Newspaper headlines: May speech previewed, UKIP leader quits and cod accents

Theresa May's final speech of this year's Conservative Party conference is previewed, and there is coverage of UKIP leader Diane James standing down.

On its front page, the Telegraph pictures the prime minister preparing her speech in her hotel room in Birmingham.

The paper says Mrs May will use the speech to pledge that her administration will "deliver for ordinary, working-class people", in an attempt to attract millions of disaffected Labour voters.

"She will heavily criticise the condescending views of politicians and establishment figures who are 'bewildered' by the fact that more than 17 million people voted for Britain to leave the European Union," says the Telegraph.

"Mrs May will use her speech to declare that she is putting both the Tory Party and the country 'on the path towards the new centre ground of British politics'.

"It will be seen as an attempt to win over traditional Labour voters who were alienated by Jeremy Corbyn's recent declaration that he is 'relaxed' about the prospect of uncontrolled immigration to Britain."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Theresa May prepares her conference speech

The Guardian says Mrs May will also use her centrepiece speech to signal a new direction "under which a more muscular state will be used to step in to fix broken markets".

"May dedicated Sunday to the issue of Brexit in order to allow her space to focus on other issues in her final speech," states the Guardian.

"The central argument put forward by the prime minister will be for free markets to be supported but for ministers to step in where they need repairing."

The Times says Mrs May will appeal to voters in Labour's heartland and take on the "libertarian right" of her own party.

"Aides pointed to moves to kickstart housebuilding as evidence of her 'new approach' of more aggressive intervention in markets that fail to deliver for low and middle-income households," it states.

According to the Mail, she will condemn the metropolitan elite for sneering at millions of ordinary Britons over immigration.

The Sun says Mrs May will pledge to put political power back where it belongs - in the hands of millions of working people.

The Mirror is not so impressed, saying: "Theresa May will today take aim at Britain's ruling elite as she brazenly claims the Tories can become the true party of the working class."

Successful breakfast

The sketch writers seem to be in a agreement that the conference is not exactly a thriller.

Michael Deacon in the Telegraph declares that it has been a rotten conference for speeches.

"We WILL make Brexit a success. That was what Andrew RT Davies, leader of the Welsh Conservatives, was supposed to tell us," he writes.

"Unfortunately, however, he misread his autocue and instead shouted, with full-throated gusto: "We WILL make breakfast a success!"

"I'm not going to make fun of him, though. I'm grateful to him. It was the most interesting thing a politician said on stage all day."

Image caption Amber Rudd's speech induced torpor, according to one commentator

Patrick Kidd of the Times also makes Mr Davies' slip up his highlight of the day.

He goes on to say: "The final speech of the morning came from Amber Rudd, who began by sucking up to her predecessor as home secretary (now her boss) and then delivered a long and prosaic talk about how crime is bad and why we really must do something about migration one day.

"I looked around the hall and saw eyelids drooping, heads slumped forward, the gentle purr of snoring from some quarters. At one point, Ms Rudd awoke from an apparent coma to announce war on migrant taxi drivers but she soon returned to her lullaby."

For the Guardian's John Crace, it was a dismal day.

He writes: "On and on they came. One cabinet minister after another in a race to the bottom to appear the most listless and disengaged while the audience politely clapped every cliche.

"The Soviet show trials had nothing on the Conservative Party conference for contrived stage management.

"If the robot in charge of the justice secretary, Liz Truss, had promised 'prisons that work for everyone', half those assembled would have rushed to HMP Birmingham, begging to be let in."

The i's political correspondent John Rentoul says: "Most of the speeches in Birmingham have been paint-dryingly, grass-growingly, sheep-countingly dull, because May has obviously got the message through to ministers that if they want to get on, they had better mind what they say."

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Lack of authority

UKIP leader Diane James announcing that she is standing down 18 days after she was elected was a late breaking story for the print editions of the papers.

In a statement to the Times, Ms James said she had decided to step down for "personal and professional reasons".

The Times reports: "UKIP was thrown into turmoil last night after Diane James resigned as leader 18 days into the job, saying that she did not have enough authority to reform the party.

"She felt shaken after being spat at on a train on her way to Cardiff last week, a party insider said. She had also complained about UKIP's finances and was reluctant to lead without assurances about funding, it is understood."

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Diane James replaced Nigel Farage as UKIP leader

The Telegraph says there was speculation Nigel Farage could return as leader after refusing to rule out a future role when he resigned earlier this year.

Sources close to another possible future leader, Suzanne Evans, said she was surprised at the news but was not currently considering a leadership bid, it continues.

The i also names MEP Steven Woolfe and London mayoral candidate Peter Whittle as possible successors.

With reference to Sam Allardyce's brief reign as England football manager, a cartoon in the Times has someone saying: "It makes Big Sam look like a veteran."

Fishy tale

The Financial Times is the only paper to place a story that is in most of the papers on its front page.

The FT reports that British scientists are about to investigate the regional accents of cod in the waters around the UK.

Marine biologist Steve Simpson thinks cod could have developed localised accents because they gather in the same spawning grounds generation after generation.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionFormer Labour political adviser Ayesha Hazarika and Daily Telegraph media commentator Neil Midgley join the BBC News Channel to review Wednesday's front pages.

As sea temperatures rise, cold-water species such as cod are migrating further north to cooler spots away from their traditional breeding grounds, the paper explains.

This means they could be forced to mix for the first time with other fish that do not have the same "vocal repertoire", says Prof Simpson, raising the prospect that they will struggle to integrate and breed.

Or as the Sun puts it: "You have cod to be kidding..."