Newspaper headlines: 'Meltdown' in Downing Street and living standards crisis – BBC


By BBC News
Staff

The rises in energy bills and interest rates, as well as the Downing Street resignations, dominate the front pages.
The Sun brings both stories together – describing the squeeze on family finances as the worst crunch in 32 years and the Downing Street resignations as a 'partygate' bloodbath. Its headline reads: "Ouch!"
"Meltdown in Downing Street" leads the Daily Mail, above a close-up picture of Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the words: "Will the last one to leave please turn out the lights".
The i leads with: "Johnson's top team quits No 10 en masse", while the Guardian says the fallout from the Downing Street party scandal has continued to shake his hold on government.
According to the Times, two cabinet ministers have questioned whether the PM can survive. "It feels like the end, it's all falling apart. It's 50/50 in my view at the moment", one is quoted as saying.
The Telegraph says Tory whips are understood to be braced for ministerial resignations, with Solicitor General Alex Chalk identified by a government source as someone who could quit because of the handling of partygate. A source close to Mr Chalk tells the Times he has no plans to resign – and the paper reports that Mr Johnson had to persuade him not to quit earlier this week.
"The big squeeze" is the lead in the Telegraph, which says cabinet ministers are increasingly uneasy about Downing Street's focus on its pledge to cut Britain's carbon emissions to zero by 2050. One minister tells the paper the UK "should not be running towards net zero so aggressively". Another says: "The priority should be the cost of living – 2050 is a long way away and our own gas is a valuable transition fuel in the meantime".
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Publishing part of its leader column on the front page, the Telegraph also lays the blame for the energy crisis on government policies. The paper says whether it's the stampede to net zero, the Climate Change Act, the energy price cap, the botched regulation of suppliers or the failure to take critical decisions when they were needed, this is a home-grown crisis.
In other leader columns, Chancellor Rishi Sunak comes under fire for his measures to help struggling households with their bills. The Sun gives qualified support for the measures, but says it's dispiriting to see a Tory government with a huge majority shun the far more effective solution – tax cuts, to ease hardship and help the economy grow.
The Mirror would have preferred cutting VAT on energy bills and putting a windfall tax on the oil and gas giants.
Finally, a number of papers report on a campaign to give the UK an extra public holiday from next year.
The Telegraph says the "Thank Holiday" would be in honour of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee, but also in recognition of the millions of people who have stepped up to serve their communities during the pandemic.
The Daily Express says the idea has already garnered mass support, offering its own backing for the holiday – adding it would give us all something to cheer about.
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