The Papers: Energy ‘profits in misery’ and gender clinic to close

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The Papers: Energy ‘profits in misery’ and gender clinic to close

By BBC News

Staff

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The headline in the Mirror reads:

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A number of Friday’s papers lead with the news of the huge profits made this year by energy giants British Gas and Shell. The Daily Mirror reports that Centrica, which owns British Gas, has made £1.3bn in six months while Shell made £9.4bn in just three, figures labelled “truly obscene” by the paper at a time when households are “wondering how they will pay sky-high energy bills”.

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The energy profits are described as an “insult” to working people in the front page headline of the Guardian. The paper points out that the news comes just a day after it was reported that average annual energy bills could rise as high as £3,850 by the start of next year. The page also carries a picture of the huge mechanical bull that featured in Wednesday night’s opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, a tribute to the city’s industrial past.

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The Daily Star takes an even less sympathetic line on the energy firms’ profits. Centrica chief executive Chris O’Shea and and Shell counterpart Ben van Beurden are pictured on the front page above the headline: “Money-grabbing scumbags”.

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The Financial Times reports that Centrica has reinstated profits to its shareholders while also calling on the government to offer more support to households hit by soaring energy costs. Mr O’Shea is quoted acknowledging that it’s “difficult to see words like ‘dividend'” when people are suffering, but pointing out that the company has paid more than £600m in windfall tax.

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Ministers worry they can no longer have frank discussions about policy in case what they say is weaponised in the Tory leadership race, the i reports. The paper says the Cabinet Office is investigating multiple leaks from inside Whitehall that were intended to damage certain candidates who were jostling to become prime minister.

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The Daily Express reports that Rishi Sunak, one of the two candidates left in the race, has vowed to double the number of foreign criminals deported if he becomes prime minister.

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The Times leads with the news that an NHS clinic known for being the only one in the country providing gender identity services to children and young people is to close. The paper says the clinic, run by the Tavistock & Portman trust in London, has been criticised for “rushing teenagers into life-altering treatment”. It adds that the decision comes after a report found the clinic was not a “safe or viable long-term option”.

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The same story leads the Daily Mail, which reports that “struggling youngsters will now be sent to new regional centres and given better mental health support”. A front page editorial says: “In years to come, we will surely look back and wonder how this was ever allowed to happen.”

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The NHS could be banned from giving puberty blockers to children in future, the Daily Telegraph reports. Both Mr Sunak and Liz Truss have told the paper that if they become prime minister they would consider restricting the use of the drugs until a person has reached the age of 18.

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The Metro reports that texts shared by Metropolitan Police officers in a Whatsapp group with Wayne Couzens, the officer who confessed to the murder of Sarah Everard, have been revealed in court. The paper describes the messages, which appeared to make light of sexual and domestic violence, as “vile” and “sickening”.

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And The Sun claims that the judge in Rebekah Vardy’s libel case against Coleen Rooney has not given either woman advanced notice of the verdict, set to be announced later, “so no-one could be tempted to leak it”.

There’s considerable anger on Friday’s front pages about the announcement of huge profits made by two of Britain’s biggest energy companies, Centrica and Shell.

“Profits in misery” is how the Daily Mirror describes it. The Daily Star calls the energy bosses “money-grabbing scumbags” and asks: “How do they sleep at night?”. The Daily Mail says the energy giants are “striking it rich”.

But the Financial Times says Centrica is urging the government to provide more help to struggling households – warning that the UK is facing a “difficult winter”.

The Daily Telegraph says both Conservative leadership contenders are ready to consider restricting the use of puberty blockers if given the keys to Number Ten.

The comments follow the announcement from the NHS of the closure of the UK’s only dedicated gender identity clinic for children and young people, after it was criticised in an independent review. In an editorial, the Daily Mail says this is a “cause for celebration”.

Image source, Reuters

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Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has endorsed Liz Truss to be Conservative leader

The Daily Express leads on an interview with Rishi Sunak, who pledges to double the number of foreign criminals deported from the UK if he becomes prime minister. The paper says he wants law-breakers kicked out if they have served at least six months in prison rather than the current 12 months.

His rival, Liz Truss, gets the endorsement of her Cabinet colleague, the defence secretary, Ben Wallace, in The Times. He writes that she is the “only candidate” with the experience to lead the nation from day one – saying she “means what she says”.

The Sun says Mr Wallace’s backing gives the foreign secretary’s campaign a “huge lift” because he is “hugely popular with the Tory grassroots”.

According to the i, the cabinet office is investigating “several leaks” designed to damage a number of the contenders who featured in the Tory leadership race. The paper says an initial probe was launched last week about information which targeted Penny Mordaunt’s campaign.

The paper also says there is huge distrust inside government, with ministers feeling that they can no longer have “frank discussions about policy” in case talks are “weaponised”.

Image source, Reuters

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The opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham featured a ten-metre mechanical bull to celebrate the city’s industrial past

The Financial Times says developers could be banned from building new homes in west London because the electricity grid has run out of capacity to support them. In a letter seen by the paper, the Greater London Authority says it could take more than a decade to “bulk up capacity” in the boroughs of Hillingdon, Ealing, and Hounslow. The paper says this could jeopardise housebuilding targets in the capital.

“Birmingham opens Games with a bang”, is the headline in the Independent as the Commonwealth Games get under way.

The Guardian says last night’s opening ceremony “celebrated the history and culture of the host city”, with “a 10-metre tall raging bull, a union jack made from 72 cars, and a flying drag queen”.

The Daily Mail describes it as “slick, properly spectacular and full of the same originality, quirk and good-humoured enthusiasm” seen at the opening ceremony of the London Olympics 10 years ago. The Birmingham Mail proclaims it was “a proud day to be a Brummie”.