Sunday Papers Roundup - Stephen Hester's Bonus Row Dominates The Broadsheets
After the rumours circulating this week suggested that Rupert Murdoch was planning to launch his Sunday version of the Sun sometime in April, HuffPost UK started wondering if we really needed another Sunday paper.
Maybe we're just a bit lazy on Sunday mornings, but it feels as though there's quite enough to read already. The row over RBS chief Stephen Hester dominates the news, with the Sunday Times (£) reporting that the bonuses just keep on coming. It turns out that in addition to the £1m bonus currently being argued about, Hester might be due an even larger one, to the tune of £8m. The bonus packages seem to be more complicated than was previously thought, with "short-term" and "long-term" rewards forming part of the bank boss' deal.
The Sunday Times reports that Lib Dems in the coalition are losing patience, and want David Cameron to take action. The PM - who has said that it's up to Stephen Hester to make his own choices - is torn between avoiding coalition spats and preventing the reputation of the City of London being tarnished internationally. Someone's going to lose, and the bets are the row will rumble on into next week.
The size of Hester's pay package is up for discussion though. The Independent on Sunday reports that only an additional £3.3 million has been unearthed.
Perhaps the most troubling story in the Sunday Telegraph is the claim about the Falkland Islands by one of the UK's most distinguished former soldiers. General Sir Mike Jackson tells the paper that if Argentina were to invade the islands once again, Britain wouldn't have the military muscle to take them back. He's giving voice to concerns that have been swirling around Whitehall for several weeks. We no longer have an aircraft carrier or Harrier jets, both of which were integral to Margaret Thatcher's campaign in the early 1980s. Given relations between the Falklands and Argentina appear to be worsening with every passing week, it's a disturbing story, but it's hotly disputed by the head of Britain's south Atlantic operations. Well he couldn't say otherwise, could he?
The Observer reports that Andrew Lansley will make major changes to the NHS Reform Bill, which has been stuck in the House of Lords for several weeks. One big problem a lot of people have with the legislation as it stands is Lansley's role in the new model. It's been confirmed that the government will climb down and enshrine in law the Secretary of State's obligation to ensure Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) will provide a national service. Concerns have been raised that the newly autonomous groups are blocking operations for smokers and the obese. It's all part of long-standing concerns that Lansley's reforms will lead to postcode lotteries across England.
Elsewhere in the tabloids? David Lammy's claim that smacking laws introduced by Tony Blair's government contributed to the riots makes the front page of the Mail on Sunday. Denise Welch is on the front of the Mirror, People and Daily Star.
Here's the front pages: