Newspaper review: Papers weigh up Miliband's speech


The Financial Times commends Ed Miliband for finally starting to sketch out a prospectus for government during his speech on welfare spending - although it believes more needs to be done.

The Daily Mirror says the Labour leader has made a good start in setting out broad principles but agrees that the party needs to flesh out its policies.

The Independent praises Mr Miliband for being bold in identifying his party's weaknesses and in trying to tackle them.

But, it says, a fuzzy sense that he will do much the same thing as his opponents will not suffice.

The Daily Mail says it was supposed to be the week when Labour was transformed from a shrieking party of protest to a serious opposition, ready for government.

It could not have flunked the test more spectacularly, according to the Mail.

Deport criminals

Many of the papers report that MPs are to be given a free vote on any move to arm Syrian opposition forces.

The Financial Times talks of David Cameron bowing to pressure while the Independent believes that the prime minister faces up an uphill struggle to win the endorsement of the Commons for any involvement in the war.

The Times argues that arming the rebels is risky but right. Syrians need protection, it says, and without it they will hold the West responsible for generations to come.

The Times and the Daily Mail report that new tactics are being used to deport foreign criminals.

They reveal that a suspected serial rapist was thrown out of the country last month after Scotland Yard intelligence files were passed to the immigration courts.

The Mail says the Metropolitan Police is stepping up efforts to deport foreign criminals in the same way.

But the Times voices concerns among lawyers that immigration courts are being used as a backdoor method for dealing with criminals who have not been convicted.

A refugee and migrant forum tells the Guardian that low level criminals are also being targeted in an operation that will "totally mess up" local policing and any trust communities have in the police.

Sickness survey

Shadow communities secretary Hilary Benn tells the Daily Telegraph that residents should be given the right to decide on building developments in their area.

The paper describes the announcement as a significant political intervention in the row over planning, which has angered voters across traditional Tory heartlands.

The Times, the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail are among the papers to report that the sniffles and sneezes of other commuters will not put you at a higher risk of catching flu.

A survey of 6,000 people found that despite often finding themselves packed in like sardines, users of public transport are no more likely to fall sick than those who drive to work.

Experts say it is unlikely that a fellow passenger will sneeze in your face whereas schools are a potent source of flu, with children spreading infection in the classroom before bringing it home.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin's divorce is widely covered.

Many papers publish a picture of his 55-year-old wife alongside a picture of an Olympic gymnast who is alleged to have been his mistress for the past five years.

The story prompts the Sun to ask if the president has been "Putin it about?".

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