Newspaper review: Doping accusations and terror threats

By BBC News

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption, The Labour leader is coming under fire again after his party lost the Copeland by-election

It may be a day of rest, but there is precious little respite from the pressure on Jeremy Corbyn in Sunday's newspapers.

Writing in the Observer, Andrew Rawnsley says there is no way of describing Labour's defeat in the Copeland by-election as anything but "a catastrophe" for the party.

Labour, he says, remains "trapped" with a leader who blames his failings on everyone but himself.

Lord Prescott uses an article in the Sunday Mirror to urge Mr Corbyn and his MPs to find a better way to work together or face the prospect of losing "countless other Copelands" at the next election.

A former aide to Ed Miliband, Ayesha Hazarika, tells the Mail on Sunday she once admired Mr Corbyn for standing up for social justice, but now believes the Labour leader should "look into his soul" and admit he simply isn't up to the job.

The Sunday Telegraph reports that senior Conservatives are now plotting a "ruthless strategy" to target 30 other northern Labour constituencies, just as they targeted vulnerable Lib-Dem seats in 2015.

The Mail says the Conservative victory in Copeland means Theresa May has already built her own "Hadrian's Wall" in the far North of England, with an unbroken coast-to-coast chain of four Tory seats, running from east to west.

UKIP's 'dullards'

The Sunday Express focuses on the fall-out from UKIP's defeat to Labour in the Stoke-on-Trent Central by-election.

In an interview with the paper, the UKIP donor, Arron Banks, says the party is being run like "a jumble sale" and he threatens to resign unless he can become chairman.

Mr Banks says "dullards" are failing to bring in Tory votes but UKIP's health spokeswoman, Suzanne Evans, hits back, telling the Mail it would be "no great loss" if Mr Banks severed his links with the party.

The new independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, Max Hill, uses his interview with the Sunday Telegraph to express "enormous concern" at the possible imminent return of British jihadis who have been fighting in Syria and Iraq.

Image source, PA
Image caption, Max Hill will report annually to Parliament on the state of UK terror laws

Mr Hill also defends ministers who approved compensation for a former Guantanamo Bay inmate who carried out a suicide attack in Iraq this month, saying they could not have known he would eventually join the so-called Islamic State.

The Sunday Times reports that a second Briton, freed from Guantanamo Bay, has travelled to the Middle East to fight.

The activities of a growing number of deer poachers on Exmoor are highlighted by the Sunday Telegraph.

The paper reports that gangs, armed with rifles and powerful lamps to stun the animals, have been descending on the National Park to meet a rising demand for venison.

The National Wildlife Crime Unit tells the paper the influx of organised gangs is transforming poaching from a cottage criminal activity into an operation on an industrial scale.

Two-hour taxi test

The Sunday Times reports that minicab drivers in London are being asked to write short essays about river pollution or answer questions about the aurora borealis, to prove they have an adequate grasp of the English language.

Transport for London has defended the plans to make drivers, who don't have British qualifications such as GCSEs, sit the two-hour exam.

But a Turkish-born driver who failed the test this year questions the usefulness of the exam.

"I can write, I can read, but the test was asking me about Mars," he tells the paper. "I'm a private hire driver, not a scientist."