Newspaper headlines: Private schools 'go to battle' and HS2 salaries – BBC

A variety of stories lead Wednesday's papers.
A speech by Home Secretary Suella Braverman in which she called for changes to international rules on refugees and said that uncontrolled migration was an "existential threat" to the West's way of life makes many front pages.
The Times calls it "one of the most hardline" on the subject by a British home secretary. The Guardian reports that the comments prompted the UN Refugee Agency, the UNHCR, to issue "a highly unusual statement" defending the 1951 refugee convention. "Poisonous", is the Daily Mirror's take on the speech. But writing in the Sun, conservative columnist Douglas Murray praises the home secretary for telling some "home truths".
"Labour's class war begins on day one", declares the Daily Mail, which leads on the party's plan to put an immediate 20% VAT charge on private school fees if it wins the next general election. Education Secretary Gillian Keegan is quoted as saying the plan is "ill thought through". The i says the money raised would be spent partly on 6,500 new teachers for the state sector.
The Daily Telegraph leads with claims that the harm caused to children during Covid lockdowns was preventable. An alliance called Children's Rights Organisations says social distancing and the closure of schools and playgrounds have had "long-lasting and era-defining impacts". The group – which was established to give written evidence to the Covid inquiry – argues that such harm could have been avoided if children's rights had been taken properly into account by ministers.
"Off the rails!" is headline on the Daily Express. The paper says three bosses on the HS2 rail project have picked up salaries totalling £1.3m. More than 40 others on the project earn at least £150,000. Conservative MP Craig Mackinlay has described the salaries as "shameful". A HS2 spokesperson said it was necessary to employ people with the right level of expertise.
The Sun reports that a British Airways pilot was "sacked in disgrace" for taking drugs before trying to fly a plane back to the UK. According to the paper, the airline cancelled the flight when a stewardess raised the alarm.
The Daily Mail's political sketchwriter Quentin Letts delivers a withering assessment of Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey's speech to his party's conference. "As with ageing supermarket ham," he writes, "it took a while to realise how badly off this speech was". The Daily Telegraph says Sir Ed offered voters a "bland alternative". The Times's Matt Chorley notes that Sir Ed came on stage to Abba's Take a Chance on Me, which he describes as a "risky move". The last time a political leader arrived to the strains of the Swedish group, he says, it was Theresa May moving awkwardly to Dancing Queen, and she was forced to resign seven months later.
And finally, the Times reports that Britain is turning into a nation of bath dodgers as households turn off the taps to save money. Figures from PZ Cussons – whose brands include Imperial Leather and Carex – show shoppers are cutting back on bathing products. But that doesn't mean we're on a "slippery slope to smelliness", the paper says, because sales of soap bars are booming.
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