Newspaper headlines: Tory turmoil, Channel migrants and Top Gear

Divisions within the Conservative Party, migrants being rescued in the English Channel and the return of Top Gear make headlines.

The Guardian reports that Tory MPs Andrew Bridgen and Nadine Dorries both warned that Prime Minister David Cameron's future as party leader is not certain even if the UK votes to stay in the EU.

The paper says their comments coincided with the ministers in charge of the Leave campaign launching some of their strongest personal attacks yet on Mr Cameron.

"A leadership contest will take place only if Cameron loses a confidence vote, which would be unlikely if the Remain campaign wins the referendum," says the Guardian.

"Even if, as many Tories expect, a confidence vote does not materialise, the Bridgen/Dorries comments are a reminder of how maverick hardline Eurosceptics were able to play havoc with John Major's government in the 1990s because he had such a small majority."

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Media captionFormer newspaper editor Eve Pollard and Metro deputy news editor Joel Taylor join the BBC News Channel to review Monday's front pages.

The i says Mr Cameron was warned of a plot by furious Tory MPs to oust him after the EU referendum.

"Two anti-EU MPs declared that they had signed a letter of no confidence in him and claimed others were supporting a backbench uprising," says the i.

"Other party sources poured cold water on the likelihood of rebel MPs collecting the 50 signatures required to trigger a leadership contest."

The Times reports that Mr Cameron will reject calls from Tory rebels to set a date for his departure from Downing Street.

"The prime minister will dare backbenchers to carry out a threat to depose him in the wake of the European Union referendum that has split his party," it says.

The Telegraph says a third Tory MP has broken cover and criticised the warnings issued by Mr Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne during the referendum campaign.

Sir Bill Cash tells the paper: "My view is that they've been engaged in monumentally misleading propaganda."

The Financial Times says Mr Cameron is facing the threat of a leadership challenge following the referendum after the Brexit camp turned its sights on the prime minister with highly personal attacks.


Hostile stage

In a leading article, the Times says the referendum campaign has entered a hostile stage - and the Conservatives need to remember that government will have to go on whatever the outcome.

"After the 1975 European referendum, in which cabinet ministers campaigned on either side, Harold Wilson thought he could unite the Labour Party," it states. "In fact battle lines had been drawn for a dispute that erupted with defeat in 1979.

"Perhaps this referendum is postponing the reckoning in Conservative politics rather than staging it. For the rest of the campaign senior Conservatives need to reflect not just on what they argue but in the spirit in which they do it."

The Telegraph takes a similar line and urges the Conservatives to focus on the job at hand.

It concludes: "It is greatly to the Conservatives' credit that we are having this referendum, but the party must now give voters the fact-based and civilised debate they crave about the merits of EU membership.

"Settling scores with party colleagues comes a very distant second to that."

The Guardian believes Conservative division does nobody any good - least of all the Tories.

"The party has only itself to blame for this descent into infighting," it says. "It is a direct consequence of the party's - and particularly Mr Cameron's - long-term failure to deal with the anti-Europe obsession.

"The Tories' opponents can rub their hands. But in the current state of politics it's hard to see much wider good coming from the party's current self-absorption and brinkmanship."


'Tragedy fear'

The rescue of 18 Albanian migrants in the English Channel makes the lead for both the Express and Mail.

The Express says France's chief coastguard claimed traffickers were switching from more usual methods of getting people into the UK - such as lorries, trains and ferries - because of tighter security at Channel ports.

Bernard Barron is quoted in the Express as saying: "It's starting to become a similar situation to that seen in the Mediterranean. My biggest fear is that the same kind of tragedies we see in Greece or Italy will start to be repeated in the Channel."

The Mail says the former head of the Royal Navy, Admiral Lord West, branded Britain's border controls as a "complete mess".

Image caption Eighteen migrants in two inflatable boats were rescued

The Times says the case comes amid growing concerns that illegal immigrants are using sailing boats to land in small harbours or remote parts of the British coast.

The i says the incident has raised concerns over the security of the UK's coastal borders and the safety of migrants and refugees.

"In scenes usually witnessed in the Mediterranean," reports the Telegraph, "rescuers had to save the group when the two inflatable boats they were in began taking on water in the early hours of yesterday morning.

The Guardian notes that it came as the UN's refugee agency revealed that more than 700 people died trying to cross the Mediterranean last week, the deadliest figure for over a year.


'Flop' Gear

Top Gear has roared back to our TV screens with its new team of presenters after much anticipation but the reviewers reckon it is more Reliant Robin than Rolls Royce.

Andrew Billen in the Times gives it just two stars out of five.

"Rarely has a debut attracted such great expectation, indeed hope, of failure," he writes. "The press, having helped to drive Top Gear's pugnacious former presenter Jeremy Clarkson off the BBC and onto Amazon, were on the case of his successor Chris Evans.

"His new Top Gear, we read repeatedly, had got off to a spluttering start. Last night we discovered how spluttering."

Image caption Top Gear is back with a new presenting team

Two stars also from Michael Day in the i.

He says: "The old Top Gear was able to rake in £50m a year for the BBC. So when the winning formula was interrupted after its star punched a producer, the pressure on the broadcaster to replace its biggest global hit was enormous.

"Cue DJ Chris Evans and his rebooted car magazine. On the evidence of last night's season opener, however, BBC bosses might struggle to keep the cash cow going once the initial excitement dies down."

Gerard O'Donovan in the Telegraph, who gives it a more generous four stars, says the only surprise was how little things had changed.

He writes: "No doubt some diehards will conclude that the new Top Gear was not unlike choosing between a classic car and a plasticky reproduction - what was gained in ease of use was lost in character.

"Others, myself included, will moan that the format was in need of a major revamp and this relaunch was actually much too cautious and unimaginative.

"Yet, this was a slickly entertaining piece of television, and given time to bed in there's little doubt we will eventually warm to the new regime."

The Sun's TV critic Ally Ross employs Joey from Friends' catchphrase when he says: "How you doin'? Not too well, seeing as you ask."

Mirror TV columnist Ian Hyland says the reboot seemed a little over-eager at times but it was anything but a disaster.


Rock-bottom price

Several papers report that part of a coding machine used by Hitler and his generals to send secret messages in World War Two has been found after being put up for sale on eBay for £9.50.

The Times explains that a volunteer at the National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park spotted the Lorenz teleprinter online but it was only when it was refurbished it was found to be a military model.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption The Nazi teleprinter machine was put on an online selling site

The Telegraph comments: "An anonymous eBay seller in Southend is deserving of sympathy. Inspired by Antiques Roadshow, which of us had not dreamed that a dusty household object is in fact a work of historic significance and, thus, great financial worth?

"That was this vendor's situation relating to a rare Lorenz teleprinter, sold to the National Museum of Computing for less than £10. Had the seller known the machine was part of a wartime coding system used by Adolf Hitler himself, a higher price would surely have been asked.

"The buyers insist that they too were unaware of the machine's true value when they paid the rock-bottom price. Perhaps that is so.

"Or perhaps the heirs to the Bletchley Park code-breakers have inherited some of the cunning that cracked Enigma, bamboozled the Nazis and won the war."