Newspaper headlines: Fury over Rees-Mogg remarks and faux-fur Queen

By BBC News

Image source, LBC
Image caption,
Jacob Rees-Mogg later said he "profoundly apologised"

Comments made by Jacob Rees-Mogg about the Grenfell Tower fire - suggesting it would have been "common sense" to flee a burning building - feature in several papers.

The remarks - for which Mr Rees-Mogg has apologised - make the lead for two of the papers: the Guardian and the i.

The i has the headline: "Rees-Mogg grounded by Tories". It says Downing Street has been uncomfortable with Mr Rees-Mogg's high media profile in recent months, and he is set to be reined in to limit the potential for further controversies ahead of the election.

According to the Daily Mail, Downing Street is considering ordering Mr Rees-Mogg to give up his monthly slot on the radio station LBC, where he made his remarks.

In its editorial, the Daily Mirror claims the Commons Leader "betrays his contempt for the public" with his comments, which "exposed an arrogant Conservative Party mindset, sneering at ordinary folk".

Christmas rail 'misery'

The Mail and the Daily Star lead on the 27 days of strikes announced by RMT members on South Western Railway next month.

The Star has the headline: "Grinches ruin Christmas" while for the Mail it is: "Rail union's Christmas misery for millions".

The paper also lashes out over station closures and reduced services across the country over the festive period - saying long-suffering passengers will be lumbered with disruption and overcrowding as they attempt to visit loved ones.

Image source, Tom Seldon
Image caption,
Previous industrial action on SWR resulted in major disruption for rail passengers

Meanwhile, the intervention of the head of the civil service to stop Conservative plans to publish a Treasury assessment of Labour's economic policies, is widely reported - and makes the lead for the Financial Times.

According to the paper, Sir Mark Sedwill argued that the work had been rushed, but officials also said he was determined to uphold "the appearance of impartiality" for the civil service.

There are raised eyebrows at Jo Swinson's categorical insistence - at the launch of the Liberal Democrats' election campaign on Tuesday - that she would not form any pact with Labour in the event of a hung parliament.

"Really?" the Daily Telegraph asks. "Given her hostility to Brexit," the paper goes on, "do we really believe that, if she was in a position to do so, Ms Swinson would not put Jeremy Corbyn into Number 10 in order to get another referendum?" The paper says her position stretches incredulity.

Russian interference report

A number of papers criticise Downing Street's decision not to publish Parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee report on Russian meddling in British elections until after the country goes to the polls.

The Times says the public have a right to know - before they vote next month - of any evidence that Russia tried to interfere in the EU referendum and the 2017 election.

More importantly - the paper adds - the government has squandered an opportunity to send a signal to the Kremlin about Britain's determination to defend its democracy.

For the Telegraph, the report is more relevant now than at any other time.

A Financial Times investigation has bad news for the nearly five million passengers who uses the London Underground every day.

It says they might think they are escaping the pollution dangers of exhaust fumes and soot overground, but the Tube is, in fact, by far the most polluted part of the city.

According to the paper, fine particles of dust, metal, skin and clothing fibre have built up in the tunnels over a century of use, leaving a toxic miasma that's stirred up by passing trains and inhaled by passengers.

Meanwhile, a DNA test at birth pioneered in the UK which predicts the risk of serious health conditions is the lead for the Daily Express and the Mirror.

The Mirror reports that it will allow early treatment to make life-threatening ailments - including cystic fibrosis and severe epilepsy - less debilitating. "Birth test revolution" is the headline.

For its main story, the Times reports that a Commons committee has accused the Chinese government of trying to curb criticism of its regime on British university campuses, by pressuring universities into limiting academic freedom.

According to the paper, the Foreign Affairs Committee has found "alarming" evidence of Chinese interference which it says appears to be coming from the embassy in London.

One example given is of a pro-vice-chancellor at an unnamed Russell Group university cancelling a speaker after contact from the embassy.

Queen goes fur-free

Many papers have pictures of the Queen dressed in various fur outfits during her reign - but there are unlikely to be any more like them in future.

For, as the Express reports, she's decided to go "fur-free". Her dresser, Angela Kelly, has revealed that from now on, only fake fur will be used on new garments.

Image source, PA Media
Image caption,
The Queen - pictured here in a fur hat 10 years ago - has switched to faux-fur, her official dresser reveals

The Daily Telegraph says Buckingham Palace has signalled that the Queen is ready to move with the times, acknowledging that attitudes towards fur have shifted.

The Sun is impressed - saluting her with the headline: "Fur play to you, Ma'am!"

Finally, a Northamptonshire couple had a shock after pulling back the curtains last Saturday - they were greeted by the sight of a one ton bull churning up their lawn.

The Mail reports that the beast had smashed through a fence from a neighbouring farmer's field, trampled all over the garden, dented the wheelie bin and left unsavoury deposits on their patio.

The Express says the couple managed to contact the farmer - but he was 40 minutes away. They tell the paper: "We just sat and watched as the bull tore up the garden".