Saturday’s papers won’t make comfortable reading for Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, after the scrapping of a controversial Brexit ferry deal forced the government into a £33m out-of-court settlement with Eurotunnel.
The Daily Express describes him as “embattled” and “hapless”, while the Daily Mail gives him the unwanted nickname: “Failing Grayling”.
But it also quotes allies of the transport secretary as insisting that it is unfair to single him out for blame as the ferry contract was awarded as a result of a decision by ministers across departments.
The Sun is a little more circumspect. The transport secretary, it says, is not alone in his “grim record of failure”. But none of those responsible is any danger of being fired by a prime minister “barely clinging to office”.
Alleged killers, rapists and burglars are said to be among those who reoffend after being arrested – taking advantage of new rules under which suspects are released without any restrictions on their liberty.
According to figures the paper says it has obtained through freedom of information requests, one in every seven is rearrested on suspicion of committing another offence.
The Mail explains that the new rules were introduced two years ago to limit stricter police bail conditions and stop officers taking months to decide whether to bring charges.
Skripals still ‘fear for their lives’
A year on from the poisoning of the former Russian double agent, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter, Yulia, in Salisbury, the Daily Mirror leads with a picture of a Ministry of Defence aide placing flowers on the graves of Mr Skripal’s wife and son.
The paper says he and his daughter feel they cannot visit the cemetery in the city because they fear they are still targets of President Vladimir Putin’s assassins.
Moscow has denied any involvement.
The Mirror reports that the Skripals remain in hiding in England – but may have to be moved to the US to start new lives with secret identities.
Queen seen with bruised hand
A number of papers carry pictures of the Queen hosting King Abdullah of Jordan and his family at Buckingham Palace.
The Express and the Daily Star say she sparked concerns about her health by sporting a large purple bruise on her left hand.
However, the Express adds that doctors advise the bruise was probably a minor injury highlighted by the thinning of the skin with age.
The Queen’s former press secretary, Dickie Arbiter, tells the Sun: “The Queen is tough. She has had a full diary this week, which suggests we need not be concerned.”
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