Skip to content
Home ยป The Papers: MPs Say China Is A ‘threat’ And The ‘Kate Effect’

The Papers: MPs Say China Is A ‘threat’ And The ‘Kate Effect’

Image caption, Many of Tuesday’s papers react to China being formally accused by the British government of being behind “malicious” cyber campaigns against MPs and the UK’s elections watchdog. The i newspaper says the cabinet is divided on how to respond to the threat, adding that MPs who have reportedly been targeted are “underwhelmed” by the response to sanction two individuals and one Chinese company. China has consistently denied accusations of espionage and wrongdoing.

Image caption, Leading the battle cry for tougher action is former Conservative Party leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith – one of the MPs who was targeted by hackers. The Daily Express says he is calling for the UK to designate China as a “threat” as the United States has done. Sir Iain is a member of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China, which scrutinises, and often criticises, the activities of Beijing.

Image caption, The Daily Mail says there is “fury” over the UK’s “feeble rebuke to China” in its headline. The paper says Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is under mounting pressure to “finally get tough with China”.

Image caption, The Times reports that Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden has indicated ministers are poised to declare China a threat to national security following revelations of the scale of cyber attacks. The paper also features a photo of a tractor convoy outside Westminster on Monday as part of a farmers’ protest over the government’s food production policy. The protest follows months of similar demonstrations in Europe.

Image caption, The Daily Mirror continues its coverage of the reaction to Catherine, the cancer diagnosis of the Princess of Wales. Alongside a photo of Catherine, the paper says her video message last week has triggered a spike in online searches about the disease. “The Kate Effect” is its headline.

Image caption, The Sun says Catherine’s “brave” message will save lives, according to NHS England’s cancer chief. Her revelation has inspired hundreds of thousands of people to get checked, the paper says.

Image caption, The Guardian turns its attention to the ongoing conflict in the Middle East. The paper says Israel has become isolated from its allies after the UN Security Council called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza for the first time since war began in October. It has also demanded the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages taken by Hamas. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the US, in exercising its veto, has “abandoned” its previous position which directly linked a ceasefire to a hostage release.

Image caption, A photo of smiling, five-year-old Linnea, who died with her mother Destiny after they were hit by a car in Plymouth, is Metro’s main image. A 74-year-old woman has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by careless driving and driving while unfit through drink or drugs.

Image caption, The tractor convoy is also pictured on the front page of the Daily Telegraph. But the paper is leading with calls from magistrates to overhaul “secretive” court hearings used for prosecutions on speeding, TV licence offences and truancy. The paper says they have resulted in “vulnerable people” being prosecuted behind closed doors in absentia or without legal representation.

Image caption, The Financial Times reports that the CEO and chair of airplane manufacturing giant Boeing will be stepping down in an attempt to draw a line under a deepening crisis over the firm’s safety record. It comes after an unused door blew out of a Boeing 737 Max jet in January shortly after take-off.

Image caption, And the Daily Star is urging people not to panic despite what it describes as “vampires and zombies” walking among us. Psychological disorder expert Dr Brian Sharpless has told the paper there are people who have a desire to drink blood for sexual pleasure, as well as people who believe their organs are rotting from the inside.

The Guardian says Monday’s call by the UN Security Council for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza has left Israel in “near total isolation” on the world stage. It describes the development as a “significant break” between the Biden administration and the Israeli government and says it represents “a long-delayed show of international unity”.

The Daily Telegraph says Downing Street faced a “backlash” from Conservative MPs on Monday night, after the UK helped to pass the UN resolution. It says the Foreign Secretary, Lord Cameron, was challenged by four of his party colleagues at a meeting of the backbench 1922 committee, with those who spoke up asking why Britain had backed the motion when the US had abstained.

The Daily Mail says Rishi Sunak is facing “fury” at what it calls his “feeble” rebuke to China, after the UK and the US revealed the scale of Beijing’s efforts to subvert Western democracy via a wave of cyber attacks. An unnamed MP who was targeted by China is quoted saying ministers had “turned up to a gunfight with a wooden spoon” – after the government announced sanctions against two hackers and a small firm in Wuhan. The Times says China is set to be formally declared a threat to Britain’s national security, but some Tory MPs have warned that does not go far enough.

Several leader columns call on the government to get tough with China. “It’s time to stand up to Chinese meddling,” says the Daily Express. “Beijing’s threats must be firmly challenged,” insists the Telegraph. Writing in the same paper, the former Conservative leader, Sir Iain Duncan Smith, warns that the UK has “dragged its feet in facing up to this growing threat”. He repeats the analogy he made in the Commons yesterday – likening the government’s announcement of sanctions to “watching an elephant giving birth to a mouse” – and says ministers must now make clear that China presents a “systemic threat”.

Image source, Reuters

Image caption, The UN Security Council

The departure of Boeing’s chief executive and chairman is the main story for the Financial Times, after the aircraft manufacturer announced a management shake-up. The paper describes the changes as an attempt to “draw a line” under the recent safety crisis, triggered when a door panel fell off a plane mid-flight in January. It says Dave Calhoun’s decision to step down as Boeing’s boss has been welcomed by the company’s customers – including Ryanair, which said it hoped the new management team would help to eliminate delays to the deliveries of new aircraft.

With the headline “The Kate effect”, the Daily Mirror highlights a huge search in online checks for cancer symptoms, after the Princess of Wales revealed she was undergoing treatment for the disease. The paper says she has been praised for raising awareness by health bosses and charities who say it could save lives. The Sun reports that visits to the NHS cancer symptoms website averaged one every three seconds in the hours after the princess made her diagnosis public. It says her “courageous” video message “worked spectacularly” – meaning “she’s done more good with one statement than the sick trolls who target her will do in a lifetime”.