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What the papers say – December 8

What the papers say (PA)
What the papers say (PA)

Matt Hancock announcing he will step down from Parliament at the next election, looming industrial action and fury over Michael Gove’s permission for new coal mine in Cumbria lead some of Thursday’s papers.

The i writes that the former health secretary was “forced out” after local Tories revolted against the MP over his decision to go on reality television.

The Daily Mirror adds that Mr Hancock quit before he was “booted out” and has now set his sights on “exciting possibilities”.

Elsewhere, the Daily Mail says the imminent strikes by airport, rail and ambulance staff have sent the festive season into “chaos”, The Times adds that “hundreds of thousands” of passengers will have their Christmas and new year plans ruined as airport border staff walk out, and The Daily Telegraph writes that soldiers have been ordered to give up their time off to cover striking ambulance workers.

The Independent and The Guardian, meanwhile, cover anger from environmentalists over the levelling up secretary giving the green light to Britain’s first new coal mine in three decades.

China has loosened its Covid controls in response to the damage being done to trade, according to the Financial Times.

Metro carries news from Germany that 35 people have been arrested over an armed far-right terror plot to oust the government.

The Daily Express says the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been accused of betraying the late Queen with their new Netflix series.

And The Sun and the Daily Star feature the World Cup ahead of England’s clash with France.