Newspaper headlines: MPs 'plotting Johnson's demise', and Plan B update – BBC


By BBC News
Staff

Many of the papers make grim reading for the prime minister.
There is derision from some for his continued insistence in an interview yesterday that he was unaware he was doing anything wrong when he went to a drinks gathering in the Downing Street garden during the first lockdown.
"No one warned me party was against the rules, says man who set the rules," is the headline for the Independent.
The Daily Star echoes that view and carries a mocked up front-page picture of Boris Johnson as Pinocchio with a nose so long it almost stretches the width of the front page.
Most of the other titles focus on the growing rebellion Mr Johnson is facing from within his own party.
"What a sorry state! New MPs plot to oust PM" is the Daily Express's headline, as it points out that opposition to the prime minister appears to be concentrated in the 2019 intake of Tory MPs.
The Daily Mail suggests the sentiment among some Mr Johnson loyalists is "fury" at what's become known as the "pork pie plot" because one of the MPs involved represents Melton Mowbray.
The Financial Times describes Downing Street as being "nervous" about a possible "northern rebellion".
But it also quotes an unnamed cabinet minister who says of the plotters: "They are inexperienced. It won't amount to much."
That assessment is contradicted by an unnamed 2019 Tory MP, quoted by the Daily Telegraph, who attended a rebel meeting.
They tell the paper: "Did everyone talk about being angry? Yes. Do people think this is potentially terminal? Yes. Are there people looking to move? Of course they are."
The Daily Mirror says Mr Johnson's premiership is "in the balance." But it quotes another unnamed Tory who is even blunter. "His time has gone," they say.
The Telegraph says the prime minister is set to announce the lifting of England's Plan B Covid restrictions today.
It says the cabinet will approve plans to scrap work from home guidance and Covid passports – though some mask wearing will be retained.
The Times says the prime minister is preparing to declare "the end of coronavirus restrictions".
It reports local Covid testing centres will start to shut from spring, both to save money and as part of a long-term strategy of "living with the virus."
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The Guardian focuses on a report by the Commons Public Accounts Committee which suggests rural areas are being "left behind" in the rollout of next-generation-speed broadband.
It says 150,000 homes have been deemed too expensive to connect to the network.
And finally, the Times – among others – reports on some of the latest musings of the lead singer of one of most successful bands of recent times – Bono.
The frontman of U2 has revealed he dislikes most of the band's songs, his own voice – and even the band's name.
Bono says he and his bandmates had originally hoped U2 would sound "futuristic…like a spy plane" but says it turned out to "imply acquiescence".
"No", he says, "I don't like that name."
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