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Jan.16, 2022: @acenewsservices
#AceDailyNews says here’s todays Newspaper Headlines: Thirteen parties held on government premises, mostly in Downing Street, at the time of #coronavirus restrictions have been disclosed, the Guardian says. The paper has spoken to senior figures in Conservative constituency associations who have said that support for Boris Johnson is fading, with some members leaving the party and cancelling their membership.
PM in ‘last chance saloon’ as he ‘plots fightback’………….The FT Weekend echoes this sentiment, reporting that the prime minister’s future now “hangs by a thread”. Mr Johnson did not attend the events on the eve of Prince Philip’s funeral, but the revelations – of parties at a time of national mourning – may have done irreparable damage to the PM’s reputation, the paper notes. “The drip drip of revelations is seriously damaging,” one cabinet minister is quoted as telling the paper.
BBC News: Staff:
The Daily Telegraph says the prime minister is set to lift Plan B Covid restrictions as part of his leadership “fightback”. Covid passports and work from home guidance for England brought in in response to the Omicron variant are expected to be lifted from 26 January, although some rules on masks may stay in place, the paper says. It adds that scientists appear to have provided evidence which would support the change.
“PM wounded” is the i weekend’s headline, as the paper reports that Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss have been “wooing” Conservative MPs this week in preparation for a leadership contest. Mr Sunak has met more than 100 Tory backbenchers, according to the paper. The paper says former senior adviser to the PM, Dominic Cummings, has a grid he uses to plan “damaging leaks” against Mr Johnson.
“Boris’ wine time Fridays” is the Daily Mirror’s headline, accompanied by a photo of a £142 “booze fridge” which was allegedly used for events. A source tells the paper that Mr Johnson “encouraged” staff to “let of steam” at what it describes as weekly work shindigs as the nation was under Covid restrictions.
The Daily Mail leads on accusations of “brazen hypocrisy” facing Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer after pictures emerged of him drinking with colleagues during lockdown. Sir Keir has said it was a work event – a defence, the paper adds, is the same the PM has used in recent days.
The Daily Star asks if anybody was doing work at No 10 during the pandemic, as it leads on Kate Josephs, the former head of the Covid taskforce, admitting she hosted leaving drinks in the Cabinet Office on December 2020.
The Daily Express said the Queen “deserves better than this”. A photograph of the Queen sitting alone at her husband’s funeral is featured on the front page – an image in stark contrast to the behaviour of No 10 staff at the parties the day before, critics say. The paper says there are demands for the PM to apologise to the Queen in person.
Another person who should apologise to the Queen is her second-eldest son, the Duke of York, the Sun says. The paper says the PM’s apology “piles pressure” on Prince Andrew to say sorry to his mother. It comes after the royal, who faces a US civil action over sexual assault allegations, returned his patronages and military titles on Thursday.
The Times says Boris Johnson has been warned by cabinet ministers that he is in the “last chance saloon” after he was forced to apologise to the Queen about two parties held at Downing Street the night before the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral during Covid restrictions.
It also reports that Sue Gray, the senior civil servant overseeing the investigation into events at No 10 feels “blindsided by revelations” and is concerned Downing Street staff are deliberately concealing information.
The day after the parties took place, the Queen was pictured sitting alone at Prince Philip’s funeral due to Covid restrictions
Both the Financial Times and the i newspaper report there are signs of the PM’s rivals preparing for a leadership contest.
According to the i weekend, Chancellor Rishi Sunak met more than 100 Tory backbenchers this week, while Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is understood to be having dinner with Conservative MPs this weekend. A Tory donor tells the FT they were also sounded out by two cabinet ministers expected to run if Mr Johnson is forced out.
But in its lead, the Telegraph reports that the prime minister is plotting a leadership fightback, with his allies systematically contacting Tory MPs. The paper also reveals that Plan B Covid restrictions are widely expected to be lifted in 11 days’ time.
The Telegraph’s columnist Charles Moore warns Conservative MPs that for all the prime minister’s faults there is no other Tory politician who has his political reach – and that he “deserves respect”.
“Wine Time Fridays” is the Daily Mirror’s headline which reports that Downing Street staff regularly held drinks at the end of the working week throughout the pandemic.
The paper says it has been told by sources that Boris Johnson often witnessed people sitting drinking as he walked up to his flat – and that he would stop for a chat. The Mirror reports staff invested in a “booze fridge” in December 2020, which could hold up to 34 bottles. At the time, no social mixing, except between members of the same household or support bubble, was allowed indoors in England.
No 10 tells the Mirror an investigation to establish the facts about the nature of the gatherings would be made public in due course.
In its lead, the Daily Mail brands the Labour leader a “Covid party hypocrite”.
It reprints a photo – which appeared in the Sun newspaper in May last year – of Sir Keir Starmer drinking beer with party workers in Durham. At the time the picture was taken – 13 April – people were banned from socialising inside with someone from another household.
Labour say that no rules were broken by the party leader because it was a work “meeting” and that those attending had “paused for dinner”.
The Sun says the decision to strip Prince Andrew of his titles was planned by Prince Charles over Christmas and that he consulted Prince William.
The paper claims the two heirs told the Queen of their view, who – with a “heavy heart” – replied she was of the same opinion. The Sun quotes royal experts who say the episode shows how Charles is flexing his muscles to help the Queen.
#AceNewsDesk report ………..Published: Jan.16: 2022:
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