image captionSeveral of the front pages lead with a letter to the prime minister from more than 50 Conservative MPs demanding a “clear road map” for northern areas that have been hit hardest by increased coronavirus restrictions. Backbenchers, who took seats from Labour in last year’s election, warned of economic hardship “with no end in sight” without a regional recovery plan, the paper reports.
image captionThe Guardian says the MPs have expressed fears the government’s “levelling up” agenda for the north of England is being abandoned. In their letter, the group warns that leaving behind northern constituencies “would threaten to undermine the government’s hard won mandate” in last year’s election.
image caption“Boris hit by red wall MPs revolt” is the headline for the Daily Mail. The paper says the intervention is a “significant challenge” to Boris Johnson because the Northern Research Group, which co-ordinated the letter, has enough MPs to overturn his Commons majority.
image captionThe group, led by Jake Berry, a former minister and close ally of Mr Johnson, have called for a clear strategy for exiting lockdown restrictions and have urged the prime minister to give priority to infrastructure projects in the north of England, the Times reports. In response a Downing Street spokesman told the paper it was “absolutely committed to levelling up across the country and building back better after coronavirus”.
image captionThe Telegraph leads with new research suggesting immunity to Covid-19 may only last a matter of months – potentially hindering the roll-out of a successful vaccine. The study by Imperial College London, which involved 365,000 people, found antibodies in the population fell by more than a quarter in three months. Scientists said the findings suggested a “rapid” decline in immunity, which could mean that even if a successful vaccine was found, it might have to be administered as often as twice a year, the paper reports.
image captionThere is positive news on the front page of the Daily Express, which says there has been a “milestone” in the hunt for a coronavirus vaccine. Hopes of a breakthrough rose last night after early trials of the Oxford vaccine showed a “strong immune response” in older volunteers, according to the paper.
image captionMeanwhile, the row over free school meals rumbles on, after the prime minister defended his refusal to extend them over the half-term holiday. “Can’t you feed nation’s hungry kids, too?” asks the Daily Mirror, alongside a picture of Mr Johnson serving up food during a visit to a hospital in Reading.
image caption“Britain steps up to the plates” is the Metro’s headline. The paper says a “volunteer army” is trying to make sure no child goes hungry this half-term, with cafes, restaurants and takeaways offering free food to families. On Monday, the prime minister insisted he was “very proud” of the government’s support for needy families.
image caption“Eatin’ mess” is the Daily Star’s take, which says Old Etonian Mr Johnson is still refusing to extend free school meals despite saying he understands the campaign by England footballer Marcus Rashford to tackle holiday hunger.
image captionThe Financial Times leads with a story about Chinese fintech group Ant, which it reports is set to raise more than £34bn in its initial public offering – putting the group on track to top Saudi Aramco as the world’s biggest market listing. On Monday, the company set the share price in an offering that was 284 times oversubscribed, the paper says.