Page last updated at 06:37 GMT, Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Spin doctor Campbell takes centre stage


Tony Blair's former spin doctor stares out from the front pages after taking centre stage at the Iraq inquiry.

The Independent says he came, he saw, he left without a regret, while the Mirror dismisses Alastair Campbell's evidence as the same old Iraq spin.

For the Times, he showed he had lost none of the confrontational style and robust confidence that made him such a crucial aide to the then prime minister.

The Telegraph says he gave a familiar defence of the decision to go to war.

'Stop benefits'

The government's ban of the radical group, Islam4UK, is discussed in several leader columns.

The Independent believes the only way to truly silence it is by exposing its agenda through open debate.

The Telegraph and the Mail have no such misgivings, arguing the government should stop members claiming benefits.

The Sun acknowledges Islam4UK will re-appear in different names, but says the government must keep issuing banning orders.

Safety fears

The Mail and the Mirror report how thousands of homeowners around the country have been left with mounting rubbish piles because of bad weather.

In some areas, councils have not emptied bins for five weeks, they say.

The Mirror says treacherous roads mean refuse collectors have not been able to reach huge swathes of the country.

The Mail says even in areas where the thaw has begun, binmen are refusing to use the roads because of health and safety fears.

Queen's sand

With gritting sand in short supply, it seems that motorists have been raiding beaches for sand to spread over icy and snow-covered roads.

But, the Express reports, people taking sand from Felixstowe shores in Suffolk could be stealing from the Queen.

It says although the local council owns the beach, the area below the low-tide mark is held by the Crown Estates.

A local councillor says one couple caught stealing shingle for their garden were given a warning by police.

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