Today's papers

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SENIOR MPs are abusing parliamentary privilege by agreeing to accept payments from businessmen seeking information about sensitive commercial matters inside government, the Sunday Times reports. Two Conservatives were willing to table official questions in the Commons for pounds 1,000.

Estonian royalists have asked Prince Edward to become their king, according to the Sunday Telegraph. Kalle Kulbok, chairman of the Estonian Royalist Party, says they would be honoured if Edward accepts.

The Sunday Express reports millions of household gas users could face a 30 per cent rise in bills in the next two years. British Gas is warning that the increases are necessary in the run up to the end of its monopoly because it loses money supplying small households.

The Government intends to privatise Railtrack as soon as its current pay dispute with the railway signalmen is settled, says the Observer. The move, which would raise around pounds 3.5bn, would help pay for tax cuts before the next election.

Terrorist bomber Thomas McMahon, who murdered Lord Mountbatten, was secretly released from prison for five days to help peace negotiations. He was smuggled out of Mountjoy Prison last March for meetings with Sinn Fein and IRA leaders, claims the Mail on Sunday.