Newspaper headlines: ITV anchor quits and HS2 ‘to get green light’

By BBC News
Staff

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The reason for newsreader Alastair Stewart stepping down from his ITV role is the focus for many of Thursday’s tabloids. The Daily Mail reports the long-serving anchor was forced out after he called a black Twitter user an “angry ape”. The paper says Stewart posted the words when citing a passage from William Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure.

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The Daily Star leads on the same story. The paper’s headline calls Stewart an “ITV legend”.

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Chancellor Sajid Javid will back the HS2 project “no matter the cost”, the Daily Telegraph reports. His support will mean the rail project “will need only to be rubber-stamped” following a meeting despite at No 10 later, the paper says. A leaked review suggested the cost of the project could rise to £106bn.

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The chancellor decided to back HS2 because alternative infrastructure schemes do “not stack up”, the Financial Times reports. His “decisive intervention” will make it “almost certain” the rail project goes ahead, the FT says. The paper adds that a decision could be made “within days”.

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HS2 could get clearance before Friday, according to government sources quoted in the Daily Express. The paper’s front page also features TV presenter Fern Britton and her husband Phil, after the couple confirmed on Twitter that they are to “go our separate ways” after 20 years of marriage.

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The Guardian says a “secure NHS facility” will be used to quarantine any UK citizens airlifted home, following the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus. The paper says “about 200 Britons in the vicinity of Wuhan” – where the virus is thought to have originated – are preparing to fly back to Britain.

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The Metro focuses on cuts at BBC News. “Beeb’s brutal cull”, is the front page headline, with the corporation’s staff having told the paper that “journalism would suffer” as a result of plans to make 450 job cuts.

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The Daily Mail follows up on claims that Lord Lucan has been found living in Australia. The Metropolitan Police have asked Neil Berriman – who made the claim – to pass on any evidence he has collected in his four year search to find the peer, who is suspected of murdering Mr Berriman’s mother in 1976.

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The i leads on the government’s decision to nationalise rail firm Northern. Great Western and South Eastern franchises could be next, the paper says.

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And the Sun reports on an alleged row between This Morning presenters Eamonn Holmes and Phillip Schofield at the National Television Awards.

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