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The papers: ‘Tiers of rage and disbelief’ as ‘north sees red’

By BBC News



“New Covid Madness” is how the Daily Mail describes the decision to put almost every area of England in the two top tiers of restrictions when the national lockdown ends next Wednesday.

Its front page shows the pretty village of Penshurst in Kent – which will enter tier three despite having “just a handful” of coronavirus cases and no deaths.

“No wonder”, the Mail says, “there are tiers of rage and disbelief” – with up to 70 Conservative MPs preparing to vote against the measures in the Commons next week.

The i believes they will still pass “thanks to the support of Labour members”.

The Daily Mirror accuses the prime minister of pursuing a “muddled” strategy that will cause “fury”, “desperation” and “confusion”.

The Daily Express backs Mr Johnson – suggesting he “gave hope to the nation” that every region of England could escape the new restrictions if people followed them for the time being.

However, government sources tell the Times that it’s unlikely that any area will move to a lower tier before the middle of January, when scientists will have had time to assess the impact of loosening restrictions at Christmas.

The Guardian reports that a former neighbour of the Health Secretary Matt Hancock won a contract to supply the NHS with millions of vials for Covid-19 tests – even though he’d never made medical supplies before.

The paper says Alex Bourne – who used to run a pub near Mr Hancock’s former constituency home in Suffolk – contacted the minister in March, offering to repurpose machinery at his catering business.

Mr Bourne categorically denies he profited from his personal contact with Mr Hancock, while the Department of Health and Social Care says there’s “no evidence” to support claims of preferential treatment.

‘Spitting feathers’

Plans to license grouse shooting in Scotland feature on the front of the Financial Times. It says landowners are “spitting feathers” about the proposals, which they believe will “wrap the sport in red tape and play into the hands of those who want to ban it completely”.

The chairman of the Scottish Gamekeepers Association tells the Daily Telegraph he is “angry beyond expression”. But the Scottish government says that licensing is needed to protect rare birds of prey, several of which have died or gone missing in suspicious circumstances over grouse moors.

According to the Guardian, more than 80 black actors, writers and other public figures – including the model Naomi Campbell – have written to a number of airlines, urging them not to accept up to 50 Jamaicans the Home Office wants to deport next week.

It’s not known which carrier the government plans to use for the flight, but the letter claims that if it goes ahead, there’s a risk that people who have the right to remain in the UK will be unlawfully removed.

The Home Office tells the Guardian that the group due to be deported includes convicted murderers and rapists, and it charters flights each week to “remove foreign criminals who have no right to be here”.

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New research featured in the Times suggests that electric cars have to travel up to 50,000 miles before their carbon footprint falls below that of petrol models.

The study, ordered by several vehicle manufacturers including Honda and Aston Martin, found that making battery packs and other components for electric cars created high levels of greenhouse gas emissions.

The report also calls for more investment in renewable fuels to decarbonise petrol and diesel vehicles already on the road. Last week, it was announced that the sale of new ones would be banned from 2030.

Experts say the pot dates back to the rule of Emperor Qianlong in the 18th century – and would have been worth about £700,000 in mint condition. Unfortunately for its owners, auctioneers expect it will fetch just £30,000 when it goes under the hammer next month – because it’s badly cracked and had to be glued back together.

And the Daily Mirror pictures a father-of-three who lost his wife to cancer – holding the keys to a million-pound mansion he’s won in a raffle raising money for research into the disease.

Ian Garrick paid £10 for his ticket – which secured him the 3,000 sq ft property in Greater Manchester, complete with a home office, landscaped gardens and a hot tub.

“Everyone is over the Moon for me,” Mr Garrick tells the paper – “It’s a new start for me, and a new start for my sons, leaving some of the bad memories behind and starting again.”

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