Newspaper headlines: MP 'took Covid to Commons' and lockdown 'rebellion'

By BBC News

  • Published
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"One rule for them!" proclaims the front of the Daily Mail. It describes the SNP MP Margaret Ferrier as "reckless" for travelling by train to London from Scotland despite experiencing Covid symptoms, then returning home after receiving the positive result.

The headline in the Mail's Scottish edition refers to the MP's "Covid trip of shame", while the Herald, which is based in Glasgow, says one person is self-isolating after being in close contact with her.

Under the headline, "plague dimwit", the Sun's leader accuses Ms Ferrier of hypocrisy. It refers to the fact that she called for the resignation of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's senior aide, Dominic Cummings, after he drove from London to his parents' farm in County Durham during the national lockdown. The paper describes Mr Cummings' action as "a thousand times more responsible" than Ms Ferrier's and demands a police investigation into what she has done.

But the editor of the i, Oliver Duff, is more sympathetic. In an opinion piece he writes that "the mob baying for Margaret Ferrier to be thrown in the stocks will include plenty of hypocrites who have followed their own, relaxed interpretation of coronavirus rules".

The Daily Express says the MP "doubtless felt under pressure to turn up at Parliament", adding that many workers who think they may have the virus will worry about letting colleagues and customers down.

Image caption,
The MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West spoke in a debate in the House of Commons before returning back to Scotland

The Daily Telegraph is concerned about the local Covid-19 lockdowns coming into force in parts of Britain - saying in its leader that they're "absurdly complex" and are "spreading confusion and resentment". It acknowledges that ministers have faced difficult decisions because the virus has spread unevenly. But it says that even so, "the trigger for local measures has been unclear, and the scientific rationale often mysterious".

There's mockery in the Sun of the European Union's announcement that it's suing the UK because of the government's plan to override parts of the Brexit withdrawal agreement. Under the headline "who are EU?", its opinion column describes the move as "desperate and futile". "If we strike a deal," it argues, "the UK law Brussels objects to won't be enacted. If we don't, Britain will be just weeks from leaving the EU courts' remit anyway."

Both the Financial Times and the Daily Telegraph feature pictures of the European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, adjusting her EU flag face covering at a summit in Brussels. The FT's headline is "gloves off - EU sues Britain over Brexit breach".

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Martin Howe, a barrister from the pro-Brexit group Lawyers for Britain, argues that if the European Court of Justice were to rule against the UK in such a case, its punitive powers might be limited. "There is no actual means by which an ECJ judgment can be enforced against a sovereign state which defies it," he writes.

The Daily Mirror points out that, whatever the legal realities, the row "risks souring UK-EU trade talks after optimism of a deal".

The Times says allies of Home Secretary Priti Patel are accusing the Foreign Office of being "at war" with the minister over her plans to deal with asylum seekers. According to the paper. they allege that officials have leaked "bizarre and unworkable" policies in order to discredit her. These are said to include artificially creating waves to push back boats in the Channel and fouling their propellers with chains. The Times reports that Foreign Office sources have dismissed the claims.

The front of the Financial Times has the headline: "Floating walls in Channel considered in latest plan to block asylum seekers". The paper says it has seen a leaked document from trade body Maritime UK, which it suggests was asked by the Home Office to look at the possibility of erecting temporary underwater fencing "in one of the world's busiest shipping lanes". The FT says it's been told by Marine UK that it didn't think the plan was "legally possible".

The Guardian picks up on the Duchess of Sussex saying she was unaware the UK had its own Black History Month - a comment she made as she and Prince Harry launched a campaign to highlight the achievement of black British trailblazers.

Writing in the Times, the former head of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, Trevor Phillips, describes Meghan's admission as "a mistake". "The first BHM was launched in 1987," he writes. "For at least two decades it has been officially celebrated by government of every stripe, and marked by members of the royal family".

Image source, Reuters

"Don't let my brother die in vain" is the Daily Mirror's headline. The paper has secured what it says is the first interview with LaTonya Floyd, the sister of George Floyd, the African American man who died in May while in police custody in Minnesota. She accuses US President Donald Trump of fuelling racial divisions. telling the paper: "In the four years of his presidency, he has taken America back over forty years." Ms Floyd calls on voters to back his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, in next month's presidential election.

The New York Times' website turns its attention to the decision by the Republican governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, to allow voters to drop off postal ballots at only one location per county. It believes the ruling intensifies "questions of voting rights, voter suppression and the integrity of the election" that have emerged during the campaign.

The Guardian marks Dame Jenni Murray's last appearance on BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour with a front page picture of her at the microphone. "Signing off: after 33 years Jenni Murray bows out," the headline reads.

The i's columnist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown tells readers that she cried when Dame Jenni said her final goodbye. She recalls the presenter leaving former prime minister Margaret Thatcher "speechless" by pointing out that some male politicians saw her as a sex symbol.

Finally, the Belgian website, de Standaard looks at the decision to allow the love child of the former king, Albert II, to use the title Princess of Belgium, following a court battle. A lawyer for Delphine Boël suggests it's a bitter-sweet outcome. "A victory in court can never replace a father's love," he says.