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Newspaper headlines: ‘Hope’ on VE Day and lockdown latest

Image caption Several of Friday’s newspapers mark the 75th anniversary of VE day – the end of fighting against Nazi Germany in Europe during World War Two. The Daily Star encourages readers to “raise a glass” in tribute to the armed forces who “secured our freedom”. The paper says Captain Tom Moore – who captured…

Daily Star

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Several of Friday’s newspapers mark the 75th anniversary of VE day – the end of fighting against Nazi Germany in Europe during World War Two. The Daily Star encourages readers to “raise a glass” in tribute to the armed forces who “secured our freedom”. The paper says Captain Tom Moore – who captured people’s hearts after raising money for the NHS – will lead the celebrations.

Daily Express

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The Daily Express has published a special commemorative edition for VE Day. It looks ahead to Friday evening, when the nation will be invited to sing along to a rendition of Dame Vera Lynn’s wartime classic We’ll Meet Again at the end of BBC One’s programme at 20:00 BST. The Express refers to the “dark times” of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, saying the “hard-fought freedoms” have “never been so valued”.

The Daily Mirror

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Like the Express, the Daily Mirror carries a striking photograph of people celebrating VE Day with a street party in 1945. It also likens the experience of living through a war with the “cruel enemy” of coronavirus in the current pandemic. It tells readers “we take inspiration from that magnificent wartime generation”.

Daily Telegraph

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A picture of 94-year-old war veteran Doug Farrington saluting in commemoration makes the front of the Telegraph. The paper’s top story focuses on comments by Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, who has written in the paper. He says the VE Day generation deserve “dignity and respect” – and those in care homes should be protected from the coronavirus. “We must do everything we can to protect our most vulnerable, many of whom protected our country in its darkest hour,” he says.

The Sun

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The Sun refers to VE Day in its top story, but takes aim at fundraising site JustGiving which was used in Captain Tom Moore’s campaign to raise £39m for the NHS. The paper says JustGiving charged a 5% fee on gift aid donations – coming to £308,000 – and called on the site to hand the money back. It quotes Tory MP David Jones as saying the site “would earn the nation’s respect by just giving the money” back.

The Times

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The Times has a special wraparound front page to mark VE Day, but its top story is on the coronavirus lockdown. The paper reports that Boris Johnson is planning to keep the restrictions in place until June “at the earliest”. It adds that Monday’s changes will allow people to take unlimited exercise outside and places of worship to open for private prayer.

The Guardian

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The Guardian reports the government has been warned there is “mixed messaging” over the lockdown, with one scientific adviser expressing concern people might feel they have a “green light” to relax the rules. The adviser told the paper that leaks were “incredibly damaging”, after headlines suggested the lockdown might be eased next week. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab insisted any changes on Sunday would be “modest, small”.

The i newspaper

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The government is going to officially encourage millions of people to cycle to work instead of catching public transport as the lockdown is eased, the i newspaper reports. The paper says the “national transport plan” – to be announced in the coming days – will aim to get more people back to work but keep public transport 80% empty.

The Financial Times

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Meanwhile, the warning from the Bank of England that the UK economy is heading towards its sharpest recession on record makes the front of the Financial Times. Household spending has plunged by 30% since March, the paper says. But it adds long-term projections were “more upbeat” with “only limited scarring” to the economy.

Daily Mail

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The Daily Mail opts for something different on its front page. It reports that the Duke and Duchess of York are facing legal action over an allegation they have missed a payment on a Swiss chalet they have shares in. A spokesman for the duke confirmed to the paper there was a legal dispute, adding: “The contractual details remain the subject of a confidentiality agreement and prevent further discussion.”

Many of Friday’s papers go big with coverage of how the 75th anniversary of VE day will be celebrated, alongside black and white images of street parties and crowded cities in 1945.

“Keep Smiling Through”, the Daily Express urges readers, calling on them to take hope from Dame Vera Lynn’s “We’ll Meet Again”.

The Daily Mirror calls on us to take our cue from “that magnificent wartime generation as we fight another cruel enemy”.

There’s also extensive coverage of how the country will mark the anniversary. Alongside timetables on when to observe the two-minute silence and catch the Queen’s speech, there are instructions – and diagrams – on how to Lindy hop, and tips for the perfect “socially distanced cream tea”.

But writing in the Times, the UK’s Chief of Defence staff, Sir Nick Carter, writes that this VE Day anniversary will be especially hard on veterans likely to be celebrating alone.

“We owe it to them ” he says, “to remember the legacy their service and sacrifice bequeathed to us.”

