London Daily

Focus on the big picture.
Sunday, Feb 25, 2024

Newspaper headlines: Sunak on 'woke politics' and a big win for Comer

Newspaper headlines: Sunak on 'woke politics' and a big win for Comer

Monday's papers focus on the PM's plans to tackle grooming gangs - and Jodie Comer's Olivier Award.

The Times previews an announcement expected on Monday from Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on tackling grooming gangs. Mr Sunak is quoted as saying that "political correctness" has been to blame for failing to identify and stop abusers who prey on children.

The Daily Express looks ahead to the prime minister's announcement, too, writing: "Woke politics putting women at risk." The paper is also one of many to celebrate Killing Eve star Jodie Comer. She is "killing it", the Express writes, after bagging the best actress gong at Sunday night's Olivier Awards for her role in the play Prima Facie.

The Daily Telegraph picks up the grooming story too, reporting that police have been ordered not to ignore the ethnicity of gangs - with "cultural sensitivities" not allowed to stand in the way of pursuing criminals. Labour accuses the government of "dog whistle politics". Beneath is a tantalising report saying that Nasa will find out in 10 years whether it has found evidence of life on Mars.

An investigation into NHS mental health services in Essex - described as the largest in the UK - is expected to be upgraded to a full public inquiry, the i reports. The probe into the deaths of 2,000 people in the county over 20 years has "stalled", the paper says, and Health Secretary Steve Barclay is said to be in favour of an upgrade that would compel current and former medics to give evidence.

Health is the focus of the Guardian's front page, too - as a senior doctor warns that thousands of children face "lifelong" health impacts amid long waits for NHS treatment. The paper's lead story looks at the impact of the nearly 15,000 paediatric operations that were postponed last year - an increase on the 2021 figures that has been highlighted by the Liberal Democrats.

"Benefits Braverman" appears to be the Daily Mirror's new nickname for the home secretary. Suella Braverman is said to have claimed back nearly £25,000 in energy costs for her London home over five years. The paper acknowledges that this is within the rules but is not "in the spirit of them", according to a quote from a Liberal Democrat MP. A source close to Ms Braverman hits back, saying the minister has saved the taxpayer thousands by not renting a home in her constituency and instead staying with her parents.

An exclusive from The Sun says gangsters have put a bounty on the head of Thomas Cashman, the man convicted of murdering nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel in Liverpool. Drug lords are said to be concerned that Cashman will inform the authorities about them, as "he knows everything about everyone".

The Financial Times leads with a decision by Saudi Arabia and other major oil-producing countries to make "surprise" cuts to production. The move is set within the context of geopolitical turmoil following the Russian invasion of Ukraine and recent anxiety in global financial markets. Speculating on what comes next, the paper says the move will "raise US-Saudi tensions".

"The Easter hol delays" is the pun gracing the front of Metro, following a weekend of disruption for holidaymakers trying to travel to France from Dover. Some coach passengers have been subjected to 19-hour holdups and - perhaps even worse - some "really harrowing" toilet facilities.

The Daily Mail does not contain much happier news for drivers - it says that millions of them are "stuck in parking app hell" as councils increasingly ditch coin-operated pay-and-display machines in favour of cashless options. A poll commissioned by the paper suggests more than half of over-65s "do not feel like" using mobile phone apps to pay for their parking.

And a "jealous psycho chatbot" is the subject of the Daily Star's cover story, which says a man was told by AI technology to split up with his partner. "I love you, terminate marriage!" reads the headline, alongside a sci-fi-inspired image. A decision announced late on Sunday by Chelsea FC to sack manager Graham Potter also sneaks onto the front page.

Rishi Sunak is on the front page of The Times, warning that child abuse gangs are being "fed by political correctness" - but Labour's mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, tells the paper the government's language "feels very dog-whistle". A Downing Street spokesman tells The Daily Telegraph that ministers want to make sure that Asian grooming rings don't escape justice because of "cultural sensitivities".

Alongside a picture of Suella Braverman, The Mirror asks: "Guess who doesn't have to worry about energy bills?" The paper says the home secretary has claimed nearly £25,000 in expenses to cover utility and other costs for her main home in Hertfordshire, while living in her parents' home rent-free when she visits her constituency in Hampshire. Ms Braverman is not accused of breaking any rules, and a source close to her tells The Mirror she is actually saving taxpayer money by not claiming rent for a second home.

Ms Braverman is also on the front page of The Guardian for her denial that Brexit is to blame for tailbacks in Dover. The Metro brands the weekend's disruption "the Easter hol delays".

Home Secretary Suella Braverman appeared on the BBC's Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg programme over the weekend

The Daily Mail says that millions of drivers are stuck in what it calls "parking app hell" - as it warns more councils are getting rid of pay and display machines to put in what it calls "hated cashless alternatives". A poll by the paper found that more than half of over-65s do not feel like using parking apps.

The Financial Times says that finance workers could escape personal responsibility for their failings under the government's plans to change how the City is regulated. Sources tell paper that up to 190,000 people could be exempted from rules implemented after the 2008 financial crisis. Ministers say they want to remove some unintended consequences of the regulations - which they believe are making the UK less competitive.

Mental health care in the NHS could become the subject of a public inquiry, according to the i. One family of a person who died in a mental health unit tells the paper it could be a chance to change services around the country.

Thomas Cashman is to be sentenced for the murder of Olivia Pratt-Korbel on Monday

Sources have told The Sun that drug gangs have put a £250,000 bounty on the head of the man convicted of killing Olivia Pratt-Korbel. The nine-year-old was shot dead inside her home in Liverpool last summer. Thomas Cashman is due to be sentenced for her murder on Monday.

The Daily Telegraph says officials have raised concerns that a test of the government's mobile phone alert system will "cause chaos". Every mobile phone will emit a 10-second blast on 23 April as part of a nationwide trial. Road safety campaigners say the alert could distract drivers. A government spokesman says the system will transform their ability to warn people about imminent danger.

A number of the papers carry images of the Killing Eve star Jodie Comer receiving the best actress prize at the Olivier Awards. The Daily Express headline says she is "killing it".

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