BBC News

Newspaper headlines: 'Wreckers of Chequers' and 'Putin's poodle'

By BBC News

image copyrightReuters

The handshake between US President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin at their Helsinki summit is the main image on many of the front pages.

The Financial Times says Mr Trump's defence of the Russian leader triggered denunciations among Democrats and a handful of Republicans in Washington.

In the Guardian's view Donald Trump handed a "singular victory" to Vladimir Putin at their Helsinki summit telling the world he didn't believe his intelligence or law enforcement agents over the Russian leader.

The comment by a former CIA director, John Brennan, that the US president's performance was "nothing less than treasonous" gives the Guardian its headline.

The Daily Mirror calls Mr Trump "Putin's Poodle" and says the Russian leader must be "purring with satisfaction".

But the Daily Express thinks the signs are hopeful between the two most powerful men in the world, and "for now we can all breathe a little easier".

The American magazine, the Atlantic, calls the Helsinki Summit "the moment of truth for Republicans" saying the party can either defend the United States or serve the "damaged and defective" man who is now its president.

In its view, there are only two explanations for Mr Trump's "shameful performance" - either he is "an agent of Russian interests" or a "useful idiot".

In contrast, the far-right US website, Breitbart, hails Helsinki as a diplomatic success for Mr Trump.

It denies that he sided with the Russians and argues he was right to say he trusted Mr Putin as a way of improving relations.

image copyrightAFP/ Getty Images

In the words of the Times, Theresa May's Brexit plan is on "the brink of collapse" after she "capitulated" to backbench Leave supporters who want to kill it off.

The Metro headline calls them "The Wreckers of Chequers".

"Chequers Deal is Dead, say Rebels" is the banner headline in the Daily Telegraph.

It reports that "jubilant" Brexiteers believe Brussels will now reject the plan, forcing Mrs May to think again.

"Tory MPs hate each other", writes Michael Deacon in the Telegraph. "They aren't even trying to hide it any more".

'Summer madness'

The Sun says the prime minister has lost control and triggered an all-out Tory civil war.

The Daily Mail describes the Tories as "hopelessly split" and says it is waiting "with interest" for the next move by Boris Johnson or "Brexiteer Boris" as it calls him.

But it urges the Conservative Party to do nothing rash while "summer madness" rages at Westminster.

The Daily Express is still in Theresa May's corner. It says she is stubborn and tenacious, and edging ever closer to a full Brexit deal.

But the Conservative Home website warns that the prime minister's Chequers plan could trigger a rebellion by grassroots activists, who have expressed "high levels of opposition".

It quotes one campaigner who says: "We are in danger of crippling an already demotivated and weak voluntary party."

According to the i newspaper, MPs are being offered an early start to their summer holiday to thwart any leadership plot and save Mrs May's job.

image copyrightPA

The front pages of the Daily Mail and the Express overlook the arguments in the Commons last night and focus instead on the hosepipe ban in north-west England.

The Mail warns that other areas could follow suit, after the longest heatwave since 1976.

The Express says keen gardeners who use sprinklers or motorists who hose down their cars could be hit with fines of £1,000.

The Telegraph reports that Russia has attempted to hack Scotland Yard's inquiry into the Salisbury nerve agent attack.

Officers are said to believe that the Russians tried to compromise cyber security systems at the Metropolitan Police about a fortnight ago.

A source tells the paper: "The Russians are desperate to know how the inquiry is progressing."

'Just when you thought it was safe to go in the water...'

A prediction by experts that great whites, hammerheads and other sharks could be heading to British waters as temperatures rise gives the papers quite a turn.

Although the forecast is for 30 years hence.

"Just when you thought it was safe to go in the water..." says an ominous Times headline over a photograph of surfers in Cornwall.

image copyrightPA

The academic behind the prediction, Ken Collins of Southampton University, is urging calm.

He tells the Times: "I don't think we are going to see terrified bathers running up the beach at Padstow chased by hammerheads."

The Sun uses the famous poster for the film Jaws, with the headline "coming to a beach near you".

Flying taxis

Finally, the Times has news to lift the spirits of commuters stuck in traffic jams.

Flying taxis capable of carrying up to five passengers at 250 miles an hour could be launched within three years, it says.

Rolls Royce unveiled the electric vertical take-off and landing vehicle at the Farnborough Airshow yesterday, describing it as a cross between a drone, a helicopter and a plane.