Newspaper headlines: Milburn quits and Meghan lifts economy

By BBC News


The resignations of the board of the government's Social Mobility Commission are the lead for the Observer and the Sunday Times.

In an interview with the Sunday Times, the commission's chairman - Alan Milburn - compares its attempts to tackle social mobility in the face of government inaction to "pushing water uphill".

He dramatically undermines Theresa May's claim to be building a "country that works for everyone". Mr Milburn told the paper that Downing Street has been consumed by Brexit.

The paper - in its leader column - acknowledges there's much still to do, but says that although Brexit has been the over-riding priority for Theresa May's government, it has not entirely ignored other matters.

'Systematic takeover'

The Observer is more downbeat, saying that at every stage of the education system, the government is failing to produce the reforms needed to make it an engine of social mobility rather than a replicator of privilege.

Also in the paper is Labour's former deputy leader, Roy Hattersley, who warns the party is facing the biggest crisis in its history. He says the pro-Corbyn pressure group, Momentum, is trying to purge the party of moderate MPs and councillors in a systematic takeover.

In an article for the paper, Lord Hattersley says Momentum now poses a far more serious threat to Labour than Militant did in the 1980s.

Image source, Reuters

According to the paper, Lord Bassam has promised to pay back the money he claimed for commuting between Westminster and his Brighton home.

The paper adds that the peer faces further questions over claiming another allowance worth £260,000 designed to cover expenses for a second home in London, despite not having one.

Lord Bassam tells the paper he has "not been advised that any breach of the rules has taken place" over the "second homes" allowance.

'Better chances for women'

The Sunday Telegraph says the former Conservative leader, Iain Duncan Smith, and a former senior judge have warned that the prime minister is heading towards a version of Brexit that, in effect, fails to withdraw the UK from the European Union.

According to the paper, Sir Richard Aikens - a Court of Appeal judge until 2015 - has described a proposed "compromise" on oversight by the European Court of Justice as "dangerous" and "tantamount to reversing the result" of the referendum.

The Sunday Times focuses on Britain's special forces - the SAS and the SBS - are considering changing their selection tests to give women a better chance of joining.

The initial test involves a series of long marches carrying heavy rucksacks over mountainous terrain but The Times says women would be allowed to carry lighter loads and be given longer to complete the test.

The paper also reports US President Donald Trump is planning a two-day working visit expected to coincide with the opening of the new American embassy in London.

It says the trip has been in the diary for at least 10 days, according to those familiar with the plans - and is expected to be scaled down, with no meeting with the Queen.