Newspaper headlines: Farage back injury, Miliband Libya row, HSBC quit threat, royals mark Gallipoli

As the general election campaign moves into its final two weeks, the focus remains on predictions of political stalemate.

Image copyright Getty Images

The Daily Telegraph leads with the news that UKIP leader Nigel Farage has admitted he is receiving hospital treatment for a serious back condition.

It says Mr Farage directly addressed rumours about his health "after being dogged by speculation that he was severely ill and would be unable to take part in negotiations in the event of a hung parliament". The Telegraph quotes him as saying he is fit to continue campaigning.

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon is interviewed by the Times and the paper highlights her contention the party could wield "enormous influence" over Labour if they enter into an agreement after 7 May.

Ms Sturgeon also suggests such an arrangement could lead to "very effective" government and English voters do not have to fear a "mess". The Times says her remarks will be seized upon by the Conservatives as they increase their attacks over the prospect of a Labour deal with the SNP.

Meanwhile, the Financial Times says Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has "dealt a blow" to the chances of his party going into a coalition with Labour by ruling out a deal that relied on "life support" from the SNP.

The FT sees the comments as "the clearest sign yet that he is contemplating a renewal of his 2010 coalition with the Conservatives" and says David Cameron will "take comfort".

In an interview with the Independent, Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft expresses concern that the party has not opened up an opinion poll lead over Labour.

The paper claims Lord Ashcroft was laying the blame at Mr Cameron's door, complaining the Tories "ought to have laid the foundations for a campaign in which they could talk confidently about their plans". Ed Miliband "far from crumbling... has shown a good deal of resilience in the face of some rather unseemly attacks", says Lord Ashcroft.

Poor timing?

Ed Miliband's contention that David Cameron bore some responsibility for the stream of migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean from Libya attracts headlines.

Image copyright Reuters

The Daily Mail says the Labour leader and his party's spin machine prompted the most bitter row of the election campaign so far. Its leader column says Mr Miliband's remarks were "offensive nonsense" and ignore his own support for military action against Colonel Gaddafi in 2011.

The Daily Express sees the intervention as "poorly timed", an attempt to use a human tragedy in the Mediterranean to score political points, while Daily Telegraph cartoonist Bob Moran portrays the row with a picture of a plane towing a "vote Labour" banner as it flies over a boat carrying migrants.

But the Daily Mirror says "Tory outrage" cannot deflect the "truth" about David Cameron's "failed" action in Libya.

The Guardian says Mr Miliband's claim, made in speech at Chatham House in London, was backed by some UK diplomats. The paper says it was "absurd" of the Tories to accuse Mr Miliband of being opportunistic, but they would have done better to remind him that Labour's vote on Libya "meant the responsibility was his as well".

While the Independent regards Mr Miliband's claims as "pretty contemptible stuff, and the first serious misstep in what has previously been an assured campaign performance", it says the Tories can still be "much nastier" in their pursuit of power.

The Times says the row will make it more difficult for Mr Miliband to claim that only the Conservatives are engaging in negative campaigning. In an editorial, it says his comments will be seen by many of Britain's allies as a blueprint for a "naive and opportunistic" foreign policy.

Bank pressures

The announcement that Britain's largest bank, HSBC, is considering moving its headquarters out of the UK is seen as having triggered a political row.

Image copyright Reuters

It cited the costs of tighter regulation and uncertainty over Britain's future in the European Union.

The Independent says HSBC planted itself squarely into the middle of the general election campaign. The paper says the bank's comments on the EU could be seen as "direct shot" at David Cameron's pledge to hold a referendum on UK membership.

The Daily Mirror says the HSBC threat destroys the last economic credibility of the Tories. It reports Labour and union claims that the prospect of a referendum was jeopardising the UK's future.

But the Times notes Chancellor George Osborne hit back, describing the announcement as a "timely reminder" of a business world fearful of a Labour government.

In the Daily Telegraph, Allister Heath says the UK's tax and regulatory framework is now "thoroughly hostile" to many large British-based financial institutions and all political parties need to understand "we are on the brink of a devastating tipping point".

The Financial Times says the announcement came as HSBC faces pressures from both regulators and investors concerned about its profit levels. While previous moves by HSBC to review its domicile have gone nowhere, Friday's threat "swiftly gained credibility" when Hong Kong regulators gave a warm and swift welcome to the decision for a review, it says.

'Second-hand reminiscence'

Many papers feature photographs of the Prince of Wales and Prince Harry attending services in Turkey to mark the centenary of the Gallipoli campaign during World War One.

About 45,000 allied troops died between April 1915 and January 1916, and 86,000 soldiers from the Ottoman Empire were killed defending their homeland.

Image copyright Getty Images

The Times' defence editor Deborah Haynes describes the "unprecedented display of unity" between the former rivals as the royals joined the leaders of Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and Turkey at an international ceremony and wreath-laying events.

In the Daily Telegraph, Tom Rowley witnesses 15 descendants of British troops who fought in the campaign take part in a symbolic shoreline landing. Earlier he joined them on the five-hour journey from Istanbul to Gallipoli - "a whirl of second-hand reminiscence as they swapped war stories".

One of the group, journalist Harry Mount, writes in the Daily Mail about his great-grandfather, Brigadier-general Lord Longford, who fought and died at Gallipoli.

"Gallipoli is now a lovely national park," he says. "Still, everywhere I looked yesterday, in among the fertile fields, I could see white clumps of stone: The Turkish memorials and the vast graveyards kept in immaculate condition by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission."

Making people click

Financial Times: Human traffickers advertise their trade on Facebook

Times: Roads turn into race tracks as drivers ignore 'soft' speed limits

Guardian: They think it's all over: ex-footballers on life after the final whistle

Daily Express: Wrap up: Britain set for polar freeze as temperatures plunge to below zero this weekend