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April: 29/04/2021: @acenewsservices
Newspaper headlines: ‘Boris painted into corner’ and how to get ‘fancy wallpaper’
BBC News: Staff:
Many of the front pages focus on the decision by the Electoral Commission to investigate the funding of work on Boris Johnson’s Downing Street flat – and the angry exchanges about the issue at Wednesday’s Prime Minister’s Questions.
Mr Johnson is “painted into a corner” according to the Daily Mail’s headline which continues the papers’ home decorating wordplay. The paper says he and fiancee Carrie Symonds “may have to hand over personal emails and phone messages” to an official inquiry into how the flat renovations were funded. The Electoral Commission, leading the probe, “has sweeping powers to demand documents and interview witnesses”, the Mail notes. It even suggests Mr Johnson “could be first PM interviewed under caution”. Elsewhere, the paper pictures the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on their 10th wedding anniversary.
The prime minister will give evidence to the Electoral Commission, says the i paper’s headline. It says the case could be passed to police for criminal investigation if it is suspected any failure to declare funding was intentional. The paper adds that Dominic Cummings could also be asked to give evidence.There is concern in Downing Street over the “paper trail” over the PM’s flat renovations, the Times reports. It says there are claims the joint Tory party chairman Ben Elliot warned Mr Johnson in February last year that plans to fund the project through donations were “madness”. The paper’s main front page picture is of Julia James, the police community support officer who was found dead near woodland in Kent – as murder detectives investigate.Mr Johnson’s anger during his Commons clash with Sir Keir Starmer leads the Guardian. Its story is accompanied by a four-way split picture of of a red-faced prime minister using a jabbing finger to put forward his case during PMQs. It says a “cash for curtains” row is increasingly engulfing Mr Johnson – but notes his insistence that he has done nothing wrong.
The Daily Telegraph leads on the comments of England’s deputy chief medical officer Prof Jonathan Van-Tam who says two-jab protection allows vaccinated people to “meet freely”. The paper says Prof Van-Tam believes there is little risk for those who have been fully jabbed to gather – but he urged them not to so. Its main image is of Prince William and Catherine in what the paper describes as an “affectionate embrace” as the couple mark 10 years of marriage..The Electoral Commission probe leads the Financial Times, which reports a second investigation into the flat will be led by Sir Christopher Geidt, the Queen’s former senior adviser.
The FT also reports the resignation of NI First Minister Arlene Foster, who it says has “caved to pressure”.It is the second investigation led by Sir Christopher that catches the eye of the Daily Mirror. It claims Mr Johnson will be the judge at his own trial – as it reports the PM’s spokesman as saying Mr Johnson would be “the ultimate arbiter of this, yep” when asked who would receive the probe’s findings.The news that 60m more booster vaccines have been secured by the UK leads the Daily Express. It says the move could “halt a third wave”. Elsewhere, it promotes a special “Kate & Wills souvenir pullout” for the royal couple’s “happy and glorious” anniversary.
The Daily Star offers its readers “proper fancy wallpaper” of the kind said to be favoured by Mr Johnson and Ms Symonds in a two-page pullout. The paper helpfully advises readers that they only need to buy 104 copies of the paper in order to decorate a 6m x 3m room.
According to the Guardian, Mr Johnson was “goaded into a fury” by the Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, in what the Metro calls “their fiercest Commons clash yet”.
“Boris gets a pasting”, claims the Daily Star, which says the prime minister was left “raging” by the bust-up “in which he was dubbed Major Sleaze”. The Financial Times says Mr Johnson was asked bluntly “are you a liar?” by the SNP and responded by accusing opposition parties of “obsessing over issues of little interest in the lives of most voters”.
The Daily Mail says the “bombshell” move by the Electoral Commissioncould see Mr Johnson become the first serving prime minister to be interviewed under caution in relation to an alleged breach of the law.
The Times claims there is concern within Downing Street that the possible involvement of a Tory donor in financing the flat renovation “has left a damaging paper trail” at Conservative Party headquarters.
“There was a very limited number of people who knew about the funding arrangements,” a government source tells the paper. “It’s not clear how this will end”.
JESSICA TAYLOR/UK PARLIAMENT
The Daily Mirror dismisses what it calls a “supposedly independent probe” headed by the Queen’s former chief aide Sir Christopher Geidt – by highlighting the reaction of the shadow minister for the Cabinet Office, Rachel Reeves.
She is quoted saying: “In our country, the police don’t require the permission of a thief to investigate a burglary.” Boris Johnson has insisted no rules were broken.
An acknowledgment by England’s deputy chief medical officer that it’s “incredibly safe” for two fully vaccinated people to meet is the main news for the Daily Telegraph.
It says Professor Jonathan Van-Tam told Wednesday’s Downing Street briefing he was “highly confident scientifically” that any such meeting presented little risk – but went on to urge people not to get together until more jabs are administered.
The Times notes remarks by the head of immunisation at Public Health England, Mary Ramsay. Speaking to MPs, she suggested vaccinated people might be given different social-distancing advice in the summer before insisting that, for now, the government was not in favour of creating what she called “privileged individuals”.
The front page of the Sun marks the court appearance by the Wales manager, Ryan Giggs, who pleaded not guilty to two assault charges and another of coercive control.
It says the former Manchester United star “stood grim-faced in the dock” as prosecutors accused him of “deliberately headbutting” his former girlfriend at his home in November last year.
Mr Giggs was released on bail ahead of a hearing at Manchester Crown Court next month.
#AceNewsDesk report ………Published: Apr.29: 2021:
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