September 22, 2020

Newspaper headlines: ‘Welcome to Londongrad’ and Pompeo attacks WHO

Image caption “Welcome to Londongrad,” is the Metro’s splash headline, reporting the release of a report into Russian interference in the UK. The paper says Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee revealed a “scandal of blind eye to interference by Russians”, as it notes MPs’ description of London as a “Laundromat” for Russian cash.
Image caption The Financial Times says Downing Street sat on the “long-awaited” report for nine months. The paper reports that No 10 will resist calls to order a review into potential Russian interference into the Brexit vote.
Image caption “Now tame the Russian bear,” demands the Daily Mail as the paper reports the MPs’ warning that Britain must face up to Moscow. For the Mail, the report into Russian interference is “devastating”, “shocking” and “scathing”.
Image caption The MPs’ assessment shows the “rise of Russia in UK politics”, according to the i. The paper reports Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab as saying the government “will be resolute in defending our country”.
Image caption According to the Guardian, the report “damns No 10 and spy agencies over Russia”. The paper says Boris Johnson is facing “intense criticism” over the “damning conclusion” that the government and intelligence services failed to assess Kremlin attempts to interfere with the 2016 EU referendum.
Image caption But Mr Johnson has dismissed claims the EU referendum was rigged by Russia, reports the Express. It says the PM is sure Moscow had no involvement despite the “explosive report” on Russian meddling. The paper also carries a newly-released photograph of Prince George, who turns seven on Wednesday.
Image caption The PM is preparing to give the security services more powers to stop foreign interference following the report’s publication, the Times says. The paper notes the report includes evidence from the former head of MI5, who told MPs foreign agents operated “with impunity” in the UK.
Image caption The Daily Telegraph leads with remarks by visiting US secretary of state Mike Pompeo, who the paper says told MPs the head of the World Health Organization has been effectively “bought” by China. The paper also reports that Britain is close to abandoning hope of Brexit trade deal, with the working assumption now that the UK will trade with the EU on World Trade Organisation terms after 31 December.
Image caption Sidestepping Russia, the Daily Star carries a pointed headline and the image of Mr Johnson as a clown following the announcement of a bumper pay rise for certain key workers. “Thanks for your help, folks, but up yours!” is how the Star paints the government’s message as it is revealed cleaners, carers, refuse workers and bus drivers will not receive above-inflation raises.
Image caption The Daily Mirror carries the same story, describing the decision to exclude some public sector workers from the wage increases as an “insult to heroes”. It says Chancellor Rishi Sunak has sparked fury by warning of pay restraint as part of an upcoming Spending Review.

Sign up for a morning briefing direct to your inbox