The papers today are very diverse in what they consider to be the main news.

Brexit

The Telegraph says the PM’s Withdrawal Agreement will not get through the House of Commons if/when it is presented again.

The number of Tory Eurosceptics prepared to vote down Theresa May’s Brexit deal has risen by a third since the Prime Minister’s last attempt to secure Parliament’s backing, it has been claimed.
Brexiteer MPs who opposed last month’s motion on Mrs May’s plan have been holding private talks about their next move, together with colleagues who plan to switch from supporting the deal to voting against it.
“The 28 has now reached 37 or 39,” one Tory claimed.

And the Express reports research suggesting we will not accept a soft Brexit.

BRITONS want anything but a soft Brexit, according to a poll that revealed Prime Minister Theresa May’s controversial EU agreement teamed with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn proposed deal are both despised by the British public.
Research by University College London, achieved to shed light on the Brexit deadlock, showed that out of 5,000 candidates asked what four Brexit options they would prefer, Mrs May’s deal was the least popular with just 13.5 percent preference.

Conservative Party

The Tories are in crisis, claims the Express.

THERESA May’s Tories are crumbling amid an existential crisis that risks destroying the party altogether.
Having enraged both Brexiteers and Remainers alike over the Prime Minister’s handling of Britain’s departure from the EU, the situation was made catastrophically worse when she handed the task over to MPs. Voters and members of the warring party are now completely exasperated warns a political expert.

And the Times reports a threat to Conservatives to expel them from the party.

Tory bosses have threatened to kick MPs and grassroots activists out of the party if they back Nigel Farage in the EU elections — as two opinion polls show support for the party in freefall and sources predicted that MPs could jump ship to the Brexit Party.
A YouGov poll, commissioned by the anti-extremism campaign group Hope not Hate, shows the Tories have slumped to 13% in polling for the European elections next month and are on course to lose more than half their 19 MEPs, while the Brexit Party is on 28% and set to win 28 seats.

The PM is accused of blackmail in the Express.

THERESA MAY has been accused of “blackmailing” a Conservative MP into voting for her Brexit deal, a politician has claimed.
Tory MP Johnny Mercer claimed his friends were asked for “dirt” on him to coerce him into voting for the Prime Minister’s failed Brexit deal in January. During an appearance on BBC One’s Have I Got News For You, Mr Mercer claimed his old Army colleagues were approached in a bid to blackmail him, according to Metro.

The Euros

Some pundits have suggested a very low turnout at next month’s European elections but the Express reports a poll showing the opposite.

TURNOUT at the EU parliament elections is set to be one of the biggest ever after an exclusive poll found an overwhelming majority of Britons plan to cast their vote.
The online survey by Express.co.uk found a huge 96 percent of readers will go to the polling station on May 23. Despite voting to leave the European Union almost three years ago, the British public show no sign of losing interest in Brexit, Brexiteers or Remainers. The Express.co.uk poll between 1.41pm on April 25 to 2.30pm on April 26 asked 7,660 people ‘Will you be voting in the upcoming EU elections?’ 96 percent said yes, 4 percent said no.

Labour Party

Will the official opposition party plump for a second referendum?  The Guardian says it will decide soon.

Labour’s ruling body will decide on Tuesday whether the party will campaign for a public vote on any Brexit deal, Jeremy Corbyn has said on the campaign trail in leave-voting Peterborough.
Almost 90 Labour MPs and MEPs, including a number of frontbenchers, wrote to the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) to demand that its European election manifesto include a “clear commitment to a confirmatory public vote on any Brexit deal”.

Huffington Post also reports the impending vote.

Labour must use its Euro-elections manifesto to pledge a public vote on whatever Brexit deal is agreed by parliament, 89 MPs and MEPs have demanded.
The group, which includes shadow ministers and Labour’s leader in Europe, Richard Corbett, has written to the party’s ruling National Executive Committee (NEC), ahead of a crunch meeting to decide Labour’s election strategy on Tuesday.

