Newspaper review: Papers react to political reshuffles


The papers have plenty to say about reshuffles carried out by all three main political party leaders.

The Guardian reports that Home Secretary Theresa May was said to be "spitting tacks" after Nick Clegg imposed Liberal Democrat Norman Baker on her department.

The paper says Mrs May was not consulted about his appointment.

For his part, Mr Baker tells the Independent he wants to make the Home Office "more liberal" and ensure "the rights of individuals are protected".

The Daily Telegraph says there was a "far greater significance to yesterday's manoeuvrings" than is usually the case, particularly in the Labour camp.

The paper's editorial maintains that Ed Miliband's purge of remaining Blairites, coupled with the demotion of more centrist colleagues, provides further evidence that Labour is now "an out-and-out party of the left".

According to The Daily Express, the Labour leader has shown his "deepest red" colours by penalising those urging moderation.

On the other hand, the paper insists David Cameron has taken on board voter concerns over a front bench of privilege by elevating a new breed of state-educated Tory.

High earners

The Times leads with the news that tens of thousands of parents face "stiff" fines because they have failed to meet the deadline for registering their child benefit payments on their tax returns.

The paper says 165,000 higher earning parents, who have carried on receiving payments, did not register for self assessment by the weekend.

Amid the deadline for people to apply for Royal Mail shares, the Daily Telegraph says millions of small investors are set to profit from the sale.

The paper likens "a late rush" for shares to the interest shown by investors in the privatisation of British Gas and other industries in the 1980s.

The Guardian says it understands ministers may raise the share allocation for small investors at the expense of banks because of a growing outcry over the original percentage of shares available to the public.

The Financial Times reports that some brokers are extending their opening hours to deal with an expected last-minute scramble for applications.

Badger cull

The Guardian carries a claim from scientists that the controversial cull of badgers in England "could now spread TB" because not enough of the animals have been killed.

The paper says sources have told it that not even half the number of badgers needed to help curb the spread of tuberculosis in cattle have been culled.

Some 70% is said to be the minimum kill rate for a cull to be deemed a success.

Paul Caruana, who used to work for Defra and has been involved in the latter stages of the cull, tells the paper that organisers hit the "panic button" when they realised the night shoots were not getting the expected results.

Meanwhile, cat lovers you have been warned. A purring cat might not be as happy as it sounds, according the Daily Telegraph.

Scientists at the University of Lincoln have found that cats release hormones linked to stress when they are constantly petted.

So, if you want a happy cat then stop stroking, advises the Daily Mail.

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