News Round-Up

Apr 19: Sturgeon’s husband charged; Scottish gov bins 2030 climate target; Mazda’s big CX-80

Here are the headlines on Friday, April 19

Time 6:57 am, April 19, 2024

SNP urged to co-operate with police after Peter Murrell embezzlement charge

The SNP has been urged to co-operate with the police investigation into the party’s finances after its former chief executive Peter Murrell was charged in connection with embezzlement of funds.

The 59-year-old husband of former first minister Nicola Sturgeon was taken into custody for questioning on Thursday morning, more than a year after his first arrest. Police confirmed on Thursday evening he has been charged as part of the probe.

He has resigned his SNP membership.

Sunak to warn against ‘over-medicalising everyday worries’ in welfare speech

Rishi Sunak is to call for an end to the ‘sick note culture’ and warn against ‘over-medicalising the everyday challenges and worries of life’ in a major speech on welfare reform.

The prime minister will say the focus must shift to what work people might be able to do, amid government concerns some are being unnecessarily written off as sick and ‘parked on welfare’.

The speech comes a month after work and pensions secretary Mel Stride faced criticism for an interview in which he said there was ‘a real risk’ that ‘the normal ups and downs of human life’ were being labelled as medical conditions which then held people back from working.

Scottish government accepts 2030 climate change target is ‘out of reach’

The Scottish government has formally ditched a key climate change target, with net zero secretary Mairi McAllan accepting the goal of reducing emissions by 75% by 2030 is now ‘out of reach’.

She confirmed the target, which was included in legislation passed by the Scottish Parliament in 2019, was being abandoned.

Ministers will bring forward legislation to ensure the climate change target ‘better reflects the reality of long-term climate policymaking’, McAllan told MSPs. This will also see the Scottish government move away from legally binding annual targets – which it has missed for eight out of 12 years.

Government too focused on short-term response to extreme weather, MPs warn

The government is too focused on its short-term response, rather than long-term plans, for floods, storms and heatwaves, MPs have warned.

The parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said extreme weather was on the rise with climate change and ministers must urgently act to ensure medium and long-term planning and investment in infrastructure to make it resilient to such risks.

A failure to do so could come at a high cost to individuals, the economy and society in the future, a report from the committee warned.

Investigation finds ‘misleading’ origin labelling on supermarket food

Misleading and meaningless supermarket country-of-origin labels could be leaving shoppers struggling to find out where their food comes from, according to an investigation.

Loose cauliflowers, red cabbage, courgettes and onions at Sainsbury’s, peppers, melons and mangoes at Asda and spring onions at Aldi had no visible origin labelling on the shelf or the products themselves, researchers for Which? Found. Aldi’s Crestwood bacon and cheese wraps had Union Jacks and ‘Made in Britain’ on the front of the pack, even as the label on the back of the pack said they were made with pork from the EU.

Which? said origin labelling needed to be improved if it was to properly help shoppers make informed decisions that align with their values. The watchdog said it would share its findings with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for its consultation on fairer food labelling – which was launched on March 15.

US vetoes widely supported UN resolution backing full membership for Palestine

The United States vetoed a widely backed UN resolution that would have paved the way for full United Nations membership for the state of Palestine.

This is the second Palestinian attempt for full membership and it comes as the war in Gaza has put the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at centre stage.

Before the vote, US deputy state department spokesman Vedant Patel said the United States has ‘been very clear consistently that premature actions in New York — even with the best intentions — will not achieve statehood for the Palestinian people’.

Thursday Car Dealer headlines you might have missed

Coventry Building Society agrees potential takeover of Co-op Bank for £780m

Coventry Building Society has agreed a potential takeover of rival high street lender The Co-operative Bank for up to £780m, the companies have announced.

The two groups have been in discussions over a possible merger for several months. A deal would create a combined group with a balance sheet of £89bn, making it a bigger player in the mortgages and savings market.

It means Co-op Bank would return to a mutual ownership structure which it had more than 10 years ago when it was part of the wider Co-op Group, meaning it is owned by members rather than shareholders.

New Mazda CX-80 to arrive in the UK later this year

Mazda has revealed its new range-topper – the CX-80.

It has a 250mm longer wheelbase than the CX-60 allowing it to squeeze in a third row of seats, giving customers the choice of having six or seven seats. Engines are the same as the smaller CX-60, so there’s a 2.5-litre petrol plug-in hybrid and a 3.3-litre straight-six diesel.

Prices will start at £48,920 when the car goes on sale in the autumn.


A cloudy day with patchy spells of sunshine and showers, reports BBC Weather. A windy day for most although these gusts will ease during the day. Temperatures will be between a chilly eight and 13 degrees.

Tonight will turn dry and clear across most areas. The far east will be cloudier and there’s the odd chance of a light shower. A chilly night.

James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer. In October 2021 he became Car Dealer's associate editor.

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