Image caption, No one story dominates the Sunday papers, however, a couple of the headlines look ahead to King Charles’ coronation next month. The Sunday Mirror leads its coverage on an exclusive interview with Olivia Pratt-Korbel’s mother, speaking for the first time since her daughter’s killer was jailed. On Monday, Thomas Cashman was sentenced to serve at least 42 years in prison for the murder of the nine-year-old in August last year. Speaking to the paper, grieving Cheryl Korbel vows “to fight the gun and gang culture that led to her daughter Olivia’s murder”.
Image caption, The Observer has taken a look ahead to next week and the disruption likely to be caused by the junior doctors’ strike. “Hospital trusts are taking desperate measures to limit the predicted loss of life from this week’s NHS strikes,” it reports. The paper claims this includes “threatening consultants who refuse to do extra work, and tempting junior doctors to cross picket lines by increasing locum pay”. Also on the front page is a report about the disquiet in the Labour party over a controversial attack advert which claimed Prime Minister Rishi Sunak “does not believe adults convicted of sexually assaulting children should go to prison”. It says shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper was not informed about the ad ahead of its release.
Image caption, Internal party politics also makes the front of the Sunday Telegraph, focusing on Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross saying “supporters should vote for Labour at the next election to oust the SNP” something which is “prompting fury in the Tory party’s London headquarters”. In an interview with the paper, Mr Ross said voters should support “the strongest candidate to beat the SNP”, even if that means backing Labour.
Image caption, A couple of the Sunday papers focus on next month’s coronation. “King to Rescue Rishi”, reads the Sunday Express’ headline. It reports the event will help the prime minister by “eclipsing a predicted Tory wipeout in town hall elections”. Millions of people across the country will go to the polls to vote in the council elections on 4 May, with the coronation taking place two days later on 6 May. The paper also says the event will “give Britain an estimated £1bn economic boost”.
Image caption, The Mail on Sunday takes a royal different line, reporting King Charles has been at “loggerheads with church leaders over the role others faiths should play in his coronation”. It says the monarch has expressed a desire to have participation by non-Christian groups, and the release of the order of service has been delayed because of this.
Image caption, A royal story also makes the front of the Sunday People, with the paper leading on “Royal Range Rover Safety Alert”.
Image caption, And something truly haunting on the front of the Daily Star Sunday. The paper’s “other-world exclusive” is with a singer “who married the ghost of a Victorian soldier” and is claiming “he has turned into an evil spirit”. The paper says she “wants ghostbusters to give him his marching orders”.
The Sunday Telegraph declares in its front page headline that the Tories are “at war” over the call by the leader of the Scottish Conservatives, Douglas Ross, for tactical voting to oust the SNP. Mr Ross has told the paper that Tory voters should support the strongest candidate, even if it means electing a Labour MP – to prevent another independence referendum and to keep the UK together. The proposal is said to have “prompted fury” in the Conservatives’ London headquarters and a senior Tory MP tells the paper that such pacts don’t work as they are always a one-way street. The Scottish Labour leader, Anas Sarwar, has also rejected the proposal, saying it sounded like the Conservatives were accepting they were going to lose the next election.
The Sunday Times says a leaked memo suggests the Labour Party is planning to be “ruthless” in its new adverts. The first, which claims Rishi Sunak does not believe child abusers should be jailed, caused controversy. One yet to be released is expected to accuse the prime minister of decriminalising rape, by looking at how few people have been charged with the crime. The Observer says the shadow home secretary, Yvette Cooper, was not consulted about the release of the first advert.
The paper leads on claims that consultants are facing threats if they refuse to do extra shifts, during this week’s strike by junior doctors. A senior consultant tells the Observer she has been warned she might not be paid if she refused to work outside her specialism. Locums in one trust are reported to have been offered £86 an hour to cover night shifts.
The Mail on Sunday describes the King as being at “loggerheads” with Church leaders over his desire for a “diverse” coronation, with non-Christians taking part in the ceremony. Church sources say that the centuries-old canon law would bar other faith leaders reading prayers during the service. A royal commentator suggests the debate is delaying the release of the Coronation’s Order of Service – a claim denied by Buckingham Palace.
Meanwhile the Sunday Express predicts that the coronation will help boost the economy and divert attention away from the local election results.
The mother of Olivia Pratt-Korbel, the nine-year-old who was shot dead in her home in Liverpool, tells the Sunday Mirror that she wants to create a memorial garden to help steer children away from trouble. Cheryl Korbel also speaks of getting guns off the streets.
The Sun on Sunday reports that the high security Frankland jail in County Durham is installing phones in the cells of inmates. The phones are being fitted to avoid queuing in communal areas. The Prison Service says there are strict time limits, risk assessments and monitoring of phone calls. But the Sun wants the scheme scrapped, calling it a “complete waste of taxpayer money.”
And fittingly for Easter Sunday, the Mail asks if Jesus visited Cornwall. The writer, Glyn Lewis, cites carvings in a stone arch and local place names to suggest Jesus visited the county with his uncle. The Mail suggests the truth will never be proved but it’s worth noting that Christian churches opened in the south west before anywhere else in Britain.