Newspaper headlines: "Scrapped migration targets" and jihadist attack threat

Immigration has become one of the biggest issues in British politics in recent years, and a story about migrant numbers again features heavily in the papers.

The Daily Telegraph leads with Theresa May's admission that the government had been "blown off course" in its attempts to curb immigration to the UK, and was "unlikely" to reduce net migration figures to the under-100,000-a-year target it had set itself.

The home secretary gave an interview to the paper confirming that the coalition was shelving its pledge to achieve the reduction by 2015.

It was a pledge David Cameron had said was a "no ifs, no buts" promise, the Telegraph notes.

Mrs May's assertion that the rising migration figures were partly as a result of the British economy's strength compared to EU rivals cuts no ice with her Labour counterpart, the paper adds.

"Continually making and breaking grand promises on immigration is only undermining confidence in the entire system," Labour's Yvette Cooper says.

The Daily Mail says the abandoning of the pledge has triggered a "furious political row".

It says recent figures show net migration is currently running at 240,000 a year.

The Daily Express highlights former Conservative minister Peter Lilley's comments that: "Most people believe Britain is full - and they are right. We are already a nation of more than 60 million. We cannot take any more and have to shut the door."

The Daily Mirror focuses on Ed Miliband's vow to "shut rogue job agencies that undercut wages and exploit workers."

"He will stop big firms using rogue agencies to hire staff on the cheap," the paper says, "and ban job ­agencies recruiting only from abroad."

It's a theme taken up by the Guardian's editorial which says agency working and zero-hours contracts have driven down pay levels to a level that encourages migration from low-wage economies.

"Tackling Britain's hyper-flexible under-regulated labour market should be a priority," it adds.

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The Daily Telegraph has a feature by Mats Persson of the think tank Open Europe.

Mr Persson, whose ideas the prime minister is said to be considering, argues that in-work benefits - such as tax credits, social housing and access to the NHS - should not be "immediately available" to new arrivals from other EU countries.

These benefits are a "taxpayer-backed-subsidy" enabling migrants from low cost countries to work at jobs most British workers would say they couldn't afford to take.

Mr Persson illustrates his point by arguing that a typical Polish migrant can up his or her take-home pay by 95% by coming to Britain and claiming working benefits, but if those benefits were withdrawn, the same Pole would be earning 27% less than if he or she had stayed in his or her native country.

The Express notes that former chancellor Kenneth Clarke has called the idea "discriminatory".

'Disquieting backdrop'

Mrs May's pronouncements were not just on migration, but addressed the threat the UK faced from potential terrorism by jihadists.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The Provisional IRA's campaign in mainland Britain left at least 115 people dead

The Daily Mail puts a comment from a Whitehall official that an attack is "almost inevitable", on its front page.

Mrs May is to outline new anti-terror powers, the paper adds, including forcibly relocating terror suspects and barring Britons returning from Syria from entering the UK for two years.

In her interview in the Daily Telegraph, the home secretary says, "Britain is facing the greatest terror threat of its history."

The idea that Britain faces a worse threat than during the IRA's bombing campaign is a "disquieting backdrop", the paper's leader column says.

The Guardian focuses on another announcement Mrs May is expected to make: that insurance companies will be banned from reimbursing ransom payments.

The measure is designed to "cut funding to barbaric terror groups", the paper explains.

In another story, the Guardian casts doubt on whether the US airstrikes in Syria are undermining support for Islamic State (IS) jihadists.

The paper carries a series of interviews with Syrian opposition fighters who say support for IS is growing because of the bombing, both from civilians and armed insurgents.

"All the locals here wonder why the US coalition never came to rescue them from Assad's machine guns, but run to fight Isis when it took a few pieces of land," says one Free Syrian Army commander.

The Daily Star says that SAS "hit squads" are killing hundreds of IS jihadists in "a series of daring raids".

