Newspaper headlines: Bake Off aftermath and Cameron legacy

Scene after battle in Sirte Image copyright Reuters
Image caption David Cameron's policy on Libya and its results come under scrutiny

Dough is a favourite word in the papers, which are reluctant to abandon the stories of the Great British Bake Off's move to Channel 4 and the legacy of David Cameron as he quits the Commons.

More than one cartoon suggests that the former PM may make more dough outside Parliament, while headlines suggest Bake Off's two presenters are leaving the show despite the prospect of extra dough outside the BBC.

Among Mr Cameron's actions in office the overwhelming target of scrutiny is his policy on Libya, following a damning report by the Commons foreign affairs committee.

The Daily Mirror is among many papers quoting committee chairman Crispin Blunt condemning the "ill-conceived intervention" in Libya, "the results of which are still playing out today" including spurring the spread of so-called Islamic State in north Africa.

Mr Cameron's "desperation to pose as a military leader on the world stage was unforgivably reckless," the paper insists.

Guardian writer Chris Stephen offers an analysis of why Libya is turning into "Somalia on the Mediterranean". Britain and France took the lead in encouraging the revolt against Colonel Gaddafi, he says, "but with the revolution over, Cameron walked away."


Image copyright Science Photo Library

Motherless babies from skin?

  • The Telegraph says "motherless babies could be on the horizon" after scientists showed that embryos can be created by using sperm to fertilise skin cells without needing a female egg.
  • Three generations of mice have already been born using the technique, described by researchers at Bath University, it adds.
  • The Daily Mirror is among papers which say this means babies could one day be born from the DNA of two men, or of one person alone, and could enable babies to have the DNA of women who are made infertile by cancer.
  • The Times quotes one of the scientists as saying the embryo would have to be transplanted into a surrogate mother, or "because it would be many, many years in the future, we may have an in vitro womb."

Britain later was forced to support the current Government of National Accord which is "largely unloved" and relies on warring militias for security, he adds.

In the Times Daniel Finkelstein, once an adviser to Conservative party leaders, says the former premier had "a taste for big, bold gambles".

He won many of them, on going for the party leadership, on the coalition with the Lib Dems and on austerity, says the writer - "but when he finally lost, he lost big".

Image copyright PA
Image caption Sue Perkins (right) and Mel Giedroyc are quoted as saying the BBC helped give Bake Off its "warmth and charm"

The Daily Telegraph says the ex-PM will remain "a thorn in Theresa May's side" as he is expected to set up a "life chances foundation" which will scrutinise his successor's social agenda.

Meanwhile on the Bake Off front, a number of papers voice fears about the future of the cookery programme. The Mail's Jan Moir likens it to a "fluffy duckie plucked from a tranquil village pond and tossed into the roaring maw of some white water rapids".

The Sun lambasts Channel 4 for "swiping" the show, "perhaps the only BBC show some people watch in return for the compulsory licence fee."

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Media captionBroadcaster Lynn Faulds Wood and journalist Sean Dilley joined the BBC News Channel to review Wednesday's front pages.

Presenters Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, who are leaving the show, are widely quoted as saying the BBC had "nurtured the show from its infancy and helped give it its distinctive warmth and charm".

Mirror TV editor Nicola Methven says other broadcasters only wanted the show if the presenters and judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood stayed with it.

But in the i Daisy Wyatt supports the move to Channel 4, writing that it will make the show "a slicker, more enjoyable watch".


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The Great British Bake Off has now been joined in the press by what the Financial Times calls the Great British firewall, a plan by the government's National Cyber Security Centre to block malicious websites.

The paper quotes the Centre's incoming head, Ciaran Martin, as saying "It's technically possible to block malicious content. So... why aren't we?"

The NCSC hopes private internet service providers will comply with its proposals voluntarily, so that legislation is not necessary, and consumers would be able to opt out, says the FT. But the paper adds that the scheme is likely to raise civil liberties concerns, being similar in principle to Chinese-style controls on what the public can see.

The Times points out that some 200 "national security level cyberincidents" a month were detected by the government last year, twice the year before's figure. It says a common danger is hostile websites imitating familiar sites and encouraging users to download malicious software.


Comeback for blue passports?

  • Immigration minister Robert Goodwill has said the government is "considering potential changes to the UK passport after the UK has left the European Union."
  • This has encouraged papers to ponder a return to passports more like the old dark blue ones, the last of which expired in 2003. The Telegraph quotes an MP as saying the statement "indicated a clear shift in position" as ministers had previously denied there were any plans.
  • The Daily Mail says the old blue design was described as "perfection itself" by the League of Nations in 1926.
  • Among other EU topics in the papers is the call by Luxembourg's foreign minister to expel Hungary because of its reluctance to accept refugees and migrants.
  • His Hungarian counterpart called him an "intellectual lightweight" and "sermonising and pompous" in return, the Times reports.
  • Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker will warn MEPs today that the EU faces an "existential threat" with "major splits" among member states, the Telegraph predicts.

A less sophisticated problem is highlighted by the Daily Star. which says a survey has found most Britons use the same password for all their online accounts, and only 2% have a different one for every account.

In the Daily Express a more localised controversy appears, involving a grandmother in a Devon village who had her underwear taken off her washing line and posted through her letter box with a note saying it was "total inapropiate" [sic] to have it hanging opposite the local primary school.

The woman's daughter is quoted by the Sun as saying "The small-minded prudishness of this village is unbelievable".

According to the Times, neighbours rallied to the woman's defence and she has been sent dozens of pairs of knickers "to turn into bunting to hang from her cottage gate".


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