Newspaper headlines: Labour manifesto, Clinton declaration and heatwave Britain

By Nigel Pankhurst
BBC News

  • Published

The launch of the Labour Party general election manifesto is the main story for many of the papers.

The focus is on the economy, with Labour promising that its programme for government will be fully funded and require no additional borrowing.

The paper, which reproduces the start of the manifesto on its front page, calls this one of the boldest moves by a Labour leader since Tony Blair amended Clause 4 in 1994.

The Labour leadership hopes that placing the elimination of the budget deficit at the centre of its manifesto will wrongfoot George Osborne who had hoped to portray the party as fiscally irresponsible, says the Guardian.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Ed Miliband will launch the Labour manifesto in Manchester

The Daily Telegraph says Labour's plea to voters is that "the economy is safe with us".

The Telegraph says Mr Miliband's decision to put Labour's fiscal credibility at the heart of the party's manifesto shows he has been stung by criticism from the Tories over Labour's record on the economy in the past decade.

"Polls have repeatedly shown that Labour lags behind the Conservatives on whether they can be trusted with the economy," it says.

The Daily Mirror features a large picture of an earnest-looking Mr Miliband staring out from its front page.

The Mirror says Mr Miliband speaks from the heart as he tells voters "you can trust me".

"And now, finally, we've got to the important bit," writes Mirror columnist Alison Phillips. "The bit that really matters in this down and dirty election campaign. The money."

'Turned upside down'

The Sun goes on the counter-attack, saying that 100 owners of small businesses have signed an open letter saying Mr Miliband would be a disaster for business. The paper calls them the "true voice of business".

The Times turns its attention to David Cameron and the Conservative campaign.

"With the first postal votes due to be sent out tomorrow, senior Tories admitted that Mr Cameron had changed tack amid criticism that his pledge to achieve economic security had so far failed to inspire voters or shift the polls," it says.

"The prime minister struck a notably more passionate and optimistic tone in a speech laying out his inheritance tax plans.

"In the most eye-catching announcement of their election campaign, the Tories announced a plan to take homes worth up to £1m out of inheritance tax."

The Daily Mail says Mr Cameron promised to bring back the "good life" for the British public - by helping them to become homeowners, cutting taxes and lifting all but millionaires out of paying inheritance tax.

James Kirkup writes in the Telegraph: "British politics has been turned upside down. Over the weekend, the Conservatives pledged to spend billions more on the NHS without explaining where the money would come from.

"Today, Labour publishes an election manifesto that begins with a pledge to 'cut the deficit' and commits the party to 'budget responsibility'."

Patrick Wintour in the Guardian says: "Labour is to make an audacious land grab with the launch of its manifesto today, claiming to be the party of fiscal responsibility - and contrasting itself with the Conservatives, the new party of reckless unfunded spending."

'Glass ceiling'

Many of the front pages feature a picture of Hillary Clinton after she declared she would run for the Democratic candidacy for US president.

The Telegraph says Mrs Clinton ended years of speculation by announcing that she is in the race to become the first woman president of the United States.

"Her second bid for the White House comes seven years after she was defeated by Barack Obama, when she admitted she was unable to 'crack the highest, hardest glass ceiling' for women in US politics," says the Telegraph.

The Times says the news came in a two-minute online video that hinted at the eclectic collage of voter groups she will court between now and November 2016.

The Financial Times says she opened another chapter in a rich political life that has already spanned more than two decades.

The news leaked out through an unexpected source - an email from one of her top advisers, John Podesta, to donors and supporters, it adds.

"As Hillary Clinton takes to the campaign trail in the coming weeks, her long-awaited vision of middle-class economics will finally take centre stage," remarks the FT.

"Whether she can galvanise the Democratic Party's grassroots while sidestepping the acrimonious politics of class warfare will rank among her stiffest challenges."

Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
Hillary Clinton ended years of speculation about her future

The Guardian says Mrs Clinton confirmed she will run for the Oval Office with a promise to be a champion for "everyday Americans".

"It was welcome, as well as expected, that Mrs Clinton would lob her hat into the ring," the paper believes.

"But with so much unknown about how she would intend to govern, it would be best if the Democratic primaries were fought with the sort of vigour - ideally by candidates that would include other women - that could force her to spell out her plans.

"Political contests are, almost invariably, to be preferred to political coronations."

The Independent is in agreement, saying: "Americans may fawn over foreign royalty but they do not warm to presidential candidates who look as if they have been anointed or crowned."

Ian Birrell writes in the Independent: "It is not exactly surprising, but Hillary Clinton has confirmed what everyone already knew: she wants to be president of the United States.

"She has been focused on this ambition since she stood by her husband's side during his time in the White House, her every move since then carefully calculated to propel her to the post."

'Barbecue summer'

"At last!", declares the Daily Express on its front page, "Britain set for a three-month heatwave".

"Summer is about to start with three months of glorious sunshine," it says. "Britain will enjoy above-average temperatures until at least the end of June, weather experts predict.

"The Met Office has issued a three-month planning document to councils which suggests the UK is in line for sparkling early summer weather."

The weather is the lead story for the Daily Star which says a heatwave will start this week with temperatures beating Australia's Bondi Beach.

"Sizzling spring will scorch to another level from today leaving Brits basking in a week-long blistering heatwave," it says.

Image source, PA
Image caption,
A heatwave is being widely predicted for Britain

"For those hoping for that most elusive of British seasons, the barbecue summer, the Met Office's long-range forecast offers some hope," says the Times.

"Tale of two countries," says the Mail as it pictures contrasting scenes of snow in Cumbria and sunshine 250 miles away in Cambridge.

"As thick snow settled in Cumbria and rain lashed other parts of the north, winter is clinging on in half of the country," it says.

"But with this week set to be sunny and the mercury predicted to hit 24C, the rest of Britain is heading for a heatwave."

Vinyl countdown

"More than two decades have passed since the LP was meant to stop spinning. Pundits confidently declared the death of vinyl as CDs and then downloaded music pushed old-fashioned records right out of the High Street," it says.

"The Official Charts Company, however, has announced that vinyl sales are undergoing such a resurgence that they deserve their own chart.

Image source, PA
Image caption,
Vinyl records are making a comeback

"Vinyl sales doubled last year to 1.3 million and are expected to surpass the two million mark by the end of 2015 as a new generation of music fans yearn to buy music in a more tangible format."

In a leading article, the Times thinks its may have an explanation: "Perhaps it helps to think in terms of books. Those, too, we no longer need. They are expensive, they take up space, and their design is increasingly superfluous.

"In a coldly utilitarian sense, you could swap all of your bookshelves for a single Kindle. Would you, though?"

The Guardian quotes Gennaro Castaldo, of trade body the BPI, as saying: "With sales of vinyl albums at their highest level since the heady days of Britpop and growing, the introduction of an official vinyl chart makes perfect sense."

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