image captionBoris Johnson is “tainted by sleaze” according to the headline of the i newspaper – which reports the results of an opinion poll of voters. It says half of those questioned believe there is a “culture of sleaze” within government. The paper also describes Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove’s defence of Mr Johnson as a “wounding blow” – as it claims Mr Gove “refuses to deny” allegations the PM said last year “bodies could pile high” before he would approve a third lockdown in England. The PM insists the claim is “total rubbish”.
image caption“Slurry of sleaze” is the Metro’s take – as it reports Labour’s criticism of the “sewage of allegations” against Mr Johnson, who is pictured in a cowshed with the picture caption “Talking bull?”. The paper says the PM is being “swamped” by scandal and “fighting devastating claims” around the “bodies” comments he is said to have made last year. Away from Westminster, the paper pictures the young British stars who took home Oscars on Sunday – Daniel Kaluuya and Emerald Fennell.
image captionThe PM is “on the ropes” and “under siege” says the Daily Mail. It describes mounting questions over Mr Johnson’s “personal conduct” amid what it says is a “string of controversies”. The paper highlights that its exclusive on Monday – reporting the alleged “bodies” comments – was “confirmed” later in the day by the BBC and ITV. Elsewhere, the Mail hails the “dazzling” Oscar winners Daniel Kaluuya and Emerald Fennell and highlights “oh how different their life stories are”.
image captionThe Times carries new allegations that Mr Johnson said he would rather let coronavirus “rip” rather than impose a second lockdown last year. The paper says the PM made the remark in September as he argued there was “no evidence” lockdowns worked and “described them as mad”. No 10 describes the new claims as “gross distortions of his position”. Elsewhere, the Times reports the Duke of York “has gone into business” with a ex-Coutts banker who quit amid allegations of sexual assault.
image captionThe hunt for an alleged “chatty rat” mole in No 10 is akin to the plot from BBC drama Line of Duty, the Sun says. It mocks up an AC-12 case file with the headline “Lying of Duty” – as it claims even MI5 spooks are “baffled” over the identity of the person who leaked details of England’s second lockdown to journalists last year. Meanwhile, the paper is offering its readers the chance to “win” a cut-price version of the PM’s controversial flat makeover.
image captionThe Guardian says Conservative insiders are adding weight to reports the PM said he would rather see bodies pile up than lock down the country for a third time. It says the PM is “faced with fury” from the bereaved. Elsewhere, the paper reports the new sentence given to British-Iranian mother Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe in Iran and demands for an inquiry into fines given out during the pandemic. The paper also celebrates its own success at this year’s Oscars for the short documentary, Colette.
image captionNo 10 “fights back over war of words” says the Daily Express. The paper notes Mr Johnson’s denial over the claim he said “let bodies pile high” – as he pledges to “focus relentlessly on battling Covid”. Unlike the other tabloids papers, it makes 83-year-old Sir Anthony Hopkins the focus of its Oscars coverage after he won the best actor prize.
image captionThe Daily Mirror carries an emotional image of the Covid-19 memorial wall outside St Thomas’ Hospital in London. “Not just bodies, Boris.. we loved them” is its headline. The paper says grieving families have branded the PM “callous” for the alleged comment – that the PM denies saying.
image captionAn irreverent Daily Star depicts the PM ablaze above the headline “my pants are not on fire…”. As it details the claim and counterclaim over Mr Johnson’s alleged “bodies” comments, it asks: “Gosh, who to believe?”