News Round-Up

Apr 24: Rwanda criticism; Tesla income tumbles; Private sector growth; Senna’s Honda NSX

  • Here are the headlines on Wednesday, April 24

Time 6:55 am, April 24, 2024

UN leads international criticism of Sunak’s Rwanda plan

Senior figures from the United Nations and the Council of Europe have condemned Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda after Parliament passed legislation to give the scheme the green light.

The Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill, which aims to deter migrants from seeking to cross the English Channel, passed in the early hours of Tuesday after disagreements resulted in a lengthy ‘ping-pong’ between the two Houses.

Filippo Grandi, the UN high commissioner for refugees, called on Mr Sunak to reconsider the plan, which he said sets a ‘worrying global precedent’.

Tesla’s first-quarter net income tumbles 55% as global sales fall

Tesla’s first-quarter net income plummeted 55%, but its stock price surged in after-hours trading on Tuesday as the company said it would move up production of new, more affordable vehicles.

The Austin, Texas, company said it made $1.13bn (£0.91bn) from January through to March compared with $2.51bn (£2.02bn) in the same period a year ago.

Revenue was $21.3bn (£17.1bn), down 9% from last year as worldwide sales dropped nearly 9% thanks to increased competition and slowing demand for electric vehicles.

UK private sector grows at fastest rate for 11 months

The UK’s private sector grew at its fastest rate for almost a year this month, on the back of strong growth for the country’s services industry.

The fresh economic data was a further signal that the UK’s economy gained momentum to exit the recession seen at the end of 2023, according to experts.

On Tuesday, the closely-watched S&P Global/CIPS flash UK purchasing managers’ index (PMI) reported a reading of 54 in April, up from 52.8 in March.

Average petrol prices above 150p/litre for first time since November

Average petrol prices are exceeding 150p per litre for the first time since November last year, new figures show.

Data collated by website Fuel Prices Online shows typical pump prices reached 150.1p per litre on Monday.

The average price of a litre of diesel is also at the highest level since November 2023, at 158.3p.

NatWest boss admits ‘unexpected challenges’ for bank in 2023

The chairman of NatWest has said the banking sector is ‘evolving rapidly’ as he acknowledged that the lender faced “unexpected challenges” during 2023.

Rick Haythornthwaite, who stepped into the role earlier this month, addressed the bank’s shareholders at its annual general meeting (AGM) on Tuesday.

He said: ‘Clearly 2023 was an exceptional year, that brought challenges for our customers, our sector, and the economy, as families and businesses faced into the fastest rate rise cycle since the 1970s with persistently high levels of inflation.’

This week’s Car Dealer headlines you might have missed

Ayrton Senna’s Honda NSX up for grabs with £500,000 price tag

Three-time Formula One world champion Ayrton Senna’s personal Honda NSX is up for grabs.

Senna is considered to be one of the greatest racing drivers of all time with him winning a total of 41 Formula One races throughout the 80s and 90s. He was tragically killed on May 1, 1994 at the Italian Grand Prix.

The Japanese supercar can be found on AutoTrader’s website, with the listing consisting of 41 images and a video of the vehicle.

Migrants die attempting Channel crossing just hours after Rwanda Bill passes

Five people including a child died while attempting to cross the English Channel just hours after the Rwanda law aimed at deterring migrants cleared Parliament.

Rishi Sunak said the ‘tragic’ incident ‘underscores’ the need for the deterrent effect of the Rwanda plan while Home Secretary James Cleverly said ‘these tragedies have to stop’ and insisted the Government is doing ‘everything we can’ to stop the boats.

According to the Prime Minister, the Rwanda scheme will ‘deter vulnerable migrants from making perilous crossings’ and break the business model of the criminal gangs organising the boats.

Changing Welsh roads back to 30mph could cost £5m, minister admits

Reimplementing 30mph speed limits on Welsh roads could cost up to £5 million, the Welsh government has said.

Ken Skates, the Welsh transport minister, announced on Tuesday that the government in Cardiff Bay will be revising its guidance to councils on which roads can be exempted from the new lower 20mph speed limit.

The move could see councils able to return roads to their previous speed limits by the end of the year.

Six arrests made as St George’s Day event held in Whitehall

Six people have been arrested as a St George’s Day event was held in Whitehall.

Videos posted on social media show disorder breaking out and people being detained by officers at the event, which was attended by Tommy Robinson, who was one of the speakers.

The Metropolitan Police posted on X, formerly Twitter, earlier on Tuesday to say they expected ‘far-right groups and groups linked to football clubs’ to attend.

FTSE 100 falls back from record high after Bank economist’s rate cut comments

The UK’s top stock market index retreated after setting a record high on Tuesday, amid a dampening of hopes that the Bank of England will cut interest rates imminently.

The FTSE 100 peaked at 8,076.52 points earlier in the day before closing up 0.26% at 8,044.81 points at the end of trading on Tuesday.

Europe’s other major markets made modest gains. The German Dax index was up 1.58% at the close and the Cac 40 in France closed up 0.87%.

Weather outlook…

Sunny conditions for most, but skies will be cloudier for eastern areas and parts of the south-west with isolated showers. Sunny spells developing for the south-west later. The BBC reports there will be a brisk northerly breeze.

Tonight will see a few areas of cloud persisting across the east, bringing a few showers in eastern Scotland. Wales and the south-west will see variable cloud, but remain dry. Mostly clear elsewhere.

Tomorrow there will be a chilly start. Cloudier for many, with showers mainly affecting the north and east, though some could sink further southwards into southern England. A brief chance of hill snow in Scotland.

Jack Williams's avatar

Jack joined the Car Dealer team in 2021 as a staff writer. He previously worked as a national newspaper journalist for BNPS Press Agency. He has provided news and motoring stories for a number of national publications including The Sun, The Times and The Daily Mirror.

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