The front pages: IRA deals and fury at Airey Neave programme

The rumours of child abuse by senior political figures and high-level cover-ups continue to wash around the newspapers, and Sunday's press contains a number of claims, accusations and sometimes lurid headlines.

The Sunday Mirror interviews a former Conservative Party activist who claims to have witnessed senior politicians attending orgies at which underage male prostitutes would be present.

The man tells the paper he helped procure the teenagers for powerful political figures when he himself was just 17 and now he feels he was "groomed and manipulated".

Sunday People says it has been told by a "senior Scotland Yard source with inside knowledge" that a senior member of Mrs Thatcher's government had been picked up by police "seeking young boys for sex" and the former PM had told him to "clean up his sexual act".

Both papers say the allegations are likely to be put before the recently announced inquiry into the claims of a Westminster paedophile ring.

The Daily Star Sunday carries a story claiming that a list of politicians linked to child abuse had been covered up.

The Star says the dossier - similar to the one handed to the home office by Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens - had been compiled by Baroness Barbara Castle and showed high-profile people with links to a paedophile group.

The paper carries an interview with ex-Lancashire local paper editor Don Hale who says Lady Castle, then his local MP, gave him a copy of the dossier but it was seized in "a Special Branch raid" on his newspaper's offices.

The Independent on Sunday's lead says an adult who was allegedly abused as a child at a children's home in south-west London is preparing to sue the government because he feels he has been "badly let down" by the criminal justice system and has received "insufficient care and counselling".

The Sunday Times says that 13 police forces investigating allegations of sexual abuse by public figures have held a meeting and drawn up a "superlist" of 21 suspects of interest.

The paper says half the names on the list have not yet "entered the public domain".

The paper adds "some of the most serious claims made against MPs are likely to have been recorded by the parties' whips' offices at the House of Commons.

"But it emerged this weekend that the Conservative office had destroyed or shredded an archive of notes."

A feature in the Observer by Toby Helm says the abuse inquiry might "for the first time open up the gossip, briefings and records used to enforce party discipline in Westminster" by the party whips.

Helm writes that "demands are growing for them to reveal what they know" .

He quotes Tory MP Mark Reckless who says "for a long time there has been a view that this is how things work in Westminster so this is how things will continue to be.

"But nobody seems to raise the question of whether it is right or legal."


Dignity of dying

With Lord Falconer's Bill to legalise assisted suicide due to be heard in the House of Lords this week, the right to die debate is in full swing in Sunday's newspapers.

The Daily Mirror reports that the Church of England is calling for a Royal Commission to examine the subject.

The move follows a u-turn by former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey who told newspapers on Saturday that he now supported the right to die for terminally ill patients - a viewpoint branded "mistaken and dangerous" by the Church's current head, Justin Welby.

The Independent on Sunday says CofE figures have rallied behind Archbishop Welby's position with the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu "pressing the message 'choose life' in his speech to open the General Synod yesterday.

The paper says the Church has been circulating an account written by terminally ill clergyman Rev Christopher Jones who said he would have taken an assisted suicide option had it been legally available at one stage of his disease, but he was enjoying a period of remission and felt "recalled to life".

Image copyright PA
Image caption Lord Falconer's Bill is expected to get a Lords reading on Friday

Patients' feelings can "change drastically and quickly" on the subject, he wrote, before his death in 2012.

The paper adds that 92% of non-religious people have told surveys they agree that doctors should be able to help terminally ill people die if they request it, and 2,000 such cases happen illegally in the UK every year, according to estimates.

The Sunday Telegraph's leader column comes out against assisted death.

"Life is too precious for lawmakers to assist its ending" is its headline.

"Doctors cannot always reliably predict someone's lifespan and unnecessary action might be taken.

"It may also be very hard indeed to discern the difference between being mentally capable and being in the right frame of mind to make such a profound decision," the paper writes.

