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Home ยป The Papers: ‘Stop The Deaths’ And Post Office Plea For Justice

The Papers: ‘Stop The Deaths’ And Post Office Plea For Justice

Image caption, After several days of front page stories on the situation in the Middle East, many of Monday’s papers turn their attention instead towards domestic matters. The Daily Telegraph looks ahead to this year’s general election. The right-wing broadsheet, which is broadly supportive of the Conservative Party, carries a new poll which forecasts a Tory wipeout on a level similar to 1997, when Labour’s Tony Blair won in a landslide. If the YouGov poll bears out at the election, the Tories would retain just 169 seats, the paper says.

Image caption, The Times reports that Rishi Sunak is facing pressure to toughen his flagship Rwanda immigration bill. Conservative Party Deputy Chairman Lee Anderson has told government whips he will vote for a series of rebel amendments when the bill returns to the House of Commons on Tuesday, the paper reports. The government wants to send some asylum seekers arriving in the UK to Rwanda and says a bill declaring it a safe country would accomplish this. The policy is supposed to act as a deterrent to those aiming to arrive in the UK on small boats.

Image caption, But the i reports that six people from Rwanda have been granted asylum in Britain since the deportation agreement in 2022, despite claims by the British government that the country is safe. Senior politicians and lawyers warn this undermines Mr Sunak’s “troubled” bill, the paper says.

Image caption, “Stop the deaths” is the headline on Metro’s front page following news five people died in Channel crossings on Sunday. The headline plays on Mr Sunak’s “stop the boats” slogan. The prime minister said stopping the boats was one of his key priorities in 2023. A photo of Frederik X kissing his wife Queen Mary after becoming Denmark’s monarch features on several front pages, including Metro.

Image caption, The Daily Mirror carries the battle cry of “sub-postmaster’s champion” Alan Bates, who insists those behind the Post Office computer scandal must be punished by the courts. “We can’t let them off the hook,” is the Mirror’s headline.

Image caption, The Financial Times reports that the government made efforts to block the Japanese software company at the heart of the Post Office scandal from new public IT contracts in the early 2010s. “Project Sushi”, as it was known in Whitehall circles, sought to exclude Fujitsu and other companies from bidding on government deals on the basis of their performance in previous contracts, according to insiders who have spoken to the paper.

Image caption, The Daily Express reports that six people have been arrested on suspicion of a plot to disrupt the London Stock Exchange. The Metropolitan Police made the arrests after an undercover investigation by the paper exposed the plan.

Image caption, The Guardian carries warnings from pharmacists that an “unprecedented” shortage of medicines in the NHS is endangering lives. The causes of the crisis are thought to include the lower purchasing power of the pound since the Brexit referendum, reducing the NHS’s ability to source medicines abroad, and a government policy of taxing manufacturers, the paper says.

Image caption, The Daily Mail leads with another story originating from a new biography of King Charles III, which is being serialised by the paper. The paper carries claims from one of Queen Elizabeth II’s staff that the late monarch was furious over the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s claim she had given her blessing to their daughter being named Lilibet.

Image caption, The Sun focuses on Holly Willoughby’s TV return on Sunday for Dancing on Ice, following 101 days off air. The paper says she looked “thrilled to be back”.

Image caption, And the Daily Star says thousands of Brits will be trying to book a holiday getaway on what has become known as “Blue Monday”.

The Times reports that Rishi Sunak is coming under pressure from senior Conservatives to toughen his Rwanda bill, which returns to the Commons tomorrow. The party’s deputy chairman, Lee Anderson, is said to have threatened to quit because he believes the legislation doesn’t go far enough. And the paper says the Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch has told Downing Street privately that she favours further limits on asylum seekers’ ability to appeal against deportation. But the Times says Rishi Sunak has opted to keep the bill in its present version.

The i paper reports that six people from Rwanda have been granted asylum in the UK since 2022 – despite the British government’s insistence that Rwanda is safe. Home Office figures, seen by the paper, do not reveal the reasons other than at least one was because of sexual orientation. The paper points out that more asylum seekers have arrived in Britain from Rwanda than have been sent the other way, because that figure still stands at zero.

“Tories facing 1997-style wipeout” is the headline for the Daily Telegraph, as it leads on the results of a YouGov survey of 14,000 voters. The paper says Labour would sweep to power with a 120-seat majority. Eleven cabinet ministers would be ousted and every “red wall” seat won by Boris Johnson from Labour in 2019 would be lost. The poll was commissioned by a group of Conservative donors, and carried out over the new year. The UK’s former Brexit negotiator, Lord Frost, writes in the Telegraph that the results of the survey are “stunningly awful” and show there is no future for a Conservative Party that is purely for the rich.

The Financial Times reports that in the early 2010s the coalition government sought to prevent public contracts from being given to the Japanese technology firm Fujitsu, as part of a project apparently known internally as “Project Sushi”. Whitehall insiders tell the FT that the push was driven by Fujitsu’s performance on previous contracts. In the end, the paper says, the drive was abandoned after government lawyers raised concerns. Fujitsu UK tells the paper it would be inappropriate to comment because of the ongoing inquiry into the Horizon IT scandal at the Post Office.

Pharmacists are warning that lives are in danger because of an unprecedented shortage of NHS medicines, according to the Guardian. The paper has seen figures showing that the number of products affected has doubled in two years. They include treatments for epileptic seizures, schizophrenia, and some cancers. The Guardian cites the lower purchasing power of the pound, after the Brexit referendum, as a possible cause.

The Daily Express says the six people arrested in connection with a suspected plot to disrupt the London Stock Exchange were detained after one of its reporters, working undercover, passed information to the police. The paper says it learned of plans to prevent the building from opening for trading, potentially throwing global markets into turmoil.

The Daily Mail leads on claims that the late Queen Elizabeth was “infuriated” when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex asserted that she had given her blessing for their daughter to be named Lilibet – her childhood nickname. The claims are made in a new book by the royal commentator Robert Hardman, which the Mail is serialising.