Newspaper headlines: EU migrant jobs and medical matters on front pages

Border force official checking a passport Image copyright PA
Image caption Immigration is one of they key battlegrounds in the EU referendum debate

A few papers give a great deal of prominence to new statistics on the number of EU nationals coming to Britain to work - news which the Financial Times says "ignites the Brexit immigration debate".

The Sun says that of a 414,000 increase in UK employment, more than half of the jobs have been taken by people born outside the UK, with over 200,000 EU nationals "flooding to Britain to cash in on the recovery".

The FT agrees that Europeans seem to have "gravitated" to "one of the healthiest labour markets in the region". It says some studies detect that immigrant labour tends to depress wages in unskilled jobs "but the effect appears to be small".

However, the Daily Express is among papers which quote Iain Duncan Smith as saying "Brits on low pay... are forced to compete with millions of people from abroad for jobs, and they suffer downward pressure on their wages".

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Image caption The Zika virus has been blamed for birth defects in children in Latin America

Disease alerts

  • A number of papers report the prediction that the mosquito-borne Zika virus will spread to Mediterranean holiday resorts this summer
  • Pregnant women and those planning pregnancy should be particularly careful, follow public health advice and take precautions against being bitten, an expert explains in the Mirror
  • But another expert in the Daily Mail says if there is an outbreak, announcements advising on travel in specific areas "are likely to be very limited"
  • The Mail also reports the call by superbugs watchdog Lord O'Neill for much stronger curbs on doctors prescribing antibiotics
  • The story is the lead in the Guardian, which says that many antibiotics thought to have put an end to infectious diseases have become ineffective as germs developed resistance to them
  • It quotes Lord O'Neill as saying drug firms must either develop new antibiotics, or fund other companies to do so

The pro-Brexit former Tory leader is also quoted in the Daily Telegraph and elsewhere, accusing the government's leaders of "jettisoning or watering down key elements of their legislative programme" so as not to worsen discord in the party ahead of next month's EU referendum.

Eurosceptics were left furious by the omission of a Sovereignty Bill to stop Parliament and British courts being overruled by EU institutions, says the paper.

The speech showed the PM was putting "one nation" social reforms at the heart of his plan to reunite the Conservatives, says the Guardian.

And the Financial Times says Mr Cameron is seeking to "mark out his political legacy" and establish his "vision of a fairer Britain" before he steps down between now and the 2020 election.

Eye-catching headlines

But there is much scepticism of both of these aims. "Speech full of gadgets as PM ducks pledges," says the Sun, adding that the speech included plans for a spaceport in Cornwall while still deferring a decision on airport expansion at Heathrow or Gatwick.

The Daily Mail pokes fun at the pledge in the speech of a household right to obtain fast broadband. In a report headed "The great broadband betrayal" it says families in remote communities may have to pay "hundreds of pounds" to actually get connected.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption There are plenty of pictures of the pageantry surrounding the Queen's Speech

The Times makes the broadband pledge its front-page lead. But in the same paper Tim Montgomerie writes that even if the Remain camp wins the referendum, "legions of Tories won't automatically shrug and unite around David Cameron's... humdrum measures in yesterday's anaemic Queen's Speech".

But at least there are plenty of fine pictures of the pageantry surrounding the speech - and sympathy for the Queen who (for the first time in over 60 years, says the Daily Mirror) had to use the lift the reach the Sovereign's Entrance to the House of Lords.

Most papers welcome the agreement reached between the government and junior doctors' leaders in the row over their working hours, but the Guardian says it is not certain the doctors will back it in a ballot.

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Media captionFinancial commentator Louise Cooper and the deputy editor at the Daily Express, Michael Booker, join the BBC News Channel to review Thursday's front pages

The paper quotes one doctor as saying the deal is worse than the one which the British Medical Association rejected in February, and does not address concerns about "trying to spread a five-day service over seven days".

The Mirror says there is "delight at the likely end" of the dispute, but insists that it was avoidable and Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt was to blame, or as the paper says, "in the doc".

But the Telegraph believes the "sensible compromise" to end the row may have been helped by the BMA's awareness that its "reckless approach" including strike action was jeopardising public support.

Both sides can claim they achieved their main aims, says the Times, and only an overwhelming rejection in the ballot is likely to open the row.

Image copyright PA

Iraq case re-examined

  • The Sun is among papers reporting that four ex-soldiers who were cleared by a court martial and an inquiry over the death of a teenager in custody in Iraq in 2003, have now faced a third investigation
  • A judge heading the Iraq Fatality Investigations plans to investigate a British policy of throwing suspected looters into rivers, the Guardian reports
  • One of the four is suffering depression because of the repeated inquiries and has left the Army because he thought he was being "scapegoated", says the Sun
  • The Daily Mail labels the development a "witch-hunt" and headlines "the betrayal of four Iraq heroes"

Following a recent court ruling backing a father who took his daughter out of school for a trip to Florida, the Mail says parents are "rushing to book cheap holidays in term time".

One travel firm says term-time bookings are up by 88%, the paper reports.

According to the Daily Telegraph, bookings during the school holiday period have, meanwhile, gone down significantly.

Meanwhile, as rows over fracking continue, the Times reports that five parish councils in North Yorkshire have complained that emails objecting to a fracking application were sent in their name after their joint email account was hacked.

Another local controversy concerns a watercress company in Hampshire, which has gained permission to shoot ducks which are eating and fouling its crop. Villagers are furious, the Telegraph claims.

The firm's managing director has said killing any animal is a last resort and "we are not killing mother ducks", says the Times.

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