UK

General Election Front Pages Show The British Press At 'Partisan Worst,' BBC's Andrew Neil Says

06/05/2015 10:19 BST | Updated 07/05/2015 09:59 BST

Front pages from Britain's leading newspapers today show the British press at its "partisan worst", a leading BBC presenter has claimed.

A day before the General Election the country's two biggest tabloids have ferociously attacked Ed Miliband while other papers have also flown their partisan colours.

The Sun, which famously took credit for turning the 1992 election in the Tories' favour, told its readers to "Save Our Bacon" by voting against Miliband.

miliband the sun

Referring to Miliband's disastrously unphotogenic efforts to eat a bacon sandwich, the paper thundered: "This is the pig's ear Ed Made of a helpless sarnie. In 48 hours, he could be doing the same to Britain."

The Daily Mail also attacked Miliband. It gave half its front page to say: "For sanity's sake don't let a class-war zealot and the SNP destroy our economy - and our very nation."

daily mail

Daily Politics presenter Andrew Neil, who was editor of The Sunday Times for 11 years, was appalled by today's headlines and angrily claimed no editor would agree to appear on his show to justify their stance.

He said "all pretence of separation between news and opinion" was gone.

Peter Jukes, who has published books on the phone hacking scandal and is a loud voice for press reform, said he "felt sorry for the journalists who have to put their names to their proprietor's BS".

People tweeted about the Daily Mail's contradiction in championing the incumbent party while condemning the state of the NHS.

Labour candidate and Murdoch gadfly Tom Watson was among those tweeting their responses to the The Sun headline.

Sun spokesman Dylan Sharpe defended the paper and pointed to headlines in "Left establishment" papers The Mirror and The Guardian that, he implied, reflected their own partisanship.

Compared with The Sun and The Daily Mail, The Telegraph's front was sober but its headline still boomed: "Nightmare On Downing Street" for its report on Sir John Major claiming that the Labour/SNP government would "tear our nation apart.

telegraph front snp

Jay Stoll tweeted a photo of three of the front pages alongside each other.

On the day Major backed his party in The Telegraph, the Labour-supporting Daily Mirror splashed on a recording it had obtained of the former prime minister claiming the Tories had not done enough to tackle inequality and Britain still had a "substantial underclass".

It ran the headline 'Major Fail' next to a picture of David Cameron holding his face in his hands. The article's intro began: "The Tory election campaign has suffered a hammer blow..."

mirror front cameron

The Express, which has previously splashed on the fact its owner has donated to Ukip, splashed on Nigel Farage pleading for people to vote for his party.

Of all the front pages, its political stance was the most direct:

express

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