A possible continental coup for the makers of post-Brexit blue British passports and Ant McPartlin’s drink-driving charge make headlines on Thursday.
“Sacre bleu!” exclaims the Daily Mail on its front page, reporting that Gemalto, which is listed on the French and Dutch stock exchanges, has offered to print the passports for £50 million less than British firms.
The Daily Telegraph says plans to hand the Franco-Dutch company the contract has provoked fury among Bexiteer Tories, with Sir Bill Cash, chairman of the influential European Scrutiny Committee, branding it “completely wrong”.
A photo of a forlorn McPartlin fills the front of the Daily Mirror, which says the host checked in to rehab on Wednesday after he was questioned by police and visited by co-presenter Declan Donnelly.
“Ant & dock” reads a headline on The Sun’s front page, while it leads on a story about a police force giving officers two “yoga days” a year to help them deal with stress.
The Metro has a picture of McPartlin beside a police car on its front page, along with a lead story on a pay rise for NHS workers.
The i leads with the pay rise story, saying a £4 billion deal will offer hope to millions of public sector workers.
Advertisers have threatened Facebook they will take their business elsewhere after Mark Zuckerberg admitted that the company had made mistakes over the Cambridge Analytica scandal, The Times reports.
The Guardian reports on a warning by the police watchdog that under-pressure forces are taking days to respond to 999 calls when they should be dealt with in an hour.
The Independent reports on the ongoing row with Russia over the poisoning of spy Sergei Skripal, saying MI6 fears the Kremlin could reveal the identities of UK British intelligence officers.
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson’s agreement with an MP’s suggestion that Vladimir Putin will use this summer’s World Cup for propaganda like the 1936 Munich Olympics under Hitler’s regime leads the Daily Express.
The Financial Times leads with news from the US that new Federal Reserve chairman Jay Powell has lifted short-term interest rates in response to stronger domestic and international growth.
Ian Botham, dismissed for a pair earlier and replaced as captain in the series, produced a swashbuckling run of form as England retained the Ashes.