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Paper Monitor

11:12 UK time, Friday, 8 September 2006

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press... in this instance, coverage of yesterday's Blair-Brown leadership shenanigans.

Tony Blair was like a "strip-tease dancer who arrives onstage to loud applause, then coquettishly removes one mitten" - Simon Hoggart, the Guardian, on the prime minister's knack of promising to end speculation, only to fuel it further.

Daily Mirror headline: "Deal or no deal?"

"PM hit by new leek" - the Mirror again - "There were far more important things to worry about as Trimdon Labour Club held its annual and keenly contested leek show.

"Are you Tony Blair?" - school child protesting against prime minister, to Quentin Letts, Daily Mail sketch writer.

"It worked for Clinton but will it be Blair's route to salvation?" - Tom Baldwin of the Times notes how Bill Clinton's public stock rose in the dying days of his presidency, after the spotlight shifted to Al Gore's battle with George Bush for the White House. Could this be at the back of Blair's mind?

Body language expert Dr Peter Collett, again, in the Times: "[Mr Blair's] mouth involuntarily indicated deep disquiet. Several times he opened it slightly and pulled down the corners in the antithesis of a smile. [Mr Brown showed] less disjunction between what he was trying to say and his non-verbal signs."

Cartoon: the Daily Telegraph's Matt envisages a stall at the forthcoming party conference selling Labour 2007 diaries "Now with no specific dates".

Factoid: The suppliers of metal barriers outside the school where Tony Blair had made his speech, had been receieved a last-minute call to double the order - the Times, the Guardian, the Telegraph and more.

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