image captionA “grim” catalogue of sexual misconduct allegations against Metropolitan Police officers is revealed in a special investigation by the Observer. Documents obtained by the paper show there were 594 complaints made against Met officers between 2012 and 2018 – with 119 of these upheld. Some of the claims reported by the Observer include one officer having sex with a rape victim, and another assaulting a domestic abuse survivor. An officer is also alleged to have impersonated a woman online “to advance his sexual proclivities and also film a woman apparently having non-consensual sex with a male in a public park”. The Met said “While the allegations involve a small percentage of staff, we acknowledge the impact any offence will have on those involved, and will continue to take all allegations of this nature extremely seriously.”
image captionThe Sunday Mirror has gone down a not dissimilar route with an investigation that speaks to female ex-officers at several police forces and its front page highlights “shameful” evidence of sexism, sleaze and bullying within some of Britain’s biggest police forces.
image captionPlans for a new “Kay’s Law” could see violent ex-partners banned from pubs, school gates and friends’ homes in an effort to protect vulnerable women, according to the Sunday People’s front page. The new laws were named after Kay Richardson, who was killed by her husband after he was released from arrest without bail conditions. The paper says they are part of reforms to the “controversial” system of ‘Released under Investigation’ and would allow victims to get the suspect barred from places where they used to go as a couple if they feel at risk from the suspect suddenly turning up there.
image captionIn a “major shake-up of defence priorities”, special forces soldiers are to work with MI6 to disrupt “meddling” by Russian spies and military units, according to the Sunday Telegraph’s lead. The paper says the Royal Navy will also send out a “spy ship” to prevent Russian submarines sabotaging the UK’s internet by tampering with undersea cables – in a move it says could be regarded as a “modern Battle of the Atlantic”. The front page also pictures the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, who have celebrated the spring equinox by sharing a photograph of themselves in their garden at Highgrove on social media.
image captionFive rows of pictures of white men dominate the top of the Sunday Times front page as it leads on a special investigation into the role of hereditary peers who “cost the taxpayer more and contribute less than life peers do”. Pointing out that there are no women among their cohort, the paper says its analysis of the system reveals that hereditary peers have cost the public purse nearly £50m in expenses since 2001. It calculates that the average hereditary has spoken in the chamber 50 times in the last five years, compared with 82 for life peers.
image captionThe Mail on Sunday says the UK and the EU are on the cusp of a “vaccine war” that could see the bloc “hold hostage” more than 19 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab heading for the UK in the coming weeks.
image captionThe front page of the Sunday Express reports that Boris Johnson is being urged by MPs to “protect our freedoms” as they prepare to vote on extending emergency coronavirus laws this week. The paper claims the prime minister faces a “backbench rebellion” from MPs ahead of the anniversary of the first coronavirus lockdown on Tuesday.
image captionA “scandal” over “blobby squaddies” makes the Daily Star on Sunday’s splash, which says that scores of soldiers have been dismissed for being overweight, including one recruit who weighed 30st.
“As the lockdown anniversary looms”, the Sunday Express says pressure is growing on the prime minister to restore people’s freedoms. The paper predicts that backbench MPs may rebel when asked this week to extend emergency coronavirus laws.
One likely rebel MP, Steve Baker, asks in The Sun on Sunday “Why are restrictions tougher than…before we had the vaccine?”
The Sunday Telegraph suggests cabinet ministers are divided over which measures should continue. The Sunday Times urges them to “stick to” the “roadmap to freedom”.
The Observer says as concerns rise over the blanket travel ban, a traffic light system is being considered so countries with low levels of coronavirus can be given a green light.
Doubts over foreign holidays
But a government source tells the Mail on Sunday that “No 10 is willing to sacrifice holidays abroad to protect domestic reopening”.
The Observer leads on what it calls a “grim list” of more than 100 sex abuse claims upheld against Met officers.
Documents reveal that a rape victim complained that an investigating officer, who was later dismissed, had sex with her, “taking advantage of her vulnerability.” The Met said it took the allegations seriously and lessons were learnt from each case.
Former officers talk to the Sunday Mirror about their experiences of sexism and bullying in different forces. Sir Peter Fahy – who served as chief constable of Greater Manchester – says he wouldn’t want his daughters to join the police.
A GMP spokesperson said improving the safety, well-being and confidence of the public underpinned all that they did.
The Sunday People reports that up to 17,000 members of the armed forces have been physically, racially or sexually abused by colleagues in the past year. The figure came from an inquiry into the treatment of women in the armed forces.
The Ministry of Defence said anyone who fell short of its high standards of behaviour would be dealt with robustly.
Writing in the Sun, Home Secretary Priti Patel speaks of what she calls her “radical reforms to fix” the “broken asylum system”. She says the changes will stop “repugnant gangs” trafficking people. The measures are applauded by the paper.
The Sunday Telegraph says the minister “deserves enormous credit” for what it calls “such a bold and comprehensive reform”.
According to the Sunday Times, David Cameron sent a series of texts to the Chancellor, lobbying him to grant taxpayer funded loans to the finance firm, Greensill Capital, where he was an adviser. Most of the texts to Rishi Sunak’s private phone are said to have gone unanswered.
Greensill, which later went bust, was said to have already held unsuccessful talks with officials about a bailout. The Sunday Times said Mr Cameron hadn’t responded to requests for comment.
The Sunday Telegraph reports that the government is planning to take over the running of Liverpool. Police are investigating a series of corruption allegations. The city’s mayor, Joe Anderson, who was arrested last year, has denied any wrongdoing.
And the Daily Star on Sunday says the armed forces are facing an obesity crisis, with 20,000 personnel being told they’re too heavy. The MoD says it offers nutrition and weight management advice. The Star jokes in its headline “He ain’t half fat, Mum”.