Today’s news summary – Paper Talk
Many of Thursday’s front pages have tributes to rock legend Tina Turner, who died at 83. Turner is the lead for several of the tabloids, whilst the latest inflation figures, the public Covid inquiry and former PM Boris Johnson also lead a number of papers.
‘Simply the best’
Tina Turner is pictured on most of the front pages. Several papers use lyrics from the hit-maker as their headlines. “Simply the best” says the Daily Star, the Daily Mirror and The Sun. The Mirror hails her “unique voice”, “breathtaking” stage presence and “sublime” music, but says her legend status “was her sheer strength of character.”
The Daily Express plays on another hit song, calling Turner “the hero we needed” and pays tribute to her ability to “inspire young performers to this day.” The Daily Mail says she was a “superstar” and “the undisputed queen of stadium rock who invented Girl Power before the Spice Girls were even born”.
The Times reports that Cabinet Office is considering a legal challenge after the Covid public inquiry requested access to hundreds of WhatsApp messages sent between Boris Johnson and other ministers during the pandemic. The paper says officials fear handing the data over in full, unredacted and could set a “dangerous precedent” that all internal government communications could end up being made public. The paper says the government believes handing over the messages would breach the Human Rights Act and data protection laws.
But the Daily Mirror isn’t moved by that argument, insisting that if the inquiry can’t establish the facts, lessons can’t be learned.
The Guardian leads on Partygate, reporting on the calls for the PM to delay or scrap Boris Johnson’s resignation honours list following fresh allegations that the former PM hosted events in lockdown, breaking more rules. Opposition parties say allies of Johnson should not be rewarded while he remains under investigation. The paper claims that some Tories are “privately baffled” as to why the PM would be willing to go ahead with the list, as it’s expected to hand peerages to at least three MPs and trigger potentially difficult by-elections.
Interest rate rise to tackle inflation
A new interest rate rise is expected to tackle persistent inflation, according to the i. It comes after figures published on Wednesday showed inflation in April was at 8.7%, down since March but higher than expected. The paper says homeowners, in particular, will be affected by any hike, though adds that inflation is expected to drop to 5% by the end of the year.
The Financial Times reports that gilt yields have hit levels not seen since last year’s mini-Budget. The yield on gilts is the interest paid by the UK government on its debt, so a rise in the yield can be read as a fall in investor confidence in the country’s economy. The paper quotes one analyst describing the market reaction to the figures as “an amber flag, if not a red flag” and predicting rates will have to rise “aggressively” in response.