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Last Updated: Friday, 16 July, 2004, 06:37 GMT 07:37 UK
Papers note poor Tory poll result
The Daily Telegraph and the Guardian both pick up two themes from the by-elections: big swings to the Liberal Democrats and a bad day for the Tories.

With the Conservatives slumping from second to third in both constituencies, the Guardian concludes Michael Howard was perhaps the night's biggest victim.

The Daily Mail comments on BNP leader Nick Griffin's "anti-Muslim rant" and taunt to police on a BBC documentary.

The nation has seen the BNP condemned from its own mouth, the Sun says.

'Presidential' response

The papers devote more time to analysis of the Butler Report's findings.

The Independent says information used to claim Saddam Hussein posed a threat had already been discredited before it was put before the Hutton Inquiry.

The Telegraph reports Sir Richard Dearlove, out-going MI6 head, told Lord Hutton the 45-minute claim was reliable when his own agents said it was unsafe.

The Mail says Tony Blair's response to the report shows how "presidential" he has become.

'Cack-handed and misjudged'

The papers are not agreed on quite how many times the government has changed the way the UK's railways are run.

The Daily Star thinks three, while the Daily Mirror counts five - and jokes passengers could think reorganisations arrive more frequently than trains.

The Mail lays some blame on John Major - but concludes Labour's response to problems has been cack-handed, misjudged and hugely expensive to the taxpayer.

The Sun opposes "meddling politicians" like London's mayor having more say.

Common sense

The Daily Express carries out a special investigation into "our squalid hospitals", arguing it is filth which has led to the rise of the superbugs.

The Mail's more optimistic report tells how at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford, Essex, common sense values on cleanliness have eradicated MRSA.

Warnings about the health danger of letting children watch too much television also dominate the papers.

But the Independent says teachers are using Homer Simpson in science classes.

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