Newspaper headlines: ‘The race is on’ but is it ‘turning toxic’?

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Daily Telegraph front page

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“The race is on,” declares the Sunday Telegraph, which like many of the papers devotes its front page to the Conservative leadership contest. Its main story says Environment Secretary Michael Gove is standing because he believes he is the best candidate to beat Jeremy Corbyn.

Sunday Times front page

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The Sunday Times says the contest recalls 2016, when Mr Gove “dramatically torpedoed” Boris Johnson’s leadership hopes. One ally tells the paper Mr Gove has “an eye for detail” – a perceived weakness of Mr Johnson.

The Observer front page

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Tory moderates are campaigning to “stop Boris Johnson” because of fears over a no-deal Brexit, the Observer headline says. The paper also features Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson saying his party must back another referendum or facing losing the next election.

Mail on Sunday front page

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The race to be the next prime minister is “turning toxic already”, says the Mail on Sunday, as “insults fly” and Boris Johnson faces “smears” which suggest he supports a second referendum. For Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab launches his campaign in the paper, saying he is willing to leave the EU with no deal.

Sunday Express front page

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“You can’t trust Boris over Brexit,” says the Sunday Express headline, quoting a column from Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage. Mr Farage says none of the current politicians can be relied on to deliver a “clean-break Brexit”.

Daily Star on Sunday front page

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And the Daily Star on Sunday focuses on another popularity contest, reporting that some potential contestants for reality show Love Island have been dropped after it introduced Monday morning drug tests.

The Sunday Times seems to relish the fact that Environment Secretary Michael Gove will go head-to-head with Boris Johnson in the Conservative leadership race.

“Get Boris!” is the headline. The paper says the development will revive memories of what it calls “the psychodrama of 2016”, when Mr Gove was chairman of Mr Johnson’s leadership campaign – but then launched his own bid.

The Sunday Telegraph reports that Mr Gove set out his stall to about 10 Tory MPs at a private dinner on Tuesday, three days before Theresa May resigned.

One of those present, who is not named, is quoted saying: “His pitch was that he could provide unity, vision and grip”.

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The former foreign secretary is attacked by the Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage in the Sunday Express.

Mr Farage highlights the fact that Mr Johnson resigned from his cabinet post because he was so angry about Theresa May’s Brexit deal, but then voted for a later version of it in the Commons.

He argues this raises doubts about Mr Johnson’s pledge that the UK would leave the EU at the end of October, with or without a deal, if he was in charge.

The Sun on Sunday showcases Mr Johnson’s pitch for the top job in a two-page spread.

It says he has come up with what it describes as a “secret blueprint for power”. This includes increasing funding for the NHS, tackling violent crime, and easing the housing crisis.

But the paper is worried about the number of candidates entering the race, warning that the Conservatives “need to get a grip fast”.

“PM race turning toxic already”, is the headline in the Mail on Sunday. It says the contest to replace Theresa May “exploded into life”, when the hopefuls traded “the first vicious blows”.

These include International Development Secretary Rory Stewart’s description of Boris Johnson’s stance on Brexit as “damaging, unnecessary and dishonest”.

The candidates’ pitches

“The race is on,” declares the front page of the Sunday Telegraph, in which a dizzying array of Tories give their views on the contest.

Among them are Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss, former International Development Secretary Priti Patel, and Sir Graham Brady, the former chairman of the 1922 Committee of backbench Conservative MPs.

One of the candidates – the former Work and Pensions Secretary, Esther McVey – sets out her stall. She believes that the Brexit deal negotiated by Theresa May must be, in her words, “put out of its misery”.

The UK should make it clear to Brussels, Ms McVey argues, that it is prepared to leave in October with no deal, making a “clean break”.

Writing in the Mail on Sunday, former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab explains why he should be the next prime minister. He sums up his vision, which includes efforts to increase wages and lower taxes, as “a fairer deal for workers, a fairer society, and a fairer deal from the EU”.

The Sunday Times has a double-page spread in which two candidates – the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, and the former leader of the Commons, Andrea Leadsom – make their pitches for the top job.

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Mr Hunt points to his business credentials, as an entrepreneur who founded an education company which he sold for £15m.

He tells the paper: “We need to send a signal to the world that we are going to be the best place to do business.”

Ms Leadsom explains that she would relish the opportunity to lead Britain out of the European Union – and would do so by the current deadline in October, with or without a deal.

But she says she would put “significant effort” into trying to achieve an agreement with the European Commission. Aside from Brexit, she is expected to promise to cut greenhouse gas emissions to nearly zero by 2050.

The Sunday Mirror’s leader column expresses disgust that the Conservatives are so focused on their own rivalries, when thousands of jobs are in jeopardy, because of the collapse of British Steel.

The paper describes the leadership contest as “both an act of gross self-indulgence and a grotesque dereliction of public duty”.

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The Observer unmasks the members of the anti-Brexit activist group, Led By Donkeys. They put up giant billboard posters across the UK, featuring old tweets or quotes from politicians, which tended to subvert their arguments for leaving the EU.

The four men describe how they came up with the idea while drinking in a north London pub, and crowdfunded several of the posters.

Also in the Observer, Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson warns that his party will lose the next general election, unless it quickly commits wholeheartedly to a second referendum on Brexit.

Mr Watson argues that Labour needs to develop what he calls “backbone” on the issue.

He says the way to do that is to make sure that policy is set by the membership, not by “a small number of people on Labour’s national executive”.

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The US National Security Agency is said to be the origin of code used in damaging cyber-attacks

The New York Times alleges that a piece of computer code used in cyber attacks across the United States was created by the American National Security Agency.

It says the tool, known as EternalBlue, was leaked from an NSA facility in 2017. The paper explains that it was then sold on, and has been picked up by hackers in Russia, North Korea and China.

The report estimates that cyber attacks using EternalBlue have caused billions of pounds worth of damage around the world.

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Finally, The Sun is outraged that professional golfer Lee Westwood has suggested making the sport easier – by expanding the holes.

In a BBC Radio Five Live interview, Mr Westwood suggested this might attract more people to try golf.

Under the headline “potty ideas to improve sports”, the paper lists other examples such as axing the offside rule in football, and playing tennis on patchwork-coloured courts to make the balls more visible.

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