News Round-Up

Apr 23: Rwanda Bill passes Parliament; FTSE 100 record high; Quickest Merc-AMG launches

Here are the headlines on Tuesday, April 23

Time 6:27 am, April 23, 2024

Rwanda Bill passing through Parliament a ‘landmark moment’, says Cleverly

James Cleverly has described the government’s Rwanda deportation plan passing through Parliament as a ‘landmark moment in our plan to stop the boats’.

The House of Lords had been engaged in an extended tussle over the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill on Monday, sending it back to the Commons five times in a bid to secure changes.

The unelected chamber ended the deadlock after MPs rejected a requirement that Rwanda could not be treated as safe until the secretary of state, having consulted an independent monitoring body, made a statement to Parliament to that effect. The government said the Lords amendment was ‘almost identical’ to the previous ones overturned by MPs.

Met Police chief defends ‘professional’ officers at pro-Palestinian protest

The Metropolitan Police commissioner has defended how officers handled a campaigner against antisemitism at a pro-Palestinian demonstration, describing their actions as “professional”.

Sir Mark Rowley admitted some of the words exchanged during the incident on April 13 were ‘clumsy and offensive’, but confirmed the officers involved would not be sanctioned.

Sir Mark held meetings on Monday with James Cleverly and mayor of London Sadiq Khan, who said he has ‘full confidence’ in the commissioner.

Sunak to pledge record miliary aid package for Ukraine on Poland-Germany trip

Rishi Sunak will pledge a record package of military aid for Ukraine as he travels to Warsaw and Berlin to meet the leaders of Poland, Germany and Nato.

Warning that Russian President Vladimir Putin ‘will not stop at the Polish border’ if his assault on Ukraine is not thwarted, the prime minister will announce £500m in extra military funding and the UK’s largest-ever donation of key equipment.

The first stop of his European capitals tour on Tuesday will be to Ukraine-neighbouring Poland, where he is set to discuss security co-operation and support for Kyiv in meetings with new Polish prime minister Donald Tusk and Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg. Sunak will then travel to Germany to hold one-on-one talks with chancellor Olaf Scholz on Wednesday.

Bill to exonerate Horizon scandal victims to be extended to Northern Ireland

Legislation aimed at quashing the wrongful convictions of subpostmasters caught up in the Horizon IT scandal is to be extended to Northern Ireland, the government has said.

Post Office minister Kevin Hollinrake announced the move, stating it had become apparent that the Northern Ireland Executive ‘does not have the ability to rapidly address the 26 convictions known to be within its purview’.

Amendments have now been tabled to expand the territorial extent of the government’s Bill.

Susan Hall pledges to stop Ulez expansion in London mayor manifesto

Londoners have 10 days to stop Sadiq Khan’s Ulez expansion plans, Susan Hall claimed as she set out her full plans for the capital’s mayoralty.

The Conservative candidate sought to widen the political gulf between her and the Labour Mayor over motoring policies, as she published her full manifesto 10 days before the polls open on May 2. In a launch event at a garage in Bexley, south-east London, attended by local media outlets, Hall said she would scrap the Ultra Low Emission Zone (Ulez) expansion from day one in the job.

Ulez was expanded to cover all London boroughs in August last year with the aim of improving air quality, following an unsuccessful attempt by several Conservative-led London councils to challenge it in the courts.

Monday Car Dealer headlines you might have missed

Breakdowns due to potholes up 9% in a year

The number of vehicle breakdowns caused by potholes increased by 9% in the past 12 months, new figures have indicated.

Some 27,205 callouts to breakdowns due to poor road surfaces in the UK were received by the RAC in the year to the end of March. The figure compares with 24,906 during the previous 12 months, the motoring services company said.

Common vehicle problems caused by potholes include damaged shock absorbers, broken suspension springs and distorted wheels. The RAC said pothole-related callouts were actually down by 22% in the first three months of this year compared with the same period in 2023, but attributed this to milder weather than normal reducing incidents of new road damage.

FTSE 100 closes at record high as market conditions improve

The UK’s top stock market index has reached a new all-time highest closing price, amid ongoing hopes of economic conditions and geopolitical tensions improving.

The FTSE 100 closed up 1.62% at 8,023.87 points at the end of trading on Monday to mark the new record. It surpassed its previous highest closing price of 8,012.53 from February 2023, although it fell short of its all-time intraday high of 8,047.06.

The blue-chip index jumped 128.02 points by Monday afternoon, with retailers Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer, Tesco and Ocado among the biggest risers of the day.

New Mercedes GT 63 S E Performance will be the fastest-accelerating AMG model yet

Mercedes has revealed the fastest accelerating AMG series model yet – GT 63 S Coupe.

Under the bonnet is a 4.0-litre biturbo engine mated to an electric motor that will produce 804bhp and 1,420Nm of torque, enabling a 0-60mph time of 2.6 seconds and a top speed of 198mph. The electric motor is positioned at the rear axle and produces the equivalent of 201bhp alone, while a 6.1kWh battery pack enables a claimed electric driving range of up to eight miles.

Mercedes hasn’t revealed prices for the GT 63 S E Performance yet but the standard GT63’s starting price of £165,000 means that the E Performance could creep closer towards the £200,000 mark.


A dry day with sunny spells for northern and western areas, reports BBC Weather, while the south and east will have patchy rain for a time. It’ll feel a colder, breezier day, but temperatures will be mild at 11 to 14 degrees.

A dry and clear night for nearly all parts, while the south-east might see the odd shower drifting through.

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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