What the papers say – December 22

Recriminations over the sacking of Damian Green, tales of Russian ‘espionage’ and aggression, and a generous helping of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are on Friday’s front pages.

The Times reports on the fallout from Mr Green’s sacking as First Secretary of State after making “misleading” statements about pornography allegations. The newspaper says two police officers who revealed the allegations have been criticised by the head of the Metropolitan Police’s staff association.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said Mr Green was the victim of a police “vendetta”, according to the Daily Telegraph, which reports the Metropolitan Police faces a growing Tory backlash over the former minister’s downfall.

What the papers say – December 22

Mr Johnson has also warned Russia of Britain’s offensive cyber capability, the Daily Mail reports, as the Foreign Secretary arrived in Moscow for talks with his counterpart Sergei Lavrov.

Meanwhile, the Daily Mirror reports that an alleged Russian spy got into No10 by posing as an interpreter for Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman.

The Sun declares victory in its campaign to bring back the blue British passport post-Brexit after the Government “agreed to scrap the EU’s burgundy model”. The Guardian leads with the cancellation of operations by NHS England in order to ease pressure on hospitals over winter. The paper also follows up the sacking of Mr Green, after Theresa May spoke of her “sadness” over his departure.

The i reports that Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt wants to replace Mr Green as the First Secretary of State – effectively the Prime Minister’s deputy.

The Financial Times reports on moves by US aerospace giant Boeing to take over Brazilian jet builder Embraer in a multibillion-dollar swoop to head off competition from France’s Airbus.

Scientists have scored a “major breakthrough” in the fight against Alzheimer’s and a drug to treat the disease could be five years away, the Daily Express says.

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