Newspaper review: Papers reflect on flood-hit Britain


"Water Torture" is the stark headline in the Daily Mirror, which warns that flood-hit Britain is bracing itself for yet another downpour.

On its front page, the Financial Times carries an aerial photograph, showing the outskirts of Taunton, surrounded by field upon field of chocolate-brown flood water.

The Liberal Democrat MP for St Austell and Newquay, Stephen Gilbert, urges ministers to ensure that insurance companies are able to provide home and business owners with affordable cover. "The last two days should be a wake-up call for a government which needs to grip this issue," he tells the Guardian.

While there's sympathy for affected homeowners, there's less patience for some other victims.

The manager of the West Midlands ambulance service tells the Times many of the hundreds of calls they received were from drivers of four-by-fours, who had wrongly assumed their cars could cope with the flooding.

"Just because your vehicle has four-wheel drive, doesn't make it amphibious," he says.

Leveson report

Writing in the Guardian, Ed Miliband urges David Cameron to show confidence in Lord Justice Leveson's report into the future of press regulation, to be published later this week.

The Labour leader says the prime minister should agree a swift timetable for implementing the report so long as its findings are reasonable.

The Sun sees comments by William Hague on Sunday as a "hint" that ministers will resist calls for full-blown state regulation of the press.

The Daily Mail says senior government figures are understood to favour a compromise, involving a tougher model of independent regulation with the threat of legislation should it not work.

Fostering row

In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, the couple at the centre of the UKIP fostering row demand a public apology from Rotherham Council. "Adoption and fostering are not about politics, they're about children," the foster mother tells the paper.

The Times says ministers now want to extend new rules for adoption, to fostering to ensure that race and ethnicity don't interfere with placements.

Still in the Times, and the paper says it has seen a secret memo by the secretary-general of the General Synod, in which he warns that the Church of England faces a "constitutional crisis" after its vote against women bishops.

The memo, to be debated by the Archbishops' Council this week, says the Church must approve women bishops by 2015 or risk the matter being taken out of its hands by Parliament.

Boris business

Finally, photographs of Boris Johnson, on a mission to India to entice business to London, adorn the pages of the Mirror and the Sun.

The Independent says Britain's biggest celebrity politician enjoyed a reception usually reserved for foreign heads of state.

But it but notes that, despite the attention, few people appeared to know who he actually was.

Just one American tourist successfully identified the Mayor of London describing him as "that guy on the zip-wire".

"One of the locals shouted out that it was Boris Becker," an onlooker tells the paper, "others asked whether he was the King of England".

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