Newspaper headlines: 'Non-dom' crackdown and gems heist

Many of the front pages concentrate on a policy announcement by Labour that the party would scrap the non-domicile tax rule should it win the election.

At present, the rule limits the amount of tax some people - especially the very rich - pay from their income from outside Britain.

The Guardian is just one of a number of papers to lead with the story, saying Labour leader Ed Miliband will make the pledge in a speech in Warwickshire.

An analysis piece by James Ball says "non-dom" status allows ultra-wealthy individuals to be born, raised and reside in the UK but still pay far less tax than a typical UK citizen, perfectly legally.

In an editorial, the paper says: "The non-dom loophole is an anachronism that should have been archived a long time ago.

"Under this get-out, anyone successfully arguing that their true domicile lies outside this country can spend every moment of every waking day in the UK, enjoying the health service and all the other public services, and law and order - and yet pay far less tax than any UK resident."

The Independent says the announcement will be a key promise in next week's Labour manifesto and represents a counter-attack against the Conservatives who have accused Labour of planning to raise taxes.

The Times has the same story but uses a very different tone, talking of a "new raid on the super-rich" in a "purge of the non-doms".

Mr Miliband's biggest announcement of the election campaign so far risks further alienating a business and finance community that is already wary of his agenda, it adds.

The Financial Times says it is a striking move by Mr Miliband to illustrate his willingness to take on the rich and powerful.

The Daily Mirror says ending a colonial hangover allowing the super-rich to avoid their fair share of tax is a bold shift by Mr Miliband.

Haggis breakfast

The Daily Telegraph leads with a Conservative policy under which children who fail their Sats on leaving primary school would have to retake them in the first year of secondary school.

The paper says the policy is in response to fears that bright children who pass the tests will not reach their full potential at secondary school if they are then placed in classrooms with pupils who have not.

The Times says the plan would add an edge to the relationships between schools, with secondary heads putting pressure on feeder primaries to improve results.

The Daily Mail says the Tories will force thousands of primary school pupils who fail maths and English tests to resit them to ensure they can read, write and add up.

Image copyright PA
Image caption David Cameron was well fed on his whistle-stop tour of the UK

On the campaign trail, Lucy Fisher in the Times follows David and Samantha Cameron's whistle-stop tour of the UK.

"It is a diet only a politician eyeing an electoral prize could stomach," she writes.

"David Cameron yesterday began his campaign day with a breakfast of haggis in Edinburgh, enjoyed Welsh cakes in Cardiff and finally sauntered off into the Cornish sunset in search 'fish and chips and a pint of Doom Bar'."

"It was a four-nations-in-one-day bid to curry favour with often sceptical voters in the (relatively) far-flung outposts," says the Mail.


The papers think the burglary of safety deposit boxes in London's Hatton Garden jewellery district is like something from a film - but can't agree which one or how much the haul was worth.

"Blingo!" is the headline in the Sun, which says a gang of professional crooks pulled off Britain's biggest heist - stealing gems and cash worth an estimated £200m.

The paper says the raid closely resembles a 1971 Lloyds Bank "blag" in London's Baker Street - the basis for the 2008 Jason Statham movie The Bank Job.

The Daily Star says the Ocean's Eleven-style heist resulted in a haul of £100m. One jewel worth £500,000 alone may have been taken, it says.

The Mirror says gem thieves swiped about £60m of treasures from a vault in the "daring theft", although no film reference is made.

The Mail says the robbers used heavy cutting equipment to get through the 18in metal door - an echo of Ray Winstone's 2000 film Sexy Beast.

The raid sent shock waves through the jewellery world, states the Express.

Wider role

There is plenty of reaction to former prime minister Tony Blair's first intervention in the general election campaign, which is covered on the front pages of the Mail and the Express.

"The man who once tried to drag Britain into the disastrous euro offered his wisdom on the benefits of the EU," says a distinctly unimpressed Daily Mail.

Political commentator Stephen Pollard in the Express is scathing, saying Mr Blair's speech was "pure drivel, made up of half truths, falsehoods, misleading claims and shameless attempts to panic the electorate into fear of an EU referendum".

A leading article in the Times calls it "Blair's mistaken intervention".

It says that while Mr Blair used the opportunity to issue his most emphatic endorsement of Mr Miliband he was unwilling to dedicate a whole speech to a subject such as deficit reduction or public sector reform, where the two men are not of the same mind.

In his Telegraph sketch, Michael Deacon says Mr Miliband would be wise to avoid sharing a platform with Mr Blair.

"For one thing, Mr Blair would show him up badly. As he demonstrated today, he remains a far superior speaker," he writes.

"Admittedly his verbal tics are so familiar as to be comical: he genuinely began by saying, 'Yuh! Well here we go! So!'

"Yet he has an authority, an air of natural command, that Mr Miliband has never come close to matching."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Mixed reaction in the papers to Tony Blair's speech

The Independent takes the opposite view, saying that for Mr Blair to ally himself so closely to Mr Miliband bodes well for Labour's election chances.

"It would have been understandable if he [Mr Blair] had chosen to stay right out of this election campaign," it says in an editorial.

"Instead, he sought to banish the perception that his support for Ed Miliband was less than total by declaring that he was 100% behind him, while taking the fight to David Cameron by attacking the prime minister's pledge to hold a referendum on Britain's EU membership."

The Guardian says Mr Blair is wrong about many things - but he is right about Britain's place in Europe.

"For some, the messenger will always now be more significant than any message he brings," it says.

"Tony Blair has become a polarising figure in a land that once cheered his many victories.

"So when he entered the election campaign yesterday with a speech on Britain and Europe, many preferred to talk about Mr Blair than about Europe.

"That is Mr Blair's fault - no one else's. It is also a pity, because Mr Blair brings a bigger perspective to the election debate."

The Financial Times says it has emerged that Mr Blair's carefully considered attack on Mr Cameron's Europe policy was the start of a wider role in the election campaign.

The FT considers this a risky strategy for Mr Miliband because Mr Blair divides opinion in the country and within his own party.

Armoured vehicle

Under the headline "Maggie's wheels", the Daily Star says a bombproof bus used by Margaret Thatcher during her 1983 election campaign has been put up for sale for £25,000.

The Daily Telegraph says the 18-ton vehicle, powered by a 12-litre Rolls-Royce diesel engine with a top speed of 80mph, can seat 36 people.

Previous owners include the Met Police and it is being sold by military vehicle dealer Nick Mead.

The Express says the armoured vehicle, which has two-inch bulletproof glass and a floor that can withstand a mine blast, was used by Mrs Thatcher while campaigning in Northern Ireland.

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