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Jan.19, 2022: @acenewsservices
#AceDailyNews says here’s todays Newspaper Headlines: The Daily Mirror describes Mr Cummings’ accusation as a “new bombshell claim”. It says his allegation as “crucial” because, if true, it would mean the PM lied to the Commons when he claimed he thought the May 2020 drinks party was a work event.
Cummings claims PM lied: The Metro also leads with the claim from Mr Cummings, who has said he would be willing to swear under oath that it was the truth. Mr Cummings said he told the PM that he had to get a grip on “this madhouse”, but Mr Johnson “waved it aside”.
BBC News: Staff:
The Guardian also leads with the blog post from Mr Cummings. But the paper has also spoken to another former No 10 staffer who says it is “inconceivable” that Mr Johnson’s principal private secretary – who organised the drinks – would have gone ahead “without checking with Boris”.
The ongoing row over No 10 parties during lockdown “continues to bite”, says the i newspaper. The Conservatives have fallen 13 points behind in polls, the paper says, and many Tory MPs say they’ve been inundated with letters from angry voters. The paper quotes George Freeman, who it says has become the first government minister “to point the finger” at the PM by saying those in power “shouldn’t seek to escape public responsibility or accountability”.
The Financial Times focuses on energy bills, reporting that the UK government is exploring a “radical intervention” to help soften the blow to consumers from price rises. According to the paper, one idea being considered is that the government would pay energy suppliers when wholesale gas prices rise above a certain level, so that the price hikes aren’t passed on to households. Officials have described the suggestion as “plausible” – but it’s not universally popular among industry figures.
The Daily Express’ front page calls on the PM to act now to prevent a cost-of-living crisis for millions of people. It says Mr Johnson has three weeks before many families’ fuel bills may double – amid warnings that households may not be able to cope. Soaring inflation and more expensive food is already driving people into poverty, the paper adds.
Britain has sent troops and hi-tech weapons to Ukraine to help with its self-defence against Russia, the Daily Mail reports. The UK’s Defence Secretary Ben Wallace confirmed the deployment, saying it came in the light of Russia’s “increasingly threatening behaviour”. The Mail calls it a clear signal to Vladimir Putin, and that British troops will teach their Ukrainian counterparts how to combat Russian tanks. Russia insists it has no plans to attack Ukraine but has sent troops to the border.
The Daily Telegraph leads with a government announcement that magistrates’ sentencing powers are to be increased in a bid to help clear the backlog in the courts system. Magistrates will be able to jail criminals for up to a year – doubled from the current maximum of six months – under plans unveiled by Justice Secretary Dominic Raab. Writing in the Telegraph, Mr Raab said the change will free up judges to speed up justice.
The Sun’s front page carries a mock-up of Prince Andrew’s bed, after an ex-royal police officer told an ITV documentary that the duke requests five soft toys to be put on his bed when he sleeps at Buckingham Palace. The paper claims the duke would “scream and shout” if they were not in order.
Brian Blessed makes the front page of the Daily Star, which reports that the “foghorn-voiced” actor and TV legend is actually a “meditation maestro”. The paper says Blessed – known for his booming voice – exudes peace and tranquillity, according to his friend and fellow actor Sir Kenneth Branagh.
Many of the front pages concentrate on Dominic Cummings’ latest claims about Downing Street parties.
The Metro’s headline repeats the assertion of Boris Johnson’s former chief adviser that he is willing to swear under oath that the prime minister lied to the House of Commons.
The Daily Mirror focuses on his claim that the PM approved a party in the No 10 garden in May 2020.
The Guardian quotes an unnamed former Downing Street staff member as saying “it’s inconceivable” that Mr Johnson’s aide, Martin Reynolds, would have arranged the event “without checking with Boris”.
Downing Street says suggestions that the prime minister was warned about the gathering in advance are untrue.
According to the i newspaper, “Tory angst is growing”. Writing in the paper, the boss of the Conservative Home website, Mark Wallace, likens rumours about potential leadership challenges to the TV drama Succession.
He writes that the PM’s potential successors may be plotting and calculating, “but risk being paralysed by the knowledge that if you attack and miss, you fail absolutely”.
The Daily Mail’s leader attempts to draw a line under the so-called Partygate scandal. It says “enough is enough”, claiming the ongoing coverage is causing “a thumping hangover – without having had the fun of going to the parties”.
Mr Cummings has been strongly critical of Mr Johnson since the adviser left his Downing Street job in 2020
The Financial Times reports that ministers are considering paying energy suppliers to avoid wholesale price rises being passed on to customers.
It says the plan includes a commitment for companies to repay the money if prices fall below an agreed level. The paper claims the idea is being prioritised over government-backed loans because of fears suppliers cannot take on further credit risk.
The Daily Express urges the prime minister to accelerate efforts to resolve the issue, saying “the clock is ticking”.
The Mirror’s editorial accuses the government of making a bad situation even worse by making bad decisions, saying the next government will be tasked with dealing with a legacy of reduced living standards.
Justice Secretary Dominic Raab writes about plans to reformmagistrates’ courts in the Daily Telegraph.
He calls magistrates the “unsung heroes” and “linchpins” of the justice system – and that giving them powers to hand out longer punishments and deal with more serious offences will help reduce the current backlog of unheard crown court cases.
The paper also carries some scathing criticism of the plans, from the chairman of the Criminal Bar Association, Jo Sidhu QC.
He calls the proposals “a cynical means of depriving those accused of serious crime from being judged by their peers”.
The Times says there are fears of a global shortage of truffles, because hunters have been banned from operating in woodlands in two regions of Italy.
Restrictions have been introduced in Piedmont and Liguria after five wild boars were discovered with African swine fever.
Fans of the delicacy fear it could drive up prices, which have already doubled to five pounds a gram this winter after an unseasonably dry autumn affected supplies.
#AceNewsDesk report …………Published: Jan.19: 2022:
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