The fallout from Dominic Cummings trip to Durham continues to be splashed across the front pages, including the news that senior ministers are breaking ranks over the beleaguered advisor’s trip.
The Guardian says “Tories defy PM to pile pressure on Cummings”, including 61 MPs who are refusing to heed Boris Johnson’s calls to “move on”. It says two of those condemning Cummings are government whips, in addition to Penny Mordaunt, now the paymaster general, who said there were “inconsistencies” in Cummings’ account of the trip.
The Guardian also gives prominence to Emily Maitlis, who was replaced as the BBC’s Newsnight presenter on Wednesday after a statement from the broadcaster said she broke impartiality rules on Tuesday’s programme, when she said Cummings broke the rules and: “the country can see that and is shocked the government cannot”. The programme’s editor, Esme Wren, wrote on Twitter that Maitlis “hasn’t been replaced tonight in response to the BBC statement”.
The FT’s headline is “Johnson brushes aside Cummings inquiry demands despite backlash”, quoting the PM saying it’s time to “move on”. Its sub headline is “Blame shifted for pandemic failings”.
The Telegraph also carries a large picture of Maitlis, with the headline: “Maitlis broke BBC rules with Cummings rant”. It saves its splash for “Public told they have ‘duty’ to test and trace”, with the government confirming its test-and-trace scheme will be voluntary. Cummings gets a mention from the paper’s political editor, Gordon Rayner, whose story is headlined online: “Boris Johnson says it is ‘time to move on’ as he rejects inquiry into Dominic Cummings”.
The Mirror, which jointly broke the Cummings story with the Guardian, still has Cummings squarely in its sights, picturing him on the front page with the PM and the headline: “Why don’t YOU do YOUR duty”. It says: “Government tells the public to do ‘civic duty’ to curb virus but PM still backs the aide who broke the rules”.
The Times also leads on the new test-and-trace policy: “Do your duty and we can defeat virus, Britain told”. But it reserves the right-hand column for the Newsnight presenter change: “BBC admits attack on Cummings broke rules”.
The Daily Mail is Cummings-free on its front, instead splashing on the “Test & trace revolution”. It reports that anyone in close contact with a Covid-19 patient will be told to self-isolate for 14 days “even if the don’t have symptoms”.
The Express has “Test and Trace: Key to our freedom” and reports that health secretary, Matt Hancock, urges Britons to do their “civic duty” to “thwart the virus”.
The Sun goes its own way with “Ale meet again”, with the news that pubs are to “open in June”.