image captionSeveral papers report on the latest developments over former prime minister David Cameron’s lobbying for a collapsed finance firm. “Cameron mandarin snared by lobbying scandal” is the headline in the Daily Mail, which reports that a top civil servant working under Mr Cameron was allowed to work for Greensill Capital while still employed by the government.
image captionThe Times says arrangements like this have been authorised by the Cabinet Office and the civil servant involved, Bill Crothers, said they were “not uncommon”. The paper says Mr Crothers was responsible for £40 billion of government spending in his three years as Whitehall’s chief commercial officer, before eventually becoming a director at Greensill with a £5 million stake in the company.
image captionDowning Street and Cabinet Office sources tell the Guardian they are “deeply concerned” that the dual role was given official approval. Mr Crothers’ claim that arrangements to work part-time in private companies are not uncommon has sparked “alarm” in Number 10, the paper says.
image caption“It looks a bit fishy, Rishi” is Metro’s take on the story, which focuses on Labour’s criticism that Chancellor Rishi Sunak is “running scared” over his role in the affair, after he avoided facing questions in the House of Commons. A Labour source tells the paper: “This is probably the first time Sunak has turned down the chance to be in front of a camera.”
image captionThe Daily Mirror sums up what it calls the “worst Tory scandal” in a decade with the phrase “sleazy access”. It appears over a picture of Mr Cameron enjoying a “cosy chat” on a Saudi Arabia trip with Lex Greensill, founder of “the failed bank” Mr Cameron “urged cronies in No 10 to give Covid cash to”.
image caption“Vaccines for under-40s in six weeks” trumpets the i newspaper, reporting that people in their late 30s will be able to book jab appointments by the end of May. It also says there is “growing scientific support” for using different vaccines for first and second doses, quoting a scientist saying it may increase their effectiveness.
image captionThe Financial Times focuses on the pause of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine rollout in Europe as US agencies review concerns over rare blood clots – similar to those seen in the AstraZeneca jab. The US review is due to be complete in “a matter of days”, the paper says, and Johnson and Johnson took the decision itself to halt the use of its jab in Europe.
image caption“Finally… Some good news for bats!” is the promise on the front of the Daily Star, which says the nocturnal mammals have had a “tough year” after being blamed for the pandemic. It reports that the World Health Organization has demanded an end to China’s wet markets – which sometimes sell meat from wild animals and where coronavirus was first identified.
image captionThe Sun covers what it calls “Brits’ booze stampede” as coronavirus restrictions are eased, reporting that 14 million people have booked beer garden tables. Many are fully booked until May, the paper says.
image captionAlmost a quarter of registered coronavirus deaths are now people who tested positive for the virus but did not have Covid-19 as the primary cause of death, the Daily Telegraph reports, suggesting it provides support for a faster reopening. Another story on the front page suggests Covid restrictions may mean the Queen has to sit alone at her husband’s funeral on Saturday, as the only person attending in her household “bubble” is the Duke of Edinburgh’s private secretary, Brigadier Archie Miller-Bakewell.
image captionAnd the Daily Express also focuses on the Queen as she mourns the Duke of Edinburgh, saying that she intends to spend more time at Windsor Castle and to treat Buckingham Palace more like an “office”. The paper says the Queen has said she is “most comfortable” in Windsor and suggests she wants to stay close to where Prince Philip will be buried.