image captionDaily Telegraph readers are met with the changing facial expressions of the prime minister’s former top aide, Dominic Cummings, on its front page, as he made a series of explosive claims about mistakes made by the government during the Covid pandemic. The paper says Mr Cummings was “taking his revenge”. An unnamed adviser to a cabinet minister tells the paper he was “quite selective on what he remembered” and suggested that the public would see him “as bitter”. The paper says the government “will attempt to fight back” against the claims today, with Mr Hancock due to answer an urgent question in the House of Commons. Downing Street has ruled out an imminent reshuffle, the paper adds.
image captionAn unnamed cabinet minister tells the Times that Mr Cummings was after “vengeance” when he gave evidence, which included claims that Mr Johnson was “unfit for the job” and that Matt Hancock should have been fired for lying – something the health secretary denies. The paper says Mr Cummings’ comments amounted to a “character assassination”, with parliamentary sketchwriter Quentin Letts calling the select committee hearing “longer and bloodier than Hamlet”.
image caption“Yes, mistakes were made but this was pure revenge.” That’s how the Daily Express sums up the “marathon testimony”. It reports that Mr Johnson’s allies have “savaged” Mr Cummings in response, and that he has been branded “vengeful and embittered”.
image captionMr Johnson’s supporters believe the allegations “will not seriously damage the prime minister” in any case, reports the Financial Times. The claims amounted to “revenge porn”, according to one unnamed minister. The paper also remarks that the evidence “left few reputations undamaged”, with Chancellor Rishi Sunak “among the few senior figures to avoid his criticism”.
image captionThe Guardian is another of today’s papers to go for a storyboard effect on its front page. It runs through Mr Cummings’ claims, noting that he portrayed the prime minister as “obsessed with the media and making constant U-turns”.
image captionThe i goes in for an even closer crop of Mr Cummings. It has switched its usual bullet-point summary of the news for boxes outlining his main claims. At the top of the front page, a line-up of political hacks are pictured – ready to weigh in with opinions, including that Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer offered what the paper calls a “feeble response”.
image captionThe claims amounted to a “Domshell”, jokes the Metro. It features pictures of Mr Johnson and Mr Hancock towards the bottom of its front page and says Mr Cummings “savaged his former boss” but “saved his most damning words” for the health secretary.
image captionThe Daily Mirror has chosen a different visual approach altogether – featuring a picture of the prime minister with his head lowered next to the words: “Johnson’s shame”. The prime minister is “in crisis” after the “explosive claims”, it says.
image captionThe Daily Star strays furthest from the rest of the pack when it comes to aesthetics, though – choosing to feature children’s drawings, which it refers to as “slides”. Mr Cummings “has finally confirmed what we’ve been saying for 14 months,” the paper says – “this mob don’t have a Scooby”.