Newspaper headlines: Election success for Sadiq Khan and Ruth Davidson and U-turn over academies

Sadiq Khan speaking at City Hall after his election win was announced on 7 May 2016 Image copyright Getty Images

Sadiq Khan's victory for Labour in the London mayoral race and Ruth Davidson's success with the Conservatives in Scotland attract front page headlines as the papers cover the results of Thursday's UK-wide elections.

The Financial Times says Mr Khan's election as the first Muslim mayor of a large European capital signalled a broad acceptance by voters of London's racial and religious diversity just months after jihadi terrorist attacks in Brussels and Paris.

Voters, says the Guardian, "turned away from the politics of divisive reaction" after attempts by the Tory campaign to link Mr Khan to extremists, and chose the person they best trusted to tackle the city's problems.

The Daily Mail says Mr Khan's win "is a striking demonstration to the rest of the world of the city's tolerance".

But in another story the Mail also highlights the "recriminations" among Tories over the way the campaign for their candidate, Zac Goldsmith, was run.

Mr Khan's victory, says the Sun, helped prevent a total Labour meltdown after the party suffered a "shock" electoral defeat in its former Scottish heartland and failed to make gains in councils across England.

The Daily Mirror says his 1.3m votes presented the bus driver's son with the biggest personal mandate in the history of British politics.

Meanwhile, the Daily Telegraph features a photograph of Ruth Davidson on its front page, describing her as the woman who put the Tories back on the map in Scotland.

Image copyright Reuters

The results saw the Tories leapfrog Labour to become the official opposition to the SNP at Holyrood and "capped a remarkable ascendency for a politician from a part of Britain where the Conservatives have long languished", it says.

In a leading article, the Daily Mail says Scottish Conservative leader Ms Davidson "shows what can be done by a candidate with the common touch who fights with straightforward courage and zest for what she believes in".

In the view of the Times, the election "winners were not the parties but two individuals... whose local victories will have national implications".


Eye-catching headlines

  • Ban on WW1 rifle is over the top, says history group: Plans to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme may be hit by ban on replica weapons brought in after Paris terror attacks - Times
  • Beyond peak stuff: We're buying less and doing more: Research by Visa Europe suggests a huge shift in consumer behaviour from buying to doing - Guardian
  • March of the Morris women: Men may soon be in the minority: Female dancers look set to out number men within a few years, report says - Daily Telegraph
  • Anger at 'awful' new portrait of grim-faced Queen - An artist whose portrait of the monarch was compared to a Spitting Image puppet faced fresh criticism over new work - Daily Express
  • Taxman targets 'disguised pay' dodge for salaries worth their weight in gold: Revenue & Customs warns companies against using scheme thought to have died out in the 1990s - Financial Times

'Something for every party'

So where does the election leave the UK's main political parties?

The Guardian says the Conservatives' joy at a resurgence in Scotland was tempered by less than positive results in London, England and Wales.

The "election produced a new set of reminders that politics in the UK have become more volatile and march to many different drums", the paper says.

Writing in the Times, Philip Cowley, professor of politics at Queen Mary University of London, suggests the polls produced something for almost every party.

"Labour had success in London, the Conservatives advanced in Scotland, there was a Liberal Democrat fightback in English local government, the SNP continues to dominate at Holyrood, UKIP broke through in Wales and there was a Plaid Cymru advance."

Image copyright Getty Images

And yet, he contends, Labour's "more sensible politicians, know they went backwards" by clinging on in seats across the country when it should have been making gains.

Jeremy Corbyn is on "borrowed time", less than a year after he became party leader, says the Daily Star.

The Financial Times says the local election results yielded almost a perfect result for David Cameron: "bad enough to weaken Mr Corbyn but not enough of a calamity to provide Labour's rebels with enough ammunition to depose their leader".

And the "remarkable Tory revival" in Scotland could open the route to a general election victory in 2020, it says.

In a leading article, the Sun urges Mr Cameron to now come up with a "grand plan" for Britain in the face of a Labour Party that is "dead in the water".

For the Daily Mirror, Labour's London mayoral victory was a great prize, "but everybody knows the party should be doing better".

"We urge a truce for the next 12 months so Corbyn can reach out to broaden his appeal and critics accept he deserves an opportunity to prove whether he's able to lead and craft a general election-winning programme," it says.

In the Daily Express, political commentator Chris Roycroft-Davis says UKIP gains in England and Wales prove the party is "no flash in the pan". He says it sends a powerful message to the Leave campaign in the EU referendum that the party needs to be brought on board as a "strong and influential partner".


What the commentators say...

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionJoe Watts, political correspondent for the London Evening Standard, and Lucy Fisher, a senior political correspondent at the Times, join the BBC News Channel to review Saturday's front pages

'Undercover announcement'

The government's decision to abandon plans to force all of England's schools to convert to academy status is portrayed by more than one paper as a "humiliating U-turn".

While the education secretary, Nicky Morgan, said she was listening to concerns, in the view of the Daily Mirror it took a revolt by Labour, Tory rebels and teachers to "save our schools from a bureaucratic nightmare".

The Daily Telegraph says the climb down came in the same week ministers changed their opposition to admit more child refugees from Syria. It was the ninth retreat of the current Parliament and highlights the Tory dependence on its slim majority to pass legislation.

While good or outstanding state-funded schools will no longer be compelled to become independently-run, the Guardian notes Mrs Morgan did reaffirm the government's support for the policy.

The Sun points out the announcement was issued "under cover of the council election results".

It was an "exercise in burying bad news" and a "grave confession of weakness", says the Daily Mail.


Making people click

Times: Ban on second homes - councils set to reserve new builds for locals after historic vote

Guardian: Global press reaction to Sadiq Khan a mix of curiosity and ignorance

Daily Telegraph: Australian blogger who claimed natural remedies cured her cancer admits: 'None of it is true'

Financial Times: Are these the world's worst cities?

Daily Express: Yours for £4m: Vintage Jaguar once bought for £635