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Newspaper review: Tory Europe tensions explored

Sunday newspapers

Conservative tensions over Europe are widely explored in Sunday's newspapers.

The Sunday Times says the Commons motion expressing "regret" that the Queen's Speech failed to include a Bill on an EU referendum has sent Downing Street into a tailspin.

As many as 100 Tory MPs are expected to support it, the Sunday Times adds, under the headline, "Tory civil war erupts over Europe vote".

The Sunday Telegraph says Downing Street's decision to tell ministers to abstain creates the almost unprecedented situation where members of the government will not vote in support of the Queen's Speech.

John Rentoul in the Independent on Sunday describes the motion as a procedural inanity. It is for or against expressing regret that the government hasn't announced a Bill on a referendum.

For such thin gruel, says Kirsty Buchanan in the Sunday Express, the Queen's Speech has given Westminster plenty to chew on.

Factual point

Staying with politics, the Observer's main story reports that the prime minister's adviser on enterprise has told the cabinet the economic downturn is an excellent time for new businesses to boost profits.

Lord Young, a cabinet minister under Margaret Thatcher, said the low wage levels in a recession made larger financial returns easier to achieve.

Downing Street tells the paper Lord Young was merely stating a "factual point and nothing else".

The Sunday People says a 53-year-old woman has become the first known suicide victim of the government's policy of cutting the benefits of council house tenants deemed to have a spare bedroom.

According to the paper, Stephanie Bottrill, from Solihull in the West Midlands, wrote to her son telling him not to blame himself for her ending her life but the government.

Meanwhile, the Sunday Times says the prime minister is facing further trouble over his plans to legalise gay marriage.

It says disgruntled Tory MPs are preparing to torpedo the Bill with a series of amendments including one demanding a referendum on the issue.

DIY dentistry

The Mail on Sunday leads on what it calls the first "shocking evidence" that hospital casualty department closures are costing hundreds of lives.

The paper has obtained official figures that it says show a 37% rise in death rates for emergency patients from Newark in Nottinghamshire, where the accident and emergency unit closed two years ago.

The Independent on Sunday reports that private investigators have been called in to track down hundreds of overseas graduates from UK universities who have gone missing owing millions of pounds in loans funded by British taxpayers.

It says the amount owed to the Student Loans Company by European Union graduates who are not repaying their loans rose to more than £50m in five years.

And for its lead, the Sunday Express reports that thousands of people are carrying out "DIY dentistry" - pulling their own teeth with pliers and using household glue to stick down fillings. It says people are unable to afford soaring dental charges.

'Storybook final'

Wigan's triumph over Manchester City in the FA Cup Final is widely celebrated on the front and sport pages.

Sometimes, declares the Sunday Mirror, David does beat Goliath.

The Sun says Wigan's victory sprinkled fairy dust around Wembley once more to conjure up one of the competition's biggest shocks.

In the words of the Sunday Express, this truly was a storybook tale. It was the magic of the FA Cup in its old and golden glory.

The Mail on Sunday says Wigan's success was stunning for a side pitted against the richest club in the world, backed by the oil dollars of Abu Dhabi.

For the Observer, it is the kind of story that could be turned into a film.

The paper says "it will be remembered as one of the great FA Cup stories of modern times".

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