‘Ace News Room U.K. Daily News Desk’

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Jan.18, 2022: @acenewsservices

#AceDailyNews says here’s todays Newspaper headlines: The Daily Telegraph reports that the prime minister has been questioned by Sue Gray, who is leading an investigation into allegations of parties at Downing Street while coronavirus restrictions were in place. Her report could be published as early as this week, according to the paper.

“Johnson’s scapegoats” is the headline dominating the front of the Daily Mirror as the paper joins several others to report the steps the prime minister is taking in a bid to save his premiership. The paper says Boris Johnson is poised to sack senior officials over “partygate”, in what the paper calls a “desperate bid to save his own career”. The paper also alleges that Mr Johnson was at another No 10 party before Christmas 2020.

PM quizzed on parties as he battles to stay as leader: There is growing anger over the alleged incidents, with Tory MPs reporting that their inboxes have been filled with complaints from voters. The paper adds that one survey conducted by the Grassroots Conservatives group found that about four in 10 of its supporters want Mr Johnson to resign.

BBC News: Staff:

The i leads with what it has dubbed “operation dead meat” – a pun on “operation save big dog” and “operation red meat”, which reportedly details measures to save Mr Johnson’s position. But the initiatives to appease Conservatives with new policies and sacking No 10 staff falls short, Tobias Ellwood, chairman of the defence committee, has told the paper.

One of the policies concerns the BBC licence fee, which Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries has said will be abolished in 2027, and the corporation’s funding frozen for two years. The Guardian says Mr Johnson has been accused of “attacking” the BBC to “save his own skin”. The paper says the move will likely prove popular with Tory members and supporters, but Labour’s Ian Murray said the announcement was a “last ditch attempt” by the PM to save his premiership.

A further measure in the PM’s policy arsenal concerns Channel crossings, the Times reports, with Mr Johnson planning to put the military in charge of stemming the number of boats making the journey. Further measures are being drawn up to send migrants to countries such as Rwanda and Ghana for processing and resettlement, according to the paper. The paper describes the “series of populist announcements” the PM is expected to reveal as he faces calls to resign.

Mr Johnson’s allies have said that he will put up a stiff fight to save his political future by levelling up Britain, the Daily Express reports. The paper says that the PM’s supporters hope an inquiry into the Downing Street parties will stop short of implicating him directly.

Meanwhile, the Daily Mail focuses on the actions of the leader of the opposition, after a photograph emerged of Sir Keir Starmer drinking with colleagues during lockdown. The Labour leader has said the image was taken at a work event, adding there is “no comparison” between his and the PM’s actions. Tory MPs have accused him of hypocrisy and called for him to apologise.

Elsewhere, Metro leads on Novak Djokovic’s failed bid to stay in Australia, with the tennis star being deported on Sunday after losing a his court battle. “Go pack Djokovic” is paper’s headline. The paper reports that judges told Djokovic that allowing him to stay would set a bad example – particularly if he went on to win the Open. It adds that Djokovic refused to reveal his vaccine status, but claimed he had a “medical exemption” after catching Covid in December.

The Sun reports that the Queen will not help her grandson, the Duke of Sussex, in his legal fight for the right to personally pay for police protection while in the UK. The paper quotes a royal source as saying: “Her Majesty certainly won’t cave into his demands.”

And the Daily Star takes aim at Prince Harry’s legal bid in a tongue-in-cheek front page. “Totally ordinary bloke who does totally ordinary things says he’s, er.. extraordinary!” is the paper’s headline.

Finally, the Financial Times reports that GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer are holding out for a higher bid of at least £60bn from Unilever for their consumer healthcare joint venture.

The Daily Telegraph reports Boris Johnson has been questioned by the senior civil servant, Sue Gray, investigating the “partygate” allegations. 

There is plenty of coverage though of the prime minister’s fightback – reportedly called “operation red meat”.

The Times leads with what it describes as one of the populist announcements designed to shore up Mr Johnson’s premiership.

The paper explains that he intends to put the Royal Navy in charge of stemming the number of migrant boats crossing the Channel. But the Times acknowledges that some critics question how effective the navy’s intervention can be, given the vast majority of migrants are already intercepted before landing on the South Coast.

Another of the measures – the announcement that the BBC licence fee will be frozen then abolished in 2027 – makes the Guardian’s front page.

The paper says the prime minister has been accused of targeting the corporation to try to save his own skin. Its columnist, Polly Toynbee, believes the BBC needs to be bold in reminding people of its national worth.

The i suggests the licence fee could be replaced with a household levy, with the poorest exempt. 

However, the Daily Mail welcomes the move to scrap the current fee, arguing that in an era of streaming services it feels as “archaic as a black-and-white TV set”.

The Sun also covers Mr Johnson’s red meat initiatives – picturing him clutching a string of sausages. It is among many to mention the prime minister will ban boozing in Downing Street and fire failing advisers to draw a line under partygate.

The Daily Mirror accuses him of preparing “to throw a bunch of civil servants under the bus” in order to survive.

The i newspaper’s headline is “operation dead meat”. It says some senior Tories believe his plans will not be enough to regain voters’ trust.

On its front page, the Daily Mail says Sir Keir Starmer was “forced on to the defensive” when questioned about a picture of him holding a beer in a Labour constituency office in April last year. During a TV interview, the Labour leader insisted he was working and there was no breach of the Covid rules.

The leader writers remain concerned by the Russian military build-up on Ukraine’s border and the threat of invasion.

The Times argues western democracies should use the lull in the crisis to help President Putin retreat from his nationalistic demands. 

The Financial Times thinks he would risk serious economic costs from western sanctions if he launched an attack – but is worried he now listens to a narrow circle who feed his prejudices.

Finally, the Daily Telegraph covers the discovery of a rare gold coin by a metal detectorist in Devon.

The item was minted in 1257 and features an image of the then King – Henry III. It is the first of its kind to be found in more than 260 years and is expected to sell at auction for at least £400,000.

#AceNewsDesk report …………Published: Jan.18: 2022:

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