Newspaper headlines: Tory tax pledge, and Labour's fake news anger

Sir Michael Fallon Image copyright PA
Image caption The defence secretary says the Conservatives will not raise taxes for high earners, reports the Telegraph

Politics dominates many of Saturday's front pages as the UK heads to the polls in five days time.

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon has pledged that higher earners will not face income tax rises if the Conservatives win the election, the Daily Telegraph reports. The paper suggests the policy will put "clear water" between the party and Labour on the issue. It says it comes at a time when senior Tories are concerned about what it calls their "vanishing lead over Labour in the opinion polls".

The Telegraph praises the idea as "the sort of thing the Conservatives should have been saying from the start" and points out Sir Michael is said to be on a shortlist of two to replace Philip Hammond as chancellor in the event of a reshuffle.

Labour has accused the Conservatives of creating fake news after a video of Jeremy Corbyn went viral, the Guardian reports. It says the clip features the Labour leader refusing to condemn the IRA, but omits him going on to condemn all bombing.

But Nicola Sturgeon says she'll be there for Jeremy Corbyn, according to the Daily Express. The paper reports the SNP leader confirmed there could be talks about a "progressive alliance" with Labour to keep the Tories out of power.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Has the chancellor been sidelined by Theresa May?

Meanwhile, the i paper says it's a "mystery" that Mr Hammond has been absent during the election "despite his party's focus on the affordability of Labour's spending plans". It adds there's growing speculation he has been sidelined from the party's campaign.

The Financial Times wonders how an election centred on Brexit has seen so few of the "big hitters" of the Leave or Remain campaigns.

It says "some have headed to the private sector", while "others are stuck in the political wilderness" which leaves those who had only "peripheral involvement" in the referendum to fight on the issue.

But Theresa May's promise to consult business at every step of the Brexit negotiations leads the FT. In an interview with the paper, Mrs May sets out the idea of having an "implementation phase" of up to three years to give firms a chance to adapt to life outside of the European Union.

The paper says Mrs May is seeking to "defuse tensions between corporate leaders and Downing Street" after the week of campaigning that appears to have left her diminished and in a "slog to reach the finishing line".

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'Tough cookie' or 'nuclear meltdown'

On a lighter note, the Sun asked voters what type of biscuit Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May would be. The Labour leader was likened to a Jammie Dodger, the focus group said, because "he dodges important questions", while Mrs May was thought to be a "tough cookie".

However, when asked to compare the Conservative leader to a drink, one voter came up with "a glass of water", explaining: "you need it to survive, but there's nothing to it".

The cartoons throw a spotlight on the performances of the Labour and Conservative leaders during Friday's Question Time special.

Sketch writer of the Times, Patrick Kidd, uses a cricket analogy to conclude Theresa May had a "solid innings", putting up a "straight bat" against some blunt questioning by the Yorkshire audience. But he says she eventually got "caught out" by a question about sending foreign aid to North Korea.

The Daily Mail accuses Mr Corbyn of having a "nuclear meltdown", suggesting he "repeatedly ducked questions about his attitude to the UK's nuclear defences". Meanwhile, the paper's columnist, Peter Oborne, complains that the television debates have become a "battle of the airwaves" presenters.

Jeremy Paxman, who grilled the party leaders earlier in the week, writes in the FT that they "resembled a nervous geography student and an ageing geography teacher". He added they were fighting "unusually dull" campaigns that are unlikely to persuade the electorate to vote.


Bigger than Live Aid?

A Muslim former chief prosecutor has told the Times that Islamic groups are undermining the fight against terrorism by spreading "myths" about the government's anti-radicalisation policy - Prevent. Nazir Afzal says some community leaders are determined to present Muslims as victims and not potential radicals.

Young farmers are being prevented from pursuing agriculture because celebrities are buying up farmland, reports the Times. The paper also says entrepreneurs are making purchases to avoid inheritance tax.

It says BBC Countryfile presenter Adam Henson told the Hay Festival in south Wales that stocks of farmland have fallen sharply, making it difficult to reduce the average age of a farmer from 59. The Times claims he's encouraging his own children to consider other careers.

Meanwhile the Sun suggests the One Love Manchester concert on Sunday "could become the most-watched concert in history - with more viewers than Live Aid". The paper says some 43 countries have agreed to broadcast the event, which will also be streamed online, meaning it could be watched by more than a billion people.