Newspaper review: 'Air rage' over Heathrow expansion

The fall-out from the government's decision to expand Heathrow is taking up most of the column inches on Wednesday's front pages.

The Telegraph pictures Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith and says his resignation as the MP for Richmond Park and North Kingston over Heathrow presents the prime minister with "the most significant challenge" of her leadership so far.

The paper says a third runway will indeed be "truly momentous" if it ever happens, while the Mirror revels in what it calls "the Tory flightmare".

"Watching Tory worm Boris Johnson wriggle out of a promise to lie in front of Heathrow bulldozers" is "a gift for Labour", it says.

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The Sun says no-one should stand in the way of a third runway, which is "best for Britain". It dismisses objectors as "local grouches, ambitious MPs and green loonies".

Jim Pickard at the Financial Times says Theresa May's approval for the third runway is "calculated to display the government's decisiveness and its determination not to let Brexit derail the economy". But he warns "it does not bring the political battle to an end".

Writing in the i newspaper, Green MP Caroline Lucas says that she and other environmental campaigners have "absolutely no plans to give up this battle"; expansion will "leave our climate change commitments in tatters", she says.

Eye-catching headlines:

  • It's got toe hurt - An ex-soldier lopped off two of his toes at home without painkillers after getting frostbite, the Sun reports. Paul Dibbins said he resulted to such drastic action after he waited nine months only to have his operation cancelled.
  • A grave situation - Storing the cremated ashes of loved ones in the flickering candlelight of a neolithic burial chamber is now a real possibility, reports the Mail, as a new Stone Age-style long barrow prepares to open in Cambridgeshire. "It's the new trend that's about 5,000 years old," remarks the Times.
  • "Don't have your NHS baby out of hours" - The Mail reports that three out of four maternity wards in England have no consultant on duty overnight. It has got the figure from what it calls a "major audit" carried out by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

'Fondant farewell'

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Many of the newspapers begin saying bye bye to Bake Off ahead of the last time the show will appear on BBC television.

Indulging in a frenzy of puns the Mirror says "It's good pie from us.." adding that "they think it's pavlova, and it nearly is now".

The Guardian says the final will be a bitter-sweet event for the BBC, while the Sun wishes the programme a "fondant farewell" as it highlights some of the programme's best bakes and disastrous soggy bottoms.

The Daily Mail focuses its attentions on the stylish highlights of Mary Berry's wardrobe. "As an 81-year-old grandmother of three, she might not seem the most obvious person to be a style icon," the paper remarks. "But Mary Berry has proved herself to be ahead of the fashion pack, as all of the outfits she has worn on this series are selling out."

Shop girl to top boss

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Paula Nickolds, the first female boss of John Lewis, is pictured on the front of the Daily Mail. "From zips and buttons to the boardroom," the paper remarks, commenting on how she started working in the haberdashery department before rising to claim one of the most coveted positions in the retail industry.

The paper says Ms Nickolds is "a moderniser" and has "great energy" with "fashionably cut hair and a wardrobe of sharp, black clothing" to boot.

The Guardian says Ms Nickolds is a company lifer, perhaps destined for a senior role; as a child she would accompany her father, a director at Marks & Spencer, around shops on a weekend, it says.

The paper says her appointment is "striking" not just because she becomes the first woman to run the business, but because she "climbed to the top" from within.