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May.27, 2021: @acenewsservices

Newspaper headlines: Cummings ‘rains fire’ with ‘pure revenge’ & Do you need a hindsight test, Mr Cummings?” is the headline in the Sun.

Daily Telegraph 27 May
Daily Telegraph readers are met with the changing facial expressions of the prime minister’s former top aide, Dominic Cummings, on its front page, as he made a series of explosive claims about mistakes made by the government during the Covid pandemic. The paper says Mr Cummings was “taking his revenge”. An unnamed adviser to a cabinet minister tells the paper he was “quite selective on what he remembered” and suggested that the public would see him “as bitter”. The paper says the government “will attempt to fight back” against the claims today, with Mr Hancock due to answer an urgent question in the House of Commons. Downing Street has ruled out an imminent reshuffle, the paper adds.

BBC News: Staff:

An unnamed cabinet minister tells the Times that Mr Cummings was after “vengeance” when he gave evidence, which included claims that Mr Johnson was “unfit for the job” and that Matt Hancock should have been fired for lying – something the health secretary denies. The paper says Mr Cummings’ comments amounted to a “character assassination”, with parliamentary sketchwriter Quentin Letts calling the select committee hearing “longer and bloodier than Hamlet”.”Yes, mistakes were made but this was pure revenge.” That’s how the Daily Express sums up the “marathon testimony”.

It reports that Mr Johnson’s allies have “savaged” Mr Cummings in response, and that he has been branded “vengeful and embittered”.Mr Johnson’s supporters believe the allegations “will not seriously damage the prime minister” in any case, reports the Financial Times. The claims amounted to “revenge porn”, according to one unnamed minister. The paper also remarks that the evidence “left few reputations undamaged”, with Chancellor Rishi Sunak “among the few senior figures to avoid his criticism”.The Guardian is another of today’s papers to go for a storyboard effect on its front page. It runs through Mr Cummings’ claims, noting that he portrayed the prime minister as “obsessed with the media and making constant U-turns”.

The i goes in for an even closer crop of Mr Cummings. It has switched its usual bullet-point summary of the news for boxes outlining his main claims. At the top of the front page, a line-up of political hacks are pictured – ready to weigh in with opinions, including that Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer offered what the paper calls a “feeble response”.

The claims amounted to a “Domshell”, jokes the Metro. It features pictures of Mr Johnson and Mr Hancock towards the bottom of its front page and says Mr Cummings “savaged his former boss” but “saved his most damning words” for the health secretary.

The Daily Mirror has chosen a different visual approach altogether – featuring a picture of the prime minister with his head lowered next to the words: “Johnson’s shame”. The prime minister is “in crisis” after the “explosive claims”, it says.

The Daily Star strays furthest from the rest of the pack when it comes to aesthetics, though – choosing to feature children’s drawings, which it refers to as “slides”. Mr Cummings “has finally confirmed what we’ve been saying for 14 months,” the paper says – “this mob don’t have a Scooby”.

There’s just one lead story for all of this morning’s papers: Dominic Cummings and his seven hours of evidence to MPs. Picture after picture of Mr Cummings delivering his explosive claims about mistakes made by the government during the Covid pandemic dominate all the front pages. 

The Guardianthe Daily Mirror and the i newspaper all pick the same quote from his testimony for their main headline – “tens of thousands of people died, who didn’t need to die”. 

For the Guardian, the hearing was an “excoriating attack”. The paper says it resembled a Netflix miniseries. No one who watched was left doubting that Mr Cummings intended to settle scores, says its editorial, but “a self-serving witness can still get evidence that is both damning and true”. 

The Mirror predicts the “mesmerising” account will be “deeply damaging”. Its political editor points out that, in the end, it’s “not the excuses, the blame shifting, the settling of scores, or the clashes of egos” that matter the most – it’s finding out who’s responsible for the “unforgivably high” number of deaths. 

Under the headline “Domshell”, the Daily Mail says Mr Cummings’ “extraordinary performance” amounted to a “dramatic bid to bring down the prime minister.” In its editorial, the Mail calls him a “flawed witness” – but many of his words “ring true”.

