Newspaper headlines: Weapons law and Skripals' 'new identities'

By BBC News


The best way to combat the recent rise in violent crime in London is debated across the papers.

The Mail on Sunday says Theresa May has been forced to make a U-turn on police stop-and-search powers following what the paper calls an "epidemic" of stabbings and shootings in the capital.

It says emergency plans to extend the powers, which are contained in a new package of measures being introduced by the government, reflect a change of direction for the prime minister, who introduced a series of curbs on stop and search in the past claiming it was unfair to young black men and did not cut crime.

Image source, PA
Image caption,
There have been more than 50 killings in London this year

The paper says there must be a reassessment of police priorities - including more active policing on the streets.

The Sunday Mirror points to statistics suggesting knife crime is up 81% in Leicestershire and 74% in Bedfordshire to argue it is not just in London that blades are a problem.

The paper warns that many young people feel alienated and calls on the government to get tough on the causes of crime.

Hard thinking

"I'm to blame" is the headline in the Sun on Sunday above an interview with Justice Secretary David Gauke in which, he says, he takes responsibility for what the paper calls the "parole shambles" in the case of serial sex attacker John Worboys.

Image source, Met Police
Image caption,
John Worboys was jailed in 2009 for a string of sex attacks on women

Mr Guake tells the paper he has learnt lessons from the case, which saw Worboys recommended for parole before the decision was overturned in the High Court.

The minister, who faced calls to stand down over the case, tells the paper that after a lot of hard thinking he is determined to stay in the job and make the criminal justice system fully fit for purpose.

A senior Whitehall figure has told the paper that intelligence officials at MI6 have had discussions with their counterparts in the CIA about resettling the pair.

Sources have told the paper it is being spearheaded by the Love Film founder Simon Franks and a network of entrepreneurs, philanthropists and donors keen to "break the Westminster mould".

The paper says the movement appears to have a centrist policy platform. Political columnist Andrew Rawnsley says he thinks the opportunity exists for a new party but it is lacking the critical mass of MPs prepared to take the risks needed to make it happen.

In an editorial, the paper says many people in the vast area known as the Prairies, where the crash happened, know someone like those killed.

It is a thought echoed by columnist Rosie Dimanno in the Toronto Star, who says the details of the crash resonate deeply across Canada and what happened was like "a knife to the collective heart".

Pay gap 'hard truths'

Practices banned in the EU but used in the US include chlorine-washed chickens and crops washed with controversial herbicide chemicals.

The paper says the finding amounts to a public vote of no confidence in the government's Brexit trade strategy.

She says making large companies publish details of their gender pay gap, had forced Britain to confront "several hard truths".

Former BBC Radio 4 Today programme presenter Sarah Montague has told the paper she was "incandescent with rage" when she discovered she was being paid less than her male colleagues.