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What the papers say – March 30

Criticism of the GKN takeover and images of Australia’s Steve Smith lead the papers.

The takeover of GKN, the improving condition of poisoned Yulia Skripal and an emotional former cricket captain feature on the front pages on Good Friday.

The Daily Mail brands the takeover of defence giant GKN by Melrose “an abuse of capitalism”.

The paper reports that recent investors were thought to have made a quick £172 million in profit as GKN’s shares surged after Melrose won control of the 259-year-old UK firm, which made cannonballs for the Battle of Waterloo and Spitfires for the Battle of Britain.

Calls have been made for the Government to block the £8.1 billion deal on national security grounds, says The Guardian, as the firm succumbed to the “hostile” bid after Melrose appealed directly to GKN shareholders.

The paper reports that the Business Minister, Greg Clark, said he would consider calls from MPs and trade unions to intervene.

An image of Australia’s former cricket captain Steve Smith also features prominently on the front page, after he broke down in tears at a press conference in Sydney.

His emotional apology following the ball tampering scandal appears on the front of the Daily Telegraph, too, with the paper describing him as a “fallen idol”.

The lead story follows up on the ruling on John Worboys, and claims 63 violent criminals were also cleared for release last year from high security jails.

Both the Daily Mirror and the i report on the improving condition of Yulia Skripal, who was the victim of the Novichok attack alongside her father Sergei.

The Mirror says the 33-year-old is said to be talking after making a “dramatic recovery”, while the i reports she has been “improving rapidly”.

Elsewhere, the Independent leads on lawyers being urged to refuse legal aid work over fears the criminal justice system is “collapsing” due to cuts.

And The Times reports that tens of millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money has been wasted by the Government on public consultations.

Two soldiers appearing in court in Cape Verde for brawling makes the front of The Sun, while the Daily Express reports that a teacher won a £250,000 payout for falling off a desk.

The Daily Star leads on Peter Kay “breaking his silence” for the first time since cancelling his tour to urge people to help scientists find a cure for a rare genetic disease.

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