The Papers: PM "gears up for survival fight"

The Papers: PM "gears up for survival fight"
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Front page of the Financial Times
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Most front pages on Wednesday report on an investigation launched by the Metropolitan Police into parties held at No 10 during the Covid pandemic. "Johnson gears up for survival fight as [Sue] Gray hastens to release findings" is the Financial Times's lead. The paper reports that Prime Minister Boris Johnson is at the centre of the police investigation into gatherings. His spokesman has said the PM does not believe he has broken the law.
Front page of the Metro
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"You've had your parties... now here is the bill" says the Metro. It quotes Met Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick, who has said police will look at any evidence uncovered in civil servant Sue Gray's report that suggests lawbreaking by those who "knew or ought to have known what they were doing was an offence".
Front page of the i
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The i also reports on the Scotland Yard investigation, adding that Sue Gray's report could be released as early as Wednesday. It claims potential leadership rivals, Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, "have yet to make a public show of support for PM".
Front page of the Guardian
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The Guardian's lead story also focuses on the latest developments to the lockdown parties saga. The paper says "Boris Johnson is braced for the most perilous 48 hours of his premiership", as Sue Gray's findings are expected to be published soon.
Front page of the Daily Telegraph
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"Pressure on Johnson to release full Gray report" is the Daily Telegraph's lead. It pictures Dame Cressida Dick, responsible for the Met investigation. Scotland Yard says its investigation should not stop the inquiry findings being published, the paper says.
Front page of the Times
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The Times reports that photographs of Downing Street parties have been handed to Sue Gray, with some pictures including the prime minister. The paper also reports that Boris Johnson is preparing to publish Ms Gray's report before making a statement to the Commons on Wednesday.
Front page of the Mirror
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The Daily Mirror carries a full picture of Downing Street's front door with the stark headline: "Number's up PM."
Front page of the Daily Star
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The Daily Star also refers to the pictures of Boris Johnson, which it says have been handed to Sue Gray.
Front page of the Sun
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Meanwhile, the Sun pictures a Met Police officer approaching No 10. The paper says Downing Street "is now a crime scene".
Front page of the Daily Express
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Boris Johnson "backs police probe" reads the Daily Express, as the paper reports the prime minister is keen to "draw a line" under the "fiasco". The paper also reports on Mr Johnson's latest statement on the conflict between Western powers and Russia over Ukraine, quoting the UK's pledge to send British troops if Russia invades.
Front page of the Daily Mail
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In contrast to most front pages on Wednesday, the Daily Mail focuses on the latest developments in the conflict with Russia. The paper says the focus on broken Covid rules suggest that the UK has "lost all sense of proportion" and it should be more concerned about President Vladimir Putin taunting the West "with terrifying military displays".
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