Newspaper review: 'Sorry I trusted Gove' and Labour 'prepares deal'

Many of Monday's papers focus on the battles to lead Britain's two main political parties.

Backers of Conservative frontrunner Theresa May have accused Ukip supporters of plotting to install Andrea Leadsom as Tory leader, the Times reports.

It says Mrs Leadsom's pledge to trigger Britain's EU exit more quickly than her rivals has won her support among "Brexiteers", including one of Nigel Farage's biggest donors.

Following claims that Mrs May could be made Tory leader and prime minister by a "coronation", the Express quotes her saying she wants a "proper contest".

Commentators including Ian Birrell in the i back "calm" and "tough" Mrs May, who is also supported by the Mail - though it says she must give "cast-iron assurances that there will be no back-tracking on the referendum".

In the Times, David Cameron's former speech writer Clare Foges backs Michael Gove, saying his leadership speech was "thick with ideas" and he can push through change with "uncompromising velocity".

But the Telegraph says Mr Gove is "damaged by his assassination of Boris Johnson", while Tory Brexit supporters see Mrs May as a continuation of Mr Cameron's leadership style - which the party's right is "determined to defeat".

These Brexiteers "appear to be gathering around" Mrs Leadsom, it adds.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Andrea Leadsom campaigned for Britain to leave the EU

The Sun says "blue on blue" Tory in-fighting must stop, and it calls for a contest between the two "heavyweights" - Mrs May and Mr Gove.

"They have different ideas which need to be debated," it says.

Mr Gove's alleged betrayal of Mr Johnson continues to make headlines, with Metro saying Mr Johnson has apologised to supporters for trusting his former ally.

The former London mayor, who admitted he had been a "fool", was reportedly close to tears after Mr Gove withdrew his support and launched his own campaign to be PM, the paper adds.

Image copyright Getty Images

Writing in the Telegraph, Mr Johnson says the government was wrong to offer the EU referendum without being willing - if the public voted Leave - to "explain how this can be made to work in the interests of the UK and Europe".

He says fears over Brexit are "wildly overdone" and calls on the government to spell out "basic truths" about the UK's "very bright" future.

As if to answer Mr Johnson's plea, Chancellor George Osborne is quoted in the Financial Times saying the UK is "open for business".

In his first post-Brexit interview, Mr Osborne lays out plans for a "super competitive economy" and says he wants to set the lowest corporation tax rate of any major economy - with a target of less than 15%, down from 20% now.

'Bloody battle'

Labour MPs who back Jeremy Corbyn are "urgently seeking ways to avoid a historic split" after he refused to resign as leader, the Guardian reports.

It says there are signs of a "cooling off" between his supporters and those who think he should stand down, and plans under consideration include making Mr Corbyn party chairman.

Another option mentioned is collective leadership, with a "kitchen cabinet" representing different wings of the party.

Writing in the paper, Zoe Williams says Mr Corbyn won the leadership against colleagues who had "forgotten how to make the core arguments of social democracy".

He has done a "great service" to Labour, and members now need to ask themselves "what the fundamental differences are that they're tearing themselves to pieces over", she says.

Image copyright Reuters

Friends of Mr Corbyn have said he is "enjoying" the leadership crisis, the Mirror reports.

It says a source claimed Mr Corbyn was "relishing his bloody battle" with MPs who gave him a vote of no confidence.

But the paper finds this "difficult to imagine", and it calls on the party to "start pulling itself together".

Writing in the Times, Tony Blair's former director of political operations, John McTernan, says Mr Corbyn has broadened Labour's membership and "changed the terms of debate".

But he says internal fighting is preventing the party from acting in the national interest, and the leader "must go, and go now".


Eye-catching headlines

  • Scout of order: The Daily Star says Scout leaders have created an "anti-fat" badge to prevent children getting overweight. To get the badge, it says Scouts must complete tasks such as skipping, hula-hooping and an obstacle course.
  • We're all going on a summer holiday (except mum or dad): The traditional family holiday is being put at risk by office pressures and school fines, the Telegraph reports.
  • Roundabout revolution urged for older drivers: A government-backed report has said T-junctions should be replaced with mini-roundabouts to make roads more "pensioner-friendly", the Times says.
  • Pregnant women really do waddle like penguins: Researchers who filmed women at various stages of pregnancy have found they change their gait from as early as three months and lose balance more frequently, the Mail reports.
Image copyright Thinkstock

'Blairbrushed'

Soldiers have spoken of their "anger and disgust" that the Chilcot Report into the Iraq war could be used to prosecute UK troops while Mr Blair "escapes scot-free", the Mail reports.

It says prosecutors at the Hague have confirmed they will examine the report for evidence of war crimes by British soldiers, but the former PM will not face charges even if he is found to have misled Parliament into backing the 2003 invasion.

In a comment piece, the paper calls it a "grotesque affront to justice".

The Sun's headline is "Blairbrushed", as it says Mr Blair's decision to go to war is outside the remit of the International Criminal Court.

The report is due to be published on Wednesday, and the Express says many people want the answer to one key question: "Is Tony Blair culpable for leading us into a war on a false prospectus?"

Image copyright AFP

The family of a soldier who died in Iraq say Mr Blair should be jailed, the Daily Star reports.

The paper also says sources have claimed Mr Corbyn is hanging on as Labour leader so he can "crucify" Mr Blair when the report is published.

The i says Mr Blair has refused to comment on the report before its publication.

"Let's wait and see… there will be a very, very full debate that I will be, I can absolutely assure you, very fully participating in," he says.


What the commentators say

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Media captionFormer Conservative employment minister Esther McVey and Independent columnist James Rampton join the BBC News Channel to review Monday's front pages.

Head rests and 'towel fiend'

"Off with their head rests" is the headline for the Sun, as it reports "fans' fury" after an England football official posted a picture of his personalised plane head rest online.

It says communications chief Andy Walker also "boasted about staying in top hotels" during England's unsuccessful Euro 2016 campaign.

The paper says: "Nothing better illustrates the malaise in the English game."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption England were knocked out of Euro 2016 by Iceland

The sporting gravy train also features in the Telegraph, which says Wimbledon organisers are changing a policy to stop 4,000 towels going "missing" each year.

It says some top players "stash away as many as they can fit in their holdalls".

But the rule change - colourful tournament towels being replaced with plain white ones - will only affect junior players.

"We are trying to break in the next generation of towel connoisseurs," a Wimbledon official says.


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