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Sunday, February 5, 2023

What the papers say – April 14

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T

he stories leading the nation’s papers today include the fall-out from the investigation into partygate and plans to send those seeking asylum to Rwanda.

The Guardian quotes Lord David Wolfson as saying he quit as a justice minister because of the Prime Minister’s “own conduct” in breaching lockdown rules as well as the “the official response to what took place” at Downing Street.

The “worst is yet to come” the Daily Mirror says of the partygate crisis, referencing unnamed “inside” sources who claim Boris Johnson is due to be hit by up to three more fixed penalty notices. The paper adds that pressure is growing on the PM as Tories join those calling for him to quit.

Metro also carries the condemnation of Mr Johnson by Lord Wolfson, with the outgoing minister hitting out at the “repeated rule-breaking and breaches of the criminal law in Downing Street”.

The Times, The Daily Telegraph, i, the Daily Express, The Independent and the Daily Mail all splash with the Government’s new plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda for processing. The Times reports that under the trial scheme, male migrants who cross the Channel in small boats will be sent to the African nation in a multimillion-pound deal Priti Patel is expected to announce on Thursday.

The Daily Telegraph adds the agreement will initially cost £120 million, compared to an annual £1.5 billion bill to house asylum seekers in the UK.

The i reports: “The policy is part of the Government’s attempt to deter dangerous – and politically contentious – Channel crossings. Sources said the policy was in reaction to a global asylum system that is ‘broken.’”

The Daily Express calls the scheme “bold” and says Mr Johnson’s “radical blueprint” is aimed at reforming the “broken asylum system that has created a ‘watery graveyard’ between Britain and France”.

The Independent carries the Refugee Council’s response to the announcement, describing it as “cruel and nasty” and saying it will do little to deter people from coming to the UK.

The Daily Mail says the scheme will “smash the Channel gangs”, adding that it will involve creating a “huge new refugee centre in Yorkshire”.

Elsewhere, The Sun reports on the Information Commissioner’s Office’s (ICO) decision to drop its nine-month probe into the paper after it broke a story last year which led to the Matt Hancock’s resignation as Health Secretary. The paper says the “wasteful witch-hunt” cost taxpayers “at least £35,000”.

Meanwhile, the Financial Times reports the invasion of Ukraine has prompted Finland and Sweden to consider joining Nato – a move which could further inflame tensions with Russia.

And the Daily Star‘s front page features a story on time travel which “could be within human reach”, according to “top-secret” US documents.

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