Newspaper headlines: Brexit leaks 'panic' and Mourinho's tax

Politics looms large over Sunday's newspapers, with Brexit and the fall-out from the Richmond Park by-election featuring heavily.

The Sunday Telegraph leads with claims of a smear campaign against Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, which the paper says has been designed to undermine preparations for Brexit.

Mr Johnson is said to be "absolutely furious" about reports that he supported the free movement of migrants during a private briefing with EU ambassadors in contrast to the line he takes in public.

Two senior diplomats at the meeting tell the paper his views were misrepresented.

Meanwhile, the Mail on Sunday publishes what it says is a leaked Cabinet Office letter warning anyone passing on government secrets will be sacked - even if national security is not compromised.

The paper says it follows a spate of leaks about Brexit.

It says ministers and officials are being banned from using their own mobile phones for official business, to enable easier monitoring of calls and emails.

One government source describes the edict as "quasi-totalitarian".

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Boris Johnson is "absolutely furious" about a smear campaign against him, the Sunday Telegraph says

Remaining on the subject of Brexit, the Sun on Sunday says Prime Minister Theresa May has been accused of a "sell-out".

It reports how "furious" Eurosceptic ministers fear Mrs May is "forming a clique" to pave the way for a softer, "grey" Brexit, as opposed to a "hard" Brexit.

It says cabinet tensions mounted when Brexit Secretary David Davis put forward the idea that Britain could pay into the EU to secure a trade deal.

The Sunday Times says the "small clique" consists of Mr Davis, Chancellor Philip Hammond and Downing Street officials, adding that Leave supporters Boris Johnson and Liam Fox have been forced to concede Britain could continue to pay money to Brussels after Brexit.

Brexit, the paper says, is fading "from hard to soft to grey".

Richmond rumblings

Meanwhile, in the Observer, a group of senior Conservatives warn the party could lose the next general election if Mrs May pushes through a hard Brexit.

The MPs - including former Cabinet ministers Dominic Grieve and Alistair Burt - say Mrs May risks alienating moderate Tories if she tries to imitate UKIP.

They urge her "to speak above the noise of the Brexiteers".

The Liberal Democrat former business secretary, Sir Vince Cable, issues a similar warning in the Mail on Sunday, following his party's victory in the Richmond Park by-election.

He suggests the result represents a growing fear the government is "drifting towards a damaging hard Brexit" - with voters demanding to know what to expect.

He says the prime minister will ignore the change of political mood at her peril.


Football abuse claims

Image copyright PA

New allegations about child sexual abuse in football are made in the Sunday People.

Jamie Forrester, a former England youth international, tells the paper he believes a paedophile ring was operating in the sport.

He alleges that a team scout raped a boy in front of him and introduced him to another man who invited him to spend the night at his home.

The paper also reports that a second retired footballer, Russell Davy, complained to the FA more than thirty years ago that he had been abused by a scout.


Banned bishops

"Britain bans heroic bishops", says the Sunday Express, as it reports that three archbishops from Iraq and Syria were refused entry into the UK.

It says the refusal came despite being invited to meet the Prince of Wales at an event last month.

The paper reports the "persecuted prelates" were told there was "no room at the inn" because of a policy of denying visas to Syrians and concerns they might stay.

The Home Office said each case was considered on its merits.


Apprentice spoiler?

Image caption Did Lord Sugar give away the winner of this year's The Apprentice?

And finally.

Two newspapers have revealed how users of social media have threatened to put a dampener on two of the nation's favourite festive television shows.

The Daily Star Sunday says "spoilsports" posted the results of the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special online just hours after the show was filmed.

Meanwhile, the Mail on Sunday reports Lord Sugar, host of BBC One's The Apprentice, may have unwittingly let slip the winner of this year's show.

Regarded as the master of business strategy, Lord Sugar may have just made "a major gaffe of his own", the paper says, by unwittingly revealing the winner of the current series on Twitter almost three weeks before the pre-recorded final airs.

The paper says he followed one of the final contestants on Twitter. The spoiler was spotted by fans of the show, it added.

The businessman is known to only follow the successful candidate.