Newspaper headlines: Police probe into PM ‘shelved’ and Labour’s spending


The Observer

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The Observer leads on the “fury” after the police watchdog delayed its decision on whether to probe Prime Minister Boris Johnson for possible criminal misconduct while he was mayor of London until after the general election. It is alleged businesswoman Jennifer Arcuri received favourable treatment due to her friendship with Mr Johnson. But, in a statement, the Independent Office for Police Conduct denies it has delayed any announcement. The paper also features an interview with former Commons Speaker John Bercow, who claims David Cameron called the EU referendum for “selfish political reasons”.

The Mail on Sunday

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The Mail on Sunday claims Labour’s policies will cost the UK £1.2tn over five years. The paper says the figure is contained in a Conservative dossier. However, the document assumes that all Labour policies passed by the party’s conference are firm commitments. Senior Labour figures will meet next weekend to decide which ideas will become manifesto policies. Shadow chancellor John McDonnell has called the estimate “an incompetent mish-mash of debunked estimates and bad maths”.

The Sunday Times

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The Sunday Times also runs the story. The paper claims the analysis, overseen by Chancellor Sajid Javid, says Labour has committed to spending an extra £650m a day. Mr Javid says the figure threatens to bankrupt the UK. However, the estimate was compiled by the Conservative Party and is not the work of civil servants.

The Sunday Telegraph

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“Scale of Labour’s ‘reckless’ spending revealed” is the Sunday Telegraph’s headline. It says the document comes as part of a Tory effort to portray themselves as the “sensible” party. Labour’s Mr McDonnell objected to plans for the Treasury to publish a separate analysis of his fiscal plans last week, the paper says.

The Sunday Express

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The Sunday Express front page focuses on Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage’s “final ultimatum” to Mr Johnson and the Conservatives over a Brexit pact for the 12 December election. It says Mr Farage has warned the “clock is ticking” to secure a Leave alliance to “finish off” Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party.

Daily Star Sunday

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The Daily Star Sunday’s splash says TV presenter Chris Packham has urged I’m A Celebrity presenters Ant and Dec to stop “animal abuse” on the popular show. It claims the wildlife expert has called for the duo to scrap Bushtucker Trials, which often involve animals.

The Observer claims the independent police watchdog has delayed its announcement on whether Boris Johnson should face an investigation into possible criminal misconduct in his relations with US entrepreneur Jennifer Arcuri until after the election.

The paper reports that Westminster politicians and London assembly members believe the ruling has been “suppressed” in order to protect the PM from damaging headlines ahead of polling day.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct has issued a statement strongly rejecting the paper’s claims and insisting that the matter is still being decided.

Meanwhile, many of Sunday’s papers hone in on the Conservatives’ analysis of Labour spending pledges.

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“Scale of Labour’s reckless spending revealed” is the headline in the Sunday Telegraph. It should be noted that the document, produced by the Tory party, assumes that all Labour policies passed at the party’s annual conference will be included in its manifesto.

The Telegraph quotes Chancellor Sajid Javid as saying the Tory research sets out “the numbers Labour did not want you to see”.

“Terrifying bill for nation revealed” is the lead in the Mail on Sunday, which tells its readers that Labour’s plans would cost every household £43,000.

The paper alleges that the Tory dossier – largely based on previous manifesto commitments – has been produced with the help of civil servants, prompting “furious objections” from shadow chancellor John McDonnell.

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Online, Mr McDonnell provides the lead for the Independent. In an interview, he pledges that the Labour manifesto – to be presented in the coming days – will be the party’s most radical ever.

It will, he claims, include plans to introduce a universal basic income, and drastic measures to tackle the climate crisis.

He also denies reports that there’ve been strained relations between himself and Jeremy Corbyn in recent months.

Life-threatening floods

Several papers carry pictures of the partly submerged village of Fishlake near Doncaster after it was evacuated yesterday because of life-threatening flooding.

The Mail on Sunday devotes a double-page spread to conditions in the area which saw the River Don flood after a month’s rain in a day – warning that snow is now forecast in the coming days.

The Sunday Express and Sunday Mirror both focus their coverage on Annie Hall, the former High Sheriff of Derbyshire who was swept away and killed in the flooding near Darley Dale.

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The Sunday Times reports that the successful Netflix series The Crown has been accused of “muckraking” in its latest series – to be released next week.

Under the headline “Crown slammed over Queen’s ‘affair””, it sets out the objections of the Queen’s former press secretary, Dickie Arbiter, to one of its storylines that portrays a close relationship between the Queen and her horse racing manager, Lord Porchester.

Declaring it “gossip that’s been washing round for decades with no substance” Dickie Arbiter says the Crown’s scripts are known for being “beefed up” but he condemns the portrayal of the friendship as “distasteful and totally unfounded”.

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