Newspaper headlines: May 'on final warning after speech shambles'

Theresa May giving speech at Conservative conference Image copyright Getty Images

The Huffpost UK website chooses an image of the prime minister swigging water to control her cough, alongside the headline "The Cough Drop".

Its executive editor of politics, Paul Waugh, describes how "the PM's dogged persistence won her sympathy from her own tribe" but warns that she "is now in danger of being neither liked, feared nor respected, merely pitied".

Jason Beattie, in the Daily Mirror, warns that a position that "now relies on sympathy, not respect" is no way to win votes, adding that "the Tories are lumbered with supporting an ill-fated leader whose speech will become a metaphor for a party in poor health and struggling to find its voice".

The Sun pokes fun at the party slogan sliding off the backdrop behind her, employing the headline "things can only get letter".

Its editorial takes the view that, like the crumbling catchphrase, "the entire party has come unstuck".

The Times says Tory sources blamed the repeated standing ovations - led by ministers in an attempt to let her recover her voice - for loosening the magnets that were securing the motto on the wall.

Politics.co.uk editor Ian Dunt likens the "crescendo" of applause to "a parent clapping their child when he falls over during the school play".

The Daily Telegraph quotes former Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell and a professional vocal coach as criticising Theresa May for failing to seek help to preserve her voice ahead of the speech.

Her former chief of staff, Nick Timothy, tells the paper the blame for a disastrous week lies with the whole government.

While Conservative former cabinet minister Lord Tebbit says she has been let down by advisers "lacking in experience and ability".

"Carry On Conference" is the headline for the Independent, which believes her performance "was so bad, the next P45 may not be a comic's prank".

It points out the "inevitable parallels" with the Tory conference address given in 2003 by Iain Duncan Smith who was forced to stand down as leader three weeks later.

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The Daily Star claims Boris Johnson was "smirking" as the prime minister stumbled along.

Jenni Russell, in the Times, agrees that Mr Johnson "was the only cabinet minister looking alert and cheerful".

But she reports that support for him among his colleagues is evaporating amid an "icy realism that, severe as the party's problems are, Boris's fantasies are not the answer".

One Conservative MP tells the Financial Times that Mrs May's critics have already begun plotting her demise.

But the paper adds that most MPs fear a chaotic leadership contest if she is ousted before Brexit.

Politico reflects on reporting of the speech across Europe with Italy's La Repubblica describing it as an "odyssey", Spain's El Pais regarding her as "tiptoeing around Brexit" in an "anguished" address and Le Figaro of France referring to her "arriving weakened and ending up on her knees".