Newspaper headlines: Jo Cox Commons tributes and EU referendum countdown

Emotional tributes to Labour MP Jo Cox in the Commons and the EU referendum countdown dominate the papers.

Mrs Cox's parliamentary colleague Rachel Reeves said that Batley and Spen would elect a new MP but "no-one can replace a mother".

The Guardian refers to tributes and tears as MPs recalled one of their own.

"Politicians of all stripes came wearing white roses, a symbol of the Labour MP's beloved Yorkshire. Many wore the purple, green and white of the suffragettes to mark Jo Cox's passionate feminism, just as guests had dressed for her wedding," it says.

"With her husband, Brendan, and two young children watching from the gallery of the House of Commons, Westminster yesterday spent an hour remembering the MP for Batley and Spen, killed in broad daylight last week.

"In a chamber famed for its noise, the tributes were delivered largely in silence, and many of those speaking and listening found themselves moved to tears.

"Rachel Reeves, a close friend of Cox's and a Labour colleague, finished her speech by breaking down and crumpling into her seat."

Patrick Kidd in the Times says Parliament was united.

"United in grief, united in decoration, a white rose pinned to the chest of every politician in memory of this daughter of Yorkshire, taken before her time," he writes.

"Two more flowers rested on the seat by the gangway, three rows back, where Mrs Cox often sat."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Rachel Reeves led the tributes to her friend Jo Cox

The Telegraph's Michael Deacon says he had never seen the Commons so full.

He writes: "Every seat was taken. Every seat, that is, but one. Two rows behind the Labour front bench was a single empty space.

"Empty, except for two roses. A white rose, to symbolise Yorkshire. And a red rose, to symbolise Labour. Together, they symbolised Jo Cox."

Tom Peck in the i says: "In the cloisters below Big Ben, Chuka Umunna placed his arm round Stephen Kinnock.

"He squeezed him on the shoulder and they turned left into the central lobby. Dark suits. White roses. Stricken faces.

"Most days these are the steps Members of Parliament walk in a hurry when the division bell has rung.

"Yesterday afternoon, it was one MP steeling another for the task of finding the words and keeping nerve to honour a young friend gone too soon."

The Sun says MPs of all parties hailed the "Yorkshire Rose", while Quentin Letts in the Mail describes it as a tearful, emotive afternoon. The Express says MPs dabbed away tears.

The Mirror comments: "Parliament was seen at its very best when MPs gathered wearing the white rose of Yorkshire to honour Jo Cox, killed in an attack which shocked the nation.

"Party differences and political point scoring were set aside as political rivals united in grief."


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Down to the wire

With just two days left in the EU referendum campaign, the i sums up the widely held feeling in the press that there is "everything to play for".

David Cameron's election strategist Sir Lynton Crosby writes in the Telegraph that the referendum will "come down to the wire".

The Telegraph says: "His comments come in an analysis of a poll for this newspaper which shows that among those who say they will definitely vote, the prime minister's Remain campaign now has a seven point lead, with 53% of the vote compared to Leave's 46%.

"Last week, Leave was one point ahead in the poll, its first lead since March."

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Media captionBroadcaster and journalist Jill Kirby and political commentator Lance Price join the BBC News Channel to review Tuesday's front pages.

The Financial Times says polling expert John Curtice said the outcome "looks so close that any lead should be treated with caution".

The paper's poll of polls shows a dead heat, with the sides at 44%.

"Both sides of the EU referendum campaign are scrambling grass roots volunteers to encourage people to go and vote, with polling suggesting the outcome will be close," states the FT.

"Pollsters have warned that turnout will be crucial in determining the result on 23 June. Opinion polls shifted in favour of the Leave camp last week, but in recent days Remain appears to have regained some ground."

The Times says: "With the referendum going down to the wire, David Cameron will use the final 48 hours to hammer home warnings that Brexit would lead to higher supermarket bills and commuter fares.

"Vote Leave is readying a huge advertising blitz to push its messages on immigration control and sovereignty."

The i says the rival camps will mount a frantic final 48 hours of campaigning amid fresh evidence that the outcome remains too close to call.

"Senior Labour figures including the party's leader, Jeremy Corbyn, and three former leaders, Ed Miliband, Gordon Brown and Neil Kinnock, will appear at pro-Remain events across the UK," it continues.

"Meanwhile, the leaders of the pro-Brexit camp will step up their drive for support with a flurry of campaign visits today."


Political heat

The Times reports that Wednesday night is set to be a sweaty and sleepless affair - and not only for those who have been campaigning in the referendum.

Weather forecasters are predicting a close night for some on referendum eve to add to the knife-edge vote, says the Times, with temperatures of up to 26C on Thursday.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Hot weather is forecast for referendum polling day

The paper ponders whether the weather could swing the vote.

"Popular belief is that rain keeps voters away and sunshine leads to a better turnouts," says the Times. "Tory voters are said to be more likely to vote anyway, regardless of rain, wind or shine.

"Better weather is believed to help Labour's chances by enticing more of their voters into the polling booths, though experts are divided."


Newspaper stand

The Telegraph and the Guardian make it clear on their front pages where they stand on the EU referendum.

The Telegraph says: "A world of opportunity awaits a fully independent United Kingdom.

"In supporting a vote to leave the EU, we are not harking back to some Britannic golden age lost in the mists of time but looking forward to a new beginning for our country.

"If this Thursday's referendum is a choice between fear and hope, then we choose hope."

The Guardian says: "The EU embodies the best of us as a free people in a peaceful Europe. Vote this week.

"Vote for a united country that reaches out to the world. Vote against a divided nation that turns inwards. Vote to remain."


'Utterly incomprehensible'

Away from the referendum, the Times says it has learned that train companies are to face penalties for services that are only one minute late under plans to improve punctuality on the network.

The paper explains that at present commuter trains are considered late after a five-minute wait, and inter-city services after 10 minutes.

"Rail bosses are preparing to abolish rules that allow trains to be classed as 'on time' despite arriving at their final destination up to 10 minutes behind schedule," reports the Times.

"The move comes amid frustration that less than half of trains arrive on time on some routes.

"As part of a tougher new standard for future franchises, train operators could be fined or have their funding docked if trains are a minute late, with poor performing companies named in official figures."

The plan will be brought in within three years.

Office of Rail and Road chief executive Joanna Whittington says it is "utterly incomprehensible" for the public for trains that are 10 minutes late to be recorded as on time.