UK

News review: Papers reflect on Cameron's challenges

Sunday newspapers

The Sunday Times leads with what it describes as a "startling insight" into the frustration, impotence and anger felt by David Cameron's closest advisers in Downing Street.

The paper picks up on a speech by the prime minister's former policy chief Steve Hilton to students in California, in which he reportedly said No 10 was frequently "left out of the loop" as important policy changes were pushed through by "paper-shuffling" mandarins.

He said Mr Cameron and his team often learned about new policies from radio bulletins and newspapers.

Europe advice

As the prime minister prepares to make a major speech on Europe in nine days' time, there is no shortage of advice about what it should include.

An editorial in the Sunday Telegraph says he should ignore pro-European messages from America and Germany. But it is keen to pass on its own suggestions - such as opting out of European laws affecting justice, which it says have nothing to do with trade and everything to do with establishing a single European super-state.

Writing in the Observer, Andrew Rawnsley urges Mr Cameron to study the way Sir John Major got what he wanted from the Maastricht Treaty negotiations.

Patient alliance-building and rational argument will serve Britain best, he says, not threatening to flounce out.

The Independent believes party politics have triumphed over the national interest.

By trying to buy off the UKIP threat on his right flank, it warns, Mr Cameron has succeeded only in encouraging the notion that withdrawal would end all our irritations with Europe.

But the Daily Mail appears to contradict suggestions that the prime minister is becoming increasingly Euro-sceptic.

The paper's political editor Simon Walters says Mr Cameron thinks it would be "mad" for Britain to abandon the EU and is secretly backing efforts to mobilise pro-European voices within the Conservative party.

Teacher figures

The Sun says thousands of children are being taught by unqualified teachers in England.

It says figures obtained by a Tory MP, Andrew Griffiths, show that there are 41 primary schools and 12 secondary schools where at least 30% of the teachers are unqualified. And at 10 schools, qualified teachers are in the minority.

Air fares are now cheaper than train tickets on most of Britain's domestic routes, according to the Sunday Mirror.

It says that despite increases in Air Passenger Duty, travelling by plane is cheaper on seven out of 10 cross-country routes.

Passengers travelling from London to Manchester can save £70, and £50 between Bristol and Glasgow, it adds.

Finally, the Telegraph reports that researchers in Liverpool have discovered that reading the classics can give the brain a boost.

Using scanners, they found that prose and poetry by authors including Shakespeare, Wordsworth and TS Eliot set off more electrical activity in the brain than simpler texts.

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