What the papers say – January 26

The papers react to Scotland Yard launching a criminal inquiry as the nation awaits the release of a report into No 10.

Alana Calvert
Wednesday 26 January 2022 02:53
What the papers say – January 26 (PA)
What the papers say – January 26 (PA)

Wednesday’s papers all carry the looming deadline for Sue Gray to deliver the findings of her investigation into alleged lockdown parties – just as police launch a criminal investigation into Downing Street’s possible breaches of Covid laws.

The Guardian writes Boris Johnson is bracing for “the most perilous 48 hours of his premiership, with exasperated Conservative MPs due to see an official report into Downing Street parties that has now triggered a criminal inquiry”.

The Daily Mirror splashes with the headline “Number’s up, PM” and a photo of the front door of No 10.

The Sun describes Downing Street as a “crime scene” as police probe into the “Partygate scandal”.

The Daily Star claims Ms Gray has been sent photos of “Bozo next to wine bottles at No10”.

“PM in peril as police called in”, i declares, adding that Mr Johnson “does not believe” he has broken law.

The Downing Street parties crossed the threshold for a “serious and flagrant” breach of lockdown rules, according to a statement from Scotland Yard by The Times.

The Financial Times carries a quote from an unnamed Tory MP who told the paper: “(Mr Johnson) believes he’ll get out of this. His optimism is more than skin deep.”

The Independent cites critics of the PM who expect Ms Gray’s report to be “damning” enough to trigger 54 letters of no confidence.

The Daily Express and Metro similarly carry the announcement from Scotland Yard, with the latter quipping: “You’ve had your parties, now here is the bill”.

As the UK and Whitehall brace for the release of Ms Gray’s investigation, the Prime Minister is being pressured to publish it in full – with Scotland Yard clearing the way for its release, according to The Daily Telegraph.

The Daily Mail takes a slightly different line on the police probe revelations, declaring Britain has “lost all sense of proportion” for investigating partygate while Russian leader Vladimir Putin “taunts (the) West with terrifying military displays”.

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