Newspaper headlines: 'Sleaze is back' and a 'grand line-up' of royals

By BBC News

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image captionDavid Cameron is expected to be called to give evidence to MPs over the lobbying row, the FT reports

Most of the papers carry reports about the lobbying controversy at Westminster. "Sleaze is back" is Metro's headline as it refers to the Labour Leader, Sir Keir Starmer's, attack on the government.

"Come clean on second jobs now", is how the online Independent describes the cabinet secretary's order asking government departments to declare if any civil servants have jobs in violation of the rules.

The Financial Times says the former prime minister David Cameron and the Chancellor Rishi Sunak are set to be called to give evidence to parliamentary inquiries into the Greensill Capital controversy.

The paper says Mr Sunak is expected to appear before the Treasury Select Committee while Mr Cameron may give evidence to the Public Accounts Committee.

The Daily Mirror comments that a more limited internal investigation initiated by the prime minister "without a moral compass of its own" is insufficient. The paper demands an end to what it calls the chumminess and cosiness in Whitehall.

With a headline, "UK lobbying watchdog is lobbyist", the i newspaper reports that a senior member of the government's Advisory Committee on Business Appointments runs his own firm advertising his access to cabinet ministers.

The paper says Andrew Cumpsty has been running the active lobbying Cumpsty Communications since 2012. During a telephone call with the paper, Mr Cumpsty refused to comment on his role or whether he should step down from the committee.

The Cabinet Office tells the paper his interests have been "transparently declared".

A different lobbying story is the lead story in Daily Mail. The paper says Boris Johnson intervened in a Saudi bid to buy Newcastle United after the Premier League blocked the £300m takeover of the club.

It says the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman warned the prime minister last year that Anglo-Saudi relations would be damaged unless the decision was reversed.

As debate continues about Covid passports, the Guardian leads with advice from the independent equalities watchdog that the move could amount to unlawful indirect discrimination.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has told the Cabinet Office they risk creating a "two-tier society".

The paper says the commission has warned that the passports risk further excluding groups where the vaccine take-up is lower - including migrants, those from minority-ethnic backgrounds and poorer socio-economic groups.

A 'ghastly betrayal'

Allegations of sexual abuse among school pupils continue to be published in the papers.

The Daily Express reports on accusations by a former student at Colchester Royal Grammar School. The paper quotes the 26-year-old woman saying that there was widespread abuse and misogyny when she was in the sixth form at the state school.

The head teacher, John Russell, has expressed his shock and sadness at the allegations.

With both US and the UK confirming to withdraw their remaining troops from Afghanistan by September 11, there's a warning in the Times about the fate of interpreters if they're left behind.

Colonel Simon Diggins, a former defence attaché to Kabul, told Times Radio that to abandon the Afghan interpreters would be a "ghastly betrayal".

The Guardian says Afghan women fear the Taliban's return. A Herat University student told the paper: "I am worried they won't let me leave the house, let alone what I'm doing now."

image copyrightKensington Palace
image captionThe Royal Family shared new images of Prince Philip as they prepared for his funeral on Saturday

Several papers publish a picture released by the Royal Family showing the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh with their seven great-grand children.

"Prince Philip and the young ones", is the caption in the Daily Mirror. The Daily Express calls the photo "joyous" while the Sun's headline is simply "Our Great Grandpa".

The Yorkshire Post reveals that the Duchess of Cambridge captured the moment on her camera in 2018 when the Queen and Prince Philip's great-grand children were at Balmoral.

Other papers report that members of the Royal family could wear non-military dress for Prince Philip's funeral following a debate over whether Prince Harry and Prince Andrew should appear in uniform.

With a headline "Suits You Sirs", the Sun says the Queen has spared Prince Harry's blushes by ordering no royals wear military uniform for the funeral.

The Daily Star says Prince Andrew wanted to go the funeral dressed in an Admiral's uniform but a royal source told the paper the Queen and the rest of the family didn't want any distraction from commemorating the Duke's remarkable life.

A number of papers have carried warning by officials of the UK's biggest airports that holidaymakers arriving back in Britain will face queues of more than six hours when international travel rules are relaxed after 17 May.

The Times quotes the chief solution officer at Heathrow, Chris Garton, as saying that many passengers already experience significant delays even though all non-essential travel is banned.

The paper says it has learnt that people returning from abroad also face significantly tougher quarantine checks.

The Daily Telegraph says all 10 million cats in the UK are to be microchipped by law after thefts surged by more than 12 per cent during the pandemic.

The paper says owners will be required to microchip their cats, as dogs already are, so they can be tracked and identified if stolen and resold, with fines of up to £500 for people who fail to do so.

And the Times assesses the victory of Tom Rhodes, the Nando's restaurant manager who was crowned MasterChef champion on Wednesday night.

Smitten by his recipe for olive ice-cream, the paper ranks him in a great tradition of innovators, starting with the first known cookbook devoted to ice-creams - L'Art de bien faire les glaces d'office - which was published in 1768.