Newspaper headlines: 'Starmer splits party' and 'no Royal reunion'

The Times front page
Many of Thursday's front pages focus on the defection from the Conservatives to Labour of Dover MP Natalie Elphicke. The Times says Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has split his party by accepting the former Tory. [BBC]
The Guardian front page
Daily Express front page
The Express says "Tory turncoat" Natalie Elphicke and Keir Starmer have faced "outrage" over the "shameless" political pact. [BBC]
The i front page
The i reports on Ms Elphicke's move to Labour too, but takes a slightly different approach, quoting a pollster saying even an interest rate cut "can't save Sunak". The paper headlines on expectations that the Bank of England will hold interest rates at 5.25% on Thursday and any cut is unlikely until August. [BBC]
The Telegraph
The Telegraph leads with Lord Cameron calling on the EU to be tougher on Russia. It also has a story on the University of Cambridge vowing not to move pro-Palestinian protesters from a college lawn. [BBC]
The Mail
The Mail quotes Tory Chairman Richard Holden accusing Labour of "exploiting the Middle East conflict to win votes". [BBC]
The Mirror front page
Several of Thursday's front pages carry photos of King Charles and Prince Harry. The Mirror says the pair are "worlds apart" after father and son did not meet, despite being just two miles away from each other in London. [BBC]
FT front page
The FT reports on how 50 business "winners" from the pandemic - including Zoom and Peloton - have suffered a $1.5 trillion fall in value as lockdown trends fade. [BBC]
The Metro front page
The Metro reports on a girl born completely deaf who can now hear after receiving "world-leading" gene therapy. [BBC]
The Daily Star front page
The Star reports on how some words are dying out with the younger generation, including "plonker" and "git". [BBC]

Natalie Elphicke's defection from the Conservatives to Labour dominates the front pages. The Daily Express calls it "shameless" and suggests it shows Sir Kier Starmer "lacks principles", while Tthe Times says her admission has "split" Labour. The Daily Telegraph says Labour is facing a backlash from MPs who are uncomfortable about her previous policy positions. In its editorial, Tthe Sun says Labour has embraced "an unprincipled opportunist who has trashed them for years and whose views change like the weather".

In his parliamentary sketch in Tthe Times, Tom Peck describes Natalie Elphicke's appearance on the Labour benches at PMQs as a "fireworks display", adding "somebody, somewhere might find they've been badly burned". The Daily Mirror's editorial says "when the likes of Ms Elphicke decide Britain will be better served with Keir Starmer in Number 10 it shows how much Labour has changed". In Tthe Daily Mail, Quentin Letts notes that he saw only three Labour MPs shake Ms Elphicke's hand, but that she "soaked up the sunrays of everyone's attention", before leaving the chamber, shoulder-to-shoulder with Labour's leader, as they shared an awkward silence.

The Guardian has conducted a poll of hundreds of climate experts, who say they expect global temperatures to rise by at least 2.5C this century. Many predict what the paper describes as a "semi-dystopian" era - including famines, conflicts, floods, wildfires and storms of an intensity and frequency far beyond what's been seen before. "I could not feel greater despair over the future," one scientist is quoted as saying.

The Financial Times reports on the significantly reduced fortunes of companies that boomed in the pandemic era. It says conference call business, Zoom, and home exercise firm, Peloton, are among 50 companies whose share price has fallen by a combined £1.2 trillion since 2020.

The i has assembled a panel of economic experts who predict the first interest rate cuts won't come until August at the earliest. The pollster Chris Hopkins, from the firm Sevanta, tells the paper that lower rates aren't likely to help Rishi Sunak's political outlook because, he says, the Conservatives need a miracle "and it's not going to come with a small interest rate cut".

The Mirror is among the papers to pick up a survey that gives new insights into how the English language is changing. Adults aged under 28 were asked if they'd heard of a series of traditional British insults. More than half the respondents were unfamiliar with the words lummox, bampot, blighter, plonker and ninny. The Mirror speculates they've been replaced by more contemporary insults, like saying someone has "main character syndrome" - meaning they want to be the centre of attention - being "basic" - which is having mainstream tastes - or calling someone a "Karen" - an entitled moaner.

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