Newspaper review: Tory discontent continues to dominate


The rumblings of discontent within the Conservative Party continue to capture the attention of most of the papers.

As Prime Minister David Cameron prepares for a likely backbench rebellion over same-sex marriage, the Daily Mail says the Tories are in "meltdown".

A government source is quoted as saying: "There is a sense we could be in trouble on this."

Conservative MP Tim Loughton, who has proposed an amendment calling for civil partnerships to be extended to heterosexual couples, tells the Guardian the government has been using "desperate excuses" about the cost of his idea to dissuade MPs from supporting it.

The Independent reports that the government is warning of delays of up to two years to the legislation if the amendment is passed.

'Eyes to right'

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude reveals why he is convinced there should be no bar to same-sex marriage.

He says that when his brother Charles, who was gay, died of Aids, he realised his life would have been much better if society had been more accepting of stable, same-sex relationships.

A cartoon in the Times seizes on the row about party activists being referred to as "mad, swivel-eyed loons".

It suggests the outcome of the vote on the Gay Marriage Bill could be: "The swivel eyes to the right have it."

'Not Conservative'

According to the Daily Express and the Telegraph, the infighting among the Conservatives has led to a "surge of interest" in the UK Independence Party (UKIP).

The Express says visits to UKIP's website have tripled in recent days - and Conservative councillors have begun defecting to Nigel Farage's party.

The former leader of Merton Council's Tory group complains that the party "is no longer Conservative" and would horrify its former leader, the late Margaret Thatcher.

The Telegraph reports that Conservative activists are also switching allegiance because of what they regard as the "arrogance" of the Tory leadership towards their grassroots supporters.

Summer of discontent

There is a warning in the Daily Mirror that gas and electricity bills could soon become the biggest household expense.

The paper says the head of the power company, First Utility, predicts that within five years many consumers could end up paying more in energy costs than on repaying their mortgage.

The firm's research shows that bills could rise to almost £4,000 a year by 2025 if they continue increasing at their current rate.

The Financial Times raises the spectre of a "summer of industrial disruption" by postal workers angry at the move to privatise Royal Mail.

It says the Communication Workers Union is threatening that things are going to "hot up" in its fight against the government's plans, with the union considering a boycott of deliveries of rival companies' mail, even without a formal ballot.

And finally, with the headline "Nazis Invade Village", the Sun tells the tale of the 1940s re-enactment weekend in West Yorkshire which was infiltrated by World War II enthusiasts dressed as SS officers.

The men had flouted a ban on Nazi uniforms at the event in Haworth, which was brought in after earlier complaints from German tourists.

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