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May.19, 2021: @acenewsservices

Newspaper headlines: Holiday rules ‘chaos’ and PM Covid nurse quits NHS

The Daily Telegraph 19 May
The Daily Telegraph’s splash says the government’s foreign holiday guidance is mired in “chaos” as a health minister warned it was still too dangerous for people to travel overseas – despite the international travel ban being lifted on Monday. The paper says Lord Bethell’s comments have attracted criticism from Conservative backbenchers and travel bosses, with one industry figure accusing him of being “totally out of touch with reality”.

BBC News: Staff:

The Daily Mail reports that “contradictory messages” from ministers about the traffic light system for foreign travel have sparked “mass confusion” and left travel bosses “begging for clarity”. The paper adds its voice to these calls with its playful headline “Wish you were clear, ministers!” Meanwhile, the front page also claims one of the Queen’s new puppies has died – in what the Mail says will bring “fresh heartache” for the monarch.The i’s main story reports that Boris Johnson could face a Commons “backlash” if the government tries to bring in localised restrictions to curb the spread of the Indian Covid variant. The prime minister is said to be facing a “revolt” from his own MPs who, the paper says, are threatening to join with Labour amid fears a fourth period of lockdown “would be devastating for businesses”.

A nurse who Mr Johnson credited with saving his life when he was in intensive care with Covid has quit the health service as she criticised his government’s handling of the pandemic and staff pay, the Metro’s lead says. Speaking about a proposed 1% staff pay rise, the paper quotes Jenny McGee as saying: “We’re not getting the respect and now pay that we deserve” and that she had resigned from her job.Also leading on the resignation of Ms McGee, the Daily Mirror accuses the government of a “a betrayal of NHS heroes” with its “pay insult”.

The Guardian’s front page says a report by parliamentary watchdog the National Audit Office (NAO) has found coronavirus exposed “decades-long weaknesses in government and divisions in wider society”. Gareth Davies, head of the NAO, is quoted as saying the virus “stress-tested the government’s ability to deal with unforeseen events” and had highlighted the need for ministers to be “systematic” in planning for emergencies and learning lessons quickly. The front page also features news of Ms McGee’s resignation from the NHS, including the claim that No 10 officials tried to “co-opt” her into a Clap for Carers photo opportunity with the prime minister.

The Times’ splash says the PM is set to back a plan that would give Australian farmers tariff-free access to British food markets – under what would be the government’s “first bespoke trade deal” since Brexit. However, the paper reports warnings by the British farming industry who fear that such a plan could leave farmers struggling to compete with cheaper imports and set a “dangerous precedent” for future trade agreements.

The Financial Times reports that a plan by Royal Dutch shell to shift to cleaner fuels has been “overwhelmingly” backed by its shareholders – as a report from the International Energy Agency said that all new oil, gas and coal projects would need to stop for the world to hit net zero by 2050. The paper quotes one climate think-tank analyst who says the “huge turnaround” by the usually “very pro-fossil” organisation was a surprise – and “truly a knife in the fossil fuel industry”.

The front page of the Daily Express reports on the case of Julia Forward, who “nearly died” after her cancer diagnosis was misdiagnosed as indigestion during telephone calls with her GP. She claims lockdown restrictions stop doctors from making an accurate diagnosis, and argues that all patients should be seen in person. The paper says her case is “shocking proof” that patients should be able to see their GP face to face.

The Daily Star claims “boffins” have devised a new theory that may have solved the mystery of the Loch Ness monster.

“Wish you were clear, ministers” is the Daily Mail’s wry take on the potential confusion sown by the PM and his ministers as they gave conflicting advice on whether foreign holidays could be taken this summer. 

“Government policy in chaos” is the Daily Telegraph’s verdict, while the Times judges the performance from both Boris Johnson and ministers on the issue as “a descent into farce”‘.

Pictures of the NHS nurse Jenny McGee, who cared for the prime minister when he was admitted to hospital with coronavirus, feature on most front pages. “Boris Covid nurse quits over pay insult” is the Daily Mirror’s headline

The Guardian reports that as well as being offended by the 1% pay offer for health workers in England, the nurse felt pressured by the PM’s staff to take part in a “clap for the NHS” photo-opportunity while she visited Downing Street for what she thought would be a private thank-you. 

Andrew Parsons / Downing StreetThe prime minister publicly thanked nurse Jenny McGee for caring for him when he was in intensive care with Covid last year

“Virus exposed government weakness, finds watchdog” is the main headline for The Guardian as it leads on the National Audit Office (NAO) report into the government’s Covid response. 

The paper reports the study’s key findings that a lack of systemic planning and under-investment in social care and local government had hampered ministers’ ability to respond swiftly and effectively to the coronavirus crisis. 

It quotes the NAO’s head, Gareth Davies who notes the need for systematic planning for emergencies from government – as well as the ability to learn lessons at speed. 

It suggests that after being given a “pasting” over the cost of his £840-a-roll wallpaper, the prime minister has now faced the embarrassment of having to call in specialist decorators to re-hang parts of it…because it was peeling off. 

According to the Mail, the heavyweight hand-crafted paper used is much more difficult to hang than mass produced versions sold in high street stores.

And finally the Times reports one of the more unexpected consequences of the pandemic – that the days of parents perching on a tiny chair opposite a teacher once or twice a year to discuss little Timmy, Bob or Claire’s progress at school may be a thing of the past.

“Online Parents’ Evening’s are given top marks” is the headline’s claim as it says the government’s Education Recovery Commissioner, Sir Kevan Collins, is suggesting online parents evenings introduced in lockdown could be adopted permanently. 

According to the paper, Mumsnet users unanimously approved of the idea: “Much better than the normal bunfight” was the verdict of one, while another welcomed the automated cut-off of participants once the allocated time slot ran out as a much more effective approach to slot over-run than the traditional “hard stare and tut” combination. 

#AceNewsDesk report …………Published: May.19: 2021:

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