The Brexit Party

Nigel’s party continues to blossom, reports Breitbart.

New polling for YouGov has once again recorded an increase in support for Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party, including for a General Election.
When it comes to Westminster, the Brexit Party is now polling 14%, compared to Labour on 30% and the Conservatives second on 27%.
UKIP are on a further 4%, meaning the combined vote share with the Brexit Party for a Westminster election is at 18%.
Broken down, the Brexit Party have the support of 23% of 2017 Conservative voters, 30% of Leavers and are polling 19% in the South of England outside of London.

Scotland

North of the border, Sturgeon is aiming at bringing in her own money, reports the Guardian.

The Scottish National party has voted to establish an independent currency “as soon as practicable” if Scotland were to leave the UK, as activists rejected a more cautious timetable put forward by the party leadership.
In a narrow victory for the grassroots, the party conference agreed by 52 votes to amend part of a wide-ranging economic blueprint, created by the party’s sustainable growth commission, to allow for a new currency to be fast-tracked and “ready for introduction as soon as practicable after Independence Day”.

And Reuters reports a surge in Scots wanting independence from England,

Support for Scottish independence from the United Kingdom has risen to its highest point in the past four years, largely driven by voters who want to remain in the European Union, according to a poll published on Saturday.
As the pro-independence Scottish National Party (SNP) meets for its two-day spring conference, the YouGov poll showed support for secession had risen to 49 percent from 45 percent at the last YouGov poll carried out for The Times in June 2018.
The SNP is preparing a new independence push after it was defeated in a 2014 referendum by concerns over the economy.

Sturgeon is about to declare her intentions as far as independence is concerned, reports ITV News.

Nicola Sturgeon will today declare it is “time for Scotland to become independent”.
And the Scottish First Minister will cite a recent poll, indicating support for independence has risen to 49%, as an argument for Theresa May’s Westminster Government to drop its opposition to a second referendum on the matter.

Parliament

In Westminster, ministers are suggesting a clean-up, reports the Times.

Ministers are to launch a sweeping clean-up of public life in an effort to stem the tide of “red money” from Russia and China swirling through parliament, lobbying firms and the City.
In a two-pronged assault on what some are calling “the new Cold War”, the government is backing a change in House of Lords rules to force peers to declare the full extent of their Russian and Chinese business interests.

The Times calls it ‘the best club in London’.

With its Victorian Gothic architecture and subsidised bars and restaurants nestled on the banks of the Thames, the House of Lords has become known as the best club in London.
Like many private member’s clubs, it operates on the assumption that those who join are the right sort of people who will observe the rules. However, an investigation has raised questions about whether those rules are as out of date as the Pugin wallpaper that adorns the upper house.

EU

Across the Channel, Paris is still in a state of riot, reports Fox News.

Yellow vest protests are taking place in France’s main cities for the 24th consecutive week to challenge economic policies that President Emmanuel Macron stood by while unveiling measures intended to quell the anti-government movement.
In Paris, a few thousand people participated in two peaceful demonstrations on Saturday. In the eastern city of Strasbourg, near the German border, police used tear gas to stop a crowd heading toward the European Parliament building.

Climate emergency

Is our country facing a climate emergency?  MPs will consider the matter this week, reports ITV News.

MPs will vote on Wednesday whether to declare an environmental and climate emergency following mass protests over political inaction in addressing the crisis.
Labour will force a Commons vote on the issue, one of the key demands of the Extinction Rebellion (XR) movement, whose activists paralysed parts of London in previous weeks.
Jeremy Corbyn said he hoped other countries would follow if the UK Parliament became the first in the world to declare a climate emergency.

But a formal complaint has been made about the BBC’s ‘factual’ programme on climate change, reports Breitbart.

The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) has made a formal complaint to the BBC about the series of gross inaccuracies in its recent documentary Climate Change: The Facts.
As wags have quipped, the programme presented by Sir David Attenborough was so riddled with errors it really should have been called Climate: Change The Facts.
Now the GWPF has written to the BBC Complaints department listing just a few of them. The letter can be read here.

