Newspaper headlines: Whitehall ‘weirdos’ and Northern rail ‘faces sack’

Newspaper headlines: Whitehall ‘weirdos’ and Northern rail ‘faces sack’

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Newspaper headlines: Whitehall ‘weirdos’ and Northern rail ‘faces sack’


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The Times splashes with an appeal by the PM’s chief adviser Dominic Cummings for “weirdos and misfits” to come and work with him in 10 Downing Street. In a blog post, Mr Cummings said the civil service lacked people with “deep expertise in specific fields”. The paper also reports on a poll showing couples are citing environmental concerns as one of the most common reasons for remaining childless.

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The i reports rail operator Northern rail is set to be stripped of its franchise, with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps saying he was not prepared to tolerate its poor performance. The company cancelled 310 trains a day during a timetable shake-up in May 2018.

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The Guardian carries a story on the dependence of the British gambling industry on high-spending “VIP” gamblers. The paper claims the Gambling Commission is considering whether to ban VIP schemes in the UK after collecting data from betting firms, saying one firm took 83% of all deposits from 2% of its customers. The report comes as the government prepares to review gambling legislation.

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The Sun leads with a plea by a British woman, convicted in Cyprus of lying about being raped by 12 Israeli men, to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Under a headline reading, “Help me, Boris”, it says she has appealed to him to step in and help her return home.

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The Daily Mirror reports the PM has been urged to make staging the 2030 World Cup in the north of England the centre of the UK’s bid to host it. It adds that mayors of northern cities want games to be played in the North to bring money, jobs and tourism to areas in need of an economic boost.

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The Daily Mail claims police are approving three quarters of applications from sex offenders who want to be removed from the sex offenders register. The paper cites Freedom of Information requests to UK police forces, which show that over three years only 363 of 1,288 applications were refused. A Home Office spokesman said it has provided guidance to police forces for officers deciding whether someone is suitable for removal.

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The Financial Times says Interpol has issued a “red notice” to Lebanon asking the country to arrest fugitive ex-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn. Mr Ghosn, who was facing trial in Japan for alleged financial misconduct, arrived in Beirut on New Year’s Eve.

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The Daily Express claims tourists travelling to the UK after Brexit will boost the economy by £26.6bn

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The Metro front page focuses on Karen Matthews, who was jailed for eight years over the 2008 hoax-kidnapping of her daughter Shannon. The paper says she is now engaged to a convicted paedophile.

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Meanwhile, the Daily Star says a woman who scooped £1m in the lottery feels the jackpot was a gift from her dead mother.

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