MP and escort claims, Prince George photo and the battle for votes

The resignation of Conservative MP Mark Menzies as a ministerial aide following allegations made by a male escort makes front page news in the Sunday Mirror - and is followed up in a number of other papers.

According to the account given by Rogerio Santos to the Mirror, Mr Menzies paid him for sex when he was living in the UK about 18 months ago and - in text messages - asked him about the price of the class B drug methedrone, a stimulant banned in 2010.

The paper reports it was contacted by Mr Santos, 19, who is now living in Sao Paulo in his native Brazil, in a series of emails last week.

A Downing Street statement was issued at 19:00 GMT on Saturday confirming that Mr Menzies was standing down from the unpaid role to the International Development minister Alan Duncan - allowing the Mail on Sunday and the Sun on Sunday to also carry the news.

Mr Menzies, 42, the MP for Fylde in Lancashire, says that "a number of these allegations are not true" and he is looking forward to "setting the record straight in due course".

'Running out of steam'

The battle for votes at the 2015 general election is explored in several stories.

According to the Sunday Times, Labour is planning to slash university tuition fees by at least £3,000 a year in an attempt to win over middle England voters alarmed by education costs. It says Labour leader Ed Miliband is expected to pledge he will cut the £9,000 maximum fee.

The Sunday Times says its analysis of official figures shows the "central thrust of Labour policy" - that the country is in the grip of a cost-of-living crisis - is "running out of steam".

But in an editorial, the paper reckons Mr Miliband "senses the coalition's vulnerability" on tuition fees and sees his plans as a "retail offer... in the same vein" as the party's energy price freeze proposal.

In the Independent on Sunday, John Rentoul also has his eyes on statistics - official figures that show inequality is at its lowest level in nearly 30 years.

But he says neither party seems to want to recognise the achievement.

"Thus we head towards an election in which a left-wing party that cares passionately about equality will assail a centre-right government for pampering the rich and being cruel towards the poor, when it has actually promoted greater equality but barely seems to realise it."

Meanwhile, the Observer reports that people who rent their homes from private landlords because they cannot afford to buy could determine the result of the next general election in dozens of key parliamentary seats.

It says polling by ComRes for the campaigning organisation Generation Rent suggests that 35% of people in the private rented sector describe themselves as floating voters who could cast their votes on the basis of the parties' housing manifestos.

Buildings 'out of control'

The Sunday Telegraph leads with an attack by the former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams on Western lifestyles for causing climate change that is "pushing the environment towards crisis".

Writing in the paper ahead of the publication of the latest study from the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Dr Williams says the "appalling" floods and storms that devastated parts of the UK in winter were a demonstration of "what we can expect".

"Rich, industrialised countries, including our own, have unquestionably contributed most to atmospheric pollution," he says.

Meanwhile, the Independent claims to have seen a draft copy of the UN report and says it is set to warn that climate change poses a "major risk" to forests all over the world, threatening widespread tree deaths that could wipe out wildlife, exacerbate global warming and hurt the economy.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The changing London skyline in July 2013 - campaigners are worried about the future

A different kind of "destruction" concerns some of Britain's most influential figures in the arts, politics and academia who have launched a campaign to save London's skyline from being dominated by more than 200 additional skyscrapers, reports the Observer.

The more than 70 signatories include sculptor Sir Antony Gormley, philosopher Alain de Botton, author Alan Bennett, Stirling prize-winning architect Alison Brooks, and London mayoral hopefuls Dame Tessa Jowell and MP David Lammy.

They say many of the planned buildings are "hugely prominent and grossly insensitive to their immediate context and appearance" on an "out of control" skyline.

September's referendum on Scottish independence continues to generate headlines.

The Observer reports that Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael has warned that Scots could end up voting for independence because those in favour of remaining part of the UK could leave it too late to make their voices heard. The Lib Dem minister said he feared the nationalists had greater "hunger" for victory, it says.

In an editorial, the Sunday Telegraph sees "confusion about the possible financial consequences of Scottish independence" following the reports - denied by the UK government - that a currency union could take place if there is a yes vote.

"If the pro-union side wants to win... it is going to have to improve its game - to root its arguments in a mixture of honesty about the economic downside to independence and a passionate case for staying together."

Meanwhile, the Daily Star Sunday reports there has been an unexpected intervention in the independence debate from pop music impresario Simon Cowell.

The paper quotes him as saying he would "prefer us to remain as one big happy family".

"My mum's maiden name was Dalglish so I have Scottish blood in me," he adds.

'Not-so-secret weapon'

Image copyright Jason Bell/Camera Press

A new photograph of eight-month-old Prince George with his parents, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and their pet cocker spaniel Lupo graces several front pages.

The photograph shows the family seated looking out from a window at their Kensington Palace home - but the young prince is gazing at the family pet and the Sunday Mirror suggests it shows he and Lupo are clearly best of friends.

"Oh George, haven't you grown!," says the Mail on Sunday in a front page headline, reminding its readers that last time the prince was seen he was "asleep in a bouffant of creamy ruffles" at his christening last October.

The Sunday Telegraph says the image by royal christening photographer Jason Bell shows Prince George "bears more than a passing resemblance to his father at the same age".

In an article in the Telegraph, Gordon Rayner and Bonnie Malkin note that royal aides said the couple had decided "now was a good time to let the public see how their son is growing up, aware of the intense interest in the future king's progress".

But they write the picture "has far greater significance" and was timed to whet the appetite here and abroad for their tour of New Zealand and Australia next month "where Prince George will be the Royal Family's not-so-secret weapon against republicanism.

"Prince George's public debut in New Zealand will be a moment in history, the first of many thousands of official engagements he will carry out in a life governed by duty," they add.

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