Newspaper headlines: Rudd resigns and Johnson’s ‘threat to EU’

Sunday Times front page

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The Sunday Times broke the news that the work and pensions secretary had resigned. The paper says Ms Rudd denounced the prime minister’s “purge” and it reports that Boris Johnson is prepared “to break the law for Brexit”.

The Observer front page

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The resignation is a “fresh crisis for Johnson”, says the Observer. The paper’s other front page story reports on efforts by supporters of another EU referendum to create the UK’s “biggest tactical voting operation”.

Sunday Express front page

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“Yet more Tory chaos” is how the Sunday Express describes Ms Rudd’s resignation. The paper’s lead story says that Boris Johnson will threaten to “sabotage” the EU if MPs do not agree to his demand for a snap election.

Mail on Sunday front page

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Prince Andrew had such a “raging bust-up” with a Royal aide that Prince Charles had to ask him to apologise, the Mail on Sunday reports. The paper’s source says the Duke of York and the aide exchanged “heated words” but there was no “physical altercation”.

Daily Star Sunday front page

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And the Daily Star Sunday reports that Paralympian Will Bayley, one of the contestants in the new series of Strictly Come Dancing, has a child with a former porn actress. The paper says producers of the “family-friendly” show were unaware of his ex-partner’s past.

The Sunday Times leads on its interview with Amber Rudd in which she announces her resignation from the government and the Conservative party.

It says the intervention is all the more “explosive” because Ms Rudd was one of Boris Johnson’s closest personal friends in the cabinet – but has now given a “withering” assessment of his conduct.

Many of the other papers consider how Boris Johnson will respond to the passing of a law, drafted by opposition MPs, compelling him to request a delay to Brexit he’s been adamant he won’t seek.

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Amber Rudd gave a “withering” assessment of the prime minister

The Sun on Sunday reports the prime minister is “plotting” to get round it by “paralysing” EU decision-making, to “provoke them into kicking the UK out.”

“The gloves are off”, a senior Westminster source tells the paper.

The Sunday Telegraph suggests Mr Johnson could challenge the new law in the Supreme Court, with Dominic Cummings – the prime minister’s chief aide – creating a “shadow” team of advisers to work on the plan.

A senior Whitehall source tells the paper Mr Johnson’s allies will “take a chainsaw to anything in order to leave”.

The Sunday Express publishes what it calls “a heartfelt appeal” from the prime minister to its readers.

He says he will give Jeremy Corbyn “one last chance” to agree to a general election – and if he refuses the government will “simply carry on”.

That would be a very risky strategy, according to The Observer.

The paper has seen the advice given to Labour by a team of leading QCs, which concludes Mr Johnson would be declared in contempt of court if he ignores the law MPs have passed.

“Britain is a rule-of-law country, so he will comply or leave office,” says one of the barristers. “All other talk is bluster.”

Non-aggression pact

With an election likely looming, several of the papers explore potential alliances that might be struck.

The Sunday Times says rebel Tories expelled from the party in the past week are in negotiations with the Liberal Democrats about an electoral non-aggression pact.

Meanwhile, sources have told the Sunday Express that a deal between the Tories and the Brexit Party is “getting closer”.

Writing in the New York Times, the columnist Jenny Russell focuses on the importance of the prime minister’s chief aide, Dominic Cummings.

A “single-minded insurgent”, he has deliberately created a confrontation with parliament so Mr Johnson can win an election as “the people’s champion”, she suggests.

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Adviser Dominic Cummings had been branded “poisonous” by some Tories

“One of the weakest links” in the plan, she says, is Mr Johnson, He “wants power accompanied by endless applause”, but sources say he cried when his brother resigned last week.

According to the Sunday Mirror, Mr Cummings is “hated” by some “mutinous” Tory MPs.

It says a “furious delegation” is set to tell Boris Johnson this week he is “poisonous” and should be “booted out”.

But the Sunday Telegraph, in its editorial, urges Conservative MPs to “hold their nerve”.

Yes, Boris Johnson’s axing of so many rebels was “brutal”, it says, but “what choice did he have?”

He must “stay the course”, it urges. The alternative approach under Theresa May won the party just 9% at the European elections, the paper recalls.

This is “a moment of great realignment” that will probably be “remembered for centuries to come”, it suggests.

‘Chorus of rage’

The Sunday Telegraph also reports that Britain “is in the grip of a growing opioid crisis”, with middle-aged women fuelling a 60% rise in their use.

Last year, 141 million prescriptions were issued for such drugs, up from 89 million in 2008. An addiction charity calls the figures “worrying”.

Many an opera performance has drawn a sniffy review from critics down the years.

But the Observer says nothing has drawn such a “chorus of rage” as English National Opera’s decision to stop offering professional reviewers an extra seat when they attend performances.

Instead “young bloggers” are to be invited in – an attempt to broaden opera’s appeal. “Expect a revolt,” says the Observer’s own opera critic.

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PA Media

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More badgers are at risk as the government’s culling scheme expands, the papers say

Up to 50,000 badgers could be killed this year under the government’s controversial culling scheme, the Observer also reports – nearly double last year’s number.

It says the increase will be caused by a predicted expansion in licensed culling zones.

However, it also suggests there are signs Boris Johnson’s government is ambivalent about killing badgers as a way of controlling bovine TB.

A potential licence for a culling zone in Derbyshire has been withdrawn, the paper says.

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And according to the Sunday Telegraph, there’s a new fly in the ointment – or rather, on the windscreen – regarding the development of driverless cars.

It’s because the sophisticated sensors that such vehicles rely on are often located on windscreens, and bugs flying into them can stop them working properly.

These sensors are constantly working to deliver the best possible picture of the world, a Ford technician explains, and can be seriously interfered with by an “untimely splat”.


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