News Round-Up

Apr 29: Starmer welcomes Tory defector; Tories plot to oust Sunak; Car insurance jumps in Q1

Here are the headlines on Monday, April 29

Time 6:40 am, April 29, 2024

Starmer to welcome Tory defector to Labour as he promises mental health reform

Sir Keir Starmer will vow to ‘inject resource and reform’ into mental health services as he welcomes MP and psychiatrist Dr Dan Poulter – who quit the Tory Party in anger over the NHS crisis – to Labour.

The Labour leader will promise to ‘overhaul’ the way mental health is approached if he wins the election, on a visit on Monday with his party’s newest MP.

Dr Poulter, a former Tory health minister and part-time working medic, made the shock announcement that he was crossing the floor to Labour on Saturday.

UK and Irish ministers to meet amid row over migration

UK and Irish ministers are due to meet in London amid an escalating row over migrants travelling from the UK to Ireland.

Ireland’s deputy premier and foreign affairs minister Micheal Martin is to co-chair a meeting of the British Irish Inter-Governmental Conference in London on Monday with Northern Ireland secretary Chris Heaton-Harris.

Home secretary James Cleverly and justice minister Helen McEntee had been due to meet on Monday to discuss ‘strengthening’ the Common Travel Area, but the meeting was postponed late on Sunday night.

Tory rebels plot against Rishi Sunak ahead of challenging local elections

Rishi Sunak is bracing for one of the toughest weeks of his premiership as Tory rebels plot to oust him in anticipation of disastrous local elections results.

A group of restive Conservative MPs have drawn up a ‘policy blitz’ for a potential successor, compounding the prime minister’s woes days before his party is expected to suffer heavy losses in the local contests.

Sunak has refused to rule out a July general election, amid speculation he could fire the starting gun early in a bid to avert a leadership battle.

New laws to protect consumers from cyber attacks take effect

New laws protecting consumers from hacking and cyber attacks come into effect on Monday, with all smart devices required to meet minimum-security standards.

Manufacturers of products including phones, TVs and smart doorbells are now legally required to protect internet-connected devices against access by cyber criminals, the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology said.

Weak default passwords such as ‘admin’ or ‘12345’ will be banned, with users prompted to change any common passwords. Manufacturers have to publish contact details so bugs and issues can be reported, and be transparent about timings of security updates.

Biden and Netanyahu speak as ceasefire pressure grows on Israel and Hamas

The White House said US president Joe Biden has spoken with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu again as pressure builds on Israel and Hamas to reach a deal that would free some Israeli hostages and bring about a ceasefire after nearly seven months of war in Gaza.

Biden reiterated his ‘clear position’ as Israel plans to invade Gaza’s southernmost city of Rafah, despite global concern for more than one million Palestinians sheltering there, officials said.

The US opposes the invasion on humanitarian grounds, straining relations between the allies. The US secretary of state Antony Blinken is returning to the Middle East on Monday.

Weekend Car Dealer headlines you might have missed

More than 840,000 applications for 2025 London Marathon breaks world record

The number of applications to run in next year’s TCS London Marathon has broken the world record.

Event organisers said more than 840,000 people had applied for the event, smashing the previous record of 578,000 set by the ballot for last year’s London Marathon.

In total there were 672,631 UK applications for 2025, with 50.33% from men, 49.03% from women and 0.64% from non-binary applicants. A total of 167,687 non-UK residents applied in the international ballot.

Average price paid for motor insurance jumps by a third in a year

The average price paid for comprehensive motor insurance was around a third (33%) or £157 higher in the first quarter of this year than a year earlier, according to figures from the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

Based on analysis of policies sold, the typical price paid in the first quarter of 2024 was £635, marking a 1% increase on the previous quarter, the ABI said.

The ABI said the 1% quarterly increase indicates an easing of the rises seen in 2023. It said that insurers are continuing to absorb growing costs, with the average claim paid rising 8% to reach a record of £4,800 over the same period.


Heavy rain in Northern Ireland will clear to showers and spread into western areas of the UK, reports BBC Weather. The south-east of England will be sunny and mild. Temperatures will range from 11 to 18 degrees.

Rain will turn lighter tonight, however western parts will still have showers – it’ll be particularly heavy in the south-west. Dry and clear elsewhere.

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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