Saturday's Newspaper Review


The fall-out for David Cameron from Thursday's by-election in Eastleigh provides a focus for many newspapers.

There's much comment on the Conservatives' poor showing after they finished in third place behind the Lib Dems and the UK Independence Party.

Beneath the headline "Knives out for Cameron", the Independent says Tory MPs rounded on the prime minister demanding a dramatic change of direction in his leadership, amid fears about the growing threat caused by UKIP.

The Times says Mr Cameron fended off calls for a lurch to the right but a string of backbenchers said he was out of touch and urged tougher policies on Europe and immigration.

Calling for an ambitious, tax-cutting budget that jolts the economy back to life, the Daily Telegraph says the Conservatives have to show Britain's increasingly frustrated voters that they can deliver prosperity,

'Disastrous policies'

The Daily Express agrees that the Tories have appeared to neglect the industrious middle classes whose votes are always crucial.

Meanwhile, the Guardian says Mr Cameron has been put on notice to improve his party's fortunes or face a leadership challenge.

The Daily Mail says Mr Cameron must re-energise the Conservatives and show he is capable of listening to ordinary voters, and understanding their aspirations and fears. Finishing in third place behind UKIP was a brutal result for the Tories, it adds.

But the Daily Mirror predicts the prime minister will struggle because, it says, he shows no sign of changing disastrous economic policies.

'Unsustainable handouts'

The Daily Telegraph leads with the warning from Defence Secretary Philip Hammond who says the armed forces cannot sustain further cuts, and suggests reductions to the welfare bill instead.

The paper sees it as an unusually frank public intervention by a loyal senior Conservative minister, which lays bare deep Cabinet divisions over future spending decisions.

The Sun wholeheartedly agrees with Mr Hammond, saying he has bravely raised his head above the parapet.

As unemployment falls, the paper says, so should what it calls "bloated, unsustainable welfare handouts".

Intrusive parenting

The Times reports that parents whose children fail to get into the secondary school of their choice are spending thousands of pounds on professional help, to improve their chances in the appeal process.

The paper says some businesses claim to boost success rates for a few hundred pounds while others use barristers to argue the case before tribunals.

But on its front page, the Times reports comments by David Cameron's adviser on childhood, Conservative MP Claire Perry, who says young lives are being blighted by intrusive parenting.

The Guardian says music schools may have to stop one-to-one tuition to prevent the possibility of inappropriate sexual behaviour, as well as protecting teachers against false allegations.

It quote the new principal of the Royal Northern College of Music as saying that the sector as a whole would look at whether teaching model could continue.

Two monkeys

The Independent looks at some of the strangest confiscations by customs officials.

It recalls the case of a woman who tried to smuggle a chameleon into Manchester by wearing it as a hat and a man who hid two monkeys in his trousers.

It says that for bulk, nothing compares with a seizure this year at Gatwick Airport when border officials found tens of thousands of dried caterpillars, weighing 94kg, in a man's luggage.

The Guardian says crime syndicates and terrorists are now involved in illegal trade in wildlife which poses an increased threat to the world's endangered species.

The paper says the global market in exotic pets, as well as ivory and other items, is worth billions. It quotes a senior wildlife official as calling for a new law enforcement operation.

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