BBC News

Newspaper headlines: Sunak tier 2 'pledge' and 'cruel' free meals vote

By BBC News

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image captionThe Times says chancellor Rishi Sunak needs to take difficult decisions and risk being unpopular

The chancellor's expected announcement of another coronavirus support package is previewed in many of the newspapers.

Writing in the Times, Iain Martin says Rishi Sunak must stop trying to please everyone if he wants to eventually become prime minister, daring him to take difficult decisions and risk being unpopular.

The Daily Mail's city editor, Alex Brummer, calls the announcement that government debt has now reached £2tn "terrifying", borrowing a phrase from Theresa May to point out that "there is not a great forest of money trees out there that the chancellor can keep on shaking".

The Daily Telegraph's editorial cautions against people comparing the spending with that which happened in World War Two, noting that it took the country's finances decades to recover.

The paper's cartoonist Bob also reflects the war time theme, drawing Boris Johnson trapped under huge money bag with Churchill's cigar and homburg hat just out of reach, uttering the words: "Never was so much owed, by so many."

Elsewhere, the Telegraph reports that carers will be banned from working in more than one home to protect residents from Covid-19.

The paper says ministers will introduce legislation within weeks, but charities and care providers have raised concerns that this could lead to homes being forced to close.

Young people 'scared'

The online-only Independent claims untrained staff are being recruited by NHS Test and Trace to meet rising demand for the service in England.

It says it has seen emails confirming that untrained agency staff are carrying out clinical assessments, raising fears that people who may require emergency hospital treatment may not be being identified.

The Times says officials are cautiously optimistic that infection rates will be brought back to safe levels, after a key government meeting was told many young people had been "scared" into following social distancing rules.

The paper's Scottish edition leads on claims that the country's health service is ill-prepared for a second wave. The president of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, Jackie Taylor, believes officials have been too busy trying to clear the backlog of cases created during lockdown to put together contingency plans.

The Yorkshire Post urges Boris Johnson to "do the right thing" and provide further funding for South Yorkshire after the area was placed in the highest level of coronavirus restrictions.

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image caption"Regions should not have to beg" for support when tougher coronavirus rules are imposed, says Sheffield City Region mayor Dan Jarvis

Sheffield's metro mayor, Dan Jarvis, writes in the Daily Mirror, saying his acceptance of a funding package for the region was a "damage-limitation" exercise after seeing negotiations with Greater Manchester's local leaders fail.

He goes on to say that "regions should not have to beg Westminster" to support affected workers and businesses, warning that this could be a turning point for the government if it continues with its current approach.

The i newspaper runs a scathing assessment of the prime minister's handling of the pandemic from an unnamed former minister, calling the situation "dire" and claiming Mr Johnson is "burning through his credit" with his own MPs.

'Vaccine diplomacy'

The Financial Times says the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, is risking a cabinet revolt after postponing the government spending review.

It claims ministers are frustrated that policies and infrastructure investment are being put on hold because of the economic damage caused by the pandemic.

The FT's international edition reports on tensions between the US and China over the distribution of a Covid-19 vaccine. It claims Beijing will give preferential access to the inoculation to developing nations in Asia, Africa and Latin America in an attempt to engage in what it calls "vaccine diplomacy".

The Daily Mirror reflects on the defeat of a Commons motion to provide free school meals during upcoming holidays. It prints the names of more than 300 Conservative MPs who voted against the proposals on its front page, embedded within the headline: "So cruel".

The Guardian calls government plans to deport rough-sleeping immigrants after the Brexit transition period ends "immoral". The new rules are included in Home Office legislation, which will be laid out in Parliament on Thursday.

The Daily Express prints a picture of the D-Day veteran Bill Taylor saluting at the door of his house to launch the Royal British Legion's coronavirus-secure remembrance campaign.

The charity is urging those unable to leave their homes during the pandemic to display posters of poppies in their windows instead.

And the Daily Star's front page claims UK shops are experiencing shortages of tracksuit bottoms caused by the pandemic.

The article quotes bosses from Asos and JD Sports as saying stocks are running low due to increased demand caused by home workers ditching office wear and social distancing rules causing problems in the production process.