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April: 28/04/2021: @acenewsservices
Newspaper headlines: ‘PM urged to come clean’ and ‘June olé days’
BBC News: Staff:
There are “yet more searching questions” for Mr Johnson, according to the Daily Mail. It reports the PM shouted “I can’t afford it!” to aides when discussing the soaring cost of renovating his Downing Street flat. Mr Johnson is “facing [a] rap” for a “free” holiday on the Caribbean island of Mustique, the paper claims. Meanwhile, the Mail reports that self-driving cars are to be legal on UK roads this year. It airs concerns drivers “will be able to check their emails and watch TV” under plans to legalise the technology by year’s end.Mr Johnson is accused of causing “untold hurt” to bereaved families, reports the i paper. It says No 10 “refuses to deny” the prime minister’s alleged “let Covid rip” comments last autumn. The paper notes mounting calls for a Covid inquiry – amid separate claims around the refurbishment of Mr Johnson’s flat at No 11.”Cash for curtains” is the Daily Mirror’s headline as it reports Mr Johnson is “mired in scandal”. The paper accuses the PM of lying about who paid for renovations of his Downing Street residence and reports Labour as saying he is “spending more time covering up” the furore than dealing with Covid. Separately, the paper pictures a laughing Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on a visit to County Durham.Mr Johnson announced a “fightback” to cabinet colleagues amid days of scandal and leaks, the Daily Express says. It reports the PM as telling senior ministers Britain will bounce back from the pandemic with an ambitious recovery plan. Transport, infrastructure and support for business are said to be among the key measures proposed, the paper says. Its main image is of a smiling Queen and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge with the headline “getting on with the job, just what Philip would have wanted”.”June olé days” declares the Sun as it reports that the Spanish tourism minister has confirmed June will see “the start of the recovery of tourism in Spain”. The move comes after discussions between the UK and Spanish government and involve a “digital health pass”, the Sun says. The paper welcomes the Queen’s return to virtual royal engagements with the headline “Ma’am cam”.A “huge drop” in the number of deaths linked to Covid-19 leads the Metro. The paper says they have fallen 97% since the peak of the UK’s second wave in January. Separately, a picture of Boris Johnson sits beside a question: “So can Boris wallpaper over the cracks?” Elsewhere, the paper pictures a monochrome portrait of actor James Norton – who it says is “tipped to be next Bond”.The Times echoes the theme as it reports an analysis that shows more than 38 million people in England live in areas that are recording virtually no new Covid cases. The paper says the data suggests the next phase of unlocking on 17 May should go ahead as planned. Elsewhere, it reports a warning by Australia that the “drums of war are beating” over tensions with China over Taiwan.The Daily Telegraph reports that businessman Sir James Dyson has accused the BBC of a “grotesque mischaracterisation” of his ties to the Conservative Party after the Corporation reported text messages sent between the vacuum magnate and Mr Johnson. He says the suggestion he is a prominent Tory donor is “completely untrue”.
The BBC has issued a clarification after some of its coverage made the claim.The number of British naturists is on the rise, the Daily Star reports, including some who admit to cooking while nude. Its headline? “Look at the size of our members”.
“So can Boris wallpaper over the cracks?” asks the Metro, as some of Wednesday’s papers continue to try to establish how the Prime Minister paid for the renovation of his Downing Street flat.
In a nod to the 1990s, the Daily Mirror describes this row as “Cash for Curtains”. It says Boris Johnson is “mired in scandal” with Labour accusing him of lying.
The Guardian reports there is “growing disquiet” within the Conservative Party about the issue, with senior Tories wanting the Prime Minister to “come clean” about the funding of the refurbishment.
Britons will be able to enjoy “June Olé Days” in Spain, according to the Sun. The paper says travel will involve a digital health pass, following talks between the two governments.
The Spanish tourism minister, Fernando Valdes Verelst, has said he hopes his country will also be included on the travel “green list” by June, meaning passengers will not need to quarantine when they return to the UK. But the Daily Telegraph says this is not guaranteed, with Spain looking at a “green corridor” instead, allowing just vaccinated Britons to travel.
Closer to home – and analysis by the Times has found that more than 38 million people in England live in areas that are recording virtually no new cases of Covid. It means 70% of people are in parts of the country where a maximum of two infections were reported in the latest weekly data.
The government’s scientific advisers say the figures show that the timetable for lifting the lockdown remains on track. But Professor Alastair Grant, from the University of East Anglia says some “deprived inner-city areas” in places such as Bradford and Leicester are still struggling – because of low take-up of the vaccine.
The i paper reports that the Post Office has warned the government it could require a bailout of hundreds of millions of pounds – if it loses a new legal case. It reports how 10 sub-postmasters want to be considered employed workers rather than independent contractors.
If they’re successful, the Post Office could face claims from 8,000 others for pay and compensation going back more than 20 years. One accountant has told the paper the total bill could be more than £400m, but that could increase if sick pay and pensions are factored in.
“China braced for population fall” is the headline accompanying the Financial Times lead. People familiar with the latest Chinese census have told the paper the total population is likely to be less than £1.4bn.
It would be the first fall for six decades and comes despite a relaxation of strict family planning policies. Analysts say the population decrease could hit the Chinese economy hard – affecting everything from consumption to care for the elderly.
“Time for a Blair cut,” is the Daily Mail’s advice to Tony Blair after he appeared in an ITV News interview with a lockdown mullet. The paper says his appearance left viewers “utterly transfixed”.
The Daily Telegraph considers whether it was the programme’s “mane item”, while the Daily Mirror thinks he may have drawn inspiration from the late nightclub owner Peter Stringfellow.
The interview itself was about Scotland’s political future, leading the Times to question whether Mr Blair had granted devolution to his own locks.
#AceNewsDesk report …………Published: Apr.28: 2021:
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