The fallout from the local elections in England dominates the headlines in Saturday’s papers.
“Jez gets a kick in the ballots,” says the Sun, which claims there are now fears that Labour has “become a home to extremism”. Its editorial blames “rampant anti-Semitism” for the party’s poor performance in the London borough of Barnet, where there is a large Jewish population.
A defeated councillor in West Hendon in London has told HuffPost UK that Jeremy Corbyn should apologise in person to Labour activists for allowing the party’s anti-Semitism problem to ruin its chances of winning the key Tory council.
The Daily Telegraph believes Jeremy Corbyn’s efforts to give Russia the benefit of the doubt over the poisoning of the Skripals may have been seen as unpatriotic by some working class voters.
The Guardian concludes there are “big lessons and implications” for Labour. It asks whether the party should now reconsider its “strategic ambiguity” over leaving the European Union. Soon, Labour, will “need to come off the Brexit fence”, the paper predicts.
The Times also suggests a rethink – questioning the methods of the group Momentum. It points out that the party’s solitary council gain was in Plymouth where the group was not involved. It also asks whether the party’s focus on urban voters under the age of 45 is misplaced.
The website Politico says that Labour has failed to broaden its appeal sufficiently to win a general election. It says research into the party’s prospects suggests it needs to make gains in the north of England.
The Daily Mirror sounds a more upbeat note for Labour, highlighting the party’s gains, while conceding the party “should have done better”. But the Daily Star suggests it’s time “to consider a change at the top.”
Politics.co.uk says it’s not time to write off Corbyn yet – pointing out that Labour did pitifully in last year’s local elections, only to secure a much better than expected general election result a month later.
The Financial Times says hybrid cars, such as the Toyota Prius, could be banned by 2040 under government clean air plans. It says the proposals would outlaw 98% of all cars currently on the road. The FT says three departments are considering the issue. But the Department for Transport has issued a categorical denial of the suggestion.
New legislation is being brought in which will make it unlawful for owners of self-steering cars to take their hands off the wheel for more than one minute, according to the Daily Telegraph. The regulations will also require cars to give drivers warnings if they don’t regularly touch the steering wheel.
Speculation about the royal wedding also features in many papers.
The Daily Mail suggests that Meghan Markle’s dress will cost £100,000. It creates an image of what the hand-embroidered bridal gown could look like.