Jo Johnson’s resignation and what it means for his brother in Downing Street dominates the front pages today.
The Guardian calls the resignation “an extraordinary blow” to Boris Johnson’s premiership, saying in the headline: “I quit. Jo Johnson puts country before family”. The paper says “the dramatic move by the younger Johnson … sent shockwaves through the Conservative party and appeared to severely rattle the prime minister as he visited a police training academy”.
The i reports: “PM defiant as brother walks out”, saying “Jo Johnson quits as minister and MP, saying he cannot square ‘family loyalty and the national interest’”.
The Mirror runs a photograph of Boris, Rachel and Jo Johnson and the cutting headline: “Even Boris’ own family don’t trust him”. The paper says that “Boris Johnson’s own family have turned on him over his bid to crash out of the EU” and quoted Boris Johnson’s sister, Rachel, telling the PM to “climb down from the greasy pole”.
The FT’s headline is: “Johnson suffers fresh setback as brother quits government”, with the paper saying “the Brexit crisis enveloping Boris Johnson intensified yesterday when his youngest brother quit the government.”
The Evening Standard did a remarkable revision between editions. Its early edition was published with the splash: “Disaster for Boris as brother quits”, which was later upgraded to “Blow for Bojo as bro Jo go goes”. Try saying that quickly.
Other papers lead on delays to Brexit and a potential election on 15 October. The Telegraph reports: “Labour plotting to push back election to November”, saying that “the Labour leader believes he can trap Boris Johnson by refusing to agree to his preferred election date, forcing him to seek a Brexit extension before a poll is held.”
The Times takes a similar tack: “No election until Brexit is delayed”, but gets into the Jo Johnson news a little higher in it story, which the paper said made Thursday “a torrid day for Mr Johnson”.
The Express quoted the prime minister’s answer to a question on Thursday: “I’d rather be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit”. The paper calls the comment “a defiant blast” in which “the prime minister insisted that he would not allow MPs to force him to go to Brussels to postpone the UK’s departure from the bloc”.
For its splash, the Sun has another attack on the Duchess of Sussex over plans for her career: “Mega star” is the headline. It does have a story about the Johnson divide – “Bojo bro Jojo goes” – but uses a large picture of Prince George and Princess Charlotte smiling on the latter’s first day of school, as a way of taking a swipe, saying: “At least someone’s getting on with their brother”.
The Daily Mail alone has nothing about the Johnsons or Brexit on the front page. It is angry about an impending pilots’ strike: “Greed of BA pilots wrecking holidays” is the headline alongside a picture of the young royals.