Friday, June 14, 2024

Newspaper headlines: ‘D-Day snub’ and search for missing presenter

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The headline on the front of the Financial Times reads: “Sunak accused of handing ‘gift’ to Reform by skipping D-Day event”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is accused by senior Tories of handing a “gift” to the Reform UK party by leaving D-Day commemorations in France early, the Financial Times says. During a seven-party BBC election debate on Friday night, Reform UK leader Nigel Farage claimed Mr Sunak had “deserted” veterans after returning to the UK early to record an interview, it says. The paper quotes a senior Tory party official as saying: “It’s a gift for Farage.”

¬The front page of the Mail reads: “Vanished Dr Mosley: Did a wrong turn lead to disaster?”

The Daily Mail leads with the disappearance of Michael Mosley on the Greek island Symi. It carries a CCTV image of the TV presenter holding an umbrella on the day he vanished, and says Greek police are working on the assumption the 67-year-old took a “disastrous wrong turn” as he walked home.

The front page of the i reads: “Tories in despair as Sunak D-Day gaffe ‘destroys’ election hopes”

Conservative insiders are said to be furious after Mr Sunak’s decision to leave D-Day commemorations early, the i reports. It carries a quote from Conservative Cabinet Minister Penny Mordaunt, who told the BBC debate on Friday the PM’s departure was “completely wrong”. The prime minister apologised on X on Friday morning, saying it was “a mistake not to stay in France longer”.

The front page of the Express reads: “Truly sorry”

In addition to his comments on X, Mr Sunak has issued an apology to Daily Express readers, the newspaper says. The PM told the paper he cares “deeply” about veterans, and apologises to them and Express readers “unreservedly”. He adds he has taken part in a number of events to honour those who risked their lives 80 years ago, calling his participation “one of the greatest privileges of my life”.

The front page of the Times reads: “Mordaunt hits out at ‘completely wrong’ PM

The Times also leads with comments from Ms Mordaunt, who said Mr Sunak had “rightly” apologised “to all of us” for leaving Normandy early. The former defence secretary told the BBC debate her wish is that veterans feel “completely treasured”.

The front page of the Daily Telegraph read: “Sunak to axe stamp duty for first-time buyers”

The Daily Telegraph says the Conservatives will vow to axe stamp duty for first-time buyers on properties worth up to £425,000 in their election manifesto. Some 200,000 households would benefit from the plans every year, the newspaper says. It says the publication of the party’s manifesto will be one of the last moments to change the dynamics of the election contest.

The front page of the Guardian reads: “Furious Tories turn on Sunak over D-day snub”

Mr Sunak’s decision to leave D-Day commemorations early is described by the Guardian as “the biggest misstep yet of an already faltering election campaign”. Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron took the PM’s place at Omaha beach alongside US President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

The front page of the Mirror reads: “It’s over”

The Mirror says the PM’s D-Day “snub” has ended the party’s election hopes, and quotes one of Mr Sunak’s ministers as saying “It’s over”. The paper also carries a photograph of Taylor Swift, who has performed for tens of thousands of fans in Edinburgh in the first show in the UK leg of the Eras Tour on Friday.

The front page of the Star reads: “What the hell?”

The Star also leads with reaction to Mr Sunak’s decision to leave the D-Day commemorations early. It says a veteran has accused the prime minister, who has apologised, of “letting the country down”.

Time for a look at the papers – where the fallout from Rishi Sunak’s decision to miss part of the D-Day Commemorations gets widespread coverage.

The Guardian says the prime minister “provoked fury” from the Conservative grassroots after he was forced to apologise for leaving France early. The paper calls it “the biggest mis-step yet of an already faltering election campaign”. The Guardian reports Tory officials as saying internal WhatsApp groups were full of horrified responses to Mr Sunak leaving Normandy and recording a TV interview. One grassroots member is quoted as saying the move was “gobsmacking”.

It was an “absolute catastrophe” according to an unnamed Conservative official in the FT Weekend. He goes on to accuse Mr Sunak of “handing a gift” to the Reform UK Party of Nigel Farage. The FT says some Tories fear that Reform could overtake the Tories in the opinion polls in what it calls a “crossover moment”.

“Tories in Despair” is the headline in the i. It describes a backlash on what it calls the “D-Day gaffe” – with Conservative insiders fearing it puts the “nail in the coffin” of election success. The Daily Mirror strikes a similar tone, saying Mr Sunak’s election campaign is “in tatters”. Its front page headline is a quote from one of Mr Sunak’s own ministers: “It’s Over”.

The Daily Express declares that a “contrite” Mr Sunak is “Truly Sorry” for letting down the “nation’s heroes”, adding that he admitted leaving the D-Day event early was a mistake and had addressed the backlash head-on. The paper’s columnist, Leo McKinstry, writes that the 80th anniversary of the invasion of Northern France has turned into “Rishi Sunak’s Darkest Day” and sent his election campaign “into meltdown”.

There’s a change of emphasis in the Daily Telegraph, which headlines the Conservatives’ plans to axe stamp duty for first time buyers on houses worth up to £425,000. The paper says the publication of the Tory manifesto will be one of the last moments left to change the dynamics of an election that has seen Labour stay far ahead in the polls. It discusses Mr Sunak’s D-Day gaffe further down the article – describing the Conservative campaign as having been “plunged into chaos”.

There’s no mention of the D-Day row on the front pages of the Daily Mail, and the Sun. Both lead on the disappearance in Greece of the broadcaster and Mail columnist Michael Mosley – and they carry the same picture of the 67-year-old health and diet expert carrying an umbrella. It’s taken from CCTV of his last confirmed sighting on the island of Symi. The Mail reports that Greek police fear he may have come to harm while walking back to the house where he was staying. Its headline asks: “Did a wrong turn lead to disaster?

And for a final word on Rishi Sunak and D-day – the Daily Star has mocked up a picture of the Prime Minister as Private Pike from Dad’s Army, alongside Captain Mainwaring. It has the headline “Stupid Boy!”.

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