Newspaper headlines: Sunak's 'green gamble' and 'le rock and royal' –

A speech delivered on Wednesday by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in which he announced exemptions and delays to several targets in the government's net zero strategy dominates the papers. The strategy, which is enshrined in law, commits the UK to eliminating its contribution to the overall amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere by 2050.
For the Daily Mail, it's the "biggest gamble" of Mr Sunak's premiership. The paper says he is "taking on the eco-zealots" in a "bold move" that could "transform Tory fortunes." The Sun also supports the changes, praising the prime minister for giving drivers "a brake".
The Daily Telegraph agrees Mr Sunak is sparing the public from "net-zero pain". But it warns that his new stance has "reopened the Conservative civil war," with his two predecessors as prime minister – Boris Johnson and Liz Truss – coming out on different sides of the argument.
According to the Daily Express, the "blast from Boris" – criticising the scaling back of his own policies – has taken the wind out of Mr Sunak's sails, with some of Mr Johnson's supporters demanding an immediate election. The Times also reports that the policy move is dividing Tory MPs, with rows breaking out on private Conservative WhatsApp groups.
The Financial Times says Mr Sunak's speech "sparked a business backlash" and also opened up a major dividing line with Labour, despite the prime minister insisting it was "not about politics".
The Telegraph's associate editor, Camilla Tominey, declares that the election starting gun has officially been fired, with Mr Sunak's change of direction "jump-starting" the Conservative campaign. By putting himself "on a collision course" with Sir Keir Starmer, she writes, the prime minister no longer looks like a "back-seat driver" in the race for Downing Street. In fact, she adds, Mr Sunak has "pole-positioned himself" on the side of the voters the party has to win back if it's to have any chance of staying in power.
"Fossil Fool" is how the Daily Mirror headlines the story. The paper describes the announcement as a "blow to the green agenda", which it predicts will lead investment in the UK car industry to plunge.
For the Guardian, the series of U-turns adds up to a "green bonfire" – designed to close the poll gap with Labour. According to the paper, environmental groups could now try to challenge the changes in court because the government has a legal obligation to set out precisely how it intends to meet its net-zero target.
The start of the King and Queen's state visit to France also gets plenty of coverage. According to the Times, the "Roi Polloi" were out in force to greet the pair on the streets of Paris.
Away from the fashion critiques – and photos of Sir Mick Jagger arriving at the Palace of Versailles for last night's state dinner – the i says the visit risks being "overshadowed" by Mr Sunak's net zero "U-turn". King Charles is due to raise the importance of tackling climate change in his speech to the French senate later – and, the paper says, the "unfortunate" timing of Mr Sunak's announcement will have "triggered nerves in Royal circles".
Finally, a number of papers report on the controversy caused by a Cornish vicar who installed two beer pumps near the altar of his 600-year-old church. According to the Mail, some members of the congregation at St Ia's Church in St Ives have condemned the move as a "desecration" of the building. But the Reverend Nick Widdows – who's pictured pulling a pint in his dog collar – explains "it's only temporary" and will help welcome "all sorts of people" into the church during the town's annual arts festival.
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