Newspaper headlines: MPs call to 'shut down Iraq abuse inquiry'

No story dominates the headlines but the Sunday Telegraph and Sunday Times both lead on defence issues.

The Sunday Telegraph takes aim at officials in the Ministry of Defence, reporting that MPs will blame a "rotten core" of civil servants for allowing British soldiers to be hounded by false claims of abuse dating from the Iraq War.

The story is based on a parliamentary inquiry whose findings have not yet been published.

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The Telegraph expects the report to condemn the activities of the government's Iraq Historic Allegations Team and to call for it to be shut down immediately.

IHAT has said that it handles investigations with sensitivity. The Telegraph, though, calls it a "grotesque charade".

The MoD also finds itself under attack from the Sunday Times, which claims that equipment failures and bungled procurement deals have left gaping holes in Britain's defences.

Among a number of examples, it cites the Royal Navy's new Type 45 destroyers, which are apparently so noisy they can be detected by Russian submarines 100 miles away.

In a statement, the MoD says it is focused on delivering the equipment needed to keep Britain safe.


Elsewhere, the Sun on Sunday reports that the British veteran, Johnson Beharry, who was awarded the Victoria Cross for heroism in Iraq, was delayed and questioned at JFK airport in New York by officials enforcing President Trump's travel ban.

Lance Sergeant Beharry, who was en route to a charity event for war veterans, believes that an Iraq stamp in his passport aroused suspicions.

He complains that he felt "humiliated" and missed the fund-raising show because of the delay.


The Observer says that the government is to break with Margaret Thatcher's policy of supporting home ownership, with a shift in favour of people who rent.

It says the new approach, to be set out in a White Paper this week, will aim to deliver more affordable and secure rental deals, and threaten tougher action against rogue landlords.

In the Observer's view, it is a turning point for the Conservative party and an admission by Theresa May's government that home ownership is out of reach for millions of families because of sky-high property prices.


The Mail on Sunday devotes its front page and two others to news that the former UKIP leader Nigel Farage is sharing a house in west London with a French politician, described by the newspaper as "glamorous" and "foxy".

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The Mail says Laure Ferrari, who moved in with Mr Farage last week, is the head of a Eurosceptic think-tank which is accused of diverting EU funding to UKIP before the general election and the referendum.

Mr Farage tells the Mail he is simply helping Miss Ferrari with somewhere to stay. They both deny having an affair. Mr Farage also denies any financial wrongdoing.


David Beckham appears on a number of front pages, after the leak of private emails apparently revealing his anger at missing out on a knighthood in 2013.

His spokesman has said that the emails have been "hacked and doctored" and contain "outdated material taken out of context".

The Mail on Sunday is unimpressed by friends of the footballer explaining that he was simply "a normal person" who was "extremely disappointed" not to get a knighthood.

But the Sunday Mirror says it is understandable that Beckham feels "miffed" after giving so much to charity and his country. It says it is high time he was told "Arise, Sir David".


The story of Mary Ellis from the Isle of Wight, one of the few women who flew Spitfires during World War Two, is told in the Sunday Times and the Mail on Sunday.

Mrs Ellis, who turned 100 last week, joined the Air Transport Auxiliary in 1941. She and her fellow so-called "ATA girls" delivered planes to RAF airfields, releasing male pilots for combat duty.

For an early birthday treat, she recently took control of a Spitfire once again on a flight over the South Coast accompanied by a co-pilot.


Finally, for those with a sweet tooth, the Sunday Times reports that chocolate bars are about to get 20% smaller.

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It comes as manufacturers try to meet government targets for reducing sugar in their products.

They can not use artificial sweeteners, according to the paper, because this ruins the taste and can even have a laxative effect.

Mars and Mondelez, which owns Cadbury,

declined to comment on the possible 20% cut.