Reports that Chancellor Rishi Sunak is set to announce a new freeze on public sector pay at next week’s Spending Review make the front pages of the Guardian, the Times and Daily Mail.
According to the Guardian, the plans are part of a wider Whitehall savings drive, aimed at tackling record levels of government borrowing.
The paper says it’s understood the squeeze on wages will not affect NHS staff, to “avoid triggering public anger” over the treatment of doctors and nurses who’ve been working on the frontline throughout the pandemic.
But the Daily Mail says the move will still prove controversial – with workers including teachers and police officers being asked to help plug the “black hole” in the nation’s finances.
The Times says Mr Sunak is expected to say a pay freeze is “only fair”, when many in the private sector have lost their jobs.
The Times says Boris Johnson will set out to defend his “embattled” minister, and will reject calls for her resignation – despite the inquiry’s conclusion that she breached the ministerial code.
The paper says Mr Johnson will also refuse to publish the full Cabinet Office investigation into Ms Patel’s behaviour which preceded the inquiry.
The Telegraph leads on an interview with Defence Minister Ben Wallace, who tells the paper that the number of personnel in the armed forces is set to decline over the next five years, as the focus turns away from “boots on the ground” to cyber-technology.
Spelling out how the government plans to use the increase in defence spending announced on Thursday, Mr Wallace says the UK needs to become a “world-beater” in military satellites, lasers and drones – employing more specialists and recruiting fewer traditional soldiers.
The High Court’s decision to allow a legal challenge against the government over the death of a man who caught coronavirus in a care home is the main story in the Daily Mirror.
The paper says the case – brought by Dr Cathy Gardner following the death of her 88-year-old father – paves the way for a judicial review of thousands of Covid-19 deaths at care homes in England.
“One million jabs a day” is the headline in the Sun.
The paper says the NHS is planning to recruit 40,000 workers to help administer a coronavirus vaccine at speed as soon as one is approved.
The i newspaper says the UK is preparing to carry out the first vaccinations within a fortnight in the “biggest peacetime operation” in recent history.
The Telegraph says dozens of mass vaccination centres will be set up across the country – with one of the first confirmed locations at Pride Park football stadium in Derby.
The front page of the Daily Star is a photograph of an older man and woman, wearing masks while they wait at a bus stop. The headline: “You wait all year for a vaccine, then three come along at once.”