Newspaper review: Job for Boris Johnson's brother catches eye


The Daily Telegraph delights in the news that a member of the Johnson family has landed a top job at 10 Downing Street.

It is not Boris Johnson but his younger brother, Jo, who has been tasked with shaking up the Downing Street policy unit - a position previously filled by civil servants.

The paper praises the former journalist and old Etonian as a "rising star and future PM".

It sees the move as an admission by Prime Minister David Cameron that the political antennae of the government machine needs to be sharpened ahead of the next general election.

The Times agrees this is a highly political move to reach out to malcontents on his own backbenches and to soothe Tory nerves about the rise of UKIP.

That fear is not unfounded, it argues, and warns that the rise of Nigel Farage's party could cost the Conservatives a majority in 2015.

But the paper warns that trying to "reheat" Thatcherism with a more right-wing policy unit will not save the PM unless he articulates his own vision for modernising the state.

'Disastrous change'

An extra four million patients a year are "flooding" hospital emergency departments "after Labour's disastrous decision to allow GPs to stop night work", the Daily Mail says.

The paper looks ahead to a speech by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt lambasting what he calls "the last government's disastrous changes" which saw the majority opting out of out-of-hours care.

The Telegraph is equally vexed.

It highlights the plight of people with long-term conditions like diabetes, dementia and heart problems who, it says, are being "patched up and sent home quickly" by A&E departments without getting the medicine or support they need.

The ongoing measles epidemic is given space on the front pages of many papers as a national campaign is launched in England to try to halt the spread of the disease.

The Independent warns of a legacy of older children who were not vaccinated as toddlers and who are now at risk of catching the virus - and passing it on - around secondary schools.

It says a million unvaccinated children will be identified from GP records and their parents will be contacted.

The Guardian reflects on how so many children could have been left unprotected in the first place and concludes that sections of the media must take their share of the blame.

It bemoans what it sees as the hypocrisy of some of its rivals in their current reporting of the measles outbreak.

'Shadow dragon'

Disproportionate coverage in the past of now-discredited research linking the MMR vaccine to autism was politically motivated, it adds.

"It was abundantly clear," the paper says, that this was based on "hostility in the right-wing press to Tony Blair's Labour government".

The government's latest failure to deport the radical cleric Abu Qatada has "gone beyond farce", according to the Telegraph, which says the whole saga has "the feel of Groundhog Day about it".

The Sun agrees and pours scorn on Theresa May's hopes that signing a new treaty with Jordan will finally do the trick.

"Forgive us if we don't hold our breath," it taunts.

The home secretary's threat to temporarily withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights in order to deport Abu Qatada is disingenuous, according to the Guardian.

The paper says that there is only a "vanishingly small chance" that such a move could be used, not least because it is likely to end up being declared unlawful under the UN Convention against torture.

The Independent is equally sceptical of Theresa May's motives calling it "a pretend slaying of a shadow dragon".

It says that, for all their bluster and rage against Strasbourg, "the Tories know that Qatada is going nowhere".

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