BBC News

Newspaper headlines: 'No 10 reset in disarray' as PM self-isolates

By BBC News

image copyrightLee Anderson MP/Facebook
image captionMr Johnson says he observed all guidelines and distancing advice during his meeting with MP Lee Anderson on Thursday

"Bo no!" is the reaction from the Sun Online to the prime minister having to self-isolate after meeting an MP who later tested positive.

Metro reports Boris Johnson will have to stay in his Downing Street flat until 26 November. The Daily Telegraph says Mr Johnson's isolation will raise "fresh questions" about the mandatory policy given he has already recovered from the virus and there are very few cases of people getting it twice.

The paper also points out Downing Street's safety measures are likely to come "under scrutiny" as it claims to be a Covid-secure workplace.

The Guardian says the PM will continue to make public statements from his flat as he seeks to "restore calm to his rattled government... and project an air of competence" following the "vicious" turf war in No 10.

But the paper says it not yet clear whether he will participate in Prime Minister's Questions via video link. The i paper describes the situation as a "challenge" for Boris Johnson, as he had hoped to embark on a "charm offensive" to rebuild relations with MPs.

With his senior aides now gone, the Financial Times reveals Boris Johnson has told Conservative Party donors that the government is entering a "new phase" that will be "less combative".

Allies of the prime minister say this will include policies to preserve the UK and proposals for "collaborative relations" with Scotland - an issue Dominic Cummings is said not to have cared about.

Mr Cummings' departure is also reportedly set to trigger changes to the cabinet, with one minister telling the FT ex-chancellor Sajid Javid is now a "dead cert" to return.

The Times reports Chancellor Rishi Sunak is considering plans to charge motorists for using Britain's roads amid concerns a switch to electric vehicles could create a £40bn tax shortfall. Fuel duty is estimated to raise £27.5bn this financial year - the equivalent of 1.3% of national income.

While a government source has said a national road pricing scheme is not "imminent", the chancellor is said to be "very interested" in it to offset the potential loss of one of the government's biggest revenue earners.

"Scotland days away from new lockdown," is the headline on the front of the Scottish Daily Mail. It says government officials have told business leaders to expect level four restrictions - which includes the closure of non-essential retail - to be confirmed for much of west central Scotland following a review tomorrow.

They have indicated the measures will last for two weeks and come into force from Friday. Twelve local authority areas are set to be affected including Glasgow, Inverclyde and Stirling.

With the end of the Brexit transition period drawing closer, there is a renewed focus on whether the government will agree a trade deal with the EU.

The Daily Mirror says Boris Johnson remains "firm in refusing to budge" to secure an agreement, while Rishi Sunak and Michael Gove are said to back a deal.

The FT's editorial says it's important the government reaches an agreement because the UK cannot afford a "chaotic" end to the transition period.

The Daily Express urges No 10 not to "blink first" in negotiations, while the Sun agrees, calling the EU's demands "patently absurd" to anyone but "Tory-hating, Remainer diehards on Twitter".

image copyrightPA Media
image captionThe late entertainer Des O'Connor was awarded a special achievement award at the National Television Awards in 2001

And finally, images of Des O'Connor feature on many front pages following his death aged 88.

The Times' obituary describes him as "congenial and cheerful" but someone whose style was "middle-of-the-road naffness". The Guardian says that, despite spending "three decades as the punchline of cruel jokes" from Eric Morecambe, he had the "last laugh" by sustaining a peak-time TV career only rivalled by Sir Bruce Forsyth and Sir David Attenborough.

The Daily Telegraph points out that while his "enduring appeal baffled the more highbrow critics", the secret of his success was that his interview style allowed celebrities to wear whatever self-image they had chosen and plug their merchandise "without fear of snide asides or interruption".