Newspaper headlines: 'It all ends in tears' for PM May

Daily Mail front page

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All the front pages focus on Theresa May’s resignation. A full-page image of her resolve giving way to tears leads the Daily Mail’s coverage, alongside the headline: “A crying shame”.

The Times front page

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“It all ends in tears,” says the Times. The paper warns that the ensuing leadership contest could plunge the nation into constitutional crisis, with the next prime minister facing the prospect of an immediate parliamentary no-confidence vote.

Daily Mirror front page

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The Daily Mirror draws an implicit comparison with Margaret Thatcher – not the Iron Lady but “the Crying Lady”, according to the paper’s headline. “Buffoon Boris tipped to get her job”, the paper adds.

i front page

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“I have done my best” – a quote from Mrs May’s resignation speech is the headline in the i newspaper, as the paper says the contest to be her replacement is a “crowded field”.

Daily Telegraph front page

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An image of Mrs May in tears leads the Daily Telegraph front page, but the main story focuses on one of her potential successors. Boris Johnson, a Telegraph columnist, has vowed to take the country out of the EU on 31 October, “deal or no deal”, the paper says.

Financial Times front page

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Also leading with Mrs May’s emotional resignation, the Financial Times says the prospect of a no-deal Brexit is rising as Boris Johnson has become the clear favourite for the leadership.

The Sun

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Boris Johnson is also tipped as favourite in the Sun, with the headline “Teario Theresa, Hello BoJo!”

The Guardian front page

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The Guardian says Mrs May was “broken by Brexit” in its front page headline. The paper’s verdict is that she leaves the UK “a poisonous legacy”.

Daily Express front page

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Across a picture of Mrs May delivering her resignation speech, the Daily Express says she was shedding “tears for the love of her country”.

Daily Star front page

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But the Daily Star sets a different tone with an illustration of Mrs May as a Star Trek character: “End of the Klingon”, says the paper’s headline, in reference to earlier, unsuccessful attempts to remove her from office.

Most of the newspapers carry the same image on their front page, showing a tearful Theresa May in the final moments of her resignation speech outside Downing Street.

“A crying shame” is the headline on the front of the Daily Mail, which is among the papers fascinated by her public show of emotion.

The columnist Jan Moir says her tears “reflected how invested she was in trying to clear up the Brexit mess”.

“One can only imagine the frustration, the anger, the regret and the utter exhaustion she has privately endured over these years,” she says.

The Daily Mirror’s associate editor Kevin Maguire is less sympathetic for “The Crying Lady”, as he calls her.

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He urges readers to save their tears for “the millions whose lives she made worse”.

The Guardian’s sketchwriter John Crace says it was “the day the Maybot cracked” and the prime minister “finally showed us her human side”.

But for Jane Moore in the Sun it was “all a bit too late”. If she had “shown just one small flash of that passion in her dealings with the EU, she might have delivered Brexit,” she concludes.

She’s not alone in pointing out the perceived personal flaws which – it’s claimed – made Mrs May unsuitable for the top job.

The Economist says she was “an introvert in a profession that demands a willingness to mingle with people and make them feel good about themselves”.

The Times columnist and Conservative peer Daniel Finkelstein offers two accounts of why she failed. The first, he suggests, is that she was “in over her head” with a “crippling lack of self belief” which meant she never had quite what it takes.

A more generous assessment, he says, is that she was a tough realist, with a sense of duty, who was undone by a country deeply split by Brexit.

Robin Harris in the Daily Telegraph offers a simpler explanation – “she failed because her heart wasn’t in it and because she was the worst negotiator yet known in the field of public diplomacy”.

Leadership contest

There’s much speculation about the runners and riders in the race to succeed her.

“And they’re off!” declares the Daily Mail which pictures the contenders – declared or otherwise – lined up astride horses.

“Who’ll be first past the post?” it asks, before providing odds on who may win the leadership race.

The field includes Boris Johnson as the 5-4 favourite, with Dominic Raab on 6-1 and Steve Baker at 100-1.

The Sun lists the pros and cons of each candidate. It describes Mr Johnson as “the Godfather of Brexit”, but says he is “distrusted” and “disorganised… often not bothering to grasp the detail of issues”.

Mr Raab, it notes, is popular with Tory activists, but regarded as something of a “James Bond baddie” by his critics. Michael Gove it describes a “an ideas man” but says he is seen as “geeky and lacking the common touch”.

“Teario Theresa… Hello Bojo!” declares the Sun, which says Boris Johnson is the frontrunner in what it predicts will be a “bruising” leadership contest.

The Daily Telegraph says his campaign has received a boost, with the Chancellor Phillip Hammond among those who have indicated they could back him.

The paper says Mr Hammond has told friends he believes Mr Johnson may be the Tories’ best chance of winning a general election, even though he has serious concerns about his views on a no-deal Brexit.

Writing in The Sun, Fraser Nelson asks whether Mr Johnson will “self-destruct again”. “Only Boris can stop a Boris win,” he says.

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Many papers report that the Duke of Sussex is to join the Queen at a lunch with Donald Trump next month.

The Times recalls that the Duchess of Sussex once threatened to leave the US if Mr Trump won the presidency and notes that she will not be attending the event.

The Sun says the Duchess has been able to avoid a “potentially awkward” meeting because she’s on maternity leave. “Mummy Meg’s Donald Duck” reads its headline.

The Daily Mirror says there have been growing calls for MPs to launch an inquiry into the failure of British Steel, which went into liquidation on Wednesday.

The paper says some MPs are demanding that the Commons Business Select Committee looks into the collapse.

Trade union Unite says Greybull Capital, which brought the company for a pound in 2016, is guilty of “short-term profiteering”.

Greybull’s co-founder tells the paper its rescue plan was “blown off course” by a series of events – including Brexit.

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The Daily Mail carries an interview with the 31-year-old former carer who has just inherited the £50 million Penrose estate in Cornwall.

Jordan Adlard Rogers tells the paper he “no longer feels like a dirty secret” after a DNA test proved he was the son of the manor’s late owner.

He says he has wasted no time feeling at home in his new 20-bedroom manor – with one of his first priorities to install a “games room” complete with a 65-inch flat screen TV.

According to the Daily Telegraph he’s been less successful installing his own grandmother in the property.

In an interview with the paper, she says she is could never be persuaded to move out of her former council house, even though she admits being “sorely tempted” to take up her grandson’s offer of joining him in his 50-room property.

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