What the papers say - December 21

The Prime Minister's sacking of Damian Green, a longtime ally and close friend, from his post as First Secretary of State dominates Thursday's front pages.

Mrs May asked her de facto deputy to resign after an investigation found he had given "inaccurate and misleading" statements in relation to the discovery of pornography on a computer in his House of Commons office in 2008.

Mr Green left the Cabinet continuing to deny "unfounded and deeply hurtful" claims he downloaded or viewed porn on his parliamentary computer.

"Prime Minister in crisis" reads the front page of the Daily Mirror, which says Mrs May was "finally forced" to sack Mr Green "for lying about a probe over porn on his PC".

Beneath the headline: "What a sad way to go", the Daily Mail reports that Mr Green's departure is a "bitter blow to the PM" who "relied heavily on her old university friend".

The Daily Telegraph says the minister's sacking means Mrs May "ends the year with yet another crisis", after her fortunes appeared to have changed with some recent success in the Brexit negotiations. The paper also follows up Scotland Yard's review of its live sex crimes cases.

The Financial Times says Mr Green's sacking "removes one of the most avowedly pro-European members of her top team". It also reports on City regulators' plans to soften the impact of Brexit on EU banks.

The Guardian describes Mr Green's departure as a "personal blow" for the PM, reporting that Mrs May brought her ally into No10 to shore up her authority after she lost the Conservatives' Commons majority in the general election. The paper also covers threats by US President Donald Trump over a potential UN resolution rejecting his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Mrs May now faces an unwelcome reshuffle, says The Times, which reports that the decision by two former police officers to break ethical guidelines to reveal the pornography allegations will cause "deep disquiet among senior Tories". The paper also reports on scientific research that suggests eating a portion of spinach or kale a day could fend off dementia.

"Green fired over porn" says The Sun's front page, which also carries an image of a startlingly slender Davina McCall.

And in its online edition, The Independent says Mrs May's "nightmare before Christmas" has "plunged" the PM into a new Cabinet crisis.

The Daily Express also reports on the potential brain health-boosting power of leafy vegetables, along with a picture of "sparkling" Meghan Markle, who joined senior royals at Buckingham Palace for dinner on Wednesday.

And for its lead story, the i reports that the UK had demanded "total secrecy" in trade talks with the US.

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