Newspaper review: Deportation row and schools' success

It was the story that the papers could not print... until an MP opened his mouth.

Home Secretary Theresa May had been foiled in her attempts to oversee the deportation of a Moroccan-born woman who had served a jail sentence for trying to smuggle a mobile phone Sim to a terrorist in Belmarsh Prison. The European Court of Justice ruled against the deportation on human rights grounds.

But the papers were unable to report that the woman was the daughter-in-law of Abu Hamza, and he was the intended recipient of that Sim card. Throughout the deportation hearing, a strict ban on revealing her identity had been imposed by the judge.

But, as the Daily Telegraph reports on its front page, Tory backbencher Philip Davies decided to reveal the family relationship in the House of Commons - although he stopped short of naming the woman.

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Image caption Abu Hamza is currently serving a life sentence in an American prison

The Sun also leads on the story and speaks to Mr Davies who says he was motivated to speak up because the "public have a right to know who poses a threat to this country, and that the EU is putting our country at risk".

Because he made the comments in the House of Commons, he is protected by parliamentary privilege, the Daily Express explains.

The paper suggests that the "unwelcome interference from the EU's highest court" could lead to hundreds of other foreign criminals demanding to stay in Britain, when they would normally expect to be told to leave after finishing their sentences.

The Daily Mail says that the case "intensifies pressure" on Prime Minister David Cameron. His ongoing attempts to strike a deal with the EU ahead of the in-out referendum have yet to even consider the issue of British laws and whether they should ever be overturned by Europe.

Planning to go?

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"If the British want to leave, let them leave." So said the European Parliament President Martin Schulz during a visit to London and his words are encouraging enough for the Daily Express, - the most solidly Eurosceptic newspaper - to put on its front page.

The Daily Mirror does point out that Mr Schulz would prefer the UK not to leave the EU but is warning that many European nations are having the "patience and goodwill" tested by the UK's "continuous demands".

The Daily Mail focuses on another element of his speech - his warning that whatever deal Mr Cameron manages to negotiate for an "emergency brake" on migrant benefits could be blocked or watered down by MEPs.

In the Guardian, an editorial by Martin Kettle argues that Mr Cameron has successfully negotiated some real concessions from the EU, despite getting a bit of a "media kicking" from the newspapers. You just need to look at the fine print to spot it, he says.

The paper's main editorial picks up the same point, saying that the PM "deserves credit and support" for a deal that has "called a bluff" on many in his party.

But if, despite the PM's efforts, the British public takes Mr Schulz at his word and votes for Britain to exit the EU, the Financial Times has some sobering news. It has surveyed the 100 companies that make up the FTSE 100 and discovered that just four have made plans for life after the Brexit. The prepared quartet? Standard Life, GKN, Persimmon and Easyjet.

Planning to stay?

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After 44 months holed up inside the Ecuadorean embassy, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange "faced" the press on Friday - with journalists watching a videolink two miles away - and it seems he may not have impressed many.

He was speaking after a UN panel ruled that he had been "arbitrarily detained" ever since he took refuge in the embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden where he is wanted for questioning over an allegation of rape. It also said that he should be awarded compensation.

News values - in pounds and pence

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£32m - Ferrari driven by 1950s greats Juan Manuel Fangio, Mike Hawthorn and Sterling Moss breaks sales record at auction (Daily Telegraph).

£800,000 - Mother fails in bid to have her son's maintenance payments quadrupled from the current £200,000 a year. She'd argued the boy should be able to "replicate" his super- rich father's lifestyle of having boxes at Arsenal FC and Ascot racecourse, membership at Wentworth golf club and first-class flights. Her son is aged seven. (Independent).

£20,000 - Fraudulent art dealer who went straight is now commanding that fee for his legitimate works of art. Four years ago, he was jailed for selling fakes but he was allowed to paint in prison and has now found that "honest toil" can be lucrative (Times).

£7,000 -The universities chief who said that universities should be exempt from Freedom of Information requests has been given a whopping pay rise, an FoI request discovers. (Daily Mail).

£1,198 - Ikea admits that its "Kivik modular leather sofa" is only leather in parts and offers refunds to customers who feel they were misled. (Daily Mail).

£500 - The cost of some iPhone 6 phones that have been rendered useless by an "error 53" problem (Guardian).

£80 - A "canny" businessman is making "breezy money" by selling jars of English country air to customers in smog-bound Chinese cities (The Sun).

£42 is the average amount being spent by romantic Brits for Valentine's Day and £37.36 is the price of a room in Varna, Bulgaria, which has been named as Europe's cheapest beach resort. The two stories may or may not be connected (Daily Star).

The Times is one of the few newspapers to report the news of Mr Assange's UN-backed "victory" in a measured way - although its headline does label Mr Assange a "smug fugitive".

Other papers, however, do not hold back. The Daily Telegraph leads its story with the claim that the UN has been "ridiculed" ever since it produced the report.

The Daily Star is more succinct with its headline "The law is an Ass. He hides in embassy, UN says free him with compo".

The Sun says: "Cocky Assange appeared via videolink to rub it in and then stood on the balcony of the embassy to toast victory, just out of reach of cops."

The Daily Mail explains that the UN panel's opinion is not legally binding "although Assange claimed it was".

The Daily Mirror limits Mr Assange's pronouncements to just one paragraph and instead chooses to give a platform to his alleged rape victim, who tells the paper that the panel's decision was "offensive" and that she wants the 44-year-old Australian to "take responsibility and let the investigation move forward". The woman's lawyer urges Mr Assange to "pack his bag"

The state school massive

The education being offered at state schools is improving massively, according to the Good Schools Guide - and surely that is a good news story for the newspapers to celebrate.

Well not totally. The Good Schools Guide founder and editor-in-chief Lord Lucas points out to the Guardian and the Times that it means that some middle-class parents who might have considered scraping together the cash to send their parents to private schools are now happy to consider the free alternative. So that could end up driving weaker private schools out of business, he says.

While the Guardian focuses on the success of the "Soaring state schools", the Times reports the same story with the doom-laden headline "Private schools in crisis".

The latter says that the latest digital edition of the Good Schools Guide recommends 319 state schools, up from 10 in the first edition back in 1986, and that could spell the end for "hundreds" of private schools.

The Daily Telegraph interviews Lord Lucas and hears that he once visited a state school where, at break time, "the place was full of kids out on the lawn smoking pot". But now that school has cleaned up its act and has earned its spot in his guide.

Meanwhile, a former pupil of Britain's most famous - albeit fictional - private school is pictured on the front page on the Daily Telegraph. Emma Watson, who played Hermione in the Harry Potter movies, has been named as a visiting fellow at a leading Oxford college, the paper reports.