Energy bills, Nick Clegg v Nigel Farage and Gwyneth Paltrow's split from Chris Martin

If people feel like their gas and electricity bills are too high, the Daily Telegraph's lead story suggests that a watchdog agrees with them.

Ofgem is expected to refer the energy sector to the Competition and Markets Authority over claims of profiteering, says the paper.

Still, the Daily Express hails good news for householders after one firm, SSE, froze prices until 2016. Its front page predicts "cheaper energy bills for millions" and raises the prospect of a price war among the "big six" suppliers.

The Daily Mail, however, points out there are "already many cheaper deals available which last for even longer". According to the Daily Mirror, Labour leader Ed Miliband can feel "vindicated" because the development proves that suggestions his energy price freeze plan would lead to economic ruin were "scaremongering nonsense".

But the Daily Telegraph argues that there is a gulf between Mr Miliband's promises and the "real costs of their implementation".

The Independent notes that the firm is scaling back investment in wind farms and cutting 500 jobs, adding: "If we needed evidence that there is no quick and painless fix to the problem of high energy prices, SSE has just proved it."

The paper suggests it's no coincidence that SSE acted ahead of the expected competition inquiry. This review, says the Financial Times, should offer an "opportunity for a detached assessment of the charges laid by politicians. Mr Miliband and others have after all failed to produce compelling evidence to back their claims of profiteering".

Split decision?

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Sketchwriters were dispatched to sample the atmosphere at the debate between UKIP's Nigel Farage and Lib Dem Nick Clegg over Britain's EU membership.

Ann Treneman, in the Times, describes her disappointment at discovering Europe was, indeed, the topic for discussion. "I had hoped for something else. Still, at least they properly don't like each other," she writes.

"Nigel Farage shone," says the Telegraph's Michael Deacon, adding that he meant his skin, rather than his performance: "A sign of righteous conviction? Or nerves?" The Independent's Donald MacIntyre contrasts Mr Clegg, a "conventional politician", with his opponent who "may be at heart steeped in 1950s nostalgia but is a good deal more post-modern about the facts".

The Daily's Express's Macer Hall, meanwhile, notes that Mr Clegg's "old tricks of speaking directly into the camera and to members of the audience were trotted out once again" but that he was given a "serious verbal pummelling". Meanwhile, the Daily Mail's Quentin Letts wonders: "Who'd choose one of these jabbering maniacs to rule us?"

And the Guardian's Esther Addley asks: "Weren't there a couple of conspicuous figures missing: the leaders of the only two parties that have any possible chance of forming a government that could actually do something about Britain's position in Europe?"

So who won?

"Farage bashes Clegg," is the Express's verdict, while the Times offers marks out of five in categories such as key arguments, best statistics, funniest jokes and screen appeal, before awarding the contest to the UKIP leader by a point. The Mirror scores it the other way by the same margin.

The Telegraph asks four writers to give their verdicts, with three handing victory to Mr Clegg and one undecided. A snap poll of people who matter - the voting public - awarded the contest to Mr Farage, by 57% to 36%. However, the YouGov poll - for the Sun - showed both leaders enjoyed a ratings boost as a result of the debate, with an increase percentage of respondents saying they had a positive impression of them afterwards.

What's clear, suggests the Independent, is that - by not taking part - Labour and the Conservatives lost.

Split decision

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Many column inches are dedicated to the separation of Coldplay frontman Chris Martin from actress Gwyneth Paltrow. And while the tabloids speculate about the background to the split, the Times notes that the pair have begun their new lives apart "together, with a family holiday in the Bahamas".

However, it's their description of a "conscious uncoupling" that provokes most comment. And there is little sympathy in evidence.

"Most people reading that will be consciously vomiting," suggests the Daily Star. The Daily Mail's Jan Moir agrees that it's "sickly, self-serving twaddle", describing the phrase as: "An irony-free chunk of classic Paltrow pretentiousness.... Being 'consciously uncoupled' certainly made breaking up the family home and 'co-parenting' nine-year-old Apple and Moses, seven, seem like something holistic and pure."

Allison Pearson, in the Telegraph, agrees the term is "hilariously precious", suggesting it sounds like "something Percy does to Gordon in Thomas the Tank Engine". But she concludes: "If, in the end, 'conscious uncoupling' is just Californian for 'amicable separation', so what? It's better than a train wreck."

The Independent's John Walsh, meanwhile, imagines alternative descriptions of famous break-ups, such as the "psychic sundering" of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, or the "vodka-based domestic realignment" of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.

Meanwhile, Martin doesn't emerge unscathed. Setting out five traumas (for the public) caused by the break-up, the Daily Mirror's Polly Hudson describes Coldplay's back catalogue as "dirgey, whiny, mopy and limp", adding: "Chris Martin wrote all that when he was supposedly happily married. Can you imagine how whingey the next Coldplay album will be?"

As though in answer, the Daily Telegraph prints lyrics it describes as "born of a broken heart" from the band's recently-released single, Magic.

There are "no Gwynners" in such a situation, says the Sun, adding: "It's so much sadder than the unconscious coupling after the pub which has launched so many fine relationships."

Animals and war

Russia's takeover of Ukraine's naval assets in Crimea is complete, reports the Telegraph, with 51 of Kiev's fleet now flying the Russian flag.

But Moscow also has control over its neighbour's pod of combat dolphins, reports Roland Oliphant from Simferopol. The unit was trained to locate mines, mark underwater obstacles and detect - or even kill - enemy frogmen in the 1960s, before being inherited by Ukraine after the collapse of the Soviet Union, he explains.

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Back in the UK, the Army has unveiled its latest weapon - "a bomb-sniffing dog that is also able to attack the enemy" - reports the Times. The paper says that while the Army has used dogs since before World War One, the 249-strong unit is the first to take on the dual role.

Meanwhile, the Daily Mirror says the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has become embroiled in an animal cruelty row after a freedom of information request revealed that between 2010 and 2012, 115 live pigs had been "strapped into body armour and blown to pieces" for research into battlefield blast injuries.

Animal rights campaigners say it's impossible to justify, while the MoD is quoted as saying the animals were anaesthetised and "humanely culled" afterwards and that some developments cannot be brought about without using animals.

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