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News Round-Up

Apr 4: PM seeks tough response from Nato; Johnson won’t be interviewed by Met; EasyJet cancels 222 flights

  • Here are the headlines on Monday, April 4

Time 6:42 am, April 4, 2022

PM seeks tough response from Nato as Russia accused of civilian massacre

The prime minister will this week seek to galvanise a tough response from allies to the crisis in Ukraine as Russia is accused of massacring civilians, with scenes akin to a ‘horror movie’.

On its 73rd anniversary, Boris Johnson will hail Nato as the ‘greatest security alliance in the history of the world’ – adding that it has a responsibility to support the Ukrainian people as they fight for freedom with ‘every fibre of their being’.

It comes after the PM condemned Russia’s ‘despicable attacks’ against Ukrainian civilians in Irpin and Bucha, adding that ‘we will not rest until justice is served’. This week he will welcome the Polish and German leaders to Downing Street for discussions on Nato and how to support Ukraine as it stands up to Russian aggression.

Police ‘will not interview’ Boris Johnson over alleged parties

Boris Johnson will reportedly not be interviewed by the Metropolitan Police as part of their investigation into alleged lockdown-breaching parties in Downing Street and Whitehall.

This is because the force is not interviewing those who have received questionnaires as part of the inquiries, and could potentially be fined, according to ITV News.

The Met is investigating 12 events, including as many as six Johnson is said to have attended, and has sent out more than 100 questionnaires.

Ex-government ethics chief reportedly fined over ‘partygate’ scandal

The former ethics chief for the government has reportedly been fined over the ‘partygate’ scandal.

Helen MacNamara, who used to be the deputy cabinet secretary, is said to be among the first group of people to receive a fixed-penalty notice (FPN) from Scotland Yard as part of its investigation into alleged lockdown-breaching parties in Downing Street and Whitehall. The Daily Telegraph reported that MacNamara received a £50 fine on Friday in connection with a leaving do held in the Cabinet Office on June 18, 2020 to mark the departure of a private secretary.

Meanwhile, several reports suggest people have also received fines linked with a gathering that took place on the eve of the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral last year. These FPNs were among the initial round of 20 issued by the Metropolitan Police.

Councils hand out less than half of Omicron hospitality grant cash

Hospitality firms in England affected by Omicron have received less than half of the £635m support package promised by the government, new analysis has found.

The Treasury announced funding in December to provide a lifeline for businesses suffering from mass cancellations and declining footfall over the Christmas period when the Omicron variant of coronavirus spread.

Local authorities were entrusted to deliver the one-off grants, worth up to £6,000, for businesses in the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors. Yet just £305m of the cash distributed to 309 English councils had been paid out less than three weeks before the final cut off for applications on March 18, Altus Group’s analysis of official government data shows.

Listen to the latest Car Dealer Podcast

This week, Blackshaw’s boss Will Blackshaw joins Becca and Jon and chats about electric cars, supercars and why Auto Trader bought Vanrama.

Air travellers face more disruption after easyJet cancels 222 flights

EasyJet cancelled more than 200 flights over the weekend with disruption expected to last into this week, leaving some passengers stranded amid travel chaos at some of Britain’s biggest airports.

The airline blamed the problems on high levels of sickness among employees caused by Covid, with at least 222 trips axed since Friday. It said it had made efforts to offset staff shortages by ‘rostering’ additional standby crew on the weekend but was forced to make ‘additional cancellations for today (Sunday) and tomorrow’.

A total of 62 flights scheduled for Monday have been pulled, the majority of which were announced at short notice on Saturday.

Weekend Car Dealer headlines you might have missed

More than 200 arrests made at climate change protests

More than 200 people have been arrested as climate change activists enter a third day of protests at oil terminals.

Warwickshire Police said the force has made 54 arrests for offences including criminal damage, obstructing the highway and public order in relation to the ongoing protest at Kingsbury Oil Terminal. In Essex, officers have arrested a total of 155 people following protests in the Thurrock district.

Activists from Just Stop Oil have been blocking access to oil terminals over the last three days, demanding that the government stops new oil and gas projects.

First class stamps increase by 10p to 95p

The increased price of a first class stamp, by 10p to 95p, has come into effect today.

Second class stamps have increased by 2p to 68p.

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The Royal Mail said there has been a long-term decline in letter usage, coupled with rising inflation. Letter volumes have fallen by more than 60 per cent since their peak in 2004/5 and by around 20 per cent since the start of the pandemic.

Weather outlook

A mostly dull and wet day across the UK, reports BBC Weather, with rain particularly persistent in northern and western areas. Breezy.

A cloudy and wet night for all tonight, wintry in the Highlands.

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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