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Kurdish fighters have enjoyed some success against IS militants in recent weeks

The elite soldiers are using quad bikes to cross desert terrain and then attack the militants with sniper fire and heavy machine guns, it says.

"Our tactics are putting the fear of God into IS as they don't know where we're going to strike next and there's frankly nothing they can do to stop us," the paper's "SAS source" tells it.

The Times is one of many papers to features two former British soldiers who have joined Syrian Kurds to fight IS.

The pair deny being mercenaries, but say they were motivated to stop the slaughter of civilians in a war of "good versus evil".

The paper notes British police are investigating reports that a 17-year-old girl from London may also be trying to join Kurdish forces.

'A lifetime of insecurity'

"The young are the new poor" reads the Independent's stark headline.

It refers to a report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation which says that "the rise of part-time work and low-paid self-employment has been accompanied by a sharp increase in the number of under-25s living below the breadline".

The Foundation says as many working families as unemployed ones now live in its definition of poverty, and young people are more likely to be poor than pensioners are.

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"Pensioners have benefited from targeted policies, seeing a sharp fall in poverty to a record low level: from once being the most likely to be poor, the over-65s now have the lowest poverty rate of any age group," the paper says.

The paper continues that the study suggests: "That while employment was close to a historic high, millions of Britons were struggling to cope with a reality of insecure work and incomes which have fallen on average by 9% in the five years to 2013."

It carries a case study of a 22-year-old from Sheffield who has a masters degree in clinical neurology, but was unable to find work in the field despite 174 interviews and now works as a cleaner.

Rebecca Field tells the Independent that she still relies on her parents to top up her earnings, and may be forced to move back in with them.

"There is a real lack of jobs. It's not just the graduates from this year competing for jobs, it's the graduates from last year," she tells the paper.

In its editorial, the paper says that the problem is not "selfish oldies" but poorly paid and insecure work, coupled with a lack of affordable accommodation.

"One alarming fact in the report is that most self-employed people earn markedly less now than they did five years ago.

"This should disturb everyone, because the rapid rise in self-employment is constantly extolled as a good thing - the welcome liberation of the workforce from the old tyranny of office and factory life.

"Now we can see that this new freedom is often a ticket to a lifetime of insecurity," the editorial says.


One man's image dominates Monday's front pages.

With his diamond earrings, glamorous pop star girlfriend and, now, second Formula One world championship, it's unsurprising that Lewis Hamilton sports the widest grin humanly possible.

"I Ham the Greatest", is the Daily Star's slightly tortuous headline, the paper noting that the "normally ice cool racing driver wept inside his visor" as he embraced his girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger.

The Daily Mail has a quote box featuring Prince Harry's words to the British champion after the race.

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"Lewis, thank you very, very much for not making the British public sweat. You are an absolute legend. well done, mate," the Prince said.

A rather overwhelmed Hamilton replied: "Woohooo! World Champion. Oh my God. I can't believe it. Thank you so much guys."

The Sun notes his win puts Hamilton in the £100m earning bracket.

"The F1 ace and his girlfriend... are primed to be the next celebrity super-couple," it adds.

The Daily Mirror, with the editorial, "Lew beauty", makes a plea for the "speedster" to return to the UK from Monaco to "make a greater contribution to British society".

Sports writer Kevin Garside in a comment piece in the Independent waxes lyrical on the way Hamilton bested his only realistic rival for the crown this year, his team-mate Nico Rosberg.

"If you are going to make a statement, make it a big one.

"Hamilton rammed syllable by syllable the speculative pre-race pap about the pressure getting to him down the exhaust pipes of Rosberg. Pressure would play a part, Rosberg was right about that. He simply identified the wrong victim.

"Hamilton handed down a textbook lesson in how to cope when the heat turns molten, delivering what he described as the best start of his career precisely at the point he needed it most, blazing off the grid 'like a rocket' to beat Rosberg into the first corner."

Although he didn't know it, it was all over by then.

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