Newspaper review: Papers focus on tax dodge investigation


An investigation into more than 100 of the UK's richest people suspected of hiding billions of pounds in secret offshore accounts makes the lead for the Guardian and the Daily Mail.

The Guardian says the Treasury has warned that the alleged tax evaders may be publicly named and shamed if they fail to come clean and explain their financial affairs.

The Daily Mail has the headline "The net closes in on super rich tax dodgers".

Reporting abuse

The Times leads with its report that the former Archbishop of York, David Hope, failed to alert police to abuse complaints - 1999 and 2003 - against a senior Church of England clergyman.

The paper's leader column says the case should have been handled by police from the start, not just the Church.

It points out that in the Republic of Ireland and many US states reporting claims of abuse to the authorities is mandatory - and it should be in Britain too.

Lord Hope says compulsory reporting of such cases was not part of the Church's rules at the time.

Casualty case

The pressures on accident and emergency units are the subject of the Independent's main story.

It says "urgent care boards" are to be established across England with a remit to devise "local recovery and improvement plans" for each casualty department in their area.

The Daily Telegraph says the crisis in A&E is so serious because it is the point at which so many bad decisions by so many ministers collide.

For example, Labour's renegotiation of GP contracts, in effect, enabled them to abandon work at evenings and weekends and, the paper goes on, patients learned it was far simpler to visit casualty departments.

Syria summit

The Sun is infuriated by the call by leading barrister Barbara Hewson to lower the age of consent to 13 in a bid to end what she said was the "persecution of old men" such as Jimmy Savile and Stuart Hall.

The paper suggests that only a madman or a convicted child molester could put forward such a view.

For a lawyer to say that vulnerable children should take responsibility for the revolting behaviour of perverts is despicable, it declares.

The Daily Telegraph reports that David Cameron may seek to convene an emergency summit in Britain aimed at seeking a deal to end the conflict in Syria.

It says the prime minister hopes to use his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and talks with President Obama to clear the way for London to host a conference attended by all key players in the crisis.

Shifting currents

Finally, baby eels - or elvers as they are also known - are back on the menu after a huge increase in their number in the River Severn this spring.

In recent years, according to the Daily Telegraph, fishermen have caught just a few million eels through the entire season but this year they claim to have landed up to a 100 million.

Experts do not know why there were so many of the baby eels this year but some believe shifting water currents may have carried more to the Severn than normal.

The chef of one restaurant in Gloucester tells the paper: "The elver dishes are just flying out of the door and I shall only be able to serve them for a couple more days before we run out."

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