Newspaper headlines: 'A failure of leadership' and 'zero shame' – BBC

By BBC News
Staff

All the papers lead on Sue Gray's update into her "partygate" investigation.
"Now publish the whole damn thing" demands the Daily Mail, arguing the release of a "flimsy 12-page update" has raised more questions than answers. The paper says no-one is named, no-one is shamed and no-one is blamed, adding that the report may have bought Prime Minister Boris Johnson some time – but has also left a sword of Damocles hanging over his head until police finish their inquiries.
The Times says detectives are examining least four lockdown gatherings which it says Mr Johnson was directly involved in. The paper says it believes it is inevitable fresh revelations will emerge, as officers have been handed 500 pages of evidence and 300 photographs.
"Mamma Mia!" headlines the Sun, referring to the Metropolitan Police probe into an event at the Downing Street flat, which reportedly saw Abba songs being played loudly on the night Dominic Cummings left his role as chief adviser. The paper also criticises Labour, Liberal Democrat and SNP MPs, arguing they became so "demented by rage" that their attacks on the PM in the Commons fell flat. However, the Sun adds it thinks Mr Johnson also lost the plot.
The Guardian describes a "wall of anger" faced by the PM from Conservative MPs. It quotes an unnamed Tory saying Mr Johnson's determination to keep fighting means removing him would be "extremely painful", causing "huge damage" to the party in the process.
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The Financial Times states the Gray report is further proof of Boris Johnson being unfit for office. It believes his "bombastic performance in the Commons debate was shameless and disingenuous – a clear sign the character of the man in charge will stay the same".
The Daily Mirror says Mr Johnson has "zero shame" after again refusing to quit. In an opinion column, the paper suggests the "update" from Sue Gray did not provide the "judgement day" – which it thinks both the public and MPs were "eagerly awaiting".
The Telegraph focuses on the prime minister's request that Sue Gray produces a new report. The paper says Mr Johnson is seeking to "quell growing anger" among his own MPs, with Downing Street confirming the senior civil servant will write a second update. The timing or content remains unclear.
And the Daily Express says the PM "got it wrong" and calls for him to "get it right" in the future. The paper suggests he won "vital support" from sceptics in the Conservatives by telling them that Covid nearly killed him, and promising to make "sweeping changes" in Downing Street.
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