A story the Telegraph have been running since yesterday gets promoted to headlines: “Boxing Day rail chaos for hundreds of thousands”
Hundreds of thousands of thousands of travellers will face chaos as every single main route on Britain’s railways is closed on Boxing Day. All services between England, Scotland and Wales on the East Coast, West Coast or Great Western mainlines will be closed, along with Midland, Cross Country and East Anglia lines.
The service shutdown will particularly affect nearly a million football fans who are travelling to games across the country, forcing them onto the roads. The virtual shutdown on the railway network has been the subject of a fierce political row for almost a decade.
The Daily Mail reports specifically on Labour accusations against the Tories on this: “Travelling by train today? You’ll be lucky: 17 operators have no services at all as Labour accuses Tories of breaking pledge to end Boxing Day rail shutdown”
The Telegraph reports as courier firm City Link collapses into administration leaving 2,700 jobs at risk.
Thousands of jobs are at risk after City Link, one of the UK’s biggest parcel delivery businesses, collapsed into administration on Christmas Eve. City Link, which was sold for £1 last year to Jon Moulton’s private equity group, Better Capital, has suspended parcel deliveries and is not accepting new orders.
EY, which has been appointed as administrator, said operations at City Link transport hubs and depots will be suspended until December 29. “City Link Limited will no longer be able to deliver any further parcels and customers are urged to make alternative arrangements for future deliveries,” EY said in a statement.
The Independent says the timing of the announcement “was a disgrace”
The Telegraph reports that Doctors told to report patients who put on weight
GPs will be asked to identify patients who are putting on weight under a new national programme to help fight obesity. Simon Stevens, the head of the NHS, said it was time for Britain to “get back in shape” in order to protect millions of people from a host of obesity-related diseases.
Under the scheme, family doctors will be asked to identify anyone who has gained weight and is at risk of diabetes – particularly those aged below 40. They will then be offered tests for pre-diabetes, followed by healthy lifestyle advice and close monitoring to ensure they are eating better and exercising more.
It comes as new figures show Britain is now the second fattest nation in Europe, with almost 25 per cent of Britons classified as obese – compared with a European average of 16.7 per cent.
Meanwhile, The Guardian reports that some doctors in the NHS want to Ban alcohol firms from sponsoring sports clubs and events
Leading doctors are demanding a ban on alcohol firms sponsoring sports clubs and events because they claim that the “outrageous” practice is fuelling underage drinking by children.
The leaders of Britain’s nurses, A&E specialists and hospital doctors are among those urging ministers to outlaw the sort of deals that have seen Everton and Celtic football clubs agree multimillion pound tie-ups to advertise beer and cider brands on the front of their players’ shirts.
The Guardian reports on Labour, who can’t wait to get back to politics after Christmas Day with one of their moralistic “binary challenges” (where the only “acceptable” answers are “Yes” or “No”), who have challenged Cameron and Farage to rule out repeal of foxhunting ban
David Cameron and Nigel Farage are to be issued with a joint challenge to declare that they will rule out any attempt to repeal the ban on foxhunting if they form a pact in the event of a hung parliament.
As thousands of people take part in the last Boxing Day hunts before the general election, Labour has written to the prime minister and the Ukip leader to ask them to issue a pledge that they will not repeal the Hunting Act…
The last paragraph reads: A Ukip source said: “The only thing Nigel Farage is talking about is getting an EU referendum. Everything else is irrelevant. We are opposed to the Hunting Act but its repeal is just not a priority for us in any confidence and supply deal.”
The Independent’s spin on the story is: “Anti-hunt Tories fear David Cameron will make manifesto pledge to weaken hunting act”
Most of the papers are reporting the cold weather “bomb” heading our way, but The Independent manages to turn it into two stories, the first Boxing Day snowfall set to push even more bargain-hunters online for sales.
Britons braving the Boxing Day sales have been warned to expect heavy rain, sleet and up to four inches of snow, after the Met Office issued severe weather alerts. The bitter weather is expected to spread east and south across Northern Ireland, England and Wales today, before clearing in the evening.
Plunging temperatures could cause disruption on the roads as shoppers drive to the sales, with a risk of icy conditions in many areas.
And then the real weather report in an article “Up to 10cm of snow forecast for Boxing Day”
Swathes of the UK could be covered in snow on Boxing Day – with some areas being warned to expect up to ten centimetres (4 inches) on the ground. The Met Office issued a yellow warning of snow from 11am Friday until 6pm on Saturday and said there is the risk of several centimetres falling even at low levels. A spokesperson said there was an 80 per cent chance cold conditions could “increase the health risks to vulnerable patients and disrupt the delivery of services”.
The Daily Mail reports some good news with “End of the cash machine rip-off: Corner shops and petrol stations to axe hated fees”
Rip-off cash machines which charge people up to £5 to withdraw money are to be phased out from the High Street. Ministers say the public should not have to pay to access their own money and will offer incentives to small businesses to make their cashpoints free.
Under plans to be announced today, corner shops, pubs and petrol stations will get a discount on their business rates to fund any fall in revenue. The move is a victory for consumers, with more than half of all transactions carried out in the UK involving cash.
The Mirror has a different angle on banking: Tories spent £50k of taxpayers’ money making sure fat cat bankers kept uncapped bonus
George Osborne wasted tens of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money trying to block the bankers’ bonus cap. A Freedom of Information request found the Chancellor blew nearly £50,000 on legal fees trying to stop the European Union clamp down on fat cat pay.
In a humiliating u-turn, he announced last month he was giving up the fight after an adviser to the European Court of Justice yesterday ruled the EU-wide cap was “valid.” The crushing defeat meant British bankers will see their bonuses limited to 100% of their salaries or 200% with shareholder approval from next year.
The Express manages to find a story different from the other papers reporting on Fury as foreign aid goes to top 10 most corrupt nations.
FRESH concerns over the £12billion foreign aid budget flared yesterday as it emerged that hundreds of millions of pounds are being sent to countries with the most corrupt regimes in the world. Nearly all the countries with the worst problems get generous UK aid packages, a study by the respected anti-corruption pressure body Transparency International revealed.
Figures show we funded all 10 worst offender nations in 2014. Between them they got more than £450million from the British taxpayer. It comes at a time of growing dismay over the controversial overseas aid budget, which is set to rise further in the new year thanks to a growing economy. The Prime Minister’s goal of 0.7 per cent of the national income to aid means the bill will soar to £12.75billion in 2015. And the pledge could be in law before next May’s general election thanks to a Bill going through parliament.
It will only fuel concern that much of our aid never reaches those for whom it is intended.