Newspaper headlines: 'Victory' over texting drivers and UKIP's 'awkward embrace'

A toughening of the law on drivers in Britain who use mobile phones for texting or calls while behind the wheel is hailed by the Daily Mail as a victory for a campaign that it began only two days ago.

The paper urges ministers to ram home the message that using a mobile phone while driving is as dangerous and as shameful as driving when over the alcohol limit.

Drivers will hit the threshold for a ban after two offences instead of four and the Mail says the "two strikes and you're out" message should be delivered to drivers so they know that if they transgress they will lose their licence.

"Instant result for our campaign to tackle phone idiots," says the headline in the Daily Mirror, which had also launched a similar plea to ministers on Thursday,

Meanwhile, the Daily Telegraph is backing a campaign for the Royal Yacht Britannia to be returned to the seas and used to secure trade deals after Britain leaves the EU.

The paper says Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson sees it as "a great symbol of global Britain" and MPs in favour of the plans believe it would boost links with the Commonwealth.

Image copyright PA

Britannia was taken out of service in 1997 but between 1991 and 1995, notes the paper, it is estimated the yacht helped secure £3bn worth of commercial trade deals, with world leaders clamouring to be allowed to attend receptions on the vessel.


'Great honour'

Elsewhere, military matters make headlines with the Times reporting Britain will veto measures to build a European Union army as long as it remains a member of the EU.

The paper says France and Germany have drawn up a timetable to create a "common military force" that would rival Nato in army capability. But it says Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon is concerned by any move that would duplicate Nato's role.

A warning by a former senior military commander that Britain's armed forces are ill-prepared to defend the UK against a serious attack, makes the lead for the Financial Times.

The paper obtained a memo sent to ministers by General Sir Richard Barrons before he retired as head of the Joint Forces Command.

The Sun's main story is that a guardsman has become the British army's first female front-line soldier.

The 24-year-old, who was born a boy, joined up four years ago as a man, but changed her name officially from Ben to Chloe Allen last month.

She will be the first woman allowed to engage the enemy in hand-to-hand combat and tells the paper: "It's a great honour to make history. I'm just looked at as a normal person."


'Only pride'

Several papers carry photographs of a horizontal Jonathan Douglas-Hughes, the Vice Lord Lieutenant of Essex, after he took a tumble at a children's mental health event in Harlow.

The Guardian shows pictures of Prince William assisting the prone official, who said the only thing hurt was his pride.

The lead story in the Guardian reports allegations that more than a third of all Saudi-led air raids on Yemen have hit civilian sites.

The paper says this calls into question claims by the Saudi government - backed by its US and British allies - that it is seeking to minimise the loss of civilian lives. The Guardian says school buildings, hospitals, markets and mosques have all been hit.

The survey, conducted by a group of academics and human rights organisers, has been disputed by the Saudi government which has described the findings as "vastly exaggerated".


'Awkward embrace'

Almost all of the front pages include a photo of Nigel Farage giving what some might describe as an uncomfortable kiss to his successor as the leader of the UK Independence Party, Diane James.

According to the Daily Telegraph, Ms James reluctantly received the congratulations of Mr Farage and hoped her victory would dispel any accusations of "chauvinism and misogyny" against the party.

Image copyright Getty Images

The Daily Mail describes the handover as "Mwaw! Clunk!" - and says it was like Charles and Di embracing towards the end of their marriage.

The Times says 56-year-old Ms James told UKIP members she was not "Nigel-lite" and urged Theresa May to maintain a "laser focus" on Brexit negotiations.

Mr Farage, reports the Daily Express, stepped down with a vow to keep fighting Brussels, telling his party that they had won the war, but they now needed to win the peace.


Corden vs Corbyn

The Financial Times reports that outsourcing life's less palatable jobs is becoming more popular with parents - with a stream of freelancers willing to cater for children's parties, advise on potty training or teach a child to ride a bike.

The paper says the "do it for me" trend has risen by almost a quarter in the last six years. One firm is offering to vacuum lice out of a child's hair - before dehydrating the eggs that remain and combing them out.

The paper concludes that the "lice assassins" are a product of a society where parents have too much money, but not enough time to take care of their kids.

Finally, the Daily Telegraph reports on tips for American visitors to Britain from a descendent of the US department chain Bloomingdale's.

The paper says Hayley Bloomingdale warns tourists to avoid ordering "fancy drinks" in pubs and notes that British people do not use umbrellas - even though it rains every day.

She also adds that James Corden and Jeremy Corbyn are definitely two different people.