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Last Updated: Thursday, 2 February 2006, 07:21 GMT
Whip blamed for hate bill defeat
Mastheads of the national newspapers
Many papers examine how the government lost the Religious Hatred Bill vote, despite having a notional majority on hand within the Palace of Westminster.

The Daily Telegraph says Tory MPs kept a low profile around Westminster, making Labour Whips believe there were not enough available to defeat them.

Labour Whips allowed some Scottish MPs to be absent from the vote, it says.

And the papers agree Chief Whip Hilary Armstrong will not survive what the Guardian calls a "classic ambush".

Reshuffle kerfuffle

Hilary Armstrong's expected sacking prompts the papers to predict the winners and losers in what the Times says is a looming Cabinet reshuffle.

The Daily Mail says Leader of the Commons Geoff Hoon could replace Ms Armstrong as the next Chief Whip.

But Trade and Industry Secretary Alan Johnson is also touted as a possible replacement - for either Ms Armstrong or Education Secretary Ruth Kelly.

Although the Telegraph says reshuffle plans have been postponed until spring.

Split decision

The Daily Express leads on the case of divorcee Julia McFarlane petitioning for her 250,000 annual maintenance award to be extended for life.

The Guardian says it is one of two test cases in which Law Lords must put a price on marriage to decide what wealthy husbands should pay ex-wives.

One millionaire with an interest is golfer Colin Montgomery.

Several papers say Monty has settled with his ex-wife out of court and will give her half his wedge - up to 15m.

Prophet warning

The papers cover the growing dispute about a Danish newspaper's cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

Papers in four European countries have published them despite threats from Muslim groups, the Daily Mail says.

The decision has escalated a row that has already plunged Denmark into a diplomatic crisis, the Guardian says.

And while the UK papers give widespread coverage to the stand for free speech taken by their European colleagues, none of them print the caricatures.




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