The Observer reports that those in favour of assisted death have gained a heavyweight international supporter in Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

The archbishop tells the paper he had witnessed "disgraceful" treatment of dying Nelson Mandela "kept alive through numerous painful hospitalisations and forced to endure a photo stunt with politicians shortly before his death at 95".

The retired head of the South African Anglican Church writes that he has had a "mind shift" over the issue of the right to die.

"I have been fortunate to spend my life working for the dignity of living. Now I wish to apply my mind to the dignity of dying.

"I revere the sanctity of life - but not at any cost."


'Sloppy work'

The Sunday Telegraph's lead story says that Tony Blair could be summoned to Parliament to "explain secret deals he made with Sinn Fein to assure IRA suspects on the run that they were not wanted by the police".

A parliamentary committee is investigating the so-called "comfort letters" sent to 187 IRA terrorism suspects, the paper continues.

"The former prime minister has been accused of dodging" the committee's proceedings, the paper adds.

The Telegraph explains that the existence of the letters came into public prominence with the collapse of the trial of John Downey, the man accused of the 1982 Hyde Park bombing.

They were issued, it explains, to deal with the anomaly of convicted terrorists being released under the Good Friday Agreement, but those not yet caught - often accused regarding the same offences -still facing prosecution and imprisonment.

The paper's leader column says Mr Blair's co-operation is crucial to understand "when did this scheme begin, how did it operate, was proper advice listened to, what were the numbers involved and when did it end?"

The Sunday Times says the current Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers is to tell Parliament that ministers were kept in the dark about the "comfort letters" issue because of "sloppy" work by officials and police.

Ms Villiers is expected to say "errors in paperwork and sloppy record-keeping" by officials in the Northern Ireland Office and police led to the Downey trial's collapse and kept the letters existence hidden from the government.

She will reiterate the government's line that such letters do not amount to "a blanket amnesty" for all previous wrongdoing, the paper adds.

The Daily Mail's lead focuses on the aftermath of another act of terrorism, the 1979 murder of MP Airey Neave by IRA splinter group, the INLA.

The paper says the late politician's family are "devastated" by the use of actual footage of the car-bombing and other TV reports from the time in a Channel 4 drama called Utopia.

The Mail says Mr Neave's children are angry that the fictional work portrays their father as "conniving and hard-drinking".

Writing in the paper, Lord Tebbit says it represents a "nauseating new low in British broadcasting".

Channel 4 tell the paper that the work is "entirely fictional" and "not intended to give offence".


Bear hug

If Saturday's papers ramped up the "who to support" question, ahead of the World Cup final, Sunday's take things further.

The Sun on Sunday pictures Sir Geoff Hurst wearing a German scarf and says it is alright to support "the old enemy".

Its reasons to support Germany include their love of beer and sausages and their lack of motorway speed limits.

Image caption German bratwurst sausages, as will be enjoyed during Sunday's match by the staff of the Sun and Rod Liddle

In the Sunday Times, Rod Liddle says he will be "cheering for Angela Merkel's lot".

"Just for one day 'ich bin ein Berliner'".

The paper says Rio de Janeiro is braced for an influx of 70,000 Argentinian fans for the final, many singing a song taunting their Brazilian neighbours lack of success in the tournament.

One Brazilian tells the paper "ask any Rio resident what his worst nightmare is and it will involve happy Argentinians after the final at the Maracana stadium."

The Observer tries to sum up what we've learned from the whole tournament.

The paper concludes that diving is actually a good thing and that penalty-taking is a science.

And it says a series of heroic performances were undone by moments of cold quality.

Another petition has been launched in the US to rename Washington's Ronald Reagan airport after their "human wall" goalkeeper Tim Howard.

And the politest fans? The Observer says that would be the Japanese, who stayed on after their team was knocked out to pick up litter around the stadium.

Making people click

Express: Child blinded by loom bands

Times: Police probe Fifa ticket scam

Independent: "Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport"

Sun: Soap star "beats up cabbie"

Mail: Grimsby anger at comedy film