Newspaper headlines: Conservatives 'split' on energy bills 'giveaway'

By BBC News

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Image source, UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor

"About time" says the Daily Mirror's front page on the chancellor's new support package for families struggling with energy bills.

The Guardian says Rishi Sunak has "bowed to months of pressure", while "Rishi to the rescue at last" is the Metro's take. The Times says some in the cabinet and the Conservative Party remain split on how to fund the support.

The Financial Times reports that energy groups have reacted angrily after the small print showed the windfall tax on the sector would remain until December 2025 - unless oil and gas prices returned to normal levels in the meantime.

The comment pages have plenty of analysis on the latest measures. The Daily Express is complimentary, saying the overall package is a "carefully considered set of interventions".

The paper says the chancellor displayed the same "radical panache" yesterday as he did when he announced the furlough scheme at the beginning of the pandemic.

In contrast, one headline inside the Daily Telegraph says: "Richest man in Westminster falls back on his magic money tree again."

The Daily Mail says "as a populist measure" the support package was necessary to demonstrate that the government is listening, but argues that "short-termism" won't win the next general election.

The i's Paul Waugh calls Mr Sunak's U-turn a "crowd pleaser" but warns the move comes with risks for the government. He says the worry among some Conservative MPs is that voters will see Boris Johnson as a "flip-flopper".

The Sun says Mr Sunak is "back on track... for now". The Daily Mirror argues that Mr Sunak deserves "zero credit", stressing that it was Labour who had championed for months the idea of using a windfall tax to raise funds.

Image source, EPA

James Forsyth, in the Times, says the amount being spent by the government on helping people with their energy bills "will only really keep the wolf from the door". He says the "cost of living crisis is so severe" that the chancellor will have to do more in the autumn.

There are "fears for chippies" reports the Daily Telegraph, as ministers prepare to ban Russian fish under new sanctions against Moscow for the invasion of Ukraine.

The paper says Britain imports around 30% of its whitefish from Russia, and that the industry is already concerned about the future of many fish and chip shops, as owners also face rising costs.

ABBA's return to the stage, albeit virtually, is called a "mind blowing spectacle" in the Sun. Last night, the band's new concert opened in London, which sees younger, digital versions of the group performing some of their greatest hits.

"My, my, how can we resist you?" asks the Daily Express, which says the crowd was "enthralled" by the show.

According to the Guardian, it was a "triumph" - noting that by the finale "any lingering sense that you are not in the presence of ABBA has dissolved".

In its review, the Times says the concert was "captivating and celebratory in a rather innocent fashion" although concludes "holograms are fine, but the real thing is still best".