Newspaper headlines: Tory 'civil war' and 'hero' Muhammad Ali

Monday's front pages are dominated by the EU referendum and the life and death of Muhammad Ali.

The Telegraph leads with the EU debate, saying David Cameron will "intensify the Tory civil war" by uniting with politicians from Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party to "attack the Brexit campaign".

It says the group will release a joint statement "condemning" Vote Leave leaders Boris Johnson and Michael Gove for "perpetuating an economic con-trick on the British people".

The paper also says Downing Street has been accused of "orchestrating an extraordinary personal attack on Mr Johnson" by Sir John Major.

The former PM called Mr Johnson a "court jester" and criticised the "squalid" Brexit campaign, the Daily Mail reports.

Writing in the paper, Quentin Letts says Sir John "threw a spectacular paddy" in an interview on the Andrew Marr Show.

Letts criticises Sir John's "petulant hysteria", contrasting it with "optimistic" and "positive" comments made by Mr Johnson and Mr Gove.

Image caption Sir John Major's comments on the EU referendum are discussed in several papers

The Sun also criticises Sir John, saying he is "still scarred by his own disastrous record on Europe" and chose to "play the man, not the ball".

But Matthew d'Ancona, writing in the Guardian, says Sir John's "cold fury" was the "exasperation of a former PM who knows how this particular movie ends" - having led the party during a period of damaging divisions over Europe.

In a cartoon, the Times adapts a famous Muhammad Ali quote as it shows a boxing match which ends with Sir John kicking Mr Johnson: "Floats like a butterfly... stings like a bee... kicks like a mule."


Several other EU stories also make headlines.

The Guardian's front page says the leaders of Britain's biggest trade unions have issued a plea to six million members to vote to stay in the EU.

They believe Brexit would allow the government to "dismantle hard-won rights for workers on parenting, holidays and equality", the paper says.

Image copyright Reuters

The Sun reports on a speech to be made by Mr Johnson, in which he will say Britain will be hit with a new £2.4bn bill to cover "overspending by Brussels" if it remains in the EU.

The paper calls it a "bombshell", and describes Mr Cameron's decision to campaign alongside Labour's Harriet Harman as "desperate".

Meanwhile, it says UKIP leader Nigel Farage has been "savaged" by fellow Eurosceptics for suggesting women would be at risk of sex attacks by migrant gangs if it stays in the EU.

'Devotion to all'

A billion people will watch Muhammad Ali's funeral on Friday, the Daily Star reports.

The Financial Times says an interfaith service will be held in Ali's hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, with eulogies by former US President Bill Clinton and actor Billy Crystal.

Ali's family said the celebration of his life would "reflect his devotion to all races, religions and backgrounds," the paper adds.

Image copyright AFP

But several papers report on a possible row in the family, with the Express saying relatives "look set to fight it out over his £35m fortune".

Ali married four times and had nine children, and lawyers are preparing for a "complicated carve-up of his vast estate", the paper says.

The Telegraph puts the figure at £55m, and says Ali's "only known biological son" appears to be heading for a legal fight with his father's fourth wife.

And the Sun says Ali's relatives fear they may have to fight the boxer's "secret love children" for his fortune - which it puts at £60m.

'Freedom of spirit'

The Star says Ali had been "secretly fighting for his life for the last six weeks" before dying of septic shock on Friday.

Image copyright AP

In one of many tributes in Monday's papers, the Mirror says Ali "remains a colossal figure who captivates much of the globe".

"The admiration, respect, affection and love shown in tributes and a genuine sense of loss measures the Louisville Lip's importance in shaking up America and the world," it says.

Writing in the i, Bob Mee says Ali was "freedom of spirit personified".

"His outrageous defiance of the rules, his sense of mischief, his unswerving belief in social justice, all fitted the mood of his times," he says.

What the commentators say

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionBenedicte Paviot, UK correspondent for France 24, and Martin Bentham, home affairs editor at the London Evening Standard, join the BBC News Channel to review Monday's front pages.

'Box sets block sex'

British couples may be having less sex because of "addictive television box sets", the Telegraph reports.

It quotes a Cambridge statistician who says it is "worrying" that in 1990 couples made love about five times a month, but by 2010 that number had fallen to three.

Commenting on the reasons for the change, Prof David Spiegelhalter said: "I think it's the box set, Netflix. OMG I've got to watch the entire second series of Game of Thrones."

The paper's grim conclusion is: "If current trends continue couples would not be having sex at all by 2030."

Image copyright HBO
Image caption Like joining the Night's Watch, Game of Thrones may be bad for your love life

Eye-catching headlines:

  • Women under 35 have it all - including anxiety disorders: A study has found that women in developed countries are almost twice as likely as men to suffer from anxiety, the Times reports. Younger women are "disproportionately affected", it says.
  • Britain's £23bn sickie: Workers cost the economy £23bn a year by turning up for work ill and spreading bugs to colleagues, the Star reports. It says there is a "culture of presenteeism", with workers "increasingly feeling pressurised to turn up" even when they are unwell.
  • For sale: Secrets of D-Day: Top-secret military orders for the D-Day landings, which should have been burned to prevent them falling into enemy hands, are up for auction, the Mirror says.
  • Female MPs form support group to defeat "frightening" web abuse: Labour MP Tulip Siddiq says female MPs who are frequent targets of online trolling have formed an unofficial support group, the Guardian reports.

Finally, the papers are full of praise and sympathy for Andy Murray, who lost in the final of the French Open to Novak Djokovic.

The Mail says Murray produced a "staggering level of shot-making" to win the opening set - but the "impeccable Serb" proved too strong.

"There was something almost supernatural when, after eight days of gloom, the sun came out as the presentation was made to the champion," Mike Dickson writes.

The i says Murray was "ultimately outplayed", though he "took a set off the game's outstanding player and won some great points".

"Never mind Andy," the Express says. "Let's hope the grass will be greener at Wimbledon."

Image copyright AP

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