Newspaper headlines: IS fighter 'exodus', the triple lock and drug firms in UK 'quit threat'

By BBC News


A man from north London and his British wife are said to be among dozens of people who have surrendered to the Turkish border police in recent weeks.

Image source, Reuters

Others are thought to have evaded capture.

The paper says the ranks of IS are rapidly being depleted as its "capacity to hold ground in Syria and Iraq collapses".

Boris's 'oratory'

As Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson criticises Jeremy Corbyn in a column in the Sun, the paper helpfully offers a definition of the derogatory term he uses to describe the Labour leader.

"Mugwump", it says, can have two meanings: A person who remains aloof or independent, particularly from party politics, or anyone who is part of the International Confederation of Wizards in the Harry Potter books.

The paper welcomes his intervention in the election campaign, suggesting in its editorial that the Conservatives would be "mad even to consider" sidelining him, and that it was his "charm and oratory" that "helped secure Brexit".

Meanwhile, the papers have differing insights into Theresa May's reluctance to guarantee the future of the pensions triple lock during Prime Minister's Questions.

According to the Guardian, Mrs May is contemplating replacing it with a less generous "double lock" version - removing the 2.5% minimum annual rise.

Image source, EPA

It says Downing Street is "backing away from the idea of ditching the policy after new projections suggested the financial savings might not be worth the political risk".

Ministers are said to have told the Daily Telegraph that it need not be dropped as, with inflation forecast to be above 2.5% over the next few years, the policy will not likely come into force anyway.

'Catastrophic impact'

Image source, Science Photo Library

It says millions of patients in England are being denied appointments because their practice has a two-hour lunch break or an entire afternoon off in midweek.

The Royal College of GPs says it is down to a lack of resources, not because doctors are not working hard enough.

As Home Secretary, Theresa May had advocated leaving the ECHR because it was often used to prevent the extradition of foreign criminals.

But government sources are quoted as saying that the commitment is likely to be left out of the Tories' election manifesto as it would be a major distraction from the Brexit negotiations.

The new president of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry makes what it calls an "unprecedented warning" that drug companies will abandon the UK unless an additional £20bn a year is put into the health service.

Lisa Anson says the increased rationing of treatments on the NHS will deter firms from launching new medications or carrying out clinical trials.

But some Tory MPs are said to dismiss the demands as "special pleading" and caution that extra funding can only be made available through cuts elsewhere.

'Growing Old Greasefully'

The broadsheets react to the decision by the Colston Hall music venue in Bristol to change its name, to erase its links to the city's slave trade.

The Daily Telegraph suggests anti-racism campaigners are now setting their sights on schools, pubs and streets that honour Edward Colston's legacy - and it is even "looking sticky" for a fruit bun that bears his name.

An editorial in the Times insists it is "more honest to the past to leave the name intact", and that trying to "wish it away makes historical amnesia more, not less, likely".

Finally, a survey of some of the nation's 50-somethings has found that, rather than preparing for a "middle-aged rebellion" - as the Daily Mirror puts it - they are "Growing Old Greasefully".

Image caption,
Queen - said to be the favourite band among over-50s

The poll suggests that age group prefer the film Grease to the Godfather, and crowned Queen as their favourite band.

Their "bucket list" consists of seeing the Northern Lights, swimming with dolphins and sleeping under the stars - and there is not a sporty two-seater in sight.