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#AceDailyNews says here’s todays Newspaper Headlines: The plan which would see hundreds of soldiers activated is called Operation Escalin, the Daily Telegraph adds. Ministers have been discussing the proposals, which are due to be presented to Boris Johnson on Monday.

The Guardian front page 27 September 2021
Several papers continue with their coverage of the fuel crisis, with many reporting that the Army could be used to deliver fuel to petrol stations. The Guardian says that hundreds of soldiers could be called upon following panic buying across the country. BP has said that a third of its stations had run out of the main two grades of fuel, the paper adds. There are concerns that the UK could be headed to a “winter of discontent”, with shelves possibly being empty, the paper says.

Sept.28, 2021: @acenewsservices

BBC News: Staff:

Between 1,500 and 2,000 filling stations are estimated to have run out of at least one type of fuel, the paper says, with tensions at forecourts rising as fights have been reported across the country.

If Operation Escalin is approved, the government’s reserve fleet of petrol tankers are expected to be released, according to the Telegraph. Several dozen are believed to be owned by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

The Times reports that senior government sources have said that it could take two weeks before temporary visas are issued to foreign workers. The PM has said that 5,000 foreign lorry drivers will be allowed temporary visas to ease the UK’s driver shortage. But this timeframe means it is “highly likely” soldiers will start work on Operation Escalin in the next few days as a contingency, according to the paper. It will take at least a week to redeploy personnel from their current duties, the paper adds. Meanwhile, a photo of Angela Rayner features on the front page, as many papers report that the Labour deputy leader called senior Conservatives “scum”.

The i also leads on proposals to activate the Army to tackle the petrol shortage at filling stations. It comes as the government suspends competition law to allow oil firms to target fuel deliveries at stations. The move is intended to enable companies to share information and prioritise parts of the country most at need. Meanwhile, a leading medic has called for NHS workers to get priority access to fill up their vehicles.

“You’re just so fuelish” is Metro’s headline. After days of disruption to supply chains, queues at petrol stations and some forecourts closing, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has sought to reassure the British public there is not a shortage of fuel. “We just appeal to people to be sensible. Fill up when you normally would,” Mr Shapps said.

“Motorists’ fury,” the Daily Star says as it features a photo of long queues outside a petrol station, accompanied by the headline: “Petrol chumps.” The paper accuses “greedy” fuel bosses of raising prices.

The Daily Mirror labels the petrol pump chaos a “shambles”. The fuel shortage could last for 10 days, the paper adds, with the lorry driver crisis lasting “much longer”.

But the shortage of HGV drivers should not be blamed on Brexit, Tory MPs are quoted as saying in the Daily Express. Instead, “the culprit is coronavirus”, former Conservative leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith has said.

Moving away from the petrol chaos, the Financial Times reports that the earnings threshold at which graduates start repaying student loans is due to be lowered. Graduates begin to pay back their student loans when their salary reaches £27,295. The government is considering reducing this. One suggested new threshold is £23,000, which could save the Treasury nearly £2bn a year, the FT adds. But, the paper notes, such proposals would hit young people again after National Insurance contributions were raised this month.

And the Daily Mail leads with an investigation into smart motorways – where the hard shoulder is converted to a live lane. An undercover reporter found that the roads are “plagued with shocking technical failures that put lives at risk”, according to the paper, with more than one in 10 safety cameras not working properly.

The Times suggests “hundreds” of soldiers could be put on notice to drive fuel tankers to forecourts “within days” if ministers decide to send the Army to help ease long queues at petrol stations. 

But the Guardian believes the possible operation, first conceived during planning for a no-deal Brexit, could take up to three weeks to fully implement, while the Daily Telegraph highlights fears it could take too long to train the military drivers. 

In the i, a leading doctor calls for healthcare workers to get priority access to fuel. And the Sun describes how gridlocked roads near some petrol stations are making it hard for emergency vehicles to get through. 

“A crisis made in Downing Street” is the verdict of the Daily Mirror, which highlights claims the government knew about the shortage of HGV drivers in June but simply “stuck its fingers in its ears”. 

“An omnishambles” is how the Petrol Retailers Association describes the situation. 

The Daily Express says last night’s decision to relax competition laws will help oil firms target petrol stations which run low.

And the Daily Telegraph says the surging demand for fuel could subside as soon as Friday. 

But a government source tells the Guardian the problems could continue for longer if people’s behaviour doesn’t change. 

“You’re Just So Fuelish” runs a headline in Metro, which says the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has blamed both hauliers and motorists for panic at the pumps.

The Times highlights what it says are tensions in the shadow cabinet after Labour’s deputy leader, Angela Rayner, described senior Tories as “scum”.

The Sun says the MP is standing by her remarks, made at a fringe conference event in Brighton – while the i says her refusal to back down poses another challenge to Sir Keir Starmer’s leadership.

The Daily Mail believes Ms Rayner’s comments may “thrill a proportion of Labour activists” – but will repel most voters.

In the Daily Telegraph, allies of Sir Keir say the incident risks overshadowing Labour’s policy initiatives, such as an overhaul of business tax. The shadow chancellor, Rachel Reeves, tells the Daily Mirror the plans she will outline today would shift the burden of business taxes from struggling smaller firms onto larger companies – creating “a levelling of the playing field”

The Mail’s front page is devoted to an undercover investigation into smart motorways – where the hard shoulder is converted to a live lane. The paper says a reporter, who spent six weeks in a control room, found evidence of “shocking” technical failures, including safety cameras which were either broken, misted up or facing the wrong way. The Department for Transport has ordered an inquiry.

Finally, the Daily Mirror describes how the opening dance by the first same-sex male pairing ever to appear on Strictly Come Dancing received a standing ovation on Saturday. The Mail’s reviewer says John Whaite and his partner, Johannes Radebe, looked “more like secret agents” than ballroom stars, as they high-stepped to robotic music dressed in dark suits and polo necks. He says there is only one question to be asked about “two blokes dancing together” on the show – why on earth has it taken so long?

#AceNewsDesk report ………Published: Sept.28: 2021:

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