Newspaper review: 'Glee' over David Miliband departure


Several of Wednesday's papers pick up on the story that David Miliband is to quit politics to run a charity in the US.

The news that the former foreign secretary - who was beaten to the Labour leadership by his brother Ed in 2010 - is to move to New York to head the International Rescue Committee was broken by the Daily Mirror on Tuesday night..

The paper says Mr Miliband is planning to make the "shock announcement" later.

He spoke to his brother Ed about his decision, says the Mirror, which says his brother wished him well "with sadness".

The story came to late for many of the papers, but the Times offers some analysis.

It says the departure of the South Shields MP will be greeted with "glee" by many in the Conservative Party who feared his return to the shadow cabinet.

It means, says the paper, that the man regarded by many on all sides of the Commons as the most dazzling Labour prospect of his generation is to walk away.

Turning point?

A day after Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt delivered the government's response to the Francis report into unnecessary patient deaths at Stafford Hospital, the papers give their verdict on the measures.

Is it a turning point in the history of the NHS? asks the Daily Telegraph...

"We doubt it", the paper says, "The sad truth is that shuffling around the regulators, or imposing a new 'duty of candour', will do little to push through the fundamental changes in behaviour that are necessary."

The Independent says the changes are "just the start" of what is needed to tackle a widespread pattern of poor standards of care in the NHS.

Writing in the Daily Mirror, the general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, Dr Peter Carter, backs Mr Hunt's call for more nurses on the ground - and says recruitment should begin immediately.

For the Daily Mail and the Daily Express the response to the Mid Staffordshire scandal has been weakened by the decision not to sack the NHS chief executive, Sir David Nicholson.

Without his removal, says the Express, changes are merely "tinkering around the edges".

'History of dysfunction'

By scrapping the UK Border Agency and taking personal charge of Britain's immigration system, the Independent believes Theresa May has taken the biggest political gamble of her ministerial career.

Will it be political suicide for the home secretary - or a passport to the top of the Tory party? the paper wonders.

The Daily Telegraph believes Mrs May put the agency "out of its misery".

However, the paper is pessimistic that things will change for the better and says the immigration system has "a long history of dysfunction".

The Sun highlights a memo sent to staff by the Home Office's top official, Mark Sedwill, who declared: "Most of us will still be doing the same job in the same place with the same colleagues for the same boss."

The Daily Express front page headline declares: "One in 5 migrants heads to Britain."

The paper says new European Commission figures show that the UK was the most popular destination for migrants coming from outside and inside the European Union in 2011.

Some 566,000 people travelled here. The next most popular destination was Germany, with 490,000.

Professional mourners

The Daily Telegraph reports that professional mourners are being paid £45 an hour to cry at funerals to make the deceased seem more popular.

An Essex company, Rent-a-Mourner, has 20 staff on its books and is said to be doing brisk business.

The paper says the actors are briefed about the person who has passed away so that they can talk to other mourners without being found out.

Finally, the Daily Mail reports that Britons have spent £1bn on home exercise equipment over the past five years - but only 21% of people make regular use of their purchases.

For 60% of us, items like exercise bikes and cross trainers end up as clutter in attics and spare rooms.

The Mail's cartoonist, Pugh, draws a couple in their lounge with one saying to the other: "The bench press makes a lovely coffee table."

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