Newspaper review: Tory 'loons' remarks dominate


Remarks said to have been made by one of David Cameron's closest allies, at a private dinner, find their way on to the front page of several papers.

The Daily Telegraph says the senior figure - who is not named - referred to grassroots party activists as "mad, swivel-eyed loons", and blamed them for forcing MPs to take a hard line on gay marriage and the European Union.

The paper quotes campaigners as saying the comments show an "utter disregard" for the party's membership, while the Daily Mirror says the remarks will infuriate the party faithful.

The Times describes the remarks as "incendiary" and says they will plunge relations between the prime minster and his party to a new low.

The Daily Mail says Mr Cameron is facing a bruising week on the gay marriage issue, with a series of Commons votes expected on Monday and Tuesday.

Sabotage claim

The aftermath of the visit to Edinburgh by UKIP leader Nigel Farage is the main story for the Guardian.

Its headline refers to a "battle of nationalists", with Mr Farage and Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond trading insults.

The Scotsman says Mr Salmond is at the centre of a row over freedom of speech after he failed to condemn pro-independence protesters for preventing Mr Farage putting his party's case.

There is widespread coverage of Friday's ruling that the inquest into the death of Alexander Litvinenko will not hear any evidence suggesting that the Kremlin was involved, nor that Britain could have prevented the death, on national security grounds.

The Independent says the hearing appears in danger of collapse before it has even begun.

The Guardian says that Mr Litvinenko's widow launched a blistering attack on Foreign Secretary William Hague and Mr Cameron, accusing them of sabotaging the inquest.

Jewel heist

Several of the tabloids lead with the news that British detectives reviewing the Madeleine McCann case have identified several people they say could be investigated further.

The Mirror says the development has given new hope to the missing girl's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann.

But the Mail says a major diplomatic row is developing because the Portuguese authorities are adamant that they will not reopen the investigation.

There is widespread coverage of the theft of jewellery from a hotel room in Cannes, during the annual film festival.

The Daily Express says raiders are believed to have torn a safe from a wall with a crowbar.

The Guardian says the theft was quickly likened to a scene from Hitchcock's 1950s thriller "To Catch a Thief", in which a mysterious cat burglar snatches the jewels of the rich and famous on the Cote d'Azur.

'Most unkindest'

Several papers look ahead to tonight's Eurovision Song Contest.

The Sun wishes luck to Britain's contestant - 61-year-old Bonnie Tyler - but confesses it is not expecting her to win.

The Express also wishes the singer luck - but adds that if previous years are anything to go by she will certainly need it.

The Times looks at extensive new research into the way English is spoken. The study by the Cambridge English Corpus confirms a growing informality of style and a decline in the correct use of grammar.

One professor says that even MPs can now be heard saying "gonna" rather than "going to" and more people are using "could of" for "could have".

But he believes that Shakespeare himself cannot escape criticism entirely - a line from Julius Caesar refers to "the most unkindest cut of all".

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