Newspaper headlines: Labour's 'civil war', and PM wants UK to 'unite'

By BBC News
Staff

Published
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image captionFirst Minister Nicola Sturgeon outside Glasgow counting centre

The smiling face of Nicola Sturgeon holding a bright yellow SNP umbrella appears on most of the Scottish front pages, after her party's fourth consecutive victory in the Holyrood elections.

"Landslide" is the Herald on Sunday's headline, while the pro-independence National says the result shows there is now cast-iron support for another referendum on Scotland's future outside the union.

But the Sunday Telegraph suggests Ms Sturgeon's failure to secure an outright majority has "greatly lifted the pressure" on Boris Johnson to grant her a referendum.

One source tells the paper that the government's position is "quite clear - we are not having one".

The Sunday Times looks ahead to Tuesday's Queen's Speech, which it says will include a commitment to bring jobs directly to so-called "red wall" areas of England so people no longer have to leave their home towns to find well-paid work.

Downing Street aides reportedly see the policy as a way of convincing voters who backed the Conservatives on Thursday that the prime minister is focused on "improving their communities rather than just providing a ladder out of them".

In an editorial, the Sunday Express urges him to "get cracking" on addressing these inequalities, and says the Queen's Speech "must show tangible signs on just what levelling up means".

According to the Observer, the Church of England will issue new guidance this week encouraging its thousands of parishes to scrutinise their buildings and grounds for historical references to slavery and colonialism.

It will say that "ignoring such heritage is not an option", meaning plaques and monuments may have to be removed, relocated or given additional context.

However, a senior figure in the church tells the paper that they hope to "empower rather than shut down conversation".

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The Mail on Sunday says a row about Perspex screens could lengthen queues at Heathrow when international leisure travel resumes a week on Monday.

The main union representing Border Force staff alleges that not enough screens have been installed at immigration desks - meaning they cannot all be used - because airport bosses are reluctant to make additional investment if social distancing rules will soon be scrapped.

A Heathrow source insists the claims are "absolutely ridiculous", and any delays will be solely the result of the Border Force not having enough workers.

Separately, the Sunday Mirror reports that holidaymakers are still owed £500m from package holidays and flights which were cancelled last year because of the pandemic.

One complaints-handling website says tens of thousands of families are waiting for refunds worth an average of £600, most of which have been rolled into vouchers.

And "You've had some bad luck, missus" is how the Daily Star Sunday describes the story of a Yorkshire woman who believes she has been abducted by aliens on 52 occasions.

Paula Smith, from Bradford, shares with the paper pictures of various bruises she says were left on her body following one incident, and describes spending time on a UFO when she was supposedly shown a slideshow of Earth being destroyed.

But the Star suggests that readers should not feel too sorry for her because "at least she's been getting some foreign travel in".