UK

Newspaper review: Papers ponder next Tory step

Sunday newspapers

The Conservative Party's response to its defeat in the Eastleigh by-election continues to interest the newspapers.

The headline in the Sunday Telegraph is "The Tory fightback" and the paper gives prominence to David Cameron's assertion that he won't "lurch to the right".

Its leader advises Mr Cameron to "focus on what really matters" and lists five issues which he should concentrate on.

They include the economic recovery and what the paper calls "the coming energy crisis".

The People offers different advice, saying that the prime minister needs to tell Tories who are rattled by the Eastleigh result to "calm down, dears".

It says the by-election "fired a warning shot" rather than "holing the party below the waterline".

But Kirsty Buchanan, the political editor of the Sunday Express, warns a "Keep Calm and Carry On" message coming out of Conservative HQ will not soothe party members.

"It sounds dangerously like complacency," she writes.

'Naive approach'

The front page of the Sunday Times carries an interview with Syria President Bashar al-Assad.

He criticises David Cameron for trying to lift an EU embargo that stops weapons being supplied to the rebels.

He also attacks the UK for failing to push for peace talks, calling its approach "naive" and unrealistic".

He is also said to express regret over the death of Sunday Times columnist Marie Colvin in an attack by government forces on the city of Homs last year.

A different president is the focus of the Sun - Argentina's Cristina Kirchner.

She is accused of being a bully, over her country's claims to the Falklands.

The islands' governor, Nigel Haywood, is angered by a claim from Buenos Aires that the UN has said Falklanders have no right to decide their fate, because it's a disputed territory.

In its leader, the Sun accuses Ms Kirchner of speaking "with a Falked tongue".

European issues

The Sunday Telegraph alleges that some European Union members states were given incentives to support last month's cut in the EU budget.

The paper says France, Portugal, Spain and Italy were among the countries to get "additional payments".

The Mail on Sunday celebrates "a great day for British justice".

It reports the home secretary is to set out plans to withdraw the UK from what it describes as the "discredited" European Convention on Human Rights.

Retired British people living in Spain come in for some criticism in a Sun leader which criticises Britain's "bonkers benefits system".

It claims that Britons living abroad were paid £92m in benefits in the financial year from 2010 to 2011, including winter fuel allowance.

Meanwhile, the Sunday Mirror is angry at foreigners employed by Butlins.

The paper agues that "few firms are more British" and says UK companies should prioritise workers from Britain.

Butlins tells the paper: "We have been recruiting staff... from the UK and abroad for many years. Butlins is one of the largest employers of locals in the areas in which we operate our resorts."

Winnie wonder

There's a warning in the Sunday Times from the next leader of Britain's top public schools about pushing teenagers to achieve the best exam results.

Richard Harman says driving pupils too hard can lead to "damaging paranoia".

The Observer says one of the leading medical bodies, the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, has written to health minister Lord Howe about the NHS.

The paper says the letter accuses the government of privatising the health service by stealth.

Finally, the Sunday Express is delighted that Winnie the Pooh has been voted the favourite children's character of all time, in a survey for Thursday's World Book Day.

Paddington Bear came a close second, while the Hungry Caterpillar was third.

Under the headline "Winnie is still a wonder", the Express welcomes the outcome, saying Pooh, who first appeared in 1926, has "mesmerised generations of children at bedtime".

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