News Round-Up

Apr 5: UK selling arms to Israel debate; Train drivers on strike; Range Rover Burford special

Here are the headlines on Friday, April 5

Time 6:47 am, April 5, 2024

Calls to stop arms sales to Israel ‘shallow gesture politics’, says Tory MP

Calls to halt arms sales to Israel in the aftermath of the death of three British aid workers have been called ‘shallow gesture politics’ by a Tory MP.

Conservative MP Bob Seely, who sits on the Foreign Affairs committee, also said the UK should “double down” on its relationship with Israel.

The government has faced increasing calls to halt arms sales to Israel after three British aid workers were killed in an attack by the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF).

Civil servants threaten action over UK arms sales to Israel

A union representing civil servants has said it is ‘seriously considering taking legal action’ in relation to the UK’s arms sales to Israel.

Civil servants within the Department of Business and Trade involved with arms exports have raised concerns over their own degree of legal liability if Israel is found to be violating international humanitarian law.

MPs have also been demanding that the government publishes what legal advice it has received in relation to whether Israel is violating international humanitarian law.

New laws to crack down on disruptive protests come into force

New public order powers to prevent ‘disruptive’ protests will come into force from Friday.

The Serious Disruption Prevention Orders will aim to prevent individuals from repeatedly causing serious disruption at protests.

Civil liberties organisation Liberty described the legislation as ‘a shameless attempt’ by the government to reduce the right to protest.

Israel says it will open border crossing in northern Gaza to help flow of aid

Israel says it will reopen a key border crossing into northern Gaza as part of steps to increase the flow of humanitarian aid into the territory.

Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said on Friday his security cabinet has approved a series of ‘immediate steps’, including the temporary reopening of the Erez crossing for the first time since the Hamas attack on October 7.

It also said Israel would allow its port in Ashdod to process aid shipments bound for Gaza, as well as permitting an increase in Jordanian aid shipments through another land crossing.

Millions of workers to enjoy national insurance cut as new tax year starts

Millions of workers will receive a national insurance cut as the new tax year gets underway, helping to ease some of the strain on household budgets.

The main rate of employee national insurance will be cut from 10% to 8% from April 6 – the first day of the 2024-25 tax year.

When combined with a cut previously announced in the autumn statement, this will save the average worker on £35,400 more than £900 a year, the government has said. About 27 million workers will benefit from the reduction. And more than two million people will benefit from the main rate of self-employed national insurance being trimmed down.

Drivers’ strike will see no train services in parts of country

Parts of the country will have no train services on Friday because of a fresh strike by drivers in a long-running pay dispute.

Members of Aslef at Avanti West Coast, CrossCountry, East Midlands Railