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The Papers: General election murmurs and TV licence pleas

Front page of the Times
Image caption Boris Johnson is planning an early general election, his senior allies have told the Times. The Tory leadership contender had previously ruled out holding an election before Brexit has been delivered. But the Times reports he wants an election “while Jeremy Corbyn is still around” – and planning is under way to go to the polls by next summer.
Front page of the Financial Times
Image caption Meanwhile, the Financial Times quotes an EU diplomat accusing Mr Johnson of living in a “fantasy” world for believing Brussels will accept his plans to scrap the Irish backstop. The paper leads with news of the pound plunging to a two-year low as markets respond to the increasing likelihood of a no-deal Brexit.
Front page of the i
Image caption The i’s front page also draws attention to the falling pound as it summarises all the latest news on the UK leaving the EU. It says Brussels is wary of the “hardline stance” of Tory leadership contenders Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt.
Front page of the Daily Express
Image caption The Daily Express leads on Dame Helen Mirren’s call for the government to rethink its “heartbreaking” decision to scrap free TV licences for people over the age of 75. She is one of several celebrities to speak out against changes which could see up to 3.7m pensioners paying for a TV licence from June 2020.
Front page of the Daily Mirror
Image caption The Mirror also leads on coverage of TV licences for the over-75s. It features the story of 101-year-old Elsie Hancock who has written to “Mr Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt” in a bid to persuade the future prime minister to reverse plans to scrap free licences.
Front page of the Daily Mail
Image caption The Daily Mail calls on the next prime minister to end the “disgraceful neglect” of people affected by dementia. The tabloid says many people with the illness – and their relatives – have had to sell their homes to pay for care. The paper says a green paper drawn up to fix the “broken” care system has been repeatedly delayed.
Front page of the Daily Telegraph
Image caption The Telegraph leads on a government review into the “arbitrary” fees councils are charging householders for dumping waste at rubbish tips. The story – which forms part of the paper’s Zero Waste campaign – draws attention to various cases of fly-tipping, including news an ambulance in Kent was delayed reaching a patient because of piles of rubbish in the road.
Front page of the Guardian
Image caption A powerful image of a woman holding a photo of her son, who was murdered in a case of mistaken identity, dominates the front page of the Guardian. Linda Burke-Monerville and her husband told the paper of their despair over the impact of youth violence in London. The couple have lost three of their seven children in separate killings in the capital.
Front page of the Metro
Image caption The Metro focuses on the bravery of PC Bartek Tchorzewski after footage emerged of the unarmed, off-duty officer confronting the London Bridge attackers. The paper also splashes on a call for a ban on the selling of e-scooters after TV presenter and YouTuber Emily Hartridge was killed in a crash in south London.
Front page of the Sun
Image caption The Sun leads on its exclusive story of a two-year-old boy being bitten by a bat as he slept in his cot. Kian Mallinson – shown on the front page wearing a Batman T-shirt – was taken to hospital for an emergency rabies jab following the attack in the middle of the night at his home in Hull.
Front page of the Daily Star
Image caption The Star leads with Madeleine McCann’s parents urging British holidaymakers to carry images of their missing daughter while abroad. “Don’t give up on Maddie,” the headline reads. The three-year-old disappeared from a holiday apartment in Portugal in 2007.

Allies of Boris Johnson tell the Times that planning is under way to hold a general election as early as next summer – because they believe Labour is in “no fit state” to fight a contest.

A member of Mr Johnson’s team says there is a desire to “get this done” while Labour is divided under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.

They are reportedly planning a recruitment and funding drive for the Conservative Party’s campaign machine, in anticipation of a vote.

Several papers highlight yesterday’s fall in the value of sterling, after comments by the two Conservative leadership contenders were perceived as increasing the risk of a no-deal Brexit.

City AM says Jeremy Hunt and Mr Johnson’s pledges to abandon the Irish backstop dragged the pound to a two-year low against the dollar.

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt have staged various hustings and debates as part of the Tory leadership contest

The Financial Times quotes an EU diplomat who says Mr Johnson is living in a “fantasy world” if he thinks Brussels will accept the policy.

City AM says markets were spooked further after it was reported Mr Johnson was considering shutting down Parliament in October, to prevent MPs from blocking a no deal. Friends of Mr Johnson tell the FT that is untrue, insisting: “We want a deal.”

The Guardian examines Mr Johnson’s record as mayor of London.

Former colleagues tell the paper he ignored expert advice about a string of high-profile projects that left taxpayers with a billion-pound bill – such as a fleet of new buses widely criticised for being too hot.

“He could be incredibly profligate for the country,” says one, concluding: “He’s great on rhetoric but lousy on delivery”.

The Daily Mail publishes a list of demands for the next prime minister, with the aim of stopping what it calls the “scandalous injustice” of families having to sell their homes to pay for dementia care.

The Mail says it is an issue affecting millions and in a further insult, many then effectively subsidise council-funding places in residential homes.

The paper wants a cross-party group set up to tackle the problem, with all funding options under consideration.

The Daily Telegraph‘s main story is the launch of a government review into what the paper says is the “arbitrary practice” of councils making people pay to dump waste at rubbish tips.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Charges for dumping waste could lead to more fly-tipping, the Telegraph’s story says

The Telegraph says 47 local authorities now insist on charging for the disposal of items including boilers, pond liners and bags of rubble – for fees of up to £20.

Councils tell the paper they are under no obligation to accept household waste, but campaigners worry the charges could increase fly-tipping.

Dame Helen Mirren calls for a re-think of the decision to scrap the blanket provision of free TV licences for over-75s, on the front of the Daily Express.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Dame Helen has led calls to reverse a decision which means up to 3.7 million pensioners must begin paying for their licence fee

She’s one of a number of stars who have signed a letter to that effect, according to the paper, including Angela Rippon and Sir Lenny Henry.

And the Daily Mirror highlights a similar plea from a 101-year-old woman, who says it is the only comfort she has left.

In a letter to the next prime minister, Elsie Hancock says charging for the licence will cause loneliness, and asks: what are you going to take off us next?

The BuzzFeed News website reports that hundreds of children who have been trafficked to Britain are at risk of deportation, despite the government’s claim to be a world leader in tackling modern slavery.

Image copyright Science Photo Library
Image caption BuzzFeed says an alarming number of child victims of modern slavery in the UK are at risk of deportation

A Freedom of Information request by BuzzFeed has found the Home Office rejected hundreds of “leave to remain” claims by child slaves, in the year to April 2018.

A Vietnamese girl describes to BuzzFeed how she was raped by her traffickers, arrested at a nail salon in Manchester, and then told she would have to return home even though she had been recognised as a victim of modern slavery.

In response the Home Office tells BuzzFeed it is committed to helping victims get the support they need, although it acknowledges there is more that can be done.

The Times reports on the steps theatre staff are taking to protect themselves from increasingly aggressive behaviour by audiences at West End shows.

Industry sources cite the example of Dirty Dancing, where a performer apparently had to stop making an entrance through the stalls because of groping by hen parties.

To combat the rowdy crowds, ushers have been wearing body cameras, according to the paper.

Those who took part in a trial said customers were “less confrontational”, the Times says, because they could see themselves on a miniature screen next to the recording device.


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