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What the papers say – December 4

What the papers say (PA)
What the papers say (PA)

There is no consensus on the main story of the day as snow, strikes, politics and TV licences vie for attention on the front of Monday’s newspaper front pages.

The only titles to agree on their front page lead are The Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail, which both say Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will block a £15 increase in the TV licence – the biggest rise in almost 40 years.

The Telegraph reports Mr Sunak has said “the BBC should be realistic about what it can expect people to pay at a time like this”.

Various political stories dominate many of the remaining papers with the Daily Mirror saying Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has come under fire for praising former prime minister Margaret Thatcher for bringing about “meaningful change”.

The Opposition leader is also the focus of The Guardian front page, which previews a speech in which he will say a Labour government would not “turn on spending taps”.

Conservative fortunes make the front pages elsewhere with contrasting electoral predictions, the i saying the party is facing a “growing threat” from Nigel Farage’s Reform UK which could hand constituencies to Labour.

The Daily Express is more optimistic about the party’s chance, focusing on an interview with new Tory chairman Richard Holden who says a fifth term in office is “within our grasp”.

Economics and health mix on the front page of The Times which concentrates on the cost of the country’s weight problem, saying it is costing almost £100 billion a year and placing a strain on the job market.

MPs’ expenses dominate the front page of The Independent, which says some have claimed up to £300,000 for energy and utilities bills at their second homes.

The Sun criticises rail union bosses for holding a festive party ahead of a week of industrial action which it says will “inflict misery” on people looking to enjoy their own Christmas bashes.

Several front pages feature pictures of snow across the UK, but only the Daily Star gives over its front page to the weather with warnings of “Ice Rink Monday”.

The Metro concentrates on a cyber attack on the private King Edward VII hospital and the threat to reveal health records of the royal family.

The Financial Times focuses on EU budget wrangles which it says are threatening a pledge to provide support for Ukraine.