Newspaper headlines: UK to 'rip up' border deal and 'Dame Debs' honoured

By BBC News

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Graffiti opposing the Northern Ireland Protocol in a loyalist area of south BelfastImage source, Getty Images

The Daily Mail leads on the prime minister's plan to drastically reduce the size of the civil service.

Boris Johnson tells the paper the civil service is "swollen" after growing during the pandemic and says the cost of government must be cut, to reduce the cost of living.

The Mail says slashing the number of jobs by a fifth would save about £3.5bn a year, freeing up resources for measures including tax cuts.

The paper's editorial predicts intense opposition from Labour and unions, but says a bonfire of bureaucrats is long overdue.

The Daily Telegraph highlights a call from the government's former Brexit negotiator, Lord Frost, for Boris Johnson to do what he says is the "right thing" in tearing up the Northern Ireland Protocol on post-Brexit trading arrangements.

In an article for the paper, Lord Frost says action is needed even if it means a confrontation with the EU.

The i reports that peers are ready to obstruct the legislation needed to scrap parts of the protocol, possibly delaying its implementation by up to a year.

Spiralling tensions over the future of Northern Ireland have prompted the White House to despatch a team of congressmen for meetings in London, Dublin, Brussels and Belfast, according to the Guardian.

The Daily Mirror, leading on yesterday's fresh round of Westminster lockdown fines, says Downing Street is now the home of the UK's worst Covid law-breakers.

The paper reports that junior staff are "apoplectic" about being made to carry the can for Partygate and are preparing to take revenge on the prime minister by "revealing all" about his handling of the pandemic to the public inquiry due next year.

The Times is among the papers to report that moon dust collected by Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong has been used to grow plants for the first time - heralding what the paper calls a new era of lunar farming.

Scientists added water and a solution of nutrients to a thimbleful of moon dust, the paper says. After planting a seed from a weed known as mouse-ear cress, shoots apparently emerged with green leaves.

But the Guardian says the plants were stunted compared with those grown in volcanic ash, and showed signs of physiological distress.

Image source, Getty Images

Several papers highlight an employment tribunal ruling that insulting a man for being bald is sexual harassment.

After hearing a case between an electrician and the firm that dismissed him, three male judges are said to have noted their own lack of hair, as they concluded that insults about hair loss are also discriminatory, because baldness is more prevalent in men.

"She's Dame Debs" is the headline for the Sun, as it highlights the damehood being given to Deborah James, days after she revealed she's receiving end-of-life care for bowel cancer.

The paper says her heart-wrenching honesty inspired the nation - in particular Prince William - who the Sun says has been working hard behind the scenes to make sure she was given the honour.

Deborah James tells the paper she's blown away and that words can't describe what it means for her family.