Newspaper headlines: Furlough extension and 'last chance for pubs'

By BBC News

image copyrightReuters
image captionRishi Sunak will deliver his Budget on Wednesday

"Sunak extends the safety net" is the Guardian's take on the chancellor's decision to keep the furlough scheme in place until the end of September.

The Daily Express calls it "Rishi's budget lifeline", with £7bn being allocated for wage support.

The paper says this latest extension goes "far beyond expectations" and will "throw a protective arm" around millions of workers.

But the Daily Telegraph points out the decision is likely to be scrutinised, because it could be in place for months after businesses in England are allowed to fully reopen under the government's roadmap.

The i uses its headline to point out that, with this latest extension, furlough will run for 18 months.

The Times says the announcement will form part of £30bn worth of spending to support those "hardest hit" by the lockdown, including a six-month extension to the £20 a week uplift in universal credit.

The Sun suggests all this spending is a "gamble" by the chancellor "to allow the economic recovery to strengthen, in order to weather the unemployment hit".

"NHS staff could be forced to have jab," is the headline accompanying the Daily Mail's front page lead.

The paper says a review of vaccine passports will consider whether health workers should be legally obliged to get inoculated, even if they have turned down a jab.

As many as 200,000 NHS and care workers are reported to have refused so far.

The review will also consider potential sanctions. While sackings are viewed as a "a recipe for industrial unrest", other options include staff being moved from frontline roles or being asked to wear more PPE.

The Times reports that the Duchess of Sussex faced a bullying complaint while at Kensington Palace. Royal aides say it was made by the couple's communications secretary, Jason Knauf, in October 2018.

He claimed that the duchess drove two personal assistants out of the household and was undermining the confidence of another.

According to one source, Prince Harry "pleaded" with Mr Knauf not to pursue it but he wanted to get Buckingham Palace to protect the staff who were coming under pressure.

A spokesman for the Sussexes said they were victims of a "calculated smear campaign".

"Sturgeon fighting for her future," declares the Scottish edition of Metro after the government in Edinburgh published legal advice relating to its handling of sexual harassment allegations against former first minister Alex Salmond.

The paper describes the submissions as "bombshell evidence", because they contradict Ms Sturgeon's version of events about a meeting in April 2018.

The Daily Telegraph says the submissions are a "potentially devastating development" ahead of her evidence session this morning.

The Guardian reports on the computer failure that led to details of more than 100,000 convictions not being shared by the UK with the criminals' home EU country.

The list includes 191 killers and rapists.

The paper says officials knew about errors within the system in 2015, after several criminals were recorded as coming from a tiny atoll in the Pacific Ocean known as Wake Island, rather than Wakefield.

The Home Office says it has been working at pace to ensure the necessary data is shared with affected member states.

And finally the Times reports on the church which has "answered the prayer" of a woman wanting to be buried next to the poet, Sylvia Plath.

The unnamed woman said she felt "profoundly spiritual" visiting the churchyard of St Thomas the Apostle in Heptonstall in West Yorkshire.

In what was described as a "possibly unique" case, a church court was satisfied that approval of the application would not open the floodgates from people wanting to be buried next to their literary heroes and heroines.