Papers focus on Labour election plans and resignation of Tory-appointed bankrupt

Ed Balls and Ed Miliband Image copyright PA

The Easter break offers no break from the political spotlight for those hoping to win over voters in the general election in 13 months' time - at least judging from Easter Sunday's newspapers.

Labour leader Ed Miliband is not short of advice to digest over the holiday period. The Sunday Times leads on reports that senior party figures are warning that the party risks being seen as a "one-trick pony" if it focuses too much on the message that it is the party to alleviate the cost-of-living crisis. The paper quotes one former minister as saying: "We need a broader strategy".

The Observer details what might be part of that wider strategy, reporting that Labour is considering a post-election increase in national insurance contributions in order to plug the "black hole" in NHS funding. Former Labour minister Frank Field tells the paper that the NHS "has to be reborn".

Meanwhile, another former Labour minister, Barbara Roche, uses a column in the Independent on Sunday to explain why she believes "Labour is losing the immigration debate". She says Mr Miliband must have the "courage" to take on Ukip leader Nigel Farage directly by making a positive, progressive case for immigration.

According to an opinion poll for the Sunday Telegraph, Ukip is set to hand out a drubbing to the Conservatives in the upcoming European elections and political commentator Iain Martin says: "The party's high command is so resigned to its fate that senior figures have even given up pretending it will be anything other than a nightmarish experience."

The Sunday Express offers some pointers as to where the projected Ukip vote will be coming from - saying that 70% of its online readers had declared their support in a survey.

Looking further ahead, the Mail on Sunday says Mr Farage is on course to win his first Commons seat next year, based on a new opinion poll carried out in Eastleigh, the Hampshire constituency where he stood in a by-election last year.

But it's not all good news for Mr Farage. The Sunday Times reports that Marine Le Pen, the leader of the French National Front, has accused the Ukip leader of slandering her party by calling it "anti-semitic" - and claims he did so to boost his own ratings.

A political exclusive leads the Mail on Sunday. Its own investigation has revealed that the man appointed by the government to run the Public Works Loans Board - the Treasury body responsible for £60bn of loans for infrastructure projects - was declared bankrupt in 2012. As the paper points out, anti-sleaze rules spell out that anyone on a public body who becomes bankrupt must inform the relevant minister and this did not happen in the case of Tony Caplin.

But the paper's expose had immediate results. Within hours of the MoS informing Downing Street, Mr Caplin had left his post.

'Thing of the past?'

The Sunday People uses its front page to launch a campaign to free Morgan the killer whale from what it calls a "heartbreaking living death". It says that instead of swimming wild in the sea, Morgan is being held captive at a zoo in Tenerife that is popular with British tourists. The zoo's owners insist the mammal is happy and in good health.

In an entirely separate case, the Sunday Express reports that killer whales performing tricks in US marine parks could become a thing of the past following a court ruling in the wake of the death of a trainer dragged underwater by a five-ton bull orca.

Image copyright AP
Image caption A California bill that sought to end killer whale shows at Seaworld in San Diego and phase out their captivity was put on hold earlier this month

And the Observer reports a 13% decline in the number of visitors to Seaworld marine parks in the US in the past year, pointing out that a documentary released last year "triggered widespread public outrage".

'Consumer breakthrough'

"Thousands get energy refund" trumpets the front page of the Sunday Express as it explains that one of the major energy firms has admitted overcharging customers with faulty clocks on electricity meters and that has forced other energy giants to "launch urgent checks".

And in another consumer breakthrough, the Sun on Sunday reports that the Big Six power firms have agreed a deal with ministers to halve the current five-week delay faced by customers moving to a cheaper contract.

But the Sunday Mirror says that there is fury at energy watchdog Ofgem for failing to force the same six firms to offer consumers in deprived areas access to cheap or free schemes that reduce the amount of power they use at home.

'Seven seconds away'

Image copyright George Lear

The story of a family who had to hurriedly abandon their car in the middle of the lions' enclosure at Longleat Safari Park, when the vehicle suddenly caught fire, captures the imagination of most of the newspapers and particularly their headline writers.

The Sunday Telegraph reports that the lions were only 400ft away and, with the ability to run at up to 50mph, could have covered that distance in just seven seconds.

In an editorial entitled Cat & hot tin roof, the Sun on Sunday says; "As parental nightmares go, it takes some beating."

And the Daily Star Sunday superimposes an image of a lion on the picture of the burning car, with the big cat supposedly asking "Am I too late for the BBQ?"

'Fix the date'

Image copyright PA

Finally, the occasion of Easter Sunday offers the newspapers the opportunity to ask some big and timely questions.

Writing in the Sun on Sunday, the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, issues an invitation to those who go on an Easter egg hunt or spend time with friends. "Why not tweet what #EasterMeans to you?" he advises.

An Observer editorial suggests that the prime minister should "try some Easter charity" by instructing his work and pensions minister to "call off his attack dogs". "What better time than Easter to resurrect some one-nation Conservatism," he asks.

But the Sunday Mirror editorial says that it is pondering the biggest Easter question, namely: "Why does the date vary so wildly?". It calls for Easter to be fixed on a certain date - such as the final Sunday of March.