The Daily Express disagrees – there was “no smoking gun – just a burning urge for revenge.” 

For the Times, Boris Johnson’s former senior aide “rained fire on No 10”, using the session to “savage” his former boss. It says Mr Cummings “eviscerated” Boris Johnson’s character, motives and competence, in an “utterly damning” account. It’s hard, says the paper, to think of any occasion in modern British politics when someone “so close to the centre of power has turned so spectacularly against a serving prime minister”.

The Times also quotes several government sources, all questioning Mr Cummings’ credibility. One claims his accusations were a “character assassination” that was “not backed by evidence”. Another says it’s clear he was motivated by a desire for vengeance. The paper’s sketch-writer describes the hearing as “primal chaos” – as “molten and Sicilian” as Mount Etna and “long and bloodier than Hamlet”. Quentin Letts notes that even Dilyn, the prime minister’s dog, got a mention, adding that only in England could a “major dingdong include a cameo for a Jack Russell”. 

According to the Financial Times, Mr Johnson’s allies don’t believe the allegations will “seriously damage” the prime minister. Mr Cummings painted a picture of “chaos, indecision and deceit” at the heart of government, leaving “few reputations undamaged”, it says. But a senior minister tells the paper his claims are “like revenge porn” – and the public will see that Mr Cummings is “bitter”. 

For the Daily Telegraph, Mr Cummings’ appearance was “politically explosive”, with “claim after claim” of mismanagement at the top of government and a “litany of other failures”. But the paper also quotes multiple government sources who question Mr Cummings’ motives for attacking the prime minister just six months after leaving Downing Street. One adviser describes Mr Cummings as “quite selective on what he remembered. ” The paper says the government will begin its attempt to “fight back” today, with Mr Johnson visiting a hospital to “underscore his message of getting on with the job”. 

The paper says his “vicious attack” on the health secretary, Matt Hancock, may actually keep him in the job – with the allegations prompting allies and friends of the minister to “come out fighting”. The former aide’s “vengeful score settling failed to convince”, says the paper – and he should never have been allowed “anywhere near the levers of power”. 

For the Telegraph’s Camilla Tominey, it all made for “irresistible viewing – if only anyone outside SW1 was watching”. The public largely regard Mr Cummings, she writes, as a “dog that has had its day”. 

The political editor of the Spectator, James Forsyth, predicts the testimony “won’t have the seismic political impact you might expect.” After speaking to Tory MPs, he concludes that the Conservative poll lead and the fact that the vaccination programme are allowing things to reopen will “insulate Boris Johnson from most of the charges made against him”. 

The New Stateman’s political editor, Stephen Bush, points out that the politician who came out best was the one Mr Cummings failed to mention: Michael Gove. That is despite the fact that Mr Gove’s responsibilities include the Cabinet Office, which came in for plenty of criticism. 

The Daily Star has a different take to the rest. Referring to the image Mr Cummings showed the committee of the government’s Covid strategy sketched out on a whiteboard, the paper says it can reveal the “top secret plans in full”. Its front page is filled with children’s drawings – one of mermaids riding dolphins, and another of a unicorn.

Away from Cummings, the Telegraph reports that the race to become chairman of Ofcom will start again from scratch after Facebook and Google lobbied to stop Paul Dacre getting the job. The former editor of the Daily Mail has been a long-standing opponent of Silicon Valley power. The paper says there were 20 meetings between civil servants and Facebook and Google execs in 2020 alone. All four shortlisted candidates – including Mr Dacre – can reapply for the job. 

And several papers report on new research that reveals that monkeys are able to change their “accents”, depending on their surroundings to help the local monkeys understand them better. Scientists from Anglia Ruskin University compared their discovery to a British person living in the US who might forgo their “tomahto” for a “tomayto”. According to the Guardian, the monkeys adapt their calls to improve communication and stop fights breaking out over food:

#AceNewsDesk report …….Published: May.27: 2021:

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