TimesheadlineLast Friday’s Telegraph reported that immigration was becoming voters’ top issue.  This morning’s Times warns of "hordes of unemployed workers heading west" unless radical action is taken to bail out recession-struck Eastern European nations.  But although the "rich" EU nations will struggle to afford any bailout this week’s Economist uses its cover feature to warn that "western Europe cannot afford not to pay it."  It warns of catastrophic implications for EU banks and the wider economy if the East is allowed to fail.

The same issue of The Economist carries an article examing the pressures facing Germany as it moves towards a reluctant acceptance that "the collective" will have to help.  The article is illustrated with a photograph of Angela Merkel digging into her handbag.

Both UKIP and the BNP will undoubtedly seize on these issues as June’s European Elections approach.

UKIP’s political credibility was damaged last night, however, after Robin Page accused his former party’s leadership of falling in love with "the high life of gravy and status".  Writing for The Telegraph Mr Page said: "The party created to fight centralised government, sleaze and corruption has become a parody of itself, a mirror image of the body it professes to loathe."  UKIP is dismissing the attack as sour grapes after the former presenter of BBCtv’s One Man And His Dog was prevented from standing as a UKIP candidate in East Anglia.

Tim Montgomerie