Today’s news summary – Paper Talk
Thursday’s front pages lead on Boris Johnson’s three-hour grilling from MPs over whether he lied about Partygate. Elsewhere, PM Rishi Sunak’s Brexit vote and the prime minister’s decision to publish his tax returns during a busy political day also make the front pages. Some have accused the PM of trying to bury the story by publishing the tax returns amid several major political events on Wednesday.
Boris Johnson committee grilling
According to The Times, Mr Johnson is fighting for his political future and faced a “fractious three-and-a-half hour hearing” during which he accused the Privileges Committee of acting as “prosecutor, judge and jury” and his evidence was criticised as “flimsy”.
The i newspaper also reports that Mr Johnson is “in peril” and lost his temper by shouting “complete nonsense” in response to questions about whether he lied to Parliament.
Metro describes Mr Johnson as “rattled” and uncomfortable during “several bad-tempered exchanges” with the seven-strong panel that will determine his fate.
The Guardian reports that he is facing a formal reprimand for misleading Parliament and is “on the brink” after the MPs suggested he misinterpreted Covid guidance.
The Daily Telegraph describes him as “besieged, but defiant” and suggests that Mr Johnson may refuse to accept the inquiry’s verdict if it finds that he misled the House of Commons.
The Daily Mirror accused Mr Johnson of insulting Covid families with his excuses for the parties, and Daily Star once again likens him to Pinocchio.
Whilst the Daily Express calls him “bullish” and highlights his statement, “Hand on heart, I did not lie”, in its headline about the televised showdown with his interrogators.
And the Daily Mail’s columnist Sarah Vine describes Boris Johnson as “the Captain Jack Sparrow of British politics” and notes that he fought to clear his name and save his career during his appearance before the committee investigating him over Partygate.
Brexit vote and tax returns
Meanwhile, The Telegraph reports that Rishi Sunak’s Brexit deal passed its first hurdle in the Commons, but senior Eurosceptics have vowed to continue the fight. The FT notes that Mr Sunak released his tax returns while attention was on Mr Johnson’s testimony.