Paper review: 'Desperate' national service plan and 'soggy bottom Monday'

The headline on the front page of the Daily Mirror reads: "Desperate"
The headline on the front page of the Guardian reads: "Sunak's national service plan is 'bonkers', says ex-military chief"
The headline on the front page of the Daily Telegraph reads: "Young royals face National Service in Sunak plan"
The headline on the front page of the Financial Times reads: "Sunak steps up national service push as campaign stutters stir Tory dismay"
The headline on the front page of the Daily Mail reads: "Rishi fights back after his national service plan is ridiculed"
Mr Sunak is "[fighting] back" after the plan was "ridiculed", according to the front page of the Daily Mail. The paper says that Mr Sunak has "assured voters that it would open doors for teenagers", after "a heated debate" about the scheme over the weekend [BBC]
The headline on the front page of the Daily Express reads: "UK's youth must 'toughen up' to combat global threat"
Also defending the plan is Defence Secretary Grant Shapps, who is quoted in Monday's Daily Express as saying it will "toughen up" Britain's youth, as well as boosting the country's "resilience". He adds that the recruitment of thousands of young people for a year-long stint in the armed forces is what the military "sorely needs" [BBC]
The headline on the front page of the i reads: "Labour plan to rebuild Britain will rely on private finance"
The headline on the front page of the Times reads: "Labour: We will act fast to win trust on security"
The headline on the front page of the Daily Star reads: "Soggy bottom Monday"

For a second day, many front pages focus on Rishi Sunak's plan to bring back compulsory national service for 18-year-olds.

The former head of the Royal Navy, Admiral Lord West, tells the Guardian the proposal is ''bonkers'', adding that it would deplete the defence budget at a time when it needs investment.

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps is quoted in the Daily Express saying the scheme would "toughen up" Britain's youth and boost the UK's resilience. The Daily Telegraph reports that children in the Royal Family would also be expected to participate.

The Times leads on a pledge from Sir Keir Starmer that Labour will review all the threats facing Britain within 100 days, if his party wins the general election.

The paper says this would cover the likes of extremism and the dangers posed by hostile states such as Russia and Iran.

A Conservative Party source is quoted saying Labour are crossing their fingers and hoping Britain is safe, until someone else decides what action they should take.

Rishi Sunak
Despite receiving criticism over the national service plan, the prime minister will "double down" on it on Monday, according to the Financial Times [Reuters]

The Daily Mail reports that the number of sick days due to mental health taken by prison and probation staff last year reached a record high.

The paper carries analysis by the Labour Party which suggests that, in the year to March 2024, more than 282,000 working days were lost to illness in the Prison and Probation Service - the equivalent of 774 years.

Children who feel lonely could be prescribed activities such as fishing and needlework, according to the Telegraph.

It explains that a four-year pilot project, for nine to 13-year-olds, will test how effective the approach is for improving children's mental wellbeing and their school attendance.

The i reports that a pumping station in the Lake District has been continuously discharging sewage into the River Eea for six weeks.

A whistleblower claims water bosses have ignored pollution problems at the Cark-in-Cartmel site in Cumbria for two decades. The water firm United Utilities says it will spend £1.5m increasing capacity at the pumping station to reduce sewage spills.

The Daily Express reports that the BBC show Strictly Come Dancing is struggling to sign up female contestants this year, following allegations against the professional dancer Giovanni Pernice.

The paper says he is taking legal action after some of his former dance partners complained about his behaviour in training sessions.

Mr Pernice denies any wrongdoing. The BBC hasn't commented on the allegations, but a show insider is quoted as saying that it has made bookings harder than ever.

And more young women are experiencing what the Financial Times calls ''dating app fatigue'', and deleting the platforms from their phones.

The paper says apps such as Tinder and Bumble are exploring new features and marketing, to appeal to women in their early 20s. A survey by Bumble found that 70% of women using the app had experienced ''burnout''.

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