Newspaper headlines: PM's finances and Kate's 'six' in spotlight

Help sign on island Image copyright AFP
Image caption The image of a plea for help fashioned by stranded mariners on an island in the Pacific appears in many papers on Monday

As David Cameron prepares to face a likely Commons grilling over his finances, Monday's papers continue to chew over his links to offshore firms and his inheritance tax affairs.

The Daily Mirror insists "the entire sordid episode is about fairness and trust, not envy", and feels "democracy is the loser when we are unable to rely on the word of the prime minister".

In a similar vein, the Guardian's Aditya Chakrobotty says the affair serves to demonstrate the "era of unrepresentative democracy" that we live in - when "our politicians no longer resemble nor work for us."

Others, though, offer the prime minister more sympathy.

Demonstrating its strength of feeling about the inheritance tax issue in a full page leader column, the Daily Mail says the desire to give one's children "a leg-up in life" is among the "the most fundamental... most selfless and morally admirable" of human instincts.

But it warns that by "behaving as if he has been caught with his fingers in the till", the PM risks "sharpening the appetite" for every last detail of politicians' private finances to be made public - something that could greatly reduce the number of people prepared to take on the job.

The Daily Telegraph agrees, arguing in its leader that Mr Cameron "has potentially set a dangerous precedent", adding: "How long before the enemies of wealth creation on the Left start demanding to see the tax returns of everyone, as happens in countries such as Norway?"

'Feeling the heat'

The New Day puts the prime minister's wealth in some context with an eye-catching infographic titled "The millionaires' club". It shows a number of MPs with very sizeable fortunes, all of them larger than Mr Cameron's.

But it is a much broader context still that vexes several other papers- namely that of the EU referendum campaign.

Mr Cameron is "feeling the heat" so acutely right now, in the Financial Times' view, "because a large section of the media and many of his own MPs are ill-disposed to give him the benefit of the doubt" with the referendum looming.

Indeed, it adds, the "hardest-hitting" headlines over the weekend "were not in the Labour-supporting papers, but those campaigning most aggressively for Brexit".

Leo McKinstry, in the Daily Express, argues that Mr Cameron "is fast becoming the [Remain] campaign's biggest liability", given that the current row "feeds perfectly into the anti-establishment Brexit narrative that we are governed by a privileged elite that has no connection to the mainstream public".

When it comes to arguing for the EU, Larry Elliott, in the Guardian, adds: "Cameron's approach only works if he is trusted."

Eye-catching headlines

  • Toothpaste, Calpol and vitamins... on the NHS - the Daily Mail says people are being routinely prescribed items they could buy themselves, at great cost to the taxpayer
  • I let wasps lick jam from the face of my stepdaughter, 5 - naturalist Chris Packham makes this startling revelation to the Daily Mirror
  • Toddler fibs can lead to jail time - the New Day highlights a survey that will unnerve parents everywhere

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Image caption Four seasons in 24 hours: Britain's barmy/balmy weather features widely

Keeping schtum

For something that can't be written about, there are a surprising number of column inches devoted to the private life of one celebrity couple on Monday.

An injunction has been obtained by the couple which prevents newspapers in England and Wales revealing who they are or what has been going on - but the information can be seen in Scotland and the US.

In its leader, the Sun insists the details of the story are "not the concern", adding: "The problem is a ludicrous law that hands people with money and power the means to prevent the rest of us discovering an inconvenient truth."

The Daily Mirror says the wealthy pair are "gagging the un-famous and distinctly poorer adults involved who wish to discuss the relationship".

Indeed, says the Daily Telegraph leader, judges may "sniffily regard this matter as tabloid newspaper prurience, but it is not their function to act as moral guardians of the nation". The principle of freedom of speech "must be upheld", it adds, "even if it does mean accepting tittle-tattle about love-cheat celebrities".

Hero vs villain

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The news of Danny Willett's triumph at the Masters came too late for the papers, but they are able to celebrate another British success - that of Anthony Joshua, who became IBF heavyweight champion on Saturday night.

"Joshua may not want to be a role model, but he ticks all the boxes," writes Chris McKenna, in the Daily Star. "He is special in the ring and a gentleman out of it, with his bad-boy past of street fighting and drug possession well behind him."

"Big heads don't go home to a modest flat in Golders Green to tell their mother how it went the night before, then help her do the shopping," says Jeff Powell, in the Daily Mail.

Every paper salivates over the prospect of a fight between Joshua and fellow Brit Tyson Fury, who has garnered as many headlines for his outbursts as his uppercuts.

"Joshua is the perfect hero" to Fury's "villain", writes Ron Lewis, in the Times, and the as-yet only imagined battle between them "is becoming a clash for the heart of the sport". He adds: "Debates about who is the more deserving will continue until they meet in the ring."

A real father revealed

  • Reaction continues to the news that Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has learned the true identity of his father
  • "Rarely has illegitimacy prompted such praise in religious circles," says the Times noting that his response to learning he is really the son of Sir Winston Churchill's last private secretary "appears to have only increased his popularity"
  • Indeed, the archbishop is "winning widespread admiration for the calm and good-humoured way in which he's dealing with the 'complete surprise'", says the Daily Express
  • Perhaps that's because "while it is certainly unique, it is just the latest chapter in the remarkable life of Justin Welby," the i concludes

Diplomatic dressing

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Image caption Coverage of the royal couple's visit to India was juxtaposed with images of devastation from a fireworks explosion in Kerala

Not much brings out the cliches like a royal photo opportunity and they're certainly in abundance in the papers' coverage of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's visit to India.

The duchess tried her hand at cricket in Mumbai - and despite being caught out rather meekly for 0, many headline writers still think she "knocked all those watching for six".

As always, there is also much discussion about Catherine's sartorial choices - and in some cases, their diplomatic significance.

The relationship between the UK and India is "increasingly seen as a mutually beneficial trading relationship", not "a connection between the coloniser and colonised", the i notes. Consequently, says Koos Couvee, "the duchess made sure she hit the right spots culturally from the off" by showcasing a number of local designers.

The Sun's fashion editor doesn't worry too much about cultural symbolism, but praises the return of "cool Kate" with her "boho chic" choice for a visit to the slums. However, she was less impressed with the return of "conservative Kate" for a gala later on.

The outfits changed as often as the engagements, the Times notes, with the "dizzying contrast" between a visit to the slums and a Bollywood gala. The couple "set out to strike that fine balance between witnessing the poverty that scars the country and glorying in its wealth and glamour".

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Media captionKevin Schofield, editor of PoliticsHome, and broadcaster Penny Smith join the BBC News Channel to discuss Monday's front pages.

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