Home World Newspaper headlines: No 10 ‘chaos’ as ‘defiant’ PM defends Cummings

Newspaper headlines: No 10 ‘chaos’ as ‘defiant’ PM defends Cummings

Newspaper headlines: No 10 ‘chaos’ as ‘defiant’ PM defends Cummings


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Monday’s front pages are dominated by the growing pressure facing Boris Johnson to sack his senior adviser Dominic Cummings, , who has been accused of breaking lockdown rules. The headline in the i is “Chaos in No 10 as Cummings clings on with PM’s support”. The paper describes the atmosphere in Downing Street as a “farce” following Mr Johnson’s “extraordinary” television address to the nation on Sunday, where he insisted his senior adviser did not do anything wrong.

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“What planet are they on?” is the question leading the Daily Mail’s front page on Monday. Angled on the backlash the PM has received – both from within the Conservative Party ranks and externally – the paper is critical of what it says is Boris Johnson’s “extraordinary” defence of his senior adviser. The Mail’s comment says Mr Cummings’ actions have “given every selfish person a licence to play fast and loose with public health”.

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The Daily Mirror leads with the headline: “A cheat and a coward.” The paper, which, with the Guardian, broke the original story of Mr Cummings travelling 260 miles to visit his parents’ house in Durham while the country was in lockdown, calls the latest developments a “scandal”. Photographs of Mr Cummings and Mr Johnson feature on the front page, with the senior aide described as a “law unto himself” and Mr Johnson accused of being “scared to act”.

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“No apology, no explanation: PM bets all on Cummings” is the headline on the Guardian’s front page. The paper highlights the “fury” from Tory MPs and experts over the senior aide’s actions, as well as Mr Johnson’s defence at the daily Downing Street press briefing that Mr Cummings “followed the instincts of every father and parent”. The paper also highlights its editorial suggesting there is a widening gap between the actions of those closest to the PM and the behaviour expected of the British public.

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The Daily Express describes Mr Johnson as “defiant” and quotes the PM saying his senior adviser acted “responsibly and legally”. The paper reports Mr Johnson’s comments that Mr Cummings had “no alternative” to staying away from his home in London because he was seeking childcare for his young son.

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The Times also leads with Mr Johnson’s staunch support of his top adviser in the face of a backlash from Cabinet and Conservative MPs. “Cummings acted like any father, insists PM,” is its headline.

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The Daily Telegraph headlines on the PM’s quote: “He has acted responsibly, legally and with integrity.” But the paper reports on concerns from ministers the developments risk “seriously undermining” the government’s lockdown strategy. A comment piece also appears on the front page, describing the “inconvenient truth” that the PM needs an “enforcer”.

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Combining the controversy engulfing No 10 with plans for schools to return next month, the Sun leads with “Backed to school” on its front page. The paper reports on the PM’s defiance to keep his senior adviser, and says that primary children will return on 1 June.

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While the Dominic Cummings row features prominently on the Financial Times’ front page, the paper’s main story is centred on a Treasury “bailout plan” being drawn up to save “strategically important companies” affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The government would assist companies whose failure would “disproportionately harm the economy”, the paper reports.

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The Daily Star is the only newspaper not to feature the main political dispute on its front page. Instead, the paper reports a demand from Conservative MP Damian Collins for presenter Jeremy Kyle to face a Commons committee probing the pressures faced by guests on TV. It follows the death of a man who had taken part in his ITV show.

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