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Picture Post/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

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Pictures from 8 May 1945 – when the end of the war was celebrated with jubilance – feature in the papers

The Sun’s front page splash is a claim that the fundraising platform JustGiving made thousands of pounds from donations given to Captain Tom Moore during his bid to raise money for NHS workers during the coronavirus crisis.

The 100-year-old war veteran captured the country’s imagination and wallets with his inspiring walk around his garden last month.

But under the headline “Give it Back”, the Sun claims JustGiving benefited to the tune of £308,000 by charging a 5% fee on gift aid donations.

Conservative MP David Jones said it would be a fitting tribute on the 75th anniversary of VE day for the platform to give the money to the charity it had been intended for.

A spokesman for JustGiving said claiming gift aid back is “complex, time consuming and expensive for charities” and “our expertise and technology means we are able to offer a much cheaper, quicker and more effective way for charities to claim gift aid”.

Coronavirus lockdown

The Times leads with claims of disarray at the heart of government over how to ease current coronavirus-related restrictions.

“PM to keep Britain in lockdown until June” is the headline as it reports that Boris Johnson is “under pressure” from his cabinet to set specific dates for getting people back to work and some form of normality when he sets out his plan on Sunday.

But an “ally” said to be familiar with the prime minister’s thinking, tells the paper it will be “baby steps” when Mr Johnson’s announcement comes.

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Mr Johnson says the UK government will act with “maximum caution” when beginning to ease the lockdown

“Fears No 10 has lost grip on lockdown exit plans” is the headline for the Guardian.

It suggests the government is urgently trying to regain control after “fierce criticism” that “mixed messaging” was priming people to give up on lockdown.

An unnamed member of the government’s Sage advisory committee is quoted as saying leaks of “bits and pieces” of information are potentially “incredibly damaging”. The source tells the paper it risks leading people only to see the “green lights” in any government announcement.

The front page of the Daily Telegraph claims Boris Johnson could lift the lockdown in fortnightly stages to show the public “light at the end of the tunnel”.

It devotes its lead slot to a call from Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer to guarantee better protection from the virus to the VE Day generation.

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PA Media

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Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has written a piece in the Daily Telegraph, where Boris Johnson used to write a column

In an article for the paper, Sir Keir points out that many of that generation now live in the care homes and are bearing the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic after years of poor provision for social care.

“The crisis in our care homes has gone on for too long,” he says. “We must do everything we can to protect our most vulnerable, many of whom protected our country in its darkest hour.”

Protecting those most at risk is also the focus of Guardian’s editorial as it reflects on official figures which suggest that black people in England and Wales are more than four times as likely to die from Covid-19.

It admits that the reasons will be complex and are not yet fully understood, and it calls for an urgent assessment on what more can be done to protect such groups.

But it also argues that when the dust settles, there needs to be an equally important addressing of deep-rooted health inequalities “entrenched” in society “over the austerity years” and exposed as “devastating” by the current pandemic.

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“BoE’s ‘Panglossian’ view of V-shaped recovery called into question” is the headline of the Financial Times as it gauges reaction to the Bank of England’s forecast of a deep economic downturn followed by a quick rebound.

The paper reports that many economists disagree with the optimistic view of the Bank’s new governor, Andrew Bailey, and it lines up several to explain why.

It concludes that as the reality of a slow recovery becomes clear over the next few weeks, it expects members of the Monetary Policy Committee to vote for more quantative easing in June.

‘Fears of lockdown ending’

The Daily Telegraph’s editorial reflects on the current coronavirus crisis, against the backdrop of VE Day commemorations.

“Are we the same people?” it wonders, considering the stoicism of previous generations in wartime. It concludes that in our willingness to pull together and to do the right thing, we are.

But it also highlights polls which show we’re now “terrified” of lifting lockdown.

It argues that the most compelling attempts to constrain freedom are those which appeal to public safety, and it calls on Boris Johnson to channel his hero, Sir Winston Churchill, to restore the public’s confidence.

Public concern over easing the lockdown, and in particular that of parents, features prominently in the Times.

“Heads fear ghost schools” is the headline, as it details how unions and headteachers are warning that many mums and dads may refuse to send their children back to reopened schools, before a vaccine is found.

The report quotes a survey by website Mumsnet which suggests only one in five parents would back schools reopening now, while fewer than half said they would be prepared for their child to return immediately.

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Teaching unions have previously warned against reopening schools too early

“Tip tip hooray” is the take of the Daily Mail as it reports on one service the public is keen to see back: Waste and recycling centres.

The paper suggests that hundreds of cars and vans formed long queues at many facilities as they opened again on Thursday.

“The dash to dump” weeks of waste from lockdown gardening and DIY was hampered apparently, though, by new social distancing rules limiting number of cars and vans allowed on site.

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