Today Newspaper headlines: Tory ‘funding crisis’ and private school ‘woe’

I weekend
The Conservative Party is facing such a severe “funding crisis” it is struggling to pay the rent on its head office, according to the i weekend. The paper reports donations have dried up “as unrest grows over Brexit and May’s leadership”.

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The Times
The headmaster of the fee-paying Stowe School has told the Times that “social engineering” by the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge is disadvantaging private school pupils by increasing the number of undergraduates from state schools. Dr Anthony Wallersteiner also “likened criticism of private schools and the elite to anti-Semitic abuse”, the paper says.
Daily Express
“Outrage as rape victims warned they face prosecution” reads the front page of the Daily Express. New Crown Prosecution Service rules mean victims of crimes, including those alleging rape, are to be asked to hand their phones over to police – or risk prosecutions not going ahead. The Express says that if police find proof of crimes on those phones, those victims could then face charges of their own.
Daily Telegraph
MPs are “boosting their expenses by claiming for adult children ‘dependent’ on them”, according to the Daily Telegraph. The paper says rules introduced in 2017 that allow MPs to claim additional “second home expenses of up to £5,400 per child” were intended to allow politicians with children to rent bigger homes – but several MPs are currently using the loophole to support family members in their 20s.
Guardian
The Guardian leads on a story about a “gene therapy injection” that could “drastically cut” the risk of heart attacks in some people. The paper says the treatment, which is aimed at people genetically likely to suffer heart attacks in their 30s and 40s, could be tested “within three years”.
The Sun
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage “legged it” after his chauffeur-driven car was involved in an accident with another vehicle, reports the Sun. The paper – which labels the incident “Faragey-bargy” – reports quotes from the other driver, who says the crash left his 13-month old son “badly shaken”.
Daily Mirror
The Duchess of Sussex’s father “must never be allowed to be part of Archie’s life”, proclaims the front page of the Daily Mirror, referencing the newest member of the Royal Family, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. The aforementioned opinion about Thomas Markle comes from an interview with his ex-wife Roslyn Markle, who is not Meghan’s mother.
FT Weekend
Taxi-hailing app Uber’s “underwhelming stock market debut” makes the front page of the FT Weekend. The company’s shares opened at “well below their offer price”, the paper says, giving it a “disappointing market value of $70bn (£54bn)”. The company had previously been valued at $100bn (£77bn).
Daily Star
“Stan by your Dan” is the headline on the front page of the Daily Star, which reports that former footballer Stan Collymore has offered his backing to radio host Danny Baker, who was sacked by the BBC over a tweet about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s baby. The tweet, which he later deleted but which has been circulated on social media, showed an image of a couple holding hands with a chimpanzee dressed in clothes with the caption: “Royal Baby leaves hospital”.

The Daily Telegraph says it has discovered that MPs – including Energy minister Claire Perry – are boosting their expenses by claiming for adult children dependent on them.

According to the paper, the age limit when claiming for children is 18, rising to 21 for certain exceptions.

Ms Perry says all her claims are made in accordance with the rules; two other MPs have told the Telegraph they will return money.

The paper’s leader column says the rules may have changed in the wake of the expenses scandal 10 years ago – but it is clearly going to take a long time to remake the culture in Westminster.

It concludes by advising politicians to listen to the words of Lord Tebbit – “If you wouldn’t be happy to read something about yourself on the front pages, don’t do it.”

A leading head teacher has told the Times that many parents of privately educated children are worried about efforts by Oxford and Cambridge universities to increase the number of state pupils they accept.

The head of Stowe School, Anthony Wallersteiner, says concerns have been raised about “social engineering” and “positive discrimination”.

The paper says heads of other independent schools have admitted that their marginal candidates are less likely to receive an offer from Oxbridge than in previous years – but good students are as successful as ever.

Cambridge told the Times it is committed to facilitating social mobility; Oxford says it is committed to broadening participation in higher education.

Oxford University
Oxford University said it is committed to broadening participation in higher education

A radical gene therapy – aimed at slashing the risk of heart attack – is highlighted by the Guardian, which says researchers in the US hope to trial the treatment within the next three years.

If the one-off injection proves safe and effective when given to people who are prone to heart attacks in their 30s and 40s, doctors will seek approval to offer it more widely.

The paper says the researchers hope the therapy will not only transform the impact of heart disease on people’s lives, but also reduce the costs of caring for patients.

A £200,000 donation to Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party – by one of the Conservatives’ most prominent financial backers – is widely reported.

The FT Weekend says Jeremy Hosking’s decision illustrates “the growing disenchantment” among Tory donors about Theresa May’s failure to take Britain out of the EU on schedule – and highlights the challenge that the Brexit Party poses to the Conservatives in this month’s European elections.

According to the i weekend, funding for the Tories has “dried up so badly” that the party is struggling to pay the rent on its headquarters in Westminster.

A number of papers assess what the Daily Mirror describes as the “tragic end” for Freddie Starr, who has died aged 76.

The Sun says the comedian spent his final days singing in Spanish karaoke bars, after being left “broken” by a police investigation into sex abuse allegations – although he was never charged.

According to the Daily Express, one of the most famous faces on TV during the 1970s and 80s became “a chronically-ill virtual recluse”.

The Daily Mail recalls Starr’s “once astonishing talent” – but says his death was a lonely, isolated finale, as the world believed he was a dirty old man.

A warning that Britain’s knife crime epidemic is “crippling hospitals” and forcing all patients to suffer” is featured on the front page of the Daily Mail.

It says the NHS’s leading trauma surgeon, Prof Chris Moran, claims spiralling violence is having a “ripple effect” across the health service, resulting in longer ambulance waits and the cancellation of routine operations.

He says paediatric trauma teams used to treat children who were knocked down by cars or ice cream vans – but now when a child is brought in after school, it’s because they have been stabbed.

The lead story in the Daily Express says rape victims could face prosecution, if police find evidence of criminal offences on their mobile phones.

The Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales, Lady Newlove, has told the paper the threat is “like blackmail” – following last month’s warning that victims could see their cases dropped if they refuse to allow police access to information including emails, text messages and photographs.

The Express agrees – arguing it is “wrong” that victims of a terrible assault can themselves be arrested.

“Britain’s record on dealing with rape is woeful,” it says, “and the way it is investigated must be improved to support the victims”.

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