Page last updated at 06:57 GMT, Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Papers welcome MPs' expenses cuts


Several papers cover leaked news of a proposed ban on MPs claiming mortgage interest payments on second homes.

The Times says Sir Christopher Kelly's recommendation will horrify MPs , who will claim it will make politics the preserve of the rich.

Under the headline "Hallelujah!" , the Daily Mail quotes one unnamed MP saying the proposal will cause a riot.

The Daily Telegraph also reports that MPs will be barred from employing members of their family.

Blair for president?

The likelihood of Tony Blair becoming the European Union's first president is again the subject of much speculation.

The Financial Times says the race is hotting up after Luxembourg's veteran prime minister Jean-Claude Juncker put himself forward as a rival to Mr Blair.

The paper thinks Mr Blair's silence on his own candidacy shows his experience that front-runners seldom win.

But the Independent says Mr Juncker's announcement will increase pressure on Mr Blair to throw his hat in the ring.


The kidnapping of a British couple by Somali pirates off the East African coast is also widely reported.

The Times says hostages are often well treated until a ransom is paid and they are handed over but the Daily Mirror points out it can be frightening.

The Guardian reports on comments by an Irish politician who suggested that a tipple might help calm drivers of a nervous disposition.

Mattie McGrath told a radio talk show drink could act as a relaxant for people who were "jumpy" on the road.

'Secret plan'

The Independent says Lloyds, Royal Bank of Scotland and Northern Rock are to be broken up and parts of their businesses sold to create three new institutions.

The Daily Express says a "secret plan" to seize £4bn a year from Britain would mean paying taxes direct to Europe.

And the Daily Mirror leads on the killing of Ashleigh Hall, 17, whose body was found in County Durham.

The paper says she told friends she had a date with a lad of 16 who had contacted her on Facebook.

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