Newspaper headlines: Prince Andrew and US 'at war' over Epstein inquiry

By BBC News

  • Published

Several of Tuesday's papers urge the Duke of York to co-operate with the US authorities over their investigation into the sex offender, Jeffrey Epstein.

The prince was a friend of the financier, but denies he saw any suspicious behaviour during his visits to Epstein's homes.

For the Times, the allegations against Epstein are of the utmost seriousness and the prince has a moral duty to assist the US inquiry.

Until he agrees to do so - the Mirror says - his name will be dragged through the mud and there is zero prospect of a return to public life.

The Sun says the longer he stays silent, the worse the situation will get.

Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
Prince Andrew stepped away from royal duties last year after an interview he gave to the BBC about his relationship with Epstein

The Guardian leads with a report that the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is drawing up urgent plans to reduce tensions and address fury over disproportionate police action against black and minority ethnic people.

According to the paper, he wants to apply pressure on the Metropolitan Police over the use of stop and search, Tasers and other force.

Mr Khan tells the paper the focus should be on "rooting out" systemic racism, discrimination and inequality from society and he wants "a clear commitment to change".

The response of Home Secretary Priti Patel to the toppling of the statue of Edward Colston in Bristol on Sunday is the main story for the Times and the "i".

The Times says she had a "firm conversation" with the chief constable of Avon and Somerset Police and demanded an explanation for what happened. She's said to have made clear that she expected those who pulled the statue down to face criminal prosecution.

Image source, PA Media
Image caption,
The empty plinth where the statue of Edward Colston once stood in Bristol

The incident provokes strong views among the papers. For the Guardian columnist, Suzanne Moore, history is made and unmade in a moment - and to witness such moments is thrilling. She describes the pulling down of the statue as beautiful.

The Mail takes the police to task for "turning a blind eye to the statue's wanton vandalism", as it puts it. The paper describes the failure to act as scandalous inaction and says the chief constable's explanation that he did not want to inflame tensions was a pathetic excuse.

But in the view of the "i", the police were being pragmatic. It says they decided, sensibly, that officers using force to defend a statue of a slave trader was not an image that should be broadcast around the world.

The Telegraph leads with the suggestion by Health Secretary Matt Hancock at Monday's Downing Street news briefing that all schools may not be able to reopen fully in September.

The paper says that while the cabinet is preparing to meet to discuss ways of accelerating the exit from lockdown, schools remain a sticking point.

The Express highlights a more positive message from Mr Hancock's briefing - that coronavirus is "in retreat".

Dare we dream of a late summer cocktail on a sun lounger by the Med? the Mirror asks. It reports that travel firms are slashing prices by up to two-thirds to tempt nervous passengers into booking late summer breaks.

According to the Times, travel companies have been given private assurances that the government's quarantine measures will be dropped by the end of this month in favour of "travel corridors" to low-risk countries.

It says the Foreign Office is also believed to be on the verge of dropping its advice against all non-essential travel worldwide.

Finally, an Amazon employee has launched an appeal to find her engagement ring after she dropped it into a parcel which was posted out.

Jasmine Paget, 18, from Swansea, was given the silver band with diamonds by her fiance, who proposed on Valentine's Day.

The Mail says she thinks it went into one of the hundreds of parcels that she packaged up on Saturday - and is pleading with customers to check their deliveries.

"We're staying positive and hope somebody finds it," she tells the paper.