Front pages: 'Gutter' Tories and Labour's cash 'crisis'

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Media captionVincent Moss, political editor of the Sunday Mirror, and Eleanor Mills, of the Sunday Times, discuss the morning's newspapers.

The Labour Party features on several of Sunday's front pages, but for a range of different reasons.

Ed Miliband vents his fury at David Cameron's "smear" tactics, while he faces a warning himself of a threat to his party's election funding.

Elsewhere, the story of three women allegedly kept captive for 30 years in a south London home continues to occupy Fleet Street.

The Sunday Express says it has an exclusive picture of one of the women, along with a letter said to be written by her to a neighbour.

The Daily Star Sunday, meanwhile, says neighbours have spoken of "screams of rage" coming from inside the flat in recent months.

Ed's playlist

Image caption Spot the difference - Ed Miliband and Robbie Williams, whose song Angels helped the Labour leader woo his wife

The papers tear into Ed Miliband's musical choices for the BBC's Desert Island Discs, which include Robbie Williams' Angels and Jerusalem.

The Mail on Sunday says Mr Miliband told the programme "that he chose all his Desert Island Discs himself and they were not selected by committee".

This may not or may not have been a good thing, depending on your point of view.

For her part, Kitty Empire, the Observer's music critic, says there is "a warped sincerity" about Mr Miliband's choices. She writes: "Attempts by politicians to appear 'down with the kids' routinely curl the toes; here, Miliband circumvents the danger of doing a Gordon Brown (who claimed false familiarity with the Arctic Monkeys in 2006) by exhibiting no taste whatsoever."

The Sun on Sunday says the Labour leader has "cemented his image as the wimp of Westminster" with his choices - "soppily" choosing Angels because it reminded him of falling in love with wife Justine.

Bobbies coming back?

The Daily Mirror reports the "grim assessment" of Lord Stevens', former Metropolitan Police commissioner, in his Labour-commissioned review of policing due to be published on Monday.

The paper says he concludes that "huge cuts to police numbers are killing off the bobby on the beat" and warns that "neighbourhood policing must be saved".

The Sunday People says Labour will make a pledge at the next general election in 2015 "to return more coppers to the front line".

According to the Independent on Sunday, Lord Stevens believes that Britain's police forces now adopt a "discredited, narrow and reactive" response to crime that is failing local communities. The paper says the peer recommends a new guarantee that "all reported crime will be investigated, or an explanation given of why it is not possible to do so".

Playing dirty

Ed Miliband delivers a scathing attack on David Cameron in the Independent on Sunday, accusing him of using "fear and smear tactics" to try to discredit the Labour Party - most recently over its links to disgraced former Co-op Bank boss Paul Flowers.

He says the PM once claimed "he wanted to change his party and lead it back to the middle ground", but now the Conservatives are "preparing to fight the dirtiest general election campaign... for over 20 years".

Owen Jones, in the Sunday Mirror, echoes Mr Miliband's words closely - and both lay the blame squarely at the door of Lynton Crosby, David Cameron's chief electoral strategist.

The Sunday Times, however, says it is "entirely appropriate" that Ed Miliband should be "embarrassed by the Co-op's woes", not least because "the Co-op has been Labour's banker."

It says the party is facing a "cash crisis" as the new owners of the group review its funding.

Matthew d'Ancona, writing in the Sunday Telegraph, agrees that the Flowers affair is indicative of the fact that politics is about to "get ugly again". He says there was "tacit agreement" at the last election "that politicians' past indiscretions were a private matter, but the gloves could be off for the election in 2015".

Benefits battle

The Sunday Times leads with suggestions that David Cameron is to defy Brussels and tighten the rules on benefits for new migrants who come to the UK from Bulgaria and Romania.

Discussing the papers for the BBC's News Channel, the Sunday Times' Eleanor Mills said that regardless of whether Mr Cameron was able to change the rules: "It's good politics for him to stand up to the EU and be seen to be having a fight about it."

Vincent Moss, political editor of the Sunday Mirror, said there appeared to be "an unfortunate arms race" developing between the political parties - the Tories and UKIP in particular - about who can be toughest on these migrants.

But former Conservative MP Louise Mensch, in her Sun column, says the "wave of Romanians and Bulgarians due from New Year's Day... will sink the Tories' chances of re-election unless they get creative about stopping it".

Day of the Doctor

Image caption Five generations of the Doctor - Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy and Matt Smith

The Matt cartoon, in the Sunday Telegraph, focuses on 50 years of Doctor Who, depicting an ageing Dalek in a stairlift.

The Observer gives thanks to the BBC for both the Doctor and Monty Python, who announced their comeback this week. The paper calls it "an elderly, much abused and sometimes despised broadcasting organisation", but says "British life is the richer and merrier for the corporation's patronage."

Full speed ahead

Speaking to the Sun on Sunday, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin says work will begin on the HS2 rail link within four months. He insists he will not let "naysayers" hold the project back.

Mr McLoughlin says Britain's "great engineers" provided the "scaffolding of our modern economy" by building roads, railways, airports and motorways. "But all were opposed," he goes on. "Are we sure that the criticism of HS2 amounts to anything more than a repetition of a national loss of nerve?"

Well, one person who does seem sure is author Frederick Forsyth. He tells the Sunday Telegraph that the Tories have lost his vote by ploughing on with HS2. Forsyth calls it an "ill-researched, unworked-out project at a staggering fee", which is "being run by the same team that made a camel's buttock out of the West Coast Mainline contract".