What The Papers Say – November 3

After Sir Michael Fallon dominated the news on Thursday, his replacement as Defence Secretary now takes the spotlight on Friday’s front pages.

Former chief whip Gavin Williamson was appointed to the role by Theresa May the day after Sir Michael stepped down amid sleaze allegations.

But his promotion provoked widespread surprise at Westminster, with the both the i and The Guardian saying the move was met with anger by some Tories.

The Guardian reports that backbenchers were disappointed that Mrs May didn’t use Sir Michael’s resignation as an opportunity for a wider reshuffle, with senior Tories reportedly saying it was “unbelievable, ludicrous and astonishing”.

Meanwhile, The Times says the Prime Minister has been warned she will not survive a renewed coup attempt after giving the job to her “close ally”.

The Metro refers to Mr Williamson as “Spider Man”, in reference to a little titbit of information on the new Defence Secretary – that he keeps a pet tarantula in his office – while adding that her decision has been tipped as her “last mistake”.

The Daily Telegraph says Mrs May’s appointment gives a “clear indication” that she is planning for her succession. It also reports on the suspension of Kelvin Hopkins from the Labour party over allegations about his behaviour towards a young activist.

The Sun, meanwhile, alleges Michael Fallon quit his job due to claims he made a crude joke to Commons leader and Cabinet colleague Andrea Leadsom.

The Daily Mirror claims parts of Moors murder victim Pauline Reade were “stashed by police for 30 years” without her family being aware, quoting her niece as saying she was “disgusted”.

And the Financial Times leads on yesterday’s announcement by the Bank of England to hike interest rates for the first time in more than 10 years, adding that more rises will be needed in future to control inflation.