Newspaper review: Papers focus on Cameron adviser


The Times reports on its front page that the lobbying consultancy owned by David Cameron's election strategist Lynton Crosby helped the world's biggest tobacco company "avoid" the move towards plain packaging for cigarette packets - which the government is shelving.

Consultancy Crosby Textor advises Philip Morris, and the Daily Mirror says that it helped British American Tobacco when the company opposed standard packaging in Australia.

A spokesman for the prime minister is quoted in the Times, saying Mr Cameron was unaware that Crosby Textor worked with Philip Morris and that he was never lobbied on the issue by Mr Crosby.

The Financial Times and the Daily Mirror have photographs on their front pages of two "troubled" Boeing Dreamliner planes which belong to the 787 fleet that had to be grounded earlier this year because of battery problems.

One caught fire at Heathrow, causing the airport to shut its runways, and the other - on a transatlantic flight - had to return to Manchester Airport due to "technical difficulties".

The FT says that Boeing's shares fell by as much as 6% - wiping £3bn off their value, according to The Mirror.

The Daily Mail is concerned there would be "summer travel chaos" if Boeing is once again forced to ground the Dreamliner, which the Guardian describes as a "pioneering, far quieter, more fuel efficient aircraft".

Deprived areas

The Independent reports that Education Secretary Michael Gove is considering free school meals for all children at primary school, in response to a review that recommends a ban on packed lunches because of junk food content.

The paper understands this would mean almost three million more pupils up to the age of 11 in England receiving free meals and that a scheme could be trialled in the most deprived parts of the country.

The Guardian says the cost would be £900m - a price, the paper believes, which means a national roll-out is unlikely before the next election.

The Times has learned that the next Lord Chief Justice will be Sir John Thomas, described by the paper as an outspoken judicial moderniser who does not suffer fools gladly and is likely to stand up to ministers.

He would replace Lord Judge who retires in September.

The paper says that if Sir John does succeed him this "dashes hopes" of a woman becoming the most senior judge in England and Wales for the first time.

Lady Justice Hallett, who chaired the inquest into the 7 July London bombings, was considered, as was Lord Justice Leveson, who recommended far reaching reforms for the press.

Television legend

There are warm words in the papers for broadcaster Alan Whicker, who has died at the age of 87.

The Daily Express calls him the suave, immaculately attired "great globetrotter" who opened a window onto a colourful, exotic world for post-war British television viewers.

Daily Mirror travel editor Nigel Thomspon says Whicker's programmes were unmissable at a time when mass air travel was still a pipe dream.

The Daily Telegraph pays tribute in an editorial, writing that for many people in the 60s and 70s the world was seen through Alan Whicker's eyes.

The paper accepts that his old fashioned manners were from another era but his easy charm won him interviews with everyone from millionaires, playboys and despots to cannibals in New Guinea, the poor of India and nuns in Africa.

For the Sun, he was a "television legend".

And although, the paper says, he was well known for his "plummy voice", he once entered a Whicker soundalike contest - but only managed to come third.

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