Newspaper headlines: Boris Johnson's bid to calm MPs and Ofqual attacks minister

By BBC News
Staff

Published
media captionThe government “cannot carry on doing exactly what we did this year forever”, says the chancellor

Time for a look at this morning's papers, which feature plenty of discussion about the prospect of the chancellor raising taxes to pay for the costs of coronavirus support schemes.

The leader in the Times puts forward the case for tax hikes, saying the unprecedented economic difficulties require "a collective willingness of middle earners to pay for Britain".

The Daily Express argues for a different approach, saying that increasing taxes would "destroy any hope of recovery", and that they should be cut instead to grow the economy and support businesses.

Writing in the Spectator, James Kirkup says ministers should start an honest conversation with voters on the issue now rather than leaving it until later in this Parliament.

The Guardian's Larry Elliott says the need to balance the books offers an opportunity for the Treasury to revolutionise the economy - but cautions readers against holding too much hope of politicians embracing the tough decisions required to do so.

The tax rises conversation came up after both Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Prime Minister Boris Johnson held meetings with MPs. The Financial Times says the PM was making an effort to improve party relations "after a summer of policy U-turns", while the Guardian describes the briefings as "an attempt to calm mutinous Tory MPs" who are "angry and unsettled" by the government's handling of the coronavirus crisis.

The Daily Telegraph reports that a public information campaign aimed at getting people to return to workplaces has been postponed. It says the Cabinet Office delayed the project because of fears ministers could be accused of hypocrisy because of the low numbers of civil servants in Whitehall offices.

Meanwhile, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex feature on many of the front pages after agreeing a deal with Netflix to produce what the streaming services called "inspirational programmes". The Times' critic Carol Midgley questions whether the deal will result in many new subscribers signing up to watch what she calls "woke TV".

The Daily Mail's Tom Leonard proposes that Netflix may not be focused on ratings, but instead adding more star names to its roster - noting that the quotes from the company's chief executive Ted Sarandos in the statement confirming the deal are almost exactly the same as those he gave when Barack and Michelle Obama agreed a similar deal two years ago.

image sourceReuters
image captionPrince Harry and wife Meghan say the focus of their deal with Netflix is to create "content that informs but also gives hope"

The Guardian claims one of the people recruited to the civil service after Dominic Cummings' call for "weirdos and misfits" to apply has been sacked for tweeting that police should shoot Black Lives Matter protesters with live ammunition.

The paper says the data specialist was removed from a senior position at the Cabinet Office after an internal investigation in July.

A government spokesman said all standard vetting processes were carried out for the worker to be employed as a contractor, and that they had never met or spoken to Dominic Cummings.

A care worker from Reading who is the first person to have tested positive for Covid-19 twice in the UK has spoken to the Sun.

She is one of only five people worldwide who's known to have contracted the disease for a second time - and says she was told by doctors that she didn't need to have another test when she went to hospital suffering from shortness of breath due to her previous positive diagnosis.

Writing in the paper, Dr Simon Clarke from Reading University warns that efforts to fight the virus will become much more difficult if re-infection becomes widespread.

The BBC's decision to perform a U-turn on whether Land of Hope and Glory and Rule, Britannia! would be sung at the Last Night of the Proms features in many papers.

image captionA "select" group of socially-distant singers will perform on the Last Night of the Proms

The Daily Mail's Robert Hardman says it is "a sure sign that the BBC is very gently readjusting the dial from 'transmit' mode towards 'listen' mode" under the leadership of the new director general, Tim Davie.

Leo McKinstry adds to the chorus of praise for Mr Davie, claiming his decision hints that he will "transform the corporation for the better".

Writing in the i, the comedian Shappi Khorsandi says "BBC bashers should chill out", but welcomes the director general's plans to make comedy shows more impartial, suggesting that a greater emphasis should be placed on commissioning sitcoms and sketch shows rather than political satire.