A number of papers report on figures to be released today that are expected to show net migration reached record levels last year.
The Daily Telegraph thinks the data will “expose the chasm between the government’s tough rhetoric and the reality of an immigration system running out of control”, while the Sun warns the increase is “unsustainable for our housing stock and public services”.
The Daily Mail says the Conservatives “really are in deep trouble” after 13 years of failing to fulfil pledges to curb migration. “If they can’t control our borders, what’s the point of them?” The paper asks. The Times urgesHome Secretary Suella Braverman to “cease posturing, park her ambitions, and get on with building a migration system that works”.
The Times also reports that the Cabinet Office is considering a legal challenge after the Covid public inquiry requested access to hundreds of WhatsApp messages sent between Boris Johnson and other ministers during the pandemic. Officials are said to fear that handing over full, unredacted details will set a “dangerous precedent” that all internal government communications could end up being made public, harming future decision-making. The paper says the government also believes that disclosing the messages would breach the Human Rights Act and data protection laws. Those arguments fail to persuade the Daily Mirror, which insists that, if the inquiry can’t establish the facts, lessons can’t be learned.
The Guardian leads with calls for Rishi Sunak to delay or scrap Boris Johnson’s resignation honours list following fresh allegations that the former prime minister hosted lockdown-breaking events. Opposition parties say allies of Mr Johnson should not be rewarded while he remains under investigation. A spokesman for Mr Johnson has dismissed any claims of rule breaches as a “politically motivated stitch-up”. According to the paper, some Conservatives are “privately baffled” as to why Mr Sunak would be willing to go ahead with the list, as it’s expected to hand peerages to at least three MPs and trigger potentially difficult by-elections.
The Daily Telegraph reports that nearly four million people are being paid jobless benefits without having to look for work, following a surge in claims of poor mental health and joint pain during lockdown. The paper says the number has increased by half a million since the pandemic, when face-to-face health checks were replaced with remote assessments. Writing for the paper, former work and pensions secretary Sir Iain Duncan Smith says the government must get people languishing on sickness benefit back to work, a move that he says would help improve their health and reduce dependency.
Images of singer Tina Turner, who died on Tuesday aged 83, feature on many of the front pages. Several headlines nod to one of her most well-known hits, saying: “Simply The Best”. The Daily Mirror hails her “unique” voice, “breathtaking” stage presence and “sublime” music, but adds that what really made her a legend “was her sheer strength of character”.
Alluding to another hit song, the Daily Express calls her “the hero we needed” and pays tribute to her ability to “inspire young performers to this day”. The Daily Mail says she was a “superstar” and “the undisputed queen of stadium rock who invented Girl Power before the Spice Girls were even born”.
A number of Tuesday’s papers lead with the news that German police investigating the 2007 disappearance of Madeleine McCann have launched a search of a reservoir in Portugal.
The Daily Mirror says it isn’t clear whether the search is based on new evidence or has been planned for months. According to the Daily Express, the water level at the reservoir is very low at the moment because of a drought. The Sun says it’s been told by a source that the search is “a major development” and wouldn’t have been ordered “if they were not acting on information”.
The i says Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is under “growing pressure” to act over reports Home Secretary Suella Braverman asked civil servants to arrange a one-on-one speed awareness course for her. The paper says Mr Sunak has demanded that Ms Braverman provide him with more information before he decides whether to launch an investigation. The Sun says she’s been “left dangling”.
The Times says the prime minister is considering e-mails sent to the Cabinet Office by civil servants at the time of the request raising concerns about the home secretary’s conduct. The paper says the e-mails are “at odds with claims from Braverman’s allies, who say she asked civil servants only for advice”.
An editorial in the Daily Express argues that the home secretary should be left alone to concentrate on what it calls her most important task – tackling the problem of migrants arriving in small boats. The paper says that without her in the post, the task of stopping the boats might fall to someone less able to deal with the crisis.
The Daily Mail says that staff at the equalities watchdog, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, have been accused of trying to oust chairwoman Baroness Falkner over her stance on transgender issues. The paper says a dossier of more than 40 complaints against the peer has been compiled but that some within the organisation think she is being targeted because she “backed legal reforms guarding the right of biological women in single-sex space such as hospital wards and toilets”.
A report in the Guardian questions why Foreign Secretary James Cleverly has hired a luxurious private jet – reportedly costing more than £10,000 an hour – for his eight-day tour of the Caribbean and Latin America. The Foreign Office said hiring the plane was the most time-effective way to organise the tour.
Labour’s shadow chancellor, Rachel Reeves, is also facing criticism over a flight across the Atlantic. The Daily Telegraph says she flew to New York in BA’s Club World Business Class suite at a cost of around £4,000 and that Labour has refused to say who funded the trip.
And the Financial Times says Germany has recorded its highest level of foreign investment last year, partly because of a surge in UK companies setting up bases there to retain a presence in the EU after Brexit. The paper reports that British firms invested in 170 projects. One of the biggest was by the owner of Sports Direct, Frasers Group, which is building a new distribution centre.
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