Today’s news summary – Paper Talk: Suella Braverman dangerous and irresponsible
Thursday’s front pages report on the ongoing row over Saturday’s pro-Palestinian march in London. There are also several papers dedicated to the Labour Party’s stance on the crisis as there are growing rumbles of backbenchers preparing to quit the party.
London Palestine march
Home Secretary Suella Braverman takes to the Times to accuse the Metropolitan Police of employing “double standards” in its response to protests. Braverman writes that recent pro-Palestinian rallies – which she calls “hate marches” – have been “largely ignored”, while football fans are subject to “tough” policing, and anti-lockdown protesters have previously been given “no quarter”.
She says the pro-Palestinian “mobs” are “an assertion of primacy” for Islamist groups.
But the i newspaper reports a backlash against Braverman is growing among Conservatives. A government minister tells the paper she’s “dangerous and totally irresponsible.” Whilst another MP accuses her of “whipping people up carelessly and callously.”
The Times claims some of the home secretary’s comments risk “increasing tensions further,” despite PM Rishi Sunak “toning down his rhetoric” after meeting Met boss Sir Mark Rowley.
The Daily Mail’s leader column heaps praise on Sunak for taking what it calls the “unusual step” of warning Sir Mark Rowley he will be held accountable for any trouble at the protest. The Sun newspaper agrees that Sir Mark “is effectively gambling his job on keeping order”.
But the Daily Mirror says he “understands the concept of freedom better than any Tory.”
The Guardian says Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer is “battling to reassert his authority” within his party as he faces “one of the biggest crises of his time” in the job. The paper says four shadow ministers are preparing to quit and as many as ten others are also on “resignation watch” because they don’t want to vote against a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.
Other Labour officials have told the Mail that they believe they should use their positions to “ramp up the pressure” on Sir Keir.
But the Daily Telegraph’s leader column says Starmer would “risk electoral opprobrium were he to buckle now”, insisting that his handling of the situation “will give the country an idea of the sort of prime minister he will make”.
Away from the Gaza crisis, the Times features quotes from a series of interviews with Boris Johnson, conducted by Nadine Dorries for her forthcoming book. The former prime minister tells his former culture secretary that the government needs a “massive kick in the pants” and that the Tory Party is “drifting to defeat” under Sunak. Johnson says the PM is a “stooge” for Dominic Cummings, but insists he’s not bitter about being ousted from office.