UK News

Newspaper headlines: May meets Trump and Brexit 'discord'


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Many of Friday’s front pages feature the same picture of Theresa May meeting with Donald Trump at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Thursday. The Metro reports the president saying the UK and US are “joined at the hip”, whilst the PM said the countries stood “shoulder to shoulder”. The paper says: “The body language showed that they have kissed and made up, and the special relationship is back on”.

i

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The i focuses on the handshake too and reports that the president will visit Britain this year. However, it says it will be a “less prestigious working trip”, rather than the state visit Mrs May had offered him. The paper also says that Mr Trump dismissed “false rumours” of a rift between the pair and expressed “tremendous respect” for the prime minister.

FT

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Philip Hammond has “reignited Tory discord” after his speech in Davos, according to the Financial Times. The chancellor called for only “very modest” changes to the UK’s relationship with the EU after Brexit, riling backbench Eurosceptics. The paper reports that fellow Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg has accused Mr Hammond of “flouting the spirit” of the prime minister’s flagship Brexit speech and the party’s election manifesto.

Guardian

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The Guardian says Mrs May’s leadership is “under threat” as a result of the furore between her front and backbenchers. The paper said No 10 distanced the PM from Mr Hammond’s comments, with one source saying post-Brexit changes “could not be described as very modest”.

Times

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The Times headline, “May turns on Hammond”, adds to the public infighting at Conservative HQ. The paper says the PM “rebuked” the chancellor, shortly before he posted two tweets saying he was “clear” that the UK was leaving the single market and customs union.

Mirror

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The Daily Mirror’s front page is dominated by a picture of Tessa Jowell, who moved the House of Lords to tears on Thursday with a speech about cancer. The paper says the former Labour minister, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2017, pleaded for more NHS funding and research to help fellow sufferers.

Sun

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A British holidaymaker jailed in Egypt for carrying painkillers in her suitcase is set to be freed, according to the Sun. In an exclusive, the paper says she was given a presidential pardon on Thursday during a “day of mercy”. Ms Plummer told them: “It’s hard to believe and hasn’t sunk in yet”.

Telegraph

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Russia could kill “thousands and thousands and thousands” of UK citizens with an attack taking down the country’s energy supply, the defence secretary has told the Daily Telegraph. Gavin Williamson said Moscow had been researching critical infrastructure on our shores, and how it connects with the continent’s power supplies, in order to create “panic and chaos”.

Mail

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The Daily Mail leads with the headline: “Tell us the truth about banned meat.” The paper reports on an issue with wholesaler Russell Hume, which supplies pubs and restaurants in the UK with steak, chicken and pork. The paper says “tainted” meals were served at several chains for 12 days before the public was warned the supplier needed to recall its stocks.

Theresa May and Donald Trump are pictured sat side-by-side on several of the front pages, along with plenty of analysis of their meeting.

The Guardian’s John Crace says the US president did most of the talking – leaving the prime minister looking like a near-silent, animatronic robot.

The New York Times says Mrs May was polite, but did not echo the president’s effusiveness, choosing instead to emphasise mutual interests.

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Reuters

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Mrs May and Mr Trump met in Davos on Thursday

The Daily Mirror says Mr Trump’s pledge of a trade boost should be treated with scepticism – telling Mrs May to “get real” if she thinks the protectionist president is going to do us any favours.

The Daily Express – in contrast – says their exchange shows Britain has a true friend in a troubled world.

Tory Brexit row

Several papers lead on renewed confusion in the cabinet over Brexit.

The Financial Times believes the fragile Conservative Party truce on Europe has been “blown apart” by the chancellor’s assertion that the impact of Brexit would be “very modest”.

The Guardian says Mrs May was trying to quell a potential leadership challenge when she disowned his comments.

The Independent identifies the prominent Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg as leading the revolt.

But the Times plays down the suggestion of an impending vote of no-confidence.

Sir Graham Brady – chair of the powerful 1922 committee of backbench Tories – says rumours that the critical number of letters demanding a leadership contest is about to be reached should be taken with a very large pinch of salt.

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BBC pay is back in the papers as four presenters agree to cuts in salary

The Sun gives a barbed welcome to the news that some male presenters at the BBC are to take pay cuts.

“Why wasn’t this done years ago?” it asks, before providing an answer – profligacy generated by £4bn a year of public money.

A BBC source tells the Daily Telegraph that conversations with big stars about reducing their pay have been had “in the spirit of cooperation”.

Meat fears

The Daily Mail uses its front page to demand the public is told the truth about why the food regulator took 12 days to issue a warning about meat from a major wholesaler.

The paper fears millions of suspect steak, chicken and pork meals were served to diners at high-street restaurant chains after problems were discovered at Russell Hume.

The firm says it is shocked to have been challenged by the Food Standards Authority – telling the paper there is no suggestion its products cause illness.

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Reuters

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A new trick to battle mosquitoes is reported in the Guardian

The Guardian reports on a study that could bring relief to those plagued by mosquito bites.

According to researchers, the insects are so averse to the risk of being swatted, they will learn to avoid you if you flail your limbs at them.

Tests have shown that mosquitoes will stop responding to scents they have previously been attracted to if there is too much thrashing about.

Nutella violence

And the Times highlights violence spreading across France after a cut in the price of Nutella chocolate spread prompted a surge in demand.

One supermarket employee describes the scene in a shop near Saint Etienne: “They were going after each other like animals. An elderly woman was hit over the head with a box. It was horrible.”

The gendarmes were called in to separate shoppers at another outlet in northern France.

One witness is quoted saying the scene made her stop believing in human beings and their supposed intelligence.

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