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UK defence plan and England bid for Euro glory

Daily Mirror front page for 10/07/24

Many of Wednesday’s front pages look ahead to England’s Euro 2024 semi-final meeting with the Netherlands. Manager Gareth Southgate has hailed the “special team spirit” and the “bond” that has kept the “bid for Euro glory” alive, says the Daily Mirror.

Metro front page for 10/07/24

England’s footballers stand on the verge of history – with only the Netherlands between them and a place in the Euro 2024 final, says the Metro. “It’s now or nether!” reads the paper’s headline.

Daily Star front page for 10/07/24

The Daily Star’s front page resembles Britain’s famous World War One Army recruitment poster, and carries a photo of England captain Harry Kane mocked up in the style of war secretary Lord Kitchener – complete with a curly moustache and officers’ cap. The paper’s headline reads: “Your country needs you to really really… Go for It!”

Guardian front page for 10/07/24

The Guardian also carries a photo of England players training on its front page, saying Gareth Southgate has urged the team to “step up”. Its lead story reports that Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer is planning to launch a major review setting out plans to spend tens of billions of pounds more on the military. The paper says he will use his appearance at Nato’s 75th anniversary summit in Washington to urge the pact’s members to increase their defence spending in response to rising global threats.

Daily Telegraph front page for 10/07/24

The Daily Telegraph features a photo of Sir Keir Starmer and his wife Victoria preparing to board their flight to the Nato summit. The PM could open the door to an increase in the size of Britain’s armed forces in the defence spending review, it reports.

Times front page for 10/07/24

But the Times reports former military leaders have accused the prime minister of “playing with fire” – pointing out he has delayed a decision on when he will increase defence spending until after his review of the armed forces. Sir Keir insisted he was committed to raising spending but the Times says he is under pressure to set out a timetable for bringing in the increase from 2.3% to 2.5% of GDP.

Daily Express front page for 10/07/24

Comments by former Home Secretary James Cleverly on the government’s decision to abandon Tory plans to send some migrants to Rwanda for processing are the focus of the main story in the Daily Express. The paper says senior Tories have accused Labour of taking “the people’s smugglers’ side” as they believe the move – as well as changes to rules on claiming asylum – could result in more cross-Channel crossings in small boats. Labour say their plans will free up money for stricter border enforcement.

i front page for 10/07/24

The i reports the news that the boss of Thames Water took a £195,000 bonus as the debt-laden company seeks to raise new money from investors and hike bills for customers. Chris Weston defended his decision, the paper notes, saying the struggling utility firm needs to attract the “best talent”.

Daily Mail front page for 10/07/24

The Daily Mail labels a man who killed a baby boy and his aunt in a motorway crash while speeding at 141mph and three times over the alcohol limit “Britain’s most despicable drink driver”. Darryl Anderson, 38, was jailed for 17 years at Durham Crown Court.

Financial Times front page for 10/07/24

The Financial Times leads on Dyson’s decision to axe about 1,000 jobs in the UK, more than a quarter of its British workforce. The vacuum cleaner maker’s move deals a blow to a new Labour government that has put business investment at the heart of its growth strategy, the FT says.

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Several papers lead on the Nato summit in Washington.

The Guardian says Sir Keir Starmer will urge other countries in the alliance to increase their defence spending to 2.5% of their economic output.

According to the Times, the prime minister has been accused of “playing with fire”, because he is delaying a decision to increase the UK’s military budget until after a major review of the armed forces.

The paper says that could take months, and some former military leaders say investment in the forces can’t wait, given the gravity of the threats facing the UK.

The Daily Telegraph says the review will consider an increase in the size of the armed forces. The paper says that will include troop numbers, which have been cut to their smallest size since the Napoleonic era.

According to the article, the review will focus on the changing threats of warfare, including a focus on drones.

Separately, in an editorial, the Telegraph urges European Nato powers to start taking greater responsibility for their own security, and increase defence spending.

The paper says, despite the war in Ukraine, Sir Keir has yet to say when the military budget will reach 2.5% cent of the economic output, and the German government has approved an increase in defence spending amounting to just a fifth of what the country’s defence minister said was necessary.

According to the i, the national security adviser, Sir Tim Barrow, has been told that he will not be Britain’s next ambassador to Washington, even though he was appointed in the final weeks of Rishi Sunak’s administration.

The paper says the prime minister is now expected to make a political appointment to the job, and the frontrunners are the former Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, and the former Business Secretary, Lord Mandelson.

Lord Mandelson

Could Lord Mandelson be heading for Washington?


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