What the papers say – July 5

·3 min read

Allegedly “inappropriate” conduct by a Conservative politician, go-slow protests and questionable cigarettes are splashed across the front pages.

The Daily Mirror reports No 10 has acknowledged the Prime Minister did know about “sex-pest allegations” against Chris Pincher before the MP was promoted to deputy chief whip.

A senior Downing St source is quoted by The Independent as saying the PM “was made directly aware of a first-hand account of inappropriate sexual touching”.

Ministers and aides are unwilling to defend Mr Johnson over his handling of the affair, according to i.

Two leading unions warn in The Guardian that Parliament must act to stop the “seemingly endless” allegations of sexual misconduct by MPs.

The Times has front-page Pincher coverage but the paper splashes on the Home Secretary urging police to use their new powers against fuel duty protesters, in a story also covered by the Daily Mail.

Metro says the go-slow protest at motorways across the UK came as the latest figures show the average price of petrol reached a new high of 191.5p per litre.

“Massive” disruption is expected this summer as a national train drivers’ strike looms for the first time since 1995, reports the Financial Times.

It is not all grim news, however, with the Daily Express quoting the PM as saying National Insurance reforms will save 30 million employees up to £330 a year in “the biggest tax cut for a decade”.

The Daily Telegraph covers Sir Keir Starmer ruling out rejoining the EU or the single market if Labour comes to power, with the party’s leader insisting such moves would sow further division in Britain.

A Premier League footballer in his 20s has been arrested in north London on suspicion of rape, according to The Sun.

And the Daily Star cites data claiming one in five cigarettes are fakes containing mites “and even poop”.

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