Newspaper review: Ed Miliband criticised


There is strong criticism in the press of the Labour leader, Ed Miliband, following an interview on the BBC's World At One radio programme on Monday.

The Times reports that his refusal to admit that plans for a VAT cut would create a black hole for the Treasury left some Labour MPs "dismayed".

Mr Miliband's performance, says the paper, delighted the Conservative leadership.

The Daily Mail and the Daily Express counted that he refused on 10 occasions to admit that his party would increase borrowing.

UKIP controversy

"Farage Party Shame" is the Daily Mirror's front page headline.

A photograph of Alex Wood, a UKIP local election candidate, appear to show him making a Nazi salute. Another has him clenching the blade of a knife between his teeth.

The paper says this is a further blow for the UKIP leader, Nigel Farage, who is pictured shaking Mr Wood's hand.

A party source has told the Mirror that "Alex is a braggart and a fool but not a bigot".

According to the Mail, there's "turmoil" in Conservative ranks over what the paper says is growing support for UKIP.

The paper asks is the party more "Tory than the Tories?", by comparing where each stands on a range of issues.

Child vaccines

The Guardian claims that it can, for the first time, reveal the scale of so-called "sweet-heart" tax deals - secret arrangements drawn up between tax officials and corporations to settle disputes.

It has seen papers showing four settlements with four unnamed companies - worth £4.5bn pounds in all.

The MP, Margaret Hodge - who chairs the Public Accounts Committee - tells the newspaper she will be asking HM Revenue and Customs, "how much did we not get?".

HMRC says it cannot comment on individual agreements but "bespoke deals" are carried out properly and have been found to be good value.

The Daily Telegraph reports that ministers will announce that they are bringing forward annual flu vaccinations for two-year-olds.

They will, understands the paper, start in the autumn and be given in the form of a nasal spray.

And, in 2014 and 15, the vaccines will be offered to children and teenagers up to the ages of 18 - making Britain the first country to offer the flu vaccine for free to healthy children.

The Mail says the vaccinations are expected to result in 11,000 fewer hospital admissions and 2,000 fewer deaths every year.

Puzzle pieces

The Times carries comments from the headmaster of a leading prep school in south London, who describes private tutoring as a "hideous concept" that can undermine education.

Ben Thomas, from the Thomas's, Battersea school, tells the paper it's "unregulated and unproven" and that it "devours" children's time when they should be having a childhood.

The Times says that children as young as two are receiving private tuition to secure places at top prep schools.

Meanwhile, Dave Evans has a "daunting puzzle on his hands" as the Mirror puts it. He spent 200 hours cutting by hand the world's biggest wooden jigsaw, which is a montage of photos of the Diamond Jubilee made up of 40,000 pieces.

But just a day after placing the final piece, it collapsed in his workshop in Dorset when he tried to move it.

The Daily Express says he has seven days to put the puzzle back together before it goes on display at Sandringham in Norfolk.

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