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The Papers: Final chance for PM ‘to get grip’ and ‘Dom’s free mask’

The Papers: Final chance for PM 'to get grip' and 'Dom's free mask' thumbnail

By BBC NewsStaffPublishedduration3 hours agoimage captionThe internal tensions inside No 10 again feature on the front pages, although the early editions you see here would have been printed before the news came of adviser Dominic Cummings’ own departure plan. The Guardian says Boris Johnson has been warned by Conservative MPs that he has one final…

By BBC News


image captionThe internal tensions inside No 10 again feature on the front pages, although the early editions you see here would have been printed before the news came of adviser Dominic Cummings’ own departure plan. The Guardian says Boris Johnson has been warned by Conservative MPs that he has one final chance to “overhaul a dysfunctional Downing Street operation”. It claims a string of Tories have said the saga surrounding the resignation of the PM’s director of communications, Lee Cain, epitomised a No 10 “lurching from crisis to crisis”.
image captionMr Cummings, the PM’s chief adviser, is pictured on the front or the Daily Telegraph, which of course used to employ Boris Johnson. The newspaper’s early edition says Mr Cummings is at “the beginning of the end” of his time in Downing Street, according to their sources. Cartoonist Matt has his own take, with one wag asking “Is this the second wave or third wave of Dominic Cummings?”
image captionBoris Johnson is planning to soften the government’s image and rebuild relations with MPs as part of a new strategy, the Times says, which is backed by his fiancee Carrie Symonds. The paper suggests he wants to reset his premiership after the resignation of his director of communications by “ending culture wars, promoting the green agenda and taking a less dogmatic approach to the Union”. A caption below a picture of Ms Symonds says he is “emerging as a power broker at No 10”.
image caption“Let’s help Dom go” is the headline in the Daily Star, alongside a picture of a mask cut-out with Dominic Cummings’ eyes peaking through. The paper sends its own message to Mr Cummings: “Skulk out of Downing Street with this over your head and nobody will know it’s you, Dom!”
image captionMr Cummings is also pictured on the front of the Financial Times, but the paper leads on three of the world’s top central bankers predicting that the breakthrough in a coronavirus vaccine will boost the global economy. It says the bosses of the Bank of England, the European Central Bank and the US Federal Reserve also called for more short-term public support to bridge the gap to a recovery.
image captionThe i newspaper says “baseless” safety fears over a coronavirus vaccine could prevent the UK from reaching herd immunity. It says online misinformation campaigns and poor perception of the government are among the reasons blamed for shaking public trust.
image caption“The clamour that cannot be ignored”, is the headline in the Daily Mail, which claims that MPs, doctors, charities and families have united behind the paper’s campaign to ensure care home residents do not spend Christmas by themselves. It is calling for ministers to relax stringent coronavirus restrictions and prioritise mass testing in care homes.
image captionThe Queen has vowed to keep serving her country “for all of her life”, according to aides quoted in the Daily Express. The papers saying the monarch has vowed to work past her Platinum Jubilee in 2022.
image captionBritain’s youngest Euromillions jackpot winner has been charged over the death of a pensioner in a car crash on Christmas Day, reports the Metro. Matt Topham, who was 23 when he won £45m in 2012, is accused of causing death by dangerous driving last December.
image captionAnd the same story is the focus for the Daily Mirror, which reports that a grandmother, Jane Regler, 75, was the victim in the car crash. It quotes her husband Rodney as saying: “We were soulmates.”

Dominic Cummings’ departure had not been confirmed by the time the first editions were published – but was widely anticipated.

“It’s the beginning of the end” is the Daily Telegraph’s headline. It suggests Boris Johnson’s chief adviser had been hugely weakened by the resignation of the communications director, Lee Cain.

The Times focuses on a new era it believes Boris Johnson is now planning. A Downing Street source suggests he will take a softer approach to Scotland, promoting the union, rather than just saying no to an independence referendum, and that he will push hard on a green agenda.

Calls to overhaul the No 10 operation have come from “a string” of Conservative MPs, according to the Guardian, with one suggesting it was time “to get a grip”. A backbencher tells the Independent it’s not about policy, but getting Downing Street to be more professional.

England’s former chief medical officer, Dame Sally Davies, has told the Telegraph that the UK was not as ready as it should have been for Covid-19.

In an interview with the paper, she blames Public Health England for assuring her that a coronavirus epidemic could “never travel this far in big numbers from Asia”.

Public Health England dismisses the suggestion, saying Dame Sally took part in exercises planned specifically for a Mers outbreak in the UK.

The i warns on its front page that the goal of a vaccine giving the UK herd immunity could put at risk by what it calls “baseless safety fears”.

The i reports that online misinformation campaigns and genuine concerns have put a significant minority of people against inoculation.

But the scientist behind the first vaccine tells the Guardian he is confident the product can “bash the virus over the head,” and bring an end to the pandemic.

The head of BioNTech, Ugur Sahin, explains that the regulatory authorities helped ensure the jab could be developed at speed. He compares it to crossing London with no traffic.

Campaigners are to fight the decision to give the go ahead for a tunnel near Stonehenge, according to the Times and the Guardian. They have six weeks to seek a judicial review.

The Times says the Stonehenge Alliance, made up of environmentalists and archaeologists, could challenge the decision on the grounds that it clashes with commitments to protect Unesco sites.

The Daily Express leads with what it calls a vow by the Queen to serve the country “for all of her life.” Her determination, the Daily Express suggests, is an “inspiration for us all.”

image captionNicola Adams and Katya Jones are out of Strictly

Nicola Adams’ departure from Strictly Come Dancing after her dance partner tested positive for coronavirus features in many of the papers, with the inevitable boxing puns.

“Dance floored”, says the Sun; “a real body blow” says the Daily Mirror, which suggests she should be “allowed to come back fighting for next year’s series”.

And lawyers and officials at a court were greeted with an unusual list of defendants at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court, according to the Guardian,the Mirror and the Mail Online. It seemed Donald Duck, Tinkerbell and Buzz Lightyear were all due in the dock.

But before children could become alarmed, HM Courts and Tribunals Service explained that the cartoon characters’ names had been listed only as part of a test of their system.

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