Under the headline “Johnson seeks to delay vote on Partygate”, the Daily Telegraph reports on the latest move by Tory whips and ministers to head off a ballot on whether Prime Minister Boris Johnson misled parliament.
The Guardian claims Mr Johnson was forced to abandon plans to block the vote outright, in the face of a backbench mutiny.
Tory MPs have told the Times that the proposal to hold a vote after senior civil servant Sue Gray has published her report will be be enough to buy off most rebels – but could spell heightened danger for the PM if the Conservatives do badly in next month’s local elections.
“PM rigs rules to delay probe” is the Daily Mirror’s headline. It says it is a “dark day’ with the Tories set to “dodge vote over Boris party lies”.
The prime minister will unveil investment deals worth more than a billion pounds in sectors including healthcare and software engineering on his trade mission to India, according to the Daily Express.
Both the Times and the Mirror report that Mr Johnson has hinted at relaxing visa restrictions as part of a free trade agreement he hopes to announce by the end of the year.
The Times says the prime minister will face a delicate balancing act attempting to woo the Indian government while encouraging it to move away from its its traditional support for Russia.
“Children’s tsar calls for ban on smacking” is the lead story in the Times. It reports that the Children’s Commissioner Rachel de Souza has said in an interview that she’s supportive of extending a law restricting such physical discipline which currently only exists in Scotland and Wales, to England.
The paper quotes a government source as acknowledging the issue is “polarising'” but indicating there are no plans to change the law in England.
Many front pages carry a new photo of the Queen, released to mark her 96th birthday. She’s pictured smiling and holding the reins of two of her grey fell ponies.
But together with the universal birthday well-wishing, the headlines react to what many describe as Prince Harry’s latest “bombshell” interview on American television.
“Get orf your high horse Harry” is the Sun’s advice following claims from the Duke of Sussex that he was trying to “protect” the Queen, while the Daily Mail claims there was “Palace shock at Harry: duke of delusion.”
The Express suggests he had delivered the “ultimate royal snub” by dithering over whether he would attend the Queen’s jubilee next month and failing to answer a question over whether he missed his father and brother.
On its inside pages however, the paper turns to a happier subject, the special preparations being made for this year’s derby at Epsom to mark the jubilee.
The Express says there’ll be a guard of honour of royal jockeys and that it is hoped that one of three horses entered by the Queen, will break her “derby duck”. The race remains the only one of five British horse-racing classics she hasn’t won as an owner.