Newspaper headlines: Senior Tories 'urge Boris to topple May'

Daily Mail

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Theresa May might be planning to stay in office, but Sunday’s papers paint a very different picture of the future for the prime minister. Boris Johnson is preparing a bid to become Britain’s next PM, according to the Mail on Sunday. The newspaper reports that his team are “circling the wounded Tory leader”, but will not try to topple her while she remains in No 10.

Sunday Times

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The Sunday Times reports that five cabinet ministers are urging the foreign secretary to oust Mrs May, saying the party has “descended into a new civil war”. The newspaper says the senior figures contacted Mr Johnson on Friday morning to tell him that he had their backing for the leadership.

Daily Star on Sunday

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Mr Johnson features on the front of the Daily Star on Sunday too – but the newspaper isn’t touting his leadership. It is reporting that the former London mayor scrapped barriers that used to be in place on London Bridge – where terrorists struck last weekend – to “declutter” the area when he was in office.

Sunday Telegraph

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The Sunday Telegraph says that Mrs May is “in office, but not in power”, after suffering the blow of her top two advisers resigning. The newspaper reports that Fiona Hill and Nick Timothy stepped down on Saturday after “ultimatums” from senior Tories that if they didn’t go, she would have to.

The Observer

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The Observer says that the PM’s premiership is “in peril” with the threat of an MPs’ rebellion blocking her proposed deal with the DUP. The newspaper’s front page is dominated by a quote from its editorial, calling Mrs May “discredited, humiliated, diminished”, adding: “The prime minister can no longer serve her country.”

Sunday Express

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The Sunday Express also leads on the resignations of Mrs May’s aides, referring to them as “toxic” in its headline. But the supportive newspaper describes Mrs May as “fighting back and defying her critics”, picturing her “looking relaxed” at her local Waitrose in Maidenhead. It also features an eyewitness piece about last weekend’s terror attack on London Bridge by one of its journalists, who is still recovering in hospital.

Sunday People

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The Sunday People reports that Mick Philpott – who was convicted of manslaughter after setting fire to his house, killing six children inside – is claiming to have new evidence in his case. It also reports on former Top Gear host Richard Hammond’s “miracle escape” after crashing a car while filming for The Grand Tour.

Sunday Mirror

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The Sunday Mirror leads with the TV presenter’s escape from the 220mph £1m car. The newspaper says he crawled from the wreckage before it burst into flames.

Another difficult day for Downing Street is on the cards, if the front of Sunday’s papers are anything to go by.

A number of them say Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is readying himself to take over the top job, with backing from senior cabinet colleagues.

But Mr Johnson has tried to put the rumours to bed on Twitter, calling them “tripe”.

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The Sunday Times says “the vultures are circling”, whilst Andrew Rawnsley in the Observer writes: “Britain has a zombie prime minister. No one won this election, but everyone can see who lost it.”

In the Sunday Telegraph, Simon Heffer writes: “The May Regime is moving from the present to the past tense.”

The Mail on Sunday believes that the pre-election government and its policies are “finished for good”, and, because Mrs May “cannot go… others must suffer publicly on her behalf”.

Tony Parsons in the Sun on Sunday says Jeremy Corbyn “gave hope to a generation who have been starved of hope”.

And in an interview with the Sunday Mirror, the Labour leader himself says: “We can still do this. I’m ready for another general election.”

This weekend, says the Sunday Express, Mrs May must ask herself “what went wrong and how to repair the damage”.

‘Campaign clowns’

Offering answers to such questions – or just taking stock of events – is what the Sunday papers do.

The Sunday Mirror says: “The Tory general election campaign was being run by clowns.”

A campaign source tells the Sunday Times: “What cost us this election was the manifesto” – adding a criticism for campaign strategist Sir Lynton Crosby: “A Conservative Party ought to have some conservative policies.”

The party, says Peter Hitchens in the Sunday Mail, is “just a cold machine which runs on gallons of expensive snake oil.”

As for Mrs May, she is portrayed by the Sun on Sunday as “a robot”, “mechanical” and as “the Maybot”. She was “wooden”, adds the Sunday Mail, whilst the Observer calls her “chilly” and “brittle”.

Whoever takes over, says the Sunday Telegraph, will have to be a “a communicator”.

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A cartoon in the Mail on Sunday shows two Conservative workers discussing the election. One says: “The campaign went wrong on two occasions… first when Mrs May didn’t show up, and then when she did.”

And now? A drawing by Gerald Scarfe in the Sunday Times portrays her slumped, like a discarded puppet, on the pavement outside a betting shop.

She is “The Gambler, ruined”. In a final act of indignity, a dog – with Mr Corbyn’s face – cocks its leg against her.

London attack

The Sunday Times is also one of several papers which tries to understand “the security and intelligence” lapses that allowed the London Bridge attacks to happen.

According to the Observer, the security services had “reliable, well-sourced material” about all three attackers, yet they slipped through the net. Experts tell the paper that it is more a case of knowing too much, rather than knowing too little.

The Daily Star on Sunday looks at the possibility that the removal of steel railings on London Bridge – when Boris Johnson was Mayor of London seven years ago – might have made pedestrians more vulnerable to the attackers in their van.

And a doctor tells the Sunday Telegraph how silent the victims were arriving at his A and E department for treatment.

‘With a drone-drone here’

Times change, it seems, as the Mail on Sunday reports that a pressure group has re-written the nursery rhyme, Old Macdonald’s Farm, to reflect the reality of modern agriculture.

In this version, the farmer’s a woman, and instead of a quack-quack here and an oink-oink there, on that farm she had a drone, yo-yo-yo-yo-yo. It says: “She flew it here, she flew it there, checked the farm from in the air.”

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