Newspaper headlines: School holidays and GP closures


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The i leads with the story of a father who lost a landmark legal case over taking his daughter to Disney World during term-time. The Supreme Court ruled against Jon Platt, who had won earlier legal battles against a £120 fine in a case brought by the Isle of Wight council. The newspaper reports that head teachers are demanding the power to award some children two weeks off their classes.

Daily Mail

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The Daily Mail also reports on the ruling, calling for travel companies to “stop ripping off families” with higher prices during the school holidays. The newspaper said that parents, head teachers and politicians were all urging the government to introduce a cap on the price of summer getaways, which it says can rise by more than £1,000 when children are on a break.


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GP surgeries are closing at a record rate, according to the front of the Metro. The British Medical Association said 57 closed last year, forcing around 250,000 patients to go elsewhere. Dr Richard Vautry told the newspaper it was down to a decade of under-investment and “the failure of successive governments to take the growing workload and workforce crisis seriously”.


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The Daily Telegraph leads with the same story, but says it is the number of GPs retiring causing a “patient crisis”. The newspaper reports that doctors are stepping down early to get ahead of a tax clampdown on pension pots. Joyce Robins, from Patient Concern, tells the paper the situation is “particularly devastating for older patients” who are unable to travel.


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The Financial Times’ main picture is of Theresa May with European president Donald Tusk as they met at Downing Street ahead of Brexit negotiations. The smiling picture portrays the two hours of “good and friendly” talks between the pair, says the newspaper, as the prime minister takes a “softer approach” to the UK’s exit from the EU.


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The Daily Express reports that armed police will be on guard at the Grand National for the first time on Saturday. The newspaper says a “ring of steel” was put up around the Aintree race course on Thursday as police prepared for 150,000 visitors to come during the three-day festival.

The Times

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An investigation by the Times claims first time buyers are losing out as foreign investors dominate the housing market when it comes to new homes. The newspaper found that more than 93% of flats in one of Manchester’s biggest housing developments had been bought by foreign residents or companies registered overseas.

The Sun

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The Sun continues with its “Hands off our Rock” campaign by shining the message onto Gibraltar’s landscape. The newspaper also reports that British actor Michael Caine is a Brexiteer. He tells them: “I’d rather be a poor master than a rich servant”.

Daily Mirror

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The Yorkshire Ripper may have killed a further eight women before he was jailed, according to the front of the Daily Mirror. Former detective Keith Hellawell told the newspaper he fears Peter Sutcliffe had been involved in 10 more attacks, where only two women survived.

The online editions of the papers all lead on the US air strikes on Syria, as the news came too late for print.

The headline on the Mail Online is “Trump bombs Syria”. It says the attack took place just hours after the US President said “something should happen” in response to the gas atrocity.

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US Navy Office handout

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The US military launched at least 50 tomahawk cruise missiles at al-Shayrat military airfield near Homs.

The Guardian has a report from Khan Sheikhun, the Syrian town where the suspected nerve agent was released.

The reporter, Kareem Shaheen, hears from witnesses who describe the utter horror of what unfolded.

They talk of children found dead in their beds and bodies on rooftops, basements and in the street.

A civil defence volunteer describes how first aiders who arrived at the scene fell to the ground, saying they could no longer walk.

Residents also react in disbelief to the Russian claim that the poison gases leaked into the air after a rebel arms store was hit.

The reporter casts doubt on the suggestion, saying there was no evidence that any building had been struck in recent days close to where the chemical attack occurred.

Confessions of a murderer

The Daily Mirror says the Yorkshire Ripper – who was jailed for 13 murders – may have been responsible for eight more.

The claim comes from Keith Hellawell, the detective who got Peter Sutcliffe to eventually confess to two attempted murders.

The former officer tells the newspaper he would like to have another go at interviewing Sutcliffe in the wake of reports that police have questioned him over a series of unsolved attacks.

The Daily Telegraph has more on the closure of GP practices in England.

The newspaper says there has been a rise in the number of doctors retiring early, with nearly 16% of GPs aged between 55 and 59 leaving the profession in 2014 – twice the rate of a decade ago.

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A report from Pulse magazine says 57 GP surgeries closed their doors last year.

The Telegraph says the doctors are retiring because of changes to pension rules, which cap the amount savers can amass without being taxed.

According to the Financial Times, the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund is calling for an overhaul of chief executive pay.

Norway’s oil fund carries clout because it’s worth more than £700bn. The fund is suggesting bosses should be forced to own substantial stakes in their groups for between five and ten years and that boards should name a ceiling for possible pay.

On the front of the Daily Express there is a picture of a police officer armed with an assault rifle, standing guard at the Aintree race course.

The newspaper says, for the first time in the Grand National’s history, heavily armed police are patrolling in order to protect race-goers after the Westminster attack.

Is there a doctor on board?

“As international trade secretary,” says the Times, Dr Liam Fox, is “responsible for forging goodwill towards Britain around the world.”

And, it reports, he achieved an unexpected success while flying to the Philippines on a trade visit.

During the flight, a nine-month-old child from Hong Kong started having a fit.

The call went up, “is there a doctor on board?” and the cabinet minister, who worked as a GP before he entered Parliament, came forward.

He diagnosed a febrile seizure, bathed the boy to reduce his high temperature and by the time the aircraft came to land, the child had made a full recovery.

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