BBC News – Farage’s victory pint, and dementia ‘breakthrough’

Nigel Farage

After the local election results, it’s time for a celebratory pint for Nigel Farage – and the moment is captured in many of the newspapers.

A front-page picture on the Independent shows the UKIP leader savouring his favourite tipple of ale, while political commentators assess the impact of the political earthquake which, the paper says, “his party promised and delivered”.

Alzheimer’s hope

Sir Ian Botham

Hopes of a breakthrough in dementia treatment are offered by the Daily Express lead story which says that US scientists have discovered a new protein that appears to combat the deterioration of the brains of Alzheimer’s sufferers.

The paper explains the protein is normally found in the liver and can cause health problems there, but may yet be a key weapon in the battle against the condition.

The Daily Telegraph carries a moving interview with cricketing legend Sir Ian Botham who relates how his father died a slow, agonising death from dementia.

Sir Ian reveals that he didn’t visit his father in hospital for the last six months of his life. “I might sound brutal but I’m just being honest. I didn’t want my memory of him to be distorted by the illness that robbed him of himself.”

The Daily Star also uses the pub picture as it declares “Nige’s You Sip victory” and reports Mr Farage’s assertion that his party are “serious players now”.

His prediction that UKIP will not only top the polls in the European elections – those results are announced on Sunday – but will also “break through into the Westminster parliament next year” is reported on the Daily Telegraph front page.

A Daily Express editorial says that much of the party’s success can be attributed to “how well they engaged with the public” during the election campaign, despite “the storm of ill-judged criticism” fired their way.

A Times editorial concludes: “UKIP has benefitted from two decades of the big parties chasing middle-class supporters in swing seats.”

Dominic Sandbrook picks up that theme in his Saturday Essay for the Daily Mail and says that while Mr Farage has shown “tactical genius” turning UKIP into a populist anti-establishment party, David Cameron has blundered by pretending UKIP’s supporters do not exist. “It is Mr Cameron’s condescending, lord-of-the-manor approach that has driven so many working-class Tories into Nigel Farage’s embrace,” he writes.

But the Guardian is among the newspapers that point out UKIP did not have things all its own way on election night – it failed to win more than a handful of seats in London and ended up with an overall share of the vote that was down on what it achieved in council elections last year. “UKIP should not be underestimated. But it should not be overestimated either,” the paper says.

And as if to illustrate that 24 hours is a long time in politics, the Independent’s editorial uses Ukip’s London results to make an argument that “the party’s best days are already behind it”.

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….and the other parties

Tory and Labour party members verify vote counts at local elections

UKIP’s electoral gains mean a new era of four-party politics has begun, according to many newspapers – although most of them forget to clarify that this is only a new situation in England.

Art burn

Fire at Glasgow School of Art's Mackintosh building

Pictures of the fire at Glasgow’s School of Art’s Mackintosh building are featured in many papers, alongside reflections from genuinely saddened arts writers.

The Daily Telegraph’s Mark Hudson says the iron-framed stone-clad listed building is one of Britain’s best constructions, “which still generates a frisson of excitement more than a century after its completion”.

For the Guardian, Jonathan Jones points out that the building – “comparable with Gaudi’s masterpieces in Barcelona” – is “a place of fervent, youtful idealism and intense, high-pressure creativity”.

That is underlined by the Times’s Rachel Campbell Johnston, who calculates that a third of Turner Prize nominees over the past decade have been alumni of the Glasgow School of Art.

Labour, the party that gained the biggest number of seats in Thursday’s local vote, comes under the most scrutiny – with the Daily Telegraph saying Ed Milibands’s hopes of winning next year’s general election have been “seriously undermined” by not faring better with the local electorate.

The Guardian’s splash – headlined “Miliband told: raise your game” – says the Labour leader has been criticised from all levels of the party for “a series of media mishaps” during the campaign.

The Sun covers similar ground in its main story “A big ‘Ed ache”.

The Daily Mail trumpets “The Savaging of Red Ed” on its front page and Standpoint magazine editor Daniel Johnson is given a page to run through the “Blunders that made Mr Weirdo unelectable”.

The paper’s comprehensive election coverage goes on to round up what it sees as the current standings of the other parties.

It analyses how a UKIP-Conservative pact would work, despite David Cameron’s insistence that no such deal is on the table.

And the paper says that Nick Clegg leading the Liberal Democrats into their “worst night for 30 years” is “just deserts for the most dishonest politician in Britain”.

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Families still hoping

The overturned hull of the Cheeki Rafiki

“We’ve found the yacht” is the dramatic headline on the front page of the Daily Mirror, nine days after the UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki went missing in the north Atlantic Ocean – but the paper reports there was no sign of the four-strong crew among the debris.

Fracking off?

“Is this the end of the government’s dream of a fracking revolution?” asks the Independent, saying that a geological survey of the Weald Basin – stretching from Wiltshire to Kent – suggests that there is no significant resource of shale gas.

The Financial Times explains that although 4bn barrels of oil could be present in shale formations, it is doubtful how much of it could be extracted through fracking.

“A big myth” is the Daily Mail’s dismissive conclusion, as it questions whether hopes of a fracking boom have been overhyped by the government.

The Times speculates on a possible new twist, saying a survey of shale gas in Scotland will be published within months, in the run-up to the referendum vote.

The Sun speaks to the niece of yachtsmen Paul Goslin, who insists she will not give up hope that the men will be found alive. The paper details six cases in which sailors have been rescued after many days at sea.

The Daily Mail reports on the pain of the family of Steve Warren. Its story reveals that his father and brother died in recent years and his sister has been fighting breast cancer.

Elsewhere in the paper, columnist Amanda Platell pays tribute to the “dignity and courage” of all four families: “They never sought to blame the American authorities [for initially calling off the search], only to plead with them.

“And their subsequent letters of thanks to President Obama and the US Coastguard were truly courteous.”

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24 May 2014 | 6:00 am – Source: bbc.co.uk
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