The top story in today’s papers is a rather ill-timed interview with Captain Wales – or Prince Harry as he is known on civvy street. The Mirror sums up the pooled story most aptly with a simple headline: “I’ve killed Taliban” and “we take a life to save a life” that will do wonders for relations across the region. The interview also comes on the day that the Con-Dem coalition is preparing to announce yet more cuts to an already overstretched military. The MoD is expected to unveil plans for a third round of Army job losses, with a higher proportion of compulsory redundancies expected among about 5,000 axed posts. Nice timing.
From the prince to the prime minister and David Cameron has bitten the bullet and will give his speech on Europe tomorrow morning, just before he flies off to Davos for the World Economic Forum. Communities secretary tries to make up for his recent gaffe saying that the party will Unite behind Cameron, the questions is whether with a knife or support as there is open talk among some Tory backbenchers of ousting the PM.
And still on the subject of Europe, the probe into former Labour Europe minister Denis MacShane has been reopened by the police possibly leading to criminal charges, but what was more criminal was the vote in the Commons yesterday where Labour failed to stop the cap in the rise in benefits to a paltry one per cent. Also criminal is the government’s plans to keep the Shrewsbury papers secret, the Morning Star reports that Len McCluskey will be at the Commons tomorrow as part of the campaign to release the papers.
Away from then Commons and tax continues to occupy many front pages. The Express leads with the new proposals to tax middle incomes (and tax avoiders) while even the Telegraph says despite the coalition’s pledge to reduce bills for companies – and the corporation tax cuts - businesses are still paying more due to other levies. So much for Osborne’s Plan A, many papers expect Friday’s GDP figures to be poor…
On the retail front there is good news for HMV customers as vouchers will once again be accepted after the administrator made an about turn. Probably something to do with brand contamination and the fact that Hilco is looking like a likely buyer.
On the industrial front there’s some trouble in transport as Stobart’s management changes, while Stelios is selling shares in easyJet as his row with the board rumbles on, and the FT also reports that Heathrow and BA are taken to task for not acting quickly or effectively enough over the snow alert, and in bad news for them and parents is that more snow is on the way, more road closures, cancelled trains and snowball fights to come…
activists call for release of secret papers (p1) – Len McCluskey quoted
- Experts join call to build new housing (p2)
- Childcare ‘too expensive for jobseekers’ (p3)
- Ex-PM’s Remploy call too late (p4)
- Public rail case ‘overwhelming’ (p5)
- Blacklist victims kept in the dark (p5)
- Cameron sets date for EU speech (p5)
(no links all stories behind paywall)
- Go ahead to turn offices into homes (p1)
- Heathrow and BA taken to task over snow (p2)
- Cameron to cut EU losses (p2)
- Call to roughen bonus rules (p4)
- Stobart hit by boardroom coup (p15)
- Hilco frontrunner to buy HMV (p16)
- Barclays staff lose anonymity plea (p20)
- Stelios sells shares (p20)
Edited by Mik Sabiers