The Papers: Fury at Rees-Mogg remarks and Queen chooses faux-fur


Newspaper headlines: Fury over Rees-Mogg remarks and faux-fur Queen


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The Guardian is one of several papers leading on Jacob Rees-Mogg’s comments and subsequent apology to Grenfell Tower survivors and relatives – for saying that it would be “common sense” to flee a burning building. The Guardian focuses on the “furious” reaction, quoting one man – whose uncle died in the fire – as saying the remarks reveal “the detachment of the government from the Grenfell community”.

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The Metro’s front page reports that chart-topping rapper Stormzy has joined calls for the politician to resign. Grime artist Stormzy, who has previously spoken in support of Grenfell victims, tweeted that he “can’t believe the cheek” and called Mr Rees-Mogg an “alien”.

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Meanwhile, the i newspaper reports that Mr Rees-Mogg is going to be “sidelined” by Conservative high command following the comments, to “limit the potential for more blunders”. The paper says Downing Street has been “uncomfortable” with the cabinet minister’s high media profile in recent months.

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The front page lead of the Daily Telegraph is dedicated to the Conservative Party, which is “exclusively” launching its election campaign in the paper. Instead of a headline, the paper displays a particularly long quote from Boris Johnson, comparing opponent Jeremy Corbyn to dictator Stalin and claiming the Labour leader has a “hatred” of wealth creators.

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The Financial Times reports that Chancellor Sajid Javid is embroiled in a “furious row” with the head of the civil service, Sir Mark Sedwill. Mr Javid wanted to publish analysis that had been done by the Treasury, estimating how much Labour’s policies would cost. According to the paper, officials say Sir Mark blocked the analysis from being published to uphold “the appearance of impartiality” for the civil service.

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A photo of the Queen wrapped up in a fur coat leads the front of the Sun newspaper, alongside the news that Her Majesty has decided to stop wearing animal fur. A newly-released book from the Queen’s official dresser has revealed that earlier this year she switched to fake fur. Animal rights campaigners say they’re thrilled, the paper adds.

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“Campaigners delighted as Queen bids fur farewell” is how the Times reports the same story on its front page, but it points out that she has “certainly not become vegan”. The paper’s lead story is on a report from the Commons foreign affairs committee which says China’s government has attempted to curb criticism of its regime at British universities by trying to limit academic freedom. The MPs say they found “alarming” evidence of Chinese interference – including a pro-vice-chancellor at one university who cancelled a speaker after being contacted by the Chinese embassy.

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The Daily Mail leads on the news that workers on South Western Railway will stage 27 days of strike action during December and New Year’s Day, as part of a long-running dispute over train guards. The newspaper describes the RMT union that organised the strike as “militants”, adding that the walkout will inflict “misery” on commuters, sports fans and those visiting family and friends. The RMT says leaving drivers, not guards, to open and close train doors is dangerous.

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The Daily Star pulls no punches in its coverage of the same story, with its headline labelling the striking rail workers as “grinches” who have ruined Christmas – along with postal workers who are also planning December strikes. The paper predicts a “chaotic” festive season with the country being brought to a “grinding halt”.

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The Daily Mirror reports that a “breakthrough” DNA test for babies when they are born could save 3,000 lives a year. The test has been developed by Genomics England – a private company owned by the government – and predicts the risk of serious and rare health conditions meaning treatment can start earlier. A pilot scheme is planned and if successful, the NHS could roll it out in three years, the paper adds.

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The Daily Express also leads on the genetic screening test for newborns, which it calls “life-saving” and could help thousands of children “avoid disability”.

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