L'Wren Scott and Mick Jagger at her show at New York Fashion Week in 2012. Photo: Getty
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Mick Jagger on the front pages: so much for the post-Leveson chill

Four papers carried photos of the star at the moment he was told of his girlfriend's death. The chilling, censoring effect of the Leveson Inquiry that everyone was so worried about seems not to have kicked in yet. . .

Four papers have today carried pictures on their front pages of Mick Jagger at the moment he was told of his girlfriend's death.

The Mail:

The Mirror:

The Sun:

And the Daily Star:

L'Wren Scott, a fashion designer and stylist who had been with Jagger for thirteen years, was found dead yesterday morning. According to the BBC, “police said there was no sign of foul play and no note was found”.

The Editor's Code of Practice states:

In cases involving personal grief or shock, enquiries and approaches must be made with sympathy and discretion and publication handled sensitively

Is plastering every newsagent, coffee shop and petrol station in Britain with a zoomed-in picture of a man who has just heard his long-term partner has died following this guidance?

It seems the chilling effect of the Leveson Inquiry, which papers complained would curtail their ability to publish Very Important News, doesn't seem to have had much of an effect yet.

I'm a mole, innit.

Photo: Getty
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The big problem for the NHS? Local government cuts

Even a U-Turn on planned cuts to the service itself will still leave the NHS under heavy pressure. 

38Degrees has uncovered a series of grisly plans for the NHS over the coming years. Among the highlights: severe cuts to frontline services at the Midland Metropolitan Hospital, including but limited to the closure of its Accident and Emergency department. Elsewhere, one of three hospitals in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland are to be shuttered, while there will be cuts to acute services in Suffolk and North East Essex.

These cuts come despite an additional £8bn annual cash injection into the NHS, characterised as the bare minimum needed by Simon Stevens, the head of NHS England.

The cuts are outlined in draft sustainability and transformation plans (STP) that will be approved in October before kicking off a period of wider consultation.

The problem for the NHS is twofold: although its funding remains ringfenced, healthcare inflation means that in reality, the health service requires above-inflation increases to stand still. But the second, bigger problem aren’t cuts to the NHS but to the rest of government spending, particularly local government cuts.

That has seen more pressure on hospital beds as outpatients who require further non-emergency care have nowhere to go, increasing lifestyle problems as cash-strapped councils either close or increase prices at subsidised local authority gyms, build on green space to make the best out of Britain’s booming property market, and cut other corners to manage the growing backlog of devolved cuts.

All of which means even a bigger supply of cash for the NHS than the £8bn promised at the last election – even the bonanza pledged by Vote Leave in the referendum, in fact – will still find itself disappearing down the cracks left by cuts elsewhere. 

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. He usually writes about politics.