The new Home Secretary Sajid Javid is pictured on several front pages standing outside his new department, legs wide apart, in what The Times calls the “Tory power pose”. The Daily Mail calls it “the John Wayne” stance but says Twitter users have likened the pose to that of the vain Prince Regent in Blackadder.
The Times says that, at first glance, his appointment is clever politics – as the son of immigrants, Mr Javid is perfectly positioned to recalibrate the Tory message on immigration. It is not without risks though, the Times adds, as a recent poll suggests more than 70% of the population still support the Tories’ “hostile environment” policy towards illegal immigration.
The Sun calls Mr Javid’s appointment a “smart move” while the Financial Times describes it as “sensible”. William Hague in the Daily Telegraph calls Mr Javid “talented” and tells him: “Go for it.”
The Daily Mail asks of the appointment: “Could there be a more eloquent tribute to how far Britain has evolved into a diverse, meritocratic, multi-racial society?”
The Politico website believes Theresa May’s appointment of Mr Javid will buy her some breathing space but in reality he is a sign of her weakness. It quotes an unnamed cabinet minister saying she’d have preferred a technocratic loyalist. The source suggests James Brokenshire would have been her choice.
Paul Goodman, writing on Conservative Home, calls Mr Javid “a former [George] Osborne protégé” and concludes: “His appointment can thus only be read as a sign of prime ministerial weakness rather than strength.”
According to the Daily Mirror, while the Tories play musical chairs, thousands of black Britons are wrongly detained, sacked and denied NHS treatment. “At Prime Minister’s Questions tomorrow,” it says, “Jeremy Corbyn must prove why blame for this disaster leads directly to Number 10.”
Brexit deal vote
The Daily Mail devotes its front page to an editorial in which it describes Parliament’s upper chamber as the “House of unelected wreckers”, after the latest Brexit defeats inflicted on the government.
“Make no mistake,” the paper says, “the Remainer elite, in cahoots with Brussels, is fighting a guerrilla war against Brexit using any means it can.”
A headline in the Daily Express accuses peers of a “Brexit sabotage”. According to the Sun, unelected peers have become “a cancer eating away at our democracy”.
Israel’s nuclear claims
For the Daily Telegraph, the main news is the video presentation yesterday by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which intended to provide proof that Iran lied to the world about its weapons programme, both before and since the 2015 nuclear deal.
The paper says the claim seems designed to persuade President Donald Trump to follow his instincts and pull the US out of the agreement.
In Israel itself, Haaretz is less than impressed. “Great show,” it says, “with a glaring flaw”: what the Israeli prime minister presented wasn’t a smoking gun but a photograph of a smoking gun taken years ago.
The Jerusalem Post says Mossad’s achievement in “whisking more than 100,000 Iranian nuclear files” into Israel is “stunning” and “mind-blowing”.
It concedes, however, that much of what was shown amounts to new evidence about known violations from the past, rather than any evidence of new violations.
Respect for elderly
The front and two inside pages of the Daily Express return to what the paper describes as its “crusade” for respect for the elderly as it highlights two stories which it says “shame Britain”.
One involves a 73-year-old man with Parkinson’s disease who was attacked by a member of staff in his care home. The woman who did it was “spared prison”, the paper says, and ordered instead to carry out 150 hours of community service and pay compensation.
The paper also highlights the despair of a woman whose husband, seriously ill with cancer, endured a 16-hour wait for a hospital bed. Bosses at Royal Stoke Hospital have apologised.
A Coronation Street producer writes a column in the Daily Express defending the soap’s hard-hitting story lines.
Producer Kate Oates, who once worked on a helpline, says: “If we can get people to talk about their feelings, we might be able to save lives.” She says the soap is aiming to give hope, not take it away.
Finally, the Daily Telegraph reports that the Bank of England has a new high-tech method of gauging the mood of the nation. Its chief economist, Andy Haldane, has revealed that it’s monitoring the type of music and lyrics being downloaded on websites sites such as Spotify.
Researchers then produce an “Index of Sentiment” which apparently does at least as well in tracking consumer spending as more traditional academic surveys.