Today's papers

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The Independent Online
THE Observer reports that social security minister Nicholas Scott tried to resign over his part in blocking the disabled Bill, but was ordered to stay put to protect the Prime Minister. A senior government source revealed Mr Scott was 'close to tears' the day after he made a humiliating apology to the House of Commons. But when word spread that he wanted to quit, two cabinet ministers, Peter Lilley, the social security secretary, and Commons leader Tony Newton, moved in to dissuade him.

Merlyn Vaz, mother of Labour MP Keith Vaz, faces calls for a national party inquiry into claims that she and her son engineered the ousting of Leicester City Council leader Peter Soulsby, according to the Sunday Times. A former member of the council's leadership is now asking for a Labour National Executive Committee investigation. Both the MP and his mother, a councillor, deny any part in Mr Soulsby's downfall.

John Major has said his father was a farmer rather than the music hall and circus artiste most believed. Mr Major told Farmers Weekly his father lived on a farm in Shropshire, according to the Sunday Telegraph.

A report in the People claims hundreds of unsuspecting hospital patients could have contracted Creutzfeld-Jakob Disease, the human form of BSE, or mad cow disease, after being given infected blood. It describes them as 'walking time bombs, because the deadly brain-eating disease can take up to 30 years to strike'.

City dealers in London are being paid huge bonuses in diamonds and fine wines so their bosses can avoid National Insurance contributions, according to the Mail on Sunday.

The director of Queen's, the tennis club frequented by members of the Royal Family, is demanding pounds 5,000 to help would-be members beat a three-year waiting list, according to the News of the World. Clive Bernstein is reported to have offered to 'bend every rule in the book' to speed an application in return for cash.

Lily Tempelsman, wife of Jackie Onassis's companion Maurice, made peace with her rival by sending flowers as she lay dying, according to the Sunday Express.

The Sunday Mirror reports that some of Britain's most dangerous criminals could be walking the streets free because of a government blunder. Criminally insane killers and rapists who have been moved from jails to secure hospitals are being told to seek parole for the first time because a court ruled there is no law saying they cannot. The move, which follows a High Court ruling last September, has angered prison officers.

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