The demonstration in London has produced political candidates, reports the Guardian.

Activists who took part in the Extinction Rebellion protests have announced they will stand in the European elections on a “climate emergency” ticket.
Under the name Climate Emergency Independents the new group, which is separate from Extinction Rebellion, nine candidates will stand in the 23 May polls – seven in London and two in south-west England region.
The group said it was inspired by the mass civil disobedience demonstrations on the streets of London over the past two weeks as well by Greta Thunberg and the global school strikes movement she inspired.

But Breitbart carries a report saying the teenager who brought this to our attention is a PR stunt.

Populist Sweden Democrats leader Jimmie Åkesson has criticised 16-year-old climate change activist Greta Thunberg, claiming she and her movement were the creation of a public relations agency.
The populist leader made his comments earlier this week on Swedish television, remarking he respected the commitment of the 16-year-old activist but said he did not think her movement would lead to meaningful change, saying she was “just a child,” Swedish newspaper Expressen reports.

Police

Reports that police can’t afford to have enough officers on our streets have been countered in the Sun.

A POLICE force whose chief admitted axing burglary inquiries has seen a 50 per cent rise in high-paid officers.
Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said Greater Manchester Police “screen out” 43 per cent of break-ins and thefts because of budget cuts.
Now the number of his officers paid £50,000 or more has risen from 821 to 1,268 in a year.
The force’s overall wage bill has been cut by more than £60million — but the number of high earners has increased.
It has 14 members of staff with pay and pension packages of more than £100,000, with chief constable Hopkins on £251,0000 including pension payments of £46,000.

Health

There’s going to be a crackdown on painkillers, reports the Telegraph.

A dramatic rise in the use of opioid painkillers could see the UK lurching towards a US-style addiction crisis unless urgent action is taken, the Health Secretary warns today as he launches a Government crackdown on the powerful drugs.
In the last decade, the number of such painkillers issued by prescription has soared by more than 60 per cent, from more than 14 million in 2008 to 23 million last year.

The Sun calls them ‘addictive’.

ADDICTIVE painkillers will carry clear warnings on the label to stop patients getting hooked in a major crackdown by ministers.
Medication to soothe pain for those diagnosed with cancer or recovering from surgery will be targeted.
Misuse of opioid treatment, such as morphine or fentanyl, can be fatal and threaten breathing and the central nervous system.
They can be prescribed by doctors but weaker alternatives such as codeine-based painkillers available over the counter in pharmacies.

The tablets will have to carry a warning, reports the Times.

Powerful painkillers taken by millions of Britons must carry prominent “cigarette-style” warnings on their labels about addiction risks, Matt Hancock will announce today.
The health secretary is to bring in tough new regulations after an investigation by The Sunday Times exposed Britain’s opioid crisis.
This newspaper revealed a huge rise in prescriptions of the drugs, which have jumped to 40m a year, and stark differences in prescription rates between the north and the south of the country.

The Times reports a new inquiry into a doctor who was responsible for hundreds of deaths.

A retired GP found responsible for hundreds of deaths at Gosport War Memorial Hospital is facing a new police inquiry, The Sunday Times can reveal.
Dr Jane Barton is expected to be told this week that a criminal investigation will be launched after an inquiry found that at least 450 patients died prematurely while under her care, according to sources.
Dubbed Dr Opiate, Barton was said to have presided over a culture where powerful painkillers were routinely and recklessly prescribed. Barton, 71 and still living in Gosport, has always denied any wrongdoing.

A breakthrough in the treatment of breast cancer is highlighted in the Times.

Experts are hailing an “exciting” breakthrough in the fight against breast cancer after British researchers successfully targeted the deadliest form of the disease by “mimicking” the fatal dengue virus.
More than 55,000 women in the UK are diagnosed with breast cancer every year. About 15% of them have triple-negative breast cancer which is the most aggressive, the most likely to spread and the most difficult to treat.
However, a team at Sheffield University have found a way to sneak past the powerful defence system of triple-negative breast cancer by replicating the unique con trick used by the dengue virus.

