News Round-Up

Apr 20: Train drivers on strike, Met Police says sorry for Jewish comments; Trump in court

Here are the headlines on Saturday, April 20

Time 6:39 am, April 20, 2024

Tories were told Mark Menzies claims ‘constituted fraud’, says whistleblower

Lawyers told the Conservative Party that MP Mark Menzies’ alleged misuse of campaign funds may have constituted fraud, but there was no duty to report it, a whistleblower has claimed.

The Fylde MP lost the Conservative whip and was suspended as one of Rishi Sunak’s trade envoys after The Times published claims that he used political donations to cover medical expenses and pay off ‘bad people’ who had locked him in a flat and demanded thousands of pounds for his release.

Menzies disputes the allegations and the party said it had been looking into the claims for ‘several months’ and took them seriously. Lancashire police are ‘reviewing the available information’ after receiving a letter from Labour chairwoman Anneliese Dodds regarding the case.

Train drivers at LNER to strike in row over terms and conditions

Rail services between London, the North and Scotland will be disrupted on Saturday because of a strike by train drivers.

Members of Aslef at LNER will walk out for the day in a dispute over terms and conditions.

The company said it will run a reduced service between London King’s Cross and Edinburgh Waverley, and King’s Cross and Leeds. Aslef members at the company are also refusing to work overtime this weekend.

Met Police apologise for earlier apology about ‘openly Jewish’ comment

The Metropolitan Police have apologised for causing ‘further offence’ with an earlier apology about an officer’s use of the term ‘openly Jewish’ to an antisemitism campaigner who was threatened with arrest near a pro-Palestine march.

The video clip showed one police officer saying to him: ‘You are quite openly Jewish, this is a pro-Palestinian march, I’m not accusing you of anything but I’m worried about the reaction to your presence.’ An earlier apology from the Met suggested opponents of the marches ‘must know that their presence is provocative’ and they are ‘increasing the likelihood of an altercation’ by lining the route to object.

But later on Friday, the force issued another statement apologising for the ‘further offence’ this earlier apology had caused.

Jeremy Hunt weighing stamp duty cut before election – reports

The chancellor is reported to be considering cutting stamp duty in a final autumn statement before the next general election.

Jeremy Hunt has previously hinted there could be a further ‘fiscal event’ before voters go to the polls in an effort to underline the Conservatives’ tax-cutting credentials.

According to reports in The Times, Hunt is weighing up increasing the threshold at which homebuyers pay stamp duty from £250,000 to £300,000.

Listen to the latest Car Dealer Podcast

Jon and Batch are joined by Cap HPI’s Derren Martin this week. Martin gives an early glimpse at April used car prices and decides who wins this week’s podcast.

Trump’s hush money case to go ahead after judge rejects latest bid to delay

A full jury of 12 people and six alternatives has been selected in Donald Trump’s hush money case, setting the stage for opening statements next week in the first criminal trial of a former US president.

Hours later, an appeals court judge rejected a last-minute bid by the Republican to halt the trial over his claims that jury selection was unfairly rushed.

The judge said lawyers will present opening statements on Monday morning before prosecutors begin laying out their case alleging a scheme to cover up negative stories Trump feared would damage his 2016 presidential campaign.

Friday Car Dealer headlines you might have missed

Bank rate setter says he is now ‘more confident’ about UK inflation

A member of the Bank of England’s interest rate-setting committee has said he thinks UK inflation could return to the target level and stay there for longer than the central bank’s own predictions.

Dave Ramsden said the UK is no longer an ‘outlier’ but a ‘laggard’ when it comes to its inflation performance, meaning it is slowly but surely catching up with international peers including the US and the eurozone.

It comes as new data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed the level of Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation eased to 3.2% in March.

Squatters ‘will stay at Gordon Ramsay’s pub until evicted’

Squatters will stay inside a Gordon Ramsay pub in London until they are evicted, according to a friend of those locked inside the building.

The group shut themselves in the York & Albany near Regent’s Park, north London, last week.

Lawyers for Gordon Ramsay Holdings International Limited (GRHI) have since got a High Court order securing possession of the premises. Some of the squatters initially said they would comply with the ruling and four people left the premises on Friday.


Sunshine for many this morning, although cloud will spread from the east later on. The far west will remain bright, however, reports BBC Weather. Temperatures will be around 10 to 13 degrees.

Patchy rain for Scotland tonight, while most other areas will see variable cloud and clear skies – the best of this will be in Northern Ireland, Wales and southern England.

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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