A variety of stories leads Friday’s papers.
A “new winter of discontent” is forecast on the front page of the i, which reports that civil servants have voted to strike, following nurses, binmen, postal workers and university lecturers.
It says resentment has been building in overstretched public services and, while Rishi Sunak has taken a more conciliatory approach than his predecessors, workers and the state remain far apart on any possible wage deals.
The Sun predicts “mayhem”, while the Daily Telegraph warns of “Christmas chaos”. It says the PCS union, which represents many civil servants, has threatened to “conspire” with other bodies to inflict maximum disruption.
There is plenty of speculation about what lies ahead in next week’s Autumn Statement. The Telegraph says Jeremy Hunt is plotting a change to VAT rules which will amount to “a stealth tax raid on small businesses”.
The Daily Express leads with concern that the chancellor could delay introducing a cap on social care costs. The man whose landmark report proposed a cap 12 years ago, Sir Andrew Dilnot, tells the paper he would be “disgusted” if there was another delay. The Mail warns the government against “overdoing the hair shirt”, saying it must not take too much money out of people’s pockets.
The Times leads with the first interview given by former chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng since his sacking by Liz Truss last month. Speaking to TalkTV, Mr Kwarteng said he tried to warn Ms Truss against introducing too many measures all at once as part of the mini-budget. He claimed Ms Truss ignored his concerns and that he told her: “You will have two months if you carry on like this.”
The Daily Mirror says Mr Kwarteng is “bitter” and is “lashing out” at his former boss.
The Daily Mail’s front page shows a crowd of police on the M25 under a single protestor on a gantry. “What is the point of these police?”, it asks, saying senior officers have defied calls from the Home Secretary for a crackdown on what the paper calls “disruptive eco-zealots”.
The Sun agrees that “the policing of these extremists is a laughing stock”. It says the public have had enough.
The lead for the Daily Mirror is a call for a public inquiry into the treatment of veterans who took part in nuclear testing. The paper says their “mysterious” illnesses could have been treated properly if doctors had known about their exposure to radiation. It claims records have been hidden, or destroyed.
The Daily Mail asks whether David Walliams has a future as a judge on Britain’s Got Talent after he apologised for making “disrespectful” jokes about contestants behind their backs. It says the show’s bosses are unsure about him returning. The star has apologised to those he spoke about.
The Guardian – which first revealed Mr Walliams’s comments – says they “contribute to the ongoing debate about the ethics of reality TV and its treatment of members of the public”. The Mirror quotes an insider as saying the judging line-up for the next series is not yet decided and that “this is a very bad look for a family show”.