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Paper Monitor

10:36 UK time, Friday, 14 May 2010

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

After all the wedding metaphors yesterday to describe the coalition's first press conference, the newspapers were searching for new imagery to report on the first cabinet meeting.

The Guardian had to follow Polly Toynbee's example on Thursday, in which she said the new power-sharing arrangement was like an Ikea flatpack with screws missing and liable to collapse.

Today her colleague Michael White likens the crowded cabinet meeting to the crush on the 24 bus that drives past Downing Street:

Those who had managed to scramble on board all looked cheerful, grateful to be off the street at last, even if they had just been told they were getting 5% clipped off their Oyster cards as part of the economy drive

Studying the photograph of the new cabinet, Tim Dowling in the same paper points to Andrew Lansley, sat next to Caroline Spelman, and quips:

[This is ] where they started the seating plan, intending to go clockwise, boy-girl-boy-girl, until they realised that wasn't going to work out

The seating plan, according to the Times, suggested that William Hague was deputy leader in all but name, because he was on David Cameron's left-hand side. The official deputy, Nick Clegg, was seated directly opposite.

The Telegraph extends the wedding metaphor to one of honeymoons (a subject dissected in today's Magazine). He says the cabinet meeting was like a party thrown by the happy couple.

But after the meeting finished, the scene reminded him of something more nostalgic:

Once the new ministers got out of Cabinet and were walking away down Whitehall, they looked perkier, like children who have been let out of school

Presumably, turning all their mobile phones back on, too...


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