image captionImages of destruction in Israel and Gaza feature on many of the front pages, including the Times, which says fears are mounting over the threat of “full-scale war”. It reports that Israel Defence Forces have sent tanks and troops to the border and a military spokesman has refused to rule out a ground offensive.
image captionThe Daily Telegraph carries a picture of youngsters cleaning up a torched synagogue in the city of Lod under the headline “US offers ‘ironclad support’ to Israel over conflict with Hamas”. It quotes US Secretary of State Antony Blinken saying that there is an “absolute distinction” between Hamas “indiscriminately raining down rockets” and Israel’s response. The paper also reports that GPs are being told to encourage patients to go online for appointments.
image captionThere are two striking images of plumes of smoke and flame in Israel and Gaza on the front of the Financial Times. The paper says more than 50 people have died in deadly attacks as the violence continues in the region. The FT’s lead story is on stocks retreating after a 4.2% surge in inflation in the US.
image captionThe Guardian leads on Boris Johnson’s promise to hold an independent inquiry into the handling of the Covid pandemic but it says that there is anger that it will not be held until 2022. It says experts believe an inquiry could be up and running in “three to six months” and quotes Lord Falconer saying the government will be confident the pandemic inquiry will not conclude before the next general election, which it says is expected in 2023.
image captionMeanwhile the I reports that there are fears for the end of lockdown after variant cases triple. It says a government scientific adviser thinks it is possible the final lifting of lockdown in England could be delayed beyond 21 June due to the threat of the Indian variant. It also reports that the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) will hold a meeting on Thursday.
image captionHowever, the Sun seems more confident as it describes 21 June as the “Great British Mask Off”. It says that’s the date that social distancing will end and masks in shops and offices will no longer be required.
image captionThe Daily Express declares “It’s working” as it says two million jobs have been saved as the UK economy rebounds from Covid. The paper quotes Chancellor Rishi Sunak saying “our plan is working”.
image caption“We’ll never give up, Maddie” is the Daily Mirror’s headline as it says her devoted parents have vowed never to stop looking for their missing daughter on her 18th birthday. The paper says Kate and Gerry McCann still hope she can be found alive 14 years after she disappeared during a family holiday in Portugal.
image captionThe Daily Mail continues its criticism of the prime minister over social care as it reports that families have paid £14bn in social care costs since Boris Johnson promised to fix the system on his first day in Downing Street. Social care was only briefly mentioned during the Queen’s Speech on Tuesday.
image captionThe Metro leads on the prime minister’s “mystery” court debt after Boris Johnson was issued with a county court judgement over unpaid debts of £535. The paper says documents show the PM should have got the judgement six months ago but seems to still not have paid the bill. The prime minister’s spokesman said the claim was “totally without merit”.
image captionThe Daily Star also mentions the debt story with a mocked up picture of Boris Johnson as a clown. But its lead story is on former Labour adviser Alastair Campbell who accidentally said the Queen had died while standing in as a host on ITV’s Good Morning Britain. “A weapon of Maj destruction” is its headline as it asks if it is too late to get ex-host Piers Morgan back on the sofa.