Newspaper headlines: Farage urged to give Tories ‘free run’ at Labour marginals

Financial Times front page

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The front pages are dominated by Nigel Farage’s announcement that the Brexit Party will not stand candidates in the 317 seats won by the Conservatives at the last general election, in 2017. Mr Farage, the party’s leader, said his U-turn on his previous pledge to fight seats across Britain was intended to ensure the prime minister can deliver Brexit, the Financial Times reports.

Daily Telegraph front page

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The Daily Telegraph describes the move as a “retreat”, adding that Mr Farage has also hinted he could give the Conservatives a clear run at dozens of Labour marginals by not standing candidates there as well. The paper says the Brexit Party leader bowed to “immense pressure” from within his own party to pull candidates after conceding that splitting the Leave vote would put Brexit at risk.

Guardian front page

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Behind the scenes, senior Conservatives are now pressing Mr Farage to also stand down in Labour-held target seats, reports the Guardian. The papers quotes the Brexit Party leader as saying he now has more “optimism” about Mr Johnson’s Brexit deal as the reason for his co-operation with the Tories.

The Sun front page

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“Cheers Nigel” declares the Sun, which says Mr Farage agreed to “put country before party” by standing his candidates down. But it also notes that senior Tory eurosceptics have now asked him to go further to defeat Labour.

Daily Mail front page

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“Nice one Nigel, but it’s still not enough”, says the Daily Mail. The paper says Mr Farage’s “partial U-turn” came two days after a front-page appeal from the paper.

The Times front page

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Cabinet ministers have said Mr Farage will be personally to blame if Britain ends up not leaving the EU, according to the Times. But the Brexit Party leader has indicated he will not back down further by standing down in more seats, the paper notes, saying he wanted his candidates “putting out their positive message”.

Metro front page

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The Metro leads on the prime minister welcoming Mr Farage’s election commitment. The paper quotes him as saying: “We welcome his recognition that another gridlocked hung Parliament is the greatest threat to getting Brexit done.”

The i front page

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The i, which features a similar photo of Mr Johnson sipping a pint of beer, says Mr Farage “reluctantly” reached his election pact with the Tories. It also notes that Mr Farage claims he was offered a peerage but decided not to accept it.

Daily Express front page

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“Farage’s election gift for Boris”, runs the front-page headline on the Daily Express. It also features a photo of the Queen, with the headline “One’s still holding the reins… at 93”.

Daily Mirror front page

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In other news, the Daily Mirror says “deluged” communities in the north of England have been let down by the Conservatives, who it says have spent more money on flood defences in the South. One resident of Fishlake, in south Yorkshire, is quoted as saying: “We feel this area has been sacrificed.”

Daily Star front page

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And finally, Grange Hill creator Phil Redmond has urged the BBC to bring back his school drama to teach young people about the dangers of knife crime and social media bullying, the Daily Star reports.

Nigel Farage’s decision to stand his Brexit Party down in more than 300 constituencies at the election dominates the front pages.

Farage retreats from every Tory seat” is the headline in the Telegraph, adding that bookies have “slashed the odds of a Tory majority” as a result.

The paper suggests Mr Farage now faces a battle to keep control of his party and is under pressure from senior party figures and donors to go further and withdraw candidates from other key marginals.

Writing a column in the paper, Mr Farage says his decision should “kill off the idea of a second referendum”.

Not everyone thinks he’s made the right decision, though. “A disgrace to politics” is how one – now former – Brexit Party candidate describes Mr Farage.

The Sun, the Metro and the i all go with a front page photo of Boris Johnson raising a pint.

“Cheers Nige” says the Sun, adding “now help us beat Labour by pulling out of every seat”.

The Telegraph suggests that might be a possibility. It quotes a “source close to Mr Farage” saying that “there’s no question he could be prepared to do more if he’s treated with courtesy by Conservative Party chairman James Cleverly”.

The source adds that “the Brexit Party would be happy with 10 sitting MPs to help get Brexit done”.

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The Guardian’s headline reads “Farage urged to give Tories free run at Labour seats”.

It reports that senior Tories are “pressing behind the scenes” for further concessions, and says Labour, the Lib Dems and the SNP fear that a “secret pact” has been struck between Mr Farage and Mr Johnson in favour of a “hard Brexit” – something that both parties have denied.

“Boris and Farage do Trump deal to stitch up election”, is the Daily Mirror’s take.

It points out that Mr Farage has changed his position following a call by US President Donald Trump for Leavers to team up, and following the offer of a peerage, which Mr Farage says he turned down.

The paper’s editorial says President Trump could be the biggest winner, with Mr Johnson and Mr Farage delivering the NHS and the British food industry into “greedy US hands”.


The Times leads with an exclusive on the HS2 high speed rail project, headlined “HS2 will boost north despite soaring costs”.

The paper says it has seen a leaked copy of an independent review into the project, which recommends that ministers should continue with it despite “ballooning costs”.

It says the report suggests a new budget of £88bn – up from £56bn – will itself need to be revised upwards again.

The paper adds that the benefits of the project to the taxpayer has fallen from £2.30 for every pound spent, to somewhere between £1.30 and £1.50 for every pound spent.

In its editorial, the Times calls on Boris Johnson to “come off the fence” and give the project his backing.

And finally, the Telegraph says we could be heading for a woke – rather than White – Christmas this year.

It reports that environmental charities are recommending that we switch from Christmas cards to e-cards and rent Christmas trees, which can then be replanted after use.

Other recommendations include using pine cones and holly rather than tinsel and wrapping up presents in scarves.

The Telegraph, though, isn’t impressed. In its editorial, it says the suggestions all miss the point that Christmas is supposed to be a time for treats and fun.

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