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Home » The Papers: Tory Election Plans And ‘NHS Parking Scandal’

The Papers: Tory Election Plans And ‘NHS Parking Scandal’

Image caption, A range of stories feature on of Wednesday’s front pages. The Daily Mail has an image of the Duke of Sussex and actor Dominic West – claiming it has the “inside story” on why the pair fell out. The tabloid leads with a story claiming dozens of children aged three or four years old have been referred to a “controversial NHS transgender clinic”, citing official figures.

Image caption, Boxing Day bargain hunters are pictured on the front of the Sun queing outside Harrods to grab offers on designer clothes and luxury handbags. The tabloid says Boxing Day spending was expected to hit a five-year high of £4.7bn.

Image caption, King Charles and Catherine, the Princess of Wales, feature at the top of Wednesday’s Daily Telegraph as it promises a look back on how the Royal Family faired in 2023. More politics leads the front as it claims Downing Street is considering axing inheritance tax “in three months’ time in a pre-election giveaway to boost Rishi Sunak’s chances of victory”. Elsewhere on the front, the paper says Jim “Ratcliffe’s Man United era starts with an epic comeback bang”, alongside a picture of Rasmus Højlund celebrating as the Red Devils came from 2-0 down to beat Aston Villa in a spectacular second-half performance.

Image caption, More Boxing Day traditions on the front of the Guardian – this time down south in Dorset. Meanwhile, the splash story focuses on the former head of GCHQ calling for an end to the government handling crises over WhatsApp. Sir David Omand is quoted in the paper saying the platform might suit gossip and informal exchanges, but he warns it is inappropriate for important decision-making.

Image caption, The Conservatives will promise to cut the up-front cost of a home for first-time buyers as a pre-election giveaway to win over younger voters, according to the lead story in the Times. It says options could include backing long fixed-term mortgages to cut deposits. A image of hunt members arriving for the Old Surrey Burstow and West Kent annual Boxing Day hunt at Chiddingstone Castle also dominates the front page.

Image caption, Country music legend Dolly Parton is on the front of Wednesday’s Daily Mirror as the 77-year-old star opens up on a “dirt poor” childhood and “hard-working” dad in a preview of a new documentary. The tabloid leads with statistic released by the Liberal Democrats which claim patients and visitors to England’s NHS-run hospitals paid £146m in car parking charges – something slammed by the party as “a tax on caring”.

Image caption, The same story leads the Daily Express, which calls for “rip-off” hospital car parking fees to be banned. When patient and visitor parking costs are combined with those of hospital staff, the paper notes that almost £200m has been paid out in a single year. Also on the paper’s front page are tributes to former BBC Antiques Roadshow expert Henry Sandon who died on Christmas Day at the age of 95. More Brits are pictured taking the dip into the seas around the UK coast – as is the tradition in many parts of the country on Boxing Day.

Image caption, After a festive break, the Financial Times returns to the shelves on Wednesday and at the top of the paper is an image of a blazing fire in Crimea after Ukraine said it destroyed a Russian landing ship. The lead story marks one of the “heaviest years” of job cuts in the global banking industry since the financial crisis. According to the broadsheet, at least half of the job cuts at global banks in 2023 were made by Wall Street lenders, whose investment banking businesses have struggled to cope with the speed of interest rate rises.

Image caption, Cartoonist Ben Jennings’ work catches the eye on the front of Wednesday’s edition of the i newspaper, as he reviews the year’s events. But, the paper leads with a story claiming the government may set out the amount of money available for the next spending review before the election – but hold back from allocating it in detail. It says the move would force Sir Keir Starmer and shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves to decide before the general election how much they want to allocate to each department and where they would make cuts.

Image caption, Finally, the Daily Star leads with a huge weather warning on its front page. Wednesday’s editions says five storms are to blast the United Kingdom in nine days as Brits braced for wild New Year weather. A football pullout at the top of the paper reflects on New Zealand international Chris Wood’s three goals as he returned to St James’ Park to haunt his old side in a 3-1 Boxing Day victory for Nottingham Forest.