UK

Newspaper review: New cast member for hacking drama

Many of the papers remain focused on the daily drama unfolding after the News of the World phone hacking allegations.

But a new character has joined the cast, "the Wolfman of Fleet Street". Neil Wallis, former deputy editor of the News of The World, was arrested on Thursday as part of the police inquiry.

The Guardian says that as a result, the current leadership of Scotland Yard came under fresh pressure when it then emerged that Mr Wallis had been employed as an advisor to the Yard last year.

According to the Telegraph, Mr Wallis acquired his nickname because he was "short, hairy and had a vicious temper".

The Independent says Mr Wallis was known to colleagues as The Wolfman because of his facial hair, lupine looks and because during his coverage of the Yorkshire Ripper murders he came up with the theory that the killer attacked only on a full moon.

The paper says those same colleagues were not surprised when Mr Wallis was hired by the Metropolitan Police as his high level contacts with Scotland Yard were legendary.

The Mirror among other papers reports that the Home Secretary, Theresa May, last night wrote to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Paul Stephenson, to demand to demand "the full picture" regarding his links with Mr Wallis.

In contrast the Daily Mail carries an editorial headed Never mind phone hacking, what about "the real issues facing Britain".

It warns that "bleak economic storm clouds" are gathering listing the euro crisis, inflation and high unemployment.

"In a sane world," the paper declares, "politicians would be working round the clock to help rectify these dire problems, but sadly they are far too busy enjoying the frenzy of vengeful score settling against the Murdoch Press".

The Financial Times echoes these economic anxieties with editorials urging "urgent and decisive action" by the Italian government to stave off a sovereign debt crisis there, and a quick resolution of the deadlocked talks between the Obama administration and Congress over the budgetary crisis in Washington.

On its own front page the Mail highlights a report by the Royal College of Obstetricians which the paper says represents a watershed moment because it declares that women should get more opportunities to have babies at home, as maternity wards are not necessarily the "safer option" any more.

EU flag

A Daily Express editorial follows up on a report the paper carried yesterday that the European Parliament is considering plans to force European teams to wear the EU flag on their kit in addition to their national flag.

The paper declares that Britain "has never been given to the flag burning that goes on in some continental parts but the fraudsters, chancers and second raters who congregate in Brussels to advance the cause of a federal Europe are pushing their luck. The way things are going, before many months are out the very sight of the EU flag will be regarded as a threat to public order."

Finally back to the travails of News International. The charge against News International has been led by the Guardian, and the paper continues with its comprehensive approach across seven pages this morning, but in their corrections and clarifications column on page 36 the paper apologises for an error it made earlier in its coverage when it incorrectly reported that the Sun had obtained information on the medical condition of Gordon Brown's son from his medical records.

The Sun itself reports the Guardian apology - on its front page.

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