The Papers: Meghan’s family and ‘armed police plan’

The Sun
Image caption Meghan Markle’s family dominates many of the newspaper front pages for another day. The Sun reports that the bride’s father Thomas Markle is “alone and upset in hospital” following his heart surgery. The newspaper quotes Ms Markle’s half-sister Samantha who claimed Kensington Palace is not helping Mr Markle.
The Mirror front page
Image caption The Mirror has its own royal wedding exclusive: an interview with Ms Markle’s half-brother Thomas Jr, who has travelled to Windsor. He is quoted by the paper as saying Ms Markle will be one of the best things to happen to the royals, adding: “She will be the perfect modern princess.”
The Daily Star front page ThursdayImage copyrightDaily Star
Image caption Thursday’s Daily Star splashes with a story on bride-to-be Ms Markle, who the paper says filmed a “saucy three-in-a-bed” scene. The two men in the scene – which the Express dubs “Suits show hunks” – could be at the wedding, the newspaper adds.
Metro Thursday front page
Image caption Ms Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland, is on the front page of the Metro, after reportedly arriving in the UK. Meanwhile, the Metro leads with reaction to the news that Deliveroo has given £10m in shares to its permanent employees – but drivers will receive nothing. Deliveroo boss Will Shu said it was the firm’s way of thanking staff by giving them a “real stake in the company’s future”. But the Metro quotes riders as saying it is a “slap in the face”.
The Times Thursday
Image caption Thursday’s Times leads with a report that chief constables are considering arming police officers with handguns in a bid to tackle “the terrorist threat in rural areas”. According to the lead expert in armed policing at the National Police Chiefs’ Council, the plan is being considered in areas where it is expensive to have specialist units on standby. But the Times says Britain has a history of unarmed policing and the proposal will be seen as controversial.
The Guardian Thursday
Image caption Meanwhile, the front page of the Guardian leads with a look ahead to a government report, to be published on Thursday, following a review of building regulations in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire. According to the newspaper, sources have said that Dame Judith Hackitt’s review is not expected to recommend an outright ban on combustible cladding. This is despite calls from Grenfell survivors, the Guardian adds.
Financial Times Thursday front page
Image caption The Financial Times leads with the fallout from Wednesday’s Carillion report for a second day in a row. It reports that the Big Four accountancy firms – which MPs had said should be referred to the Competition and Markets Authority for a potential break-up – have drawn up contingency plans in the event that it happens.
Daily Express Thursday
Image caption The Express leads with the murder probe into the death of 85-year-old widow Rosina Coleman, who was found dead in her home in Romford on Tuesday. The Express reports that grieving relatives have “begged for help” with the police appeal to find those responsible.
Daily Mail Thursday
Image caption The Daily Mail splashes with some reaction to Labour’s pledge to close the UK’s two main immigration centres in the wake of the Windrush scandal. Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott announced the move on Wednesday as part of a package of measures to reverse the government’s so-called hostile environment policy. But the Mail cites several Conservative politicians – including Home Secretary Sajid Javid – criticising the policy.
The Telegraph Thursday
Image caption Thursday’s Telegraph leads with a report on the latest in the UK and EU’s Brexit negotiations. The paper says it has learnt the government is prepared to stay tied to the customs union beyond 2021. According to the Telegraph, the decision was agreed by ministers on Tuesday “as a last resort to avoid a hard Irish border” – despite objections by Brexiteers. But government sources said staying aligned to the customs union would be “time limited”, the paper reports.
The i Thursday newspaper
Image caption The i leads with the news that rail services on the East Coast Man Line are being brought under government control after the current franchise failed. The paper reports that services will now be called the “London North Eastern Railway”.

The latest on the royal wedding again features in several of Thursday’s newspapers, as well as the news that police chiefs are considering routinely arming officers.

Two weeks after Meghan Markle’s half-brother, Thomas Markle Jr, suggested the marriage was a big mistake, he tells the Daily Mirror that his sister “will be the perfect modern princess”. The Sun focuses on Ms Markle’s father for another day, reporting he is in hospital “alone and upset”.

A proposal to give rural police officers firearms features on the front page of the Times. It suggests that that the most likely option would be for officers to wear a “holstered handgun” in counties such as Devon and Cornwall.

The Papers: Meghan’s family and ‘armed police plan’
The Papers: Meghan’s family and ‘armed police plan’

But the Guardian reports that officers carrying guns is just one option. Another would be to have the gun securely stored in patrol cars. The newspaper says it has seen details of the plans which suggests officers would receive two weeks of training initially and then two days per year refresher training.

Customs union

Meanwhile, the Daily Telegraph reports that ministers in the Brexit sub-committee agreed this week that Britain could stay aligned to the customs union beyond 2021.

But the suggestion concerns Eurosceptic MP Jacob Rees-Mogg, who says that while “people voted to leave, they did not vote for purgatory”.

According to the Daily Express, the odds have been slashed on Italy becoming the next country to leave the EU.

The paper reports that betting companies made their decision after a leaked document revealed a plot to ditch the euro by Italy’s nationalist League and Five Star Movement coalition. The Express says online bookmakers Betway has dropped its odds from 9/4 to 6/4.

After the transport secretary announced on Wednesday that the East Coast Main Line is to be renationalised, the Times reports that four more rail operators could be stripped of their franchises. It suggests Northern Rail, South Western, Transpennine and Greater Anglia could all be at at risk.

In its leader column, the Times cautions against a return to full public ownership of the railways, advising that instead rules for the franchise auctions be rewritten.

The Daily Mirror supports keeping the line in public hands. But the Sun says the train lines aren’t privatised enough and calls for rival firms to compete on the same line.

Image copyrightEPA
Image caption An independent report into building regulations and fire safety will be published on Thursday

The Guardian looks ahead to a government-commissioned review of building regulations after the Grenfell fire. The final report will not recommend an outright ban of combustible cladding, according to the Guardian. Instead, it suggests there will be calls for tougher fire testing.

A pledge by shadow home secretary Diane Abbott to close the UK’s two main detention centres is headlined “Labour’s free for all on migrants” in the Daily Mail.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid tells the paper that the plans would “demolish policies… vital for tackling illegal immigration”.

The Mail comments that voters in Labour constituencies who supported taking back control of UK borders might think twice before continuing to back the party.

The French oil and gas giant, Total, has warned that it will pull out of Iran unless it can be protected from the US penalties being imposed after Washington’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal, according to the Financial Times.

The FT says this could mark “a significant setback” for European efforts to keep the Iran pact alive as Total is one of the biggest foreign investors in Iran’s energy sector.

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And obese horse riders are likened in the Times to “the straw that broke the camel’s back” for a horse trekking centre in Dartmoor, which is closing this week after 35 years. As the Sun bluntly explains, “the adults and children are too fat to ride the ponies”.

The owner tells the Mail that it’s a safety issue not just for the horse but for the rider. The Times suggests it is not just beginners whose extra girth is causing issues, reporting that judges at the Great Yorkshire Show asked a dozen riders to dismount as it was feared they were too heavy for their steeds.

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