Morning-after pill fear, police shredding and Clegg v Farage

New guidance to GPs and chemists making it easier for young women - including girls aged under 16 - to get the morning-after pill, leads the Daily Telegraph.

It says the announcement, expected on Wednesday from prescriptions body the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice), will allow women to pre-order emergency contraception against the wishes of Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt. Opponents are quoted raising fears that it could lead to increased promiscuity and higher rates of sexually transmitted diseases.

"Get the morning-after pill the day before," is how the Times describes the change. It reports that despite falling numbers of teenage pregnancies, the UK's number is still the highest in Western Europe.

Another issue on the front pages is that of police corruption, with the Independent reporting Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe "admitted that rogue and corrupt officers may evade justice because of the 'mass shredding' of sensitive corruption files held by Scotland Yard".

Its sketchwriter Donald MacIntyre describes his evidence that some of the material - relating to a secret probe into possible police corruption - may have been destroyed for "data protection" reasons, having previously been transferred to two computers, one of which investigators couldn't find for a year and proved to be damaged.

"This would be funny if it was not so serious - 'The dog ate my homework' on an industrial scale," says the writer.

The Daily Mail describes Sir Bernard as the "police chief who doesn't have a clue", while its cartoonist Mac gives his take on the ban on further document shredding by picturing officers slathering papers with ketchup in the Scotland Yard canteen.

The Daily Mirror's editorial says: "The lacklustre performance... will have done little to restore public confidence in the police."

A future PM?

Image copyright PA

Some of the headlines again make gloomy reading for Labour leader Ed Miliband, with the Daily Mirror reporting suggestions from one of his MPs, David Lammy, that he has work to do before people see the party as a "government-in-waiting".

"Do voters look at Ed and see him as PM?" its headline asks. The answer, according to the Times, is no. "Fewer than a fifth of voters see Ed Miliband as a prime minister in waiting," it reports, citing the results of a YouGov survey that also says only 26% think Labour is ready for office, with 52% saying the party is not. Despite this, the Times adds, a poll for the Sun put Labour three points ahead of the Conservatives - enough to secure a 30-seat majority.

Meanwhile, the Sun says Mr Miliband faces a "revolt" from parliamentary candidates because the party is failing to fund their 2015 election campaigns. "Just 42 out of 106 constituencies they are targeting... were given cash from donors," the Sun's analysis says.

The Guardian's editorial says rising average pay and falling inflation will make it harder for the opposition in the coming months and that it must get "sharper". "To stay in the game, what Labour needs is less new principles than a new spirit of fight over the practicalities."

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Mary Riddell argues that Labour has "no better leader on offer" than Mr Miliband. "Whatever drawback the incumbent may possess are more than counter-balanced by his success in producing radical ideas, turning his dead-in-the-water party into a potential election winner and fostering unity among Labour's warring tribes."

However, she reckons he must abandon this pursuit of a "Labour love-in" and abandon his recent play-it-safe agenda if he is to have a chance of electoral success.

Match of the Day

Image copyright various

Papers look ahead to Nick Clegg's first head-to-head debate with UKIP leader Nigel Farage over the UK's place in the European Union, with the Independent seeing it as a "calculated risk" for the Liberal Democrat leader that could "save Lib Dem seats or spark a leadership race if it backfires".

And it gives space to Mr Farage to say how "excited" he is about debating in front of an audience of millions.

Meanwhile, Mr Clegg argues his case - suggesting EU membership sustains jobs and makes it easier to catch criminals - in the Daily Mirror. The Guardian profiles the "contenders" in the style of a boxing match, including their key statistics, "pre-bout boasts" and issues over which they'll be fighting.

It also includes "things they probably should not say", suggesting Mr Farage should avoid "some of my best friends are foreigners", while Mr Clegg should steer clear of "some of our best nannies are foreigners".

In its editorial, the Times argues that the debate is "just what our democracy needs" if it is to "exorcise the spirit of apathy".

The cartoonists aren't taking things so seriously, however. The Independent's Dave Brown pictures the pair ready to duel, Mr Clegg armed with a banana of EU-approved curvature and Mr Farage clutching a crooked cucumber.

Adams, in the Telegraph, sees them as yellow and purple-faced Muppets, while the Times's Peter Brookes envisages the result of the "nation decides..." debate being the pair gagged with headphones in a radio studio.

Now for the weather...

Image copyright Getty Images

A sunny spring scene of Sidmouth, in Devon, brightened by hundreds of yellow daffodils, graces page three of the Daily Express. The splash of colour was created thanks to the £2.3m bequest of an investment banker, who stipulated that part of the sum should be spent creating a "valley of a million bulbs" for the town to enjoy.

And there's a celebratory tone to another headline on the page which declares: "Summer heatwaves here to stay" on the back of predictions that climate change will lead to "sweltering" temperatures.

"But you may have to wait 25 years" is the caveat on the Daily Telegraph's headline, which explains that the change is not expected to take effect until 2040.

And the Guardian takes an altogether gloomier tone, saying: "Here is the weather forecast - and it's not good news." Scientists also warned of the increasing frequency of extreme events, resulting in occasional very cold winters and very wet summers, it says. The paper adds that the UK will be vulnerable to the effects of changes in climate elsewhere in the world, such as rocketing prices of imported food.

Making people click

Daily Mirror: Manchester United fans turn on Sir Alex Ferguson in Old Trafford directors' box

Daily Telegraph: Malaysian Airlines missing plane gave off unexplained final 'ping'

Guardian: Earthquakes, hurricanes, cyclones and tsunamis: the world's 10 riskiest cities

The Times: Schumacher's chances 'spoilt by rescue error'

Financial Times: China's struggle for a new economy