Newspaper headlines: Archbishop's surprise and GPs' phone calls

Justin Welby Image copyright PA

As the front pages go their separate ways after days of clustering round single stories - the EU leaflet, and the prime minister's financial affairs - the Daily Telegraph leads off with a startling revelation about the Archbishop of Canterbury's parentage.

Justin Welby is quoted by the paper as saying the news - that his father was not his mother's ex-husband, as he had thought, but a former private secretary to Sir Winston Churchill - was "a complete surprise".

Nevertheless, the archbishop adds, "I wasn't in any way upset".

Together with chief reporter Gordon Rayner, the paper's ex-editor Charles Moore has his by-line on the story, and describes how he began to build on "interesting gossip" he heard while "chatting to neighbours on the Kent-Sussex border" some two years ago.

Pages of coverage include pen-portraits of the various family members involved, a statement by the archbishop's mother, and a piece catchingly entitled "A No 10 hot house of drinking, affairs, and Churchill's bedside meetings."

Still, the David Cameron story will not go away, though it dominates only two of the Saturday front pages, and in the Daily Mail Mr Cameron's family members get almost as much scrutiny as Archbishop Welby's in the Telegraph.


The horse that bit off a girl's thumb

  • Several papers record how nine-year-old Poppy Hill had her thumb bitten off by a horse as she fed it carrots.
  • Poppy's mother says she was feeding the horse in the correct way, with her hand flat, according to the Daily Mail.
  • The Telegraph reports that she now has to travel from Stoke - where the incident happened - to a specialist hospital in Derby every few days for her dressing to be changed.
  • "I was worried my school might put me in detention as I can't write with my right hand," the Daily Star quotes Poppy as saying.

The Mail says the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner has been asked to investigate after it emerged that Mr Cameron did not disclose his stake in his father's offshore fund for nine years while he was an MP.

Sounding a bit like the Daily Mirror, the Mail says "it is far from clear we know the full truth about how far he and his inner circle of cronies and donors have benefited from elaborate schemes to keep their private wealth from the Treasury".

In the Times, Sam Coates writes that Downing Street's "faltering grip" on the arguments in the tax row is being blamed on "intense focus on the EU referendum" which made Mr Cameron's team take its eye off the ball.


Image copyright EPA

The Pope and the family

  • Pope Francis has called on Catholics to show greater acceptance of divorced people and those in same-sex relationships, says the Guardian.
  • But in a document entitled Joy of Love he says Church members must also follow traditional teachings, says the paper.
  • Erotic pleasure is a gift from God and can deepen the love between spouses, the Mail quotes the Pontiff as saying.
  • The Express stresses that Pope Francis again ruled out gay marriage, though he said gay people deserved respect.

Tom Newton Dunn writes in the Sun that Mr Cameron has "handled the story atrociously" and a "bunker mentality" has descended on Downing Street, but gives Mr Cameron credit for trying to protect his "distraught" mother amid allegations about her husband's conduct.

Express political editor David Maddox claims that "senior Tories were yesterday questioning whether Cameron can survive".

Another embarrassment for the government is the leak claimed by the Daily Mirror that Business Secretary Sajid Javid plans to axe the jobs of more than 4,000 civil servants in his department.


Eye-catching headlines


"Steel rescue minister in secret bid for 'King of cuts' crown," says its headline.

Another story in the Mirror concerns the British mother and her son who, as its sister paper New Day reported earlier in the week, have been reunited after some 30 years and say they have become lovers and want to have a baby.

The Mirror says the pair, who live in the US, have gone into hiding. Police warned that the penalty for incest in Michigan, where they were living, is up to 15 years in jail.

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Media captionThe executive director of the Huffington Post, James Martin, and the political correspondent for the Guardian, Rowena Mason, join the BBC News Channel to discuss Saturday's front pages.

The Sun leads with allegations of ill-treatment by a maid working for a Premier League footballer and his wife.

All the papers look forward to today's Grand National, with colourful charts of the runners and riders and even more colourful pictures of female racegoers carousing at Aintree on Friday.

According to the Guardian, if favourite Many Clouds wins the National for the second time it could result in bookmakers losing a total of about £30m.


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