Newspaper headlines: Brexit ‘coup’, and talk of Tory split

Sunday Times

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Downing Street has uncovered a plot by senior MPs to seize control of Brexit negotiations and sideline Prime Minister Theresa May, according to the Sunday Times. The paper reports that a cross-party group of senior backbenchers is planning a “very British coup” if Theresa May loses the crunch Commons vote on her Brexit deal on Tuesday, as is expected.

Sunday Telegraph front page

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The Conservatives are on the brink of an “historic split” over Brexit, the Sunday Telegraph reports. The paper says that a growing number of cabinet ministers believe they must move towards a softer Brexit to attract Labour’s support, but Brexiteers warn this risks dividing the party.

Mail on Sunday front page

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Commons Speaker John Bercow “secretly” met Tory rebel Dominic Grieve hours before allowing the former attorney general to “scupper” Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit plans, according to the Mail on Sunday. The pair are said to have met at Mr Bercow’s Commons apartment before the speaker broke with precedent to allow Mr Grieve to table an amendment that led to the government losing a vote on Brexit earlier this week.

Sunday Express front page

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“Back my deal or face catastrophe” is the stark headline on the front page of the Sunday Express. Writing in the paper, Theresa May warns that a failure to deliver Brexit would destroy trust in politics for decades.

Observer front page

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Jeremy Corbyn is preparing to table a “dramatic and immediate” vote of no confidence in Theresa May if she suffers a heavy defeat in the Commons on Tuesday, the Observer reports. The paper says messages have been sent to Labour MPs, even those who are unwell, to ensure they are present for the meaningful vote and the following day.

With just two days to go until the crucial vote on Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal, the papers leave us in little doubt that this will be one of the most significant weeks in recent political history.

Mrs May tells the readers of the Sunday Express that she has been navigating a path through a complex web of views and warns MPs to forget the games and back her deal.

But one of her predecessors, Sir John Major, makes a plea in the Sunday Times for the clock to be stopped and another referendum to be held.

He thinks a no-deal Brexit would leave everyone worse off and notes that “jumping off a cliff has never had a happy ending”.

The historian, David Starkey, criticises what he calls the “parliament of Pygmies” in the Mail on Sunday.

He is particularly angry with the Speaker, John Bercow, who he feels is leading a “coup against the people”, even though Mr Bercow insists he is championing the rights of the Commons.

And in the same paper we also learn the comedy actress Su Pollard shouted a big “Hi-de-Hi” to Mrs May during a Downing Street drinks party.

She is also said to have a planted a “big smacker” on the prime minister’s cheek and demanded to know why Brexit was taking so long.

It is a question the Sun on Sunday attempts to answer in its leader column, criticising Mrs May for frittering away “a golden opportunity” in the two years which have passed since the referendum result.

In its view, she failed to prepare properly for no deal and failed to hang on to her slim majority, and as a result Britain is entering “uncharted political waters”.

‘A very British coup’

According to the Sunday Times we are on the verge of “a very British coup”.

Its political editor, Tim Shipman, warns that at least two groups of rebel MPs are preparing to wrest control of parliamentary business from ministers so they can put Brexit on hold or even force another referendum.

He thinks this will upend the centuries-old relationship between the government and Parliament and plunge the country into a constitutional crisis.

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Jeremy Corbyn is said to be planning to table a vote of no confidence in Theresa May’s government as early as Tuesday

The plot came to light, the paper reports, only because the government’s chief whip, Julian Smith, overheard one of the conspirators in the MPs’ cloakroom.

He is said to have left unseen, making it back to his office where he promptly commissioned his constitutional experts to assess the danger.

Other threats to the prime minister’s authority are also reported in the papers.

The Observer says Jeremy Corbyn will table an immediate vote of no confidence in Theresa May’s government as early as Tuesday evening, with Labour MPs – even those who are unwell – ordered to turn up.

But, in the paper’s view, Labour’s approach is “irresponsible”.

It says there is “no realistic route to a general election” since Mrs May’s DUP partners and her Eurosceptic MPs will not vote to trigger one.

Instead, the paper calls on Labour to support another referendum, warning Mr Corbyn that otherwise he risks becoming “entirely complicit” in a Brexit tragedy.

The Sunday Telegraph believes the Conservatives are on the brink of imploding.

It reports on a claim by pro-EU MPs that a third of the cabinet would resign if Mrs May pursued a no-deal Brexit.

Those on the other wing of the party warn the paper that if she opens talks with Labour MPs about a permanent customs union there would be an “historic” Tory schism.

The Matt cartoon captures the mood picturing The Charge of the Light Brigade.

“This would be a good moment for Plan B,” reads the caption.

Controversy in the Church

A Sunday Mirror investigation says patients as young as 16 have been given electroconvulsive therapy – which involves sending an electrical current through the brain to trigger seizures – in the hope these will relieve mental health problems.

The paper reports that one in six NHS Trusts has administered the controversial treatment to under-18s, despite fears it causes memory loss and speeds up dementia.

But the Mirror also hears from a doctor who herself received ECT and says it helped her through “a particularly dark patch”.

Controversy surrounds the Archbishop of Canterbury’s ambassador to the Vatican, according to some of the papers.

That is because the Reverend Dr John Shepherd is a priest who denies the physical resurrection of Jesus.

A former chaplain to the Queen warns this view would prevent the priest from calling himself an orthodox Christian, but Lambeth Palace points to his “good standing in his diocese”.

Finally, the People explains how the filmmaker, Quentin Tarantino, ended up emulating his own hardmen when he confronted two burglars who were raiding his Los Angeles mansions.

A close friend says he found the pair rifling through drawers and, like a character in his films, he faced them down and they ran off into the night.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-the-papers-46853677

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