The Papers: May’s ‘phone plea’ to unions

Newspaper headlines: May's Brexit 'phone plea' to union bosses

Metro front page, 11/1/19

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Theresa May's latest efforts to get her Brexit deal through Parliament are recorded on some front pages. As the Metro notes, the prime minister spoke to union leaders – including Unite's "Red" Len McCluskey – on Thursday. It describes her "begging them to help" convince MPs to back the withdrawal agreement she struck with the EU.

Times front page, 11/1/19

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The Times also leads on the development. It says that while Unite declined to comment officially, it "did not contradict No 10's claim that the call had been constructive". Tim Roache, head of the GMB, was "less positive but stopped short of rejecting the overture outright", the paper adds.

Daily Express front page, 11/1/19

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Meanwhile, the Daily Express lauds "an extraordinary outburst of plain-speaking at Westminster" by Environment Secretary Michael Gove, who used some choice language to describe Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn's position on Brexit. "Finally! Someone tells it as it is," is the paper's front-page headline.

Guardian front page, 11/1/19

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The Guardian quotes analysis from business lobby group the CBI suggesting Britain's economy would shrink by up to 8% if it leaves the EU without a Brexit deal. The paper leads on a World Health Organization review suggesting that eating high levels of fibre, as well as nuts and pulses, reduces the likelihood of heart disease and early death.

Financial Times front page, 11/1/19

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The news that 4,500 jobs are to go at the UK's largest carmaker, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), and that Ford also plans to reduce staffing, leads the Financial Times. "Both warned of deeper cuts in the UK if Britain left the EU with no deal at the end of March," the paper notes.

Daily Telegraph front page, 11/1/19

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Meanwhile, the Daily Telegraph says that JLR boss Ralf Speth has been "accused of using Brexit as a smokescreen" to distract from poor strategy. The paper says EU rules meant Slovakia could lure the company into moving jobs there from Britain. Its lead story says hospitals routinely allow male patients to share female wards if they self-identify as women.

The Sun front page, 11/1/19

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The Sun leads on the divorce of Amazon boss Jeff Bezos from his wife MacKenzie, focusing on claims in the US media that the multi-billionaire has been romantically involved with a former Fox TV host, Lauren Sánchez.

Daily Mirror front page, 11/1/19

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Meanwhile, the Daily Mirror reports on the personal life of former foreign secretary Boris Johnson who, it says, "left the Brexit shambles behind to spend New Year in a Greek villa with his girlfriend".

Daily Mail front page, 11/1/19

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The Daily Mail claims a campaign it's running is helping police to "close the net" on fugitive Jack Shepherd, who was convicted of the manslaughter of Charlotte Brown in his absence. Ms Brown, 24, died when Shepherd's speedboat overturned on the River Thames in 2015. The paper quotes Prime Minister Theresa May describing it as a "shocking case".

The i front page, 11/1/19

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The i reports that the number of incinerators dealing with household waste in the UK is to double in the next decade, as councils struggle to recycle people's rubbish. More than half of what people throw away will be burned, amid fears over air pollution, the paper says.

Daily Star front page, 11/1/19

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And the Daily Star features another attack on Britain's "snowflake culture". It features an interview with actor Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in which he criticises "PC softies responsible for banning F1 grid girls, outlawing clapping at uni and demanding 'gingerbread people' instead of men".

Theresa May's phone calls to union leaders, hoping to gain their support in pressuring MPs to back her Brexit deal, make Friday's headlines.

For the Daily Mail, it was a "surprise move" by the prime minister, while the Independent website describes it as a "desperate bid to secure backing".

However, the Guardian says the calls sparked hopes among senior Labour figures that Mrs May was laying the groundwork to compromise.

As many as 4,000 civil servants are abandoning their day jobs to focus on preparations for a no-deal Brexit, according to the Times. Officials working on education, justice and welfare are among staff in five government departments who are being asked to take up new roles within weeks.

But the Guardian carries a warning from the Confederation of British Industry that leaving the bloc without a deal would have "profound" consequences, shrinking the UK economy by up to 8% and putting thousands of jobs at risk.

Blame game

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For the Daily Mirror, uncertainty about Brexit played a major part in the decision by Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) to announce thousands of job losses. The paper urges the government to avoid a disorderly departure and deliver a deal that safeguards jobs and protects the manufacturing industry.

However, the Times believes the job losses aren't about Brexit but a response to pressures on the company's profitability. It suggests a number of ways the government could provide a stable base for businesses, including by pressing ahead with reductions in corporate tax rates.

The Daily Telegraph says it's become almost customary for companies to blame Brexit and points to JLR's decision over the past three years to move production of the Land Rover Discovery model from Solihull to Slovakia.

Slovakia had offered Jaguar Land Rover £110m in state aid, yet EU rules left Britain powerless to object, the paper adds.

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Health problems?

An investigation by the Daily Telegraph suggests that hospitals routinely allow male patients to share female wards if they self-identify as women.

The paper claims that despite official guidance intended to eliminate mixed sex wards, NHS trusts in England don't require patients to have begun transition to be treated as their preferred sex. The Telegraph looked at responses to more than 100 Freedom of Information Requests.

Meanwhile, the Guardian considers a study suggesting that fibre reduces the chances of an early death as a "blow to the low-carb" diet.

But Professor Jim Mann, who led the research for the World Health Organisation, tells the paper that it won't mean an end to the "diet wars". He insists there are too many vested interests involved in the industry, from celebrity chefs to doctors and scientists.

Wardrobe malfunction?

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The Daily Mail questions whether the Duchess of Sussex chose an appropriate outfit for a visit to a charity which provides clothes to women hoping to get back into work.

"Was her £5,600 outfit the right choice?" it asks.

The Daily Telegraph is more charitable, saying Meghan has displayed kindness by making undercover visits to those in need.

Finally, residents of a coastal town in north-west Wales are hoping to strip a city in New Zealand of the fiercely contested title of being home to the steepest street in the world.

The Guardian explains that measurements are being taken by a surveyor walking up and down the road in Harlech to try to prove it's steeper than Baldwin Street in Dunedin. The final ruling will be made by Guinness World Records.

The Mayor of Dunedin warned that the street had seen off previous challenges, joking: "If Wales turns out to have a steeper one we will just have to arrange one of our periodic earthquakes and tilt Baldwin a bit more".

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