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#AceNewsReport – Apr.26: Several front pages continue to deal with the fallout from the claims made by the prime minister’s former chief adviser Dominic Cummings.

Newspaper headlines: ‘PM under pressure on flat revamp’ and ‘India at breaking point’

The i
Several front pages continue to deal with the fallout from the claims made by the PM’s former chief adviser Dominic Cummings. The i says Boris Johnson is facing tax issues over the renovation of his Downing Street flat. It reports that HMRC wants to know where the money for the refurbishment came from. Trade Secretary Liz Truss insisted on Sunday that Mr Johnson paid for the work, the paper adds.

By BBC News Staff

The Times says the country’s most senior civil servant is still investigating Dominic Cummings as part of the inquiry into who leaked details of the government’s lockdown plans. Cabinet secretary Simon Case is due to give evidence to MPs on Monday, when he is also expected to be questioned about the PM’s Downing Street flat refurbishment, the paper reports. Mr Cummings said in his blog post on Friday that Mr Case had cleared him of any involvement in the leak, it adds.The Daily Express says senior Tories have warned that the prime minister should not be distracted by the attack from his ex-adviser Mr Cummings. “For Britain’s sake… Get on with the job!” Is the paper’s headline. The Express also features a photo of fans at Wembley stadium, who were among 8,000 able to see Manchester City beat Spurs in the Carabao Cup on Sunday. The event was part of a series of pilots that are testing the return of big crowds.”Outrage as No 10 rules out urgent inquiry into pandemic mistakes,” is the Guardian’s headline. The paper reports that bereaved families have been told the government is too busy to begin an investigation. It quotes a letter from the government sent to lawyers representing thousands of families that said “an inquiry now is not appropriate”.The Daily Mail reports claims that Boris Johnson said he would rather see “bodies pile high in their thousands” than have a third lockdown. Downing Street has strongly denied the comments were made, saying the story – attributed to sources – was “just another lie”, the paper reports.The Financial Times features a striking picture on its front page of workers in India lining up oxygen tanks after refilling them. The paper reports that shortages of the gas as well as beds have left hospitals there “begging for help”. “India at Covid breaking point” is its headline. The UK, US and EU have all offered to provide emergency supplies, including oxygen and ventilators, it adds.The Covid crisis in India is the focus of the Metro’s front page. It says the situation is so bad there that some crematoriums have run out of wood, forcing grieving families to burn loved ones’ bodies on mass outdoor pyres instead. The country’s official death toll has hit 192,000, with nearly 17 million infections, but the true figure may be far higher, the paper adds.”Stop the hate now” is the Daily Mirror’s headline. It says sports stars, including ex-football player Thierry Henry, have backed the paper’s call for social media firms to crack down on hate.The Sun says Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood has revealed he was diagnosed for a second time with cancer during lockdown. The 73-year-old has since been given the all-clear, the paper reports.The Daily Star reports that the UK has secured 100m doses of a French Covid-19 vaccine. The manufacturer Valneva has said the UK is at the front of the queue of its supplies despite the EU’s vaccine rollout falling behind, the paper says.

Undignified and unnecessary,” is how the Daily Mail describes the row between Boris Johnson and Mr Cummings. The paper says neither side emerges with any credit from this dispute of “claim and counterclaim”. 

The Financial Times says the furore “may yet do serious damage” to Mr Johnson, because there are longstanding questions over his integrity and the government’s handling of the pandemic. 

The i warns that this “civil war” risks doing untold damage to the prime minister because “rancour and division” rarely plays well with the public. 

The Times reports that Britain’s most senior civil servant is still investigating Mr Cummings as part of the inquiry into who leaked the government’s plans for a second lockdown.

Despite Mr Cummings’ claims that he had been cleared, a Whitehall source is quoted as saying “no one has been exonerated”. 

“The stench of sleaze surrounding Boris Johnson… is growing stronger everyday,” is the message from the Daily Mirror’s leader. 

It says the public fall out between the prime minister and Mr Cummings is “doing us a favour by illuminating misrule”.

But the Daily Telegraph editorial says accusations of sleaze “are unlikely to stick”, because they come from a Labour Party “miles behind” in the polls. 

The Guardian reports that the government has “sparked anger” among bereaved families, after they learned that an inquiry into the UK’s handling of the pandemic will not start for months.

Lawyers representing thousands of relatives have been told an “inquiry now is not appropriate” because “the very people who would need to give evidence… are working round the clock”.

But with infections rates at their lowest level since September, bereaved families have accused the government of “procrastination”. 

“Race to get aid to India,” is the Metro’s main story, as it focuses on the worsening numbers of coronavirus cases and deaths in the country.

The paper says the crisis is so bad, some crematoriums have run out of wood.

“Overwhelmed” and at “breaking point”, is how the Financial Timesdescribes the situation, with patients dying queues as they wait to be seen.

The Daily Telegraph reports that some families have been forced to store their dead relatives at home because crematoriums have been overwhelmed. “There is no dignity in death here,” are the words of one man who lost his 65-year-old mother on Friday. 

Scientists say a Covid pill may have the potential to end repeated lockdowns. According to the Daily Mirror, trials are under way in Glasgow and London with the drug Favipiravir.

Experts hope it could become the first first antiviral treatment against mild Covid, with most global trials focussing on drugs that treat disease symptoms.

Results are expected over the next six months, with the hope that if successful, millions of doses could be handed out daily on the NHS. 

“Fantastic,” is how the Daily Express describes return of 8,000 supporters to Wembley for the Carabao Cup final between Manchester City and Tottenham.

The Daily Mail says in a season “characterised by its mind-numbing silence”, the atmosphere sounded like a crowd of 80,000.

The Sun points out that on a day when a semblance of normality returned, “what could be normal than City winning a trophy”? As they have now won seven out of the last 10 on offer in English domestic football. 

#AceNewsDesk report …………Published: Apr.26: 2021:

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