Newspaper review: BBC crisis still makes headlines


The BBC crisis is again on most of the front pages of the day's newspapers - and is the lead for three of them.

The Times says the chairman of the BBC Trust, Lord Patten, is understood to want the next director general to be an outsider - to ensure the corporation is given a complete overhaul.

According to the Financial Times, influential Conservatives have backed calls for a radical shake-up of the BBC, endorsing a split in the director general's roles of executive director and editor-in-chief.

The Daily Telegraph says the public spending watchdog is to review the controversial pay-off for the former director general, George Entwistle.

The ruling upholding Abu Qatada's appeal against extradition to Jordan is the Daily Mirror's and the Sun's lead.

The Sun describes it as the latest fiasco over his human rights.

The Mirror says the radical cleric will make a mockery of British justice when he walks out of jail. It has the headline: "Laughing in our faces".

Tax quiz

The Guardian leads on the investigation into claims that some energy companies have been manipulating the wholesale gas market.

It says this comes at a highly charged time for the energy sector, with many suppliers under fire for alleged profiteering on household bills.

The Daily Mail's main story reports on the appearance before MPs of executives from Starbucks, Google and Amazon to explain why - as the paper puts it - the companies contribute little or nothing to the Treasury's coffers.

Alex Brummer - writing elsewhere in the paper - says their ritual humiliation was good theatre.

But he adds that it would have been more respectful of the Commons had the companies' real bosses turned up.

According to the Independent's main story, the NHS in England is "sleepwalking" into a nursing crisis.

This is because, it says, almost one in five front line posts are under threat as primary care trusts try to find savings.

The paper has a warning by the Royal College of Nursing that patient safety will be seriously undermined by falling numbers of nurses, and standards of care "are going to get a lot worse".

Arthritis advice

The Daily Express's front page offers another of its health-related stories. It has the headline: "Exercise beats arthritis pain".

It says research by American doctors shows that millions of arthritis sufferers could drastically improve their condition with regular gentle exercise.

Finally, a theatre in Catalonia has begun selling carrots in lieu of tickets, in protest against a 13% rise in VAT on cultural activities in Spain.

As a staple food product, carrots carry only 4% VAT, compared with 21% for the arts.

The theatre director tells the Independent: "I thought about lettuces, but it wasn't practical to have everybody lugging something that big around.

"And as for tomatoes, what if people started throwing them at the actors during the performance?"

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