The Papers: ‘Brit killed in Ukraine’ and ‘Disorder! Disorder!’


By BBC News


Image source, UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/PA Wire

The growing row about the culture in Westminster features on many of Friday’s front pages.

“New sexual harassment claims hit Parliament” is the headline for the i, which says there are increasing demands for the Conservative MP who watched pornography in the Commons to be expelled.

The Guardian says reports Boris Johnson is being urged to act quickly, with senior Tories questioning why he had not moved directly against the MP involved. The paper’s editorial calls the parliamentary session which has just ended “one of the most dishonest and discreditable” of modern times.

The Daily Star headline parodies the Speaker’s traditional call in the chamber in its headline “Disorder! Disorder!” – and it calls the sleaze and sexism row the “shame of Britain”.

The Daily Mail accuses Labour of “lockdown lies and hypocrisy” after the party said deputy leader Angela Rayner was at an event in Durham in 2021 where Sir Keir Starmer was seen drinking beer. The paper says this is a “sensational U-turn” after months of assurances she was not there. Labour says it made “an honest mistake” but the Mail suggests she’s been “caught out”.

Several papers declare the imminent death of the BBC licence fee. The Times says the government’s updating of broadcasting law talks of “challenges” to the “sustainability” of the licence fee, and calls for the “most fair and appropriate funding mechanism”.

The Daily Express hails the funding shake-up, and urges the BBC to become more responsive to what the public really wants. “The licence fee will be consigned to history,” says its editorial, adding the “country will be glad”.

The Financial Times thinks US President Joe Biden’s request for an extra $33bn for the war in Ukraine shows Washington is preparing for a long and intensifying conflict. It adds the US is taking an increasingly assertive approach to the war, despite its own economic headaches.

The Daily Telegraph also sees a message in the deployment of 8,000 British troops to eastern Europe. They are taking part in a series of long-planned exercises, but the paper quotes Defence Secretary Ben Wallace as saying it’s “a show of solidarity and strength”.

The main story for the Times is the new NHS guidance which tells millions of arthritis patients to exercise and lose weight – rather than take painkillers. It says the change could save the health service billions of pounds by reducing the number of prescriptions for drugs – and by helping patients to avoid expensive joint replacements.

The Guardian is one of several papers to pick up on a study in the journal, Nature Aging, about the optimal amount of sleep you should get each night. It found that seven hours was the ideal amount in middle to old age – and that too little or too much could affect performance and mental health. A consistent amount of sleep was also important.

The Times notes that this advice deviates from the traditional claim that eight hours a night is right, while the Daily Mail passes on advice to wind down slowly at night, and keep TVs and gadgets out of the bedroom.