sustained £500,000 damage in a collision while tracking Russian vessels.

Image copyright PA

The Mail on Sunday says the submarine will be out of action for several months although officials are refusing to disclose exact details of the crash - including where or when it happened. But they say the collision, which reportedly ripped a 6ft hole at the top of its conning tower, was caused by HMS Talent hitting "floating ice" rather than a Russian sub.

The Independent on Sunday reports on Poland's hunt for the submarine the Orzel, lost in the North Sea in 1940 during World War Two.

The final chapter of the submarine - lost without trace with 54 crew aboard while taking part in a wartime patrol for the Royal Navy - is a mystery which has intrigued millions of Poles and successive Warsaw governments, says the paper. The latest mission to locate the Orzel will be launched next month, and a new feature film and a television series about its exploits are being made.


All action royal

Photographs released of Prince Harry taking to the skies in the back of a Spitfire's cockpit last August to promote a scholarship to train wounded servicemen to fly feature on several front pages.

Image copyright John M Dibbs/Boultbee Flight Academy/PA

The Sunday Telegraph suggests the gesture recalls the Battle of Britain heroes who defended the country during the Second World War, while the Sunday Express headlines its report "Harry joins the Few".

Video footage showed Prince Harry giving the thumbs up as he flew upside down above the English Channel, with a co-pilot.

The images were issued by Buckingham Palace ahead of the Prince's month-long attachment with the Australian Defence Force and the trainees are hoping to join a fly past later this year to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

The Daily Star Sunday says the prince "howled with delight" at the antics, while the Sunday Mirror said he "reinforced his reputation as a dashing all-action royal".


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