HS2

Trees due to be felled on the high-speed train route are being protected, says the Mail.

Climate protesters were ‘happy and warm in blankets’ while camping in trees due to be cut down to make way for the HS2 rail link, according to an Extinction Rebellion spokeswoman.
During further demonstrations this weekend 12 members of the campaign group climbed trees in the London Borough of Hillingdon to save them from chainsaws.
Other protests across the capital included a ‘die-in’ in the Kings Cross Waitrose’s vegetable aisle and outside the Tate Modern.

Green energy

Fracking hits the Mail again with a story about the resignation of the government’s advisor.

The Government’s fracking ‘tsar’ today reveals her immediate resignation in The Mail on Sunday.
Natascha Engel’s decision to walk away from such a high-profile role is driven, she says, by her dismay that Ministers are jeopardising Britain’s energy security because they would rather appease noisy green campaigners than listen to scientists’ advice.
The result, she says in an exclusive interview, is that government policy is strangling the UK shale gas industry at birth – despite overwhelming scientific evidence that fracking, if properly regulated, is totally safe.

The Guardian claims she has said the protesters have won.

The government’s fracking tsar has quit the post after just six months, claiming policy relating to the controversial process means there is “no purpose” to her job.
Natascha Engel told the business secretary, Greg Clark, that developing the industry would be “an impossible task” despite its “enormous potential”. In her resignation letter, she said environmental activists had been “highly successful” in encouraging the government to curb fracking.

Student visas

There’s an investigation into the revocation of thousands of student visas.  The Mail says:

The Home Office is being investigated for revoking 36,000 overseas student visas and expelling more than 1,000 from the country after accusing them of cheating in exams.
Top government watchdog, the National Audit Office, has launched the probe in light of the Windrush scandal that rocked the department last year when it emerged that British citizens of Caribbean origin had been wrongly deported.
And fresh claims of hostile immigration policy has hit the Whitehall department as hundreds of students claim they have been wrongly punished by the Home Office over supposed English language test cheating.

The Guardian reports on the watchdog’s investigation.

A government watchdog has launched an investigation into the Home Office’s decision to accuse about 34,000 international students of cheating in English language tests, and will scrutinise the thinking behind the subsequent cancellation or curtailment of their visas.
More than 1,000 students have been removed from the UK as a result of the accusation and hundreds have spent time in detention, but large numbers of students say they were wrongly accused. Over 300 cases are pending in the court of appeal as hundreds attempt to clear their names. MPs have warned that this immigration scandal could be “bigger than Windrush”.

Terror attacks

The problems in Sri Lanka have not gone away, reports the Telegraph.

Terror masterminds have been freed up to carry out further Sri Lanka-style attacks on tourists because they are no longer preoccupied with running the Islamic State, intelligence officials have told the Sunday Telegraph.
Agencies are concerned that further holiday destinations are now vulnerable to so-called ‘terrorist spectaculars’ as a result of the collapse of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil).
It is believed that jihadi fighters fleeing Iraq and Syria will now concentrate on carrying out attacks at holiday resorts. Well-placed sources suggested India, the Maldives and east African resorts in Kenya and in Tanzania were most vulnerable.

Royal baby

And finally, the Sun reports the possibility of good news for the Royal family.

MUM-to-be Meghan’s due date is today, The Sun on Sunday can reveal.
She and Prince Harry are on standby but relaxed about the arrival of baby Sussex.
Harry, 34, still plans to attend today’s London Marathon to hand out medals and support runners.
Meghan, 37, has been staying close to home. Her mum, Doria Ragland, has been by her side at Frogmore Cottage, Windsor, for more than a week.
A royal source said: “It won’t be long now. Meghan’s really excited. Of course she’s nervous like any first-time mum but she and Harry can’t wait.”

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