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The Press’ View on UK’s latest developments

Reading Time: 3 minutes

After a pivotal night in which Boris Johnson lost his first Commons vote in spectacular fashion, the British papers have focused on the prime minister’s resounding defeat and his call for an election.

The Times gave weight to its front page picture of an animated prime minister beneath the headline: “PM loses historic vote.” It says he “lost control of Brexit” as MPs paved the way for an extension on the 31 October deadline for an exit.

Matt Chorley



PM loses historic vote

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The Guardian focuses on the significance of the defeat, calling it a “humiliation” for the PM. The paper highlights three key developments: the loss of a historic vote, the notable Tory rebels (Philip Hammond, David Gauke and Sir Nicholas Soames), and the loss of the government’s majority after Phillip Lee walked.

Guardian news


Guardian front page, Wednesday 4 September 2019: Humiliation for Johnson as Tory rebels turn against him

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The Telegraph uses the headline: “Johnson demands election” and an image of the PM looking composed at the dispatch box. It carries a graphic with the numbers for last night’s vote without referring to the defeat. The Matt cartoon has the pets of Downing Street saying: “Somebody has made a horrible mess and I’m not clearing it up.”

The Telegraph


The front page of tomorrow’s Daily Telegraph: ‘Johnson demands election’

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The Financial Times says Johnson’s Brexit strategy is “in ruins” in the wake of the defeat, and uses in image of a contemplative PM alongside Andrea Leadsom and Sajid Javid.

Financial Times


Just published: front page of the Financial Times, UK edition, Wednesday 4 September https://on.ft.com/32ppewd 

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The Daily Mail heads straight to the prospect of the UK “hurtling” towards an election next month. It gets an image of Jeremy Corbyn with an eyebrow raised onto its front, alongside a “Britain needs you”-style image of Johnson, and carries the headline: “Now you decide, Britain”.

Neil Henderson


MAIL: Now YOU decide, Britain

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The Sun echoes the Mail and Telegraph with Johnson’s call for an election, saying it is time to let Britain decide.

The Express criticises the Tory rebels and parliament in general, accusing them of “betraying Brexit” on a shameful day for democracy. “Parliament surrenders to the EU,” is the headline, above an image of Johnson ruffling his hair.

Neil Henderson


EXPRESS: Parliament surrenders to the EU

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The Mirror says Johnson’s Brexit plans “blew up in his face” last night and that he has now lost control. The trademark hair ruffle is placed front and centre and Corbyn with eyebrow raised gets a small spot, too.

Daily Mirror


Tomorrow’s front page: Boris loses control https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/breaking-general-election-looms-boris-19382170 

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The i says Johnson has lost control after MPs inflicted a “crushing defeat” and highlights his election call after 21 Tories voted to give the Commons control of business.

Neil Henderson


I: ⁦@BorisJohnson⁩ loses control

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Further afield, Dutch newspaper Handelsblad makes links Johnson’s struggles to those of his predecessor, Theresa May. It intro says: “A different premier, a different style, a different rhetoric, but the same outcome.”

Danish tabloid BT says Johnson is “spluttering with rage” on a day of drama and singles out the ejection from the party of Sir Nicholas Soames, aka grandson of “legend” Winston Churchill.

Other papers focus on the struggle between PM and Parliament. Germany’s Süddeutsche Zeitung says simply in its headline: “Parliament opposes Johnson.” Brazil’s G1 news portal has “Boris against parliament”, and says, perhaps optimistically, that Parliament is set for a “decisive showdown” on Wednesday.

In the US, a comment piece in the Washington Post takes a step back to reflect on Johnson’s strategy. “Boris’s populist playbook implodes (£)” is the headline and says that “after all the huffing and puffing, the public gets the idea the populist cult leader is an incompetent charlatan”.

Via The Guardian

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