Newspaper headlines: Starmer 'plots to take EU migrants' and 'desperate despots' –

The Guardian reports that plans to rebuild five hospitals with crumbling concrete were blocked in 2020 as part of a spending review when Rishi Sunak was chancellor. Two of the seven such projects requested by the Department of Health at the time were signed off by the Treasury. The paper – which has approached the Treasury for comment – says the government announced this May that the other five sites would be rebuilt.
A government spokesperson told the paper the "claims were untrue" and "the funding was not rejected by the Treasury, or the chancellor and chief secretary at the time".
The Times says ministers are looking at ordering almost 1,000 pre-fabricated buildings to use as classrooms for schools in England affected by crumbling concrete.
It reports that the Department for Education has issued two contract notices "worth tens of millions of pounds" for readymade teaching blocks to replace classrooms that are out of action due to Raac. The contracts are said to stipulate that the temporary buildings could be needed until 2027, which the paper says "underlines the scale of the challenge".
Labour's plans to tackle migration if the party were to win the next general election were reported in the Daily Telegraph. The paper says Sir Keir Starmer's party is considering taking a share of asylum seekers reaching Europe as part of a deal in which the EU would "take back" asylum seekers who entered the UK illegally after crossing the Channel.
Figures show sectors with hybrid and remote working as standard practice have seen more women return to full-time professional roles since the pandemic, according to the Financial Times. IT and finance have seen some of the biggest increases.
A study by Winchester University has found a vegan diet could be good for cats, says the Guardian. Cat owners who made the change to their pet's food reported fewer trips to the vets, as well as other health benefits. Researchers say biologically, cats need a specific set of nutrients, not meat, and this could be supplied through plant additives.
Experts say people should still consult a vet if they are considering changing their pet's diet.
Some of Thursday's front pages feature photographs of Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un greeting each other as they met for talks in Russia on Wednesday. "Handshake of horror" says the Daily Mail.
The Daily Mirror labels them "tyrant allies". The Daily Star has captioned a photo of the two leaders with "despot the difference".
The Times says Mr Kim pledged his backing for Mr Putin's battle in Ukraine in a "support deal". In its editorial, the Daily Telegraph says President Putin "may just have made his greatest blunder" by seeking a closer relationship with Pyongyang.
Comments from Boris Johnson in the Spectator arguing for the UK and US to boost military support for Ukraine have been picked up by some of the papers. The Daily Express points out the call comes after the former prime minister made another visit to Ukraine last weekend.
The i reports that Mr Johnson's intervention will be seen as a sign that "he intends to maintain pressure" on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, "particularly on issues close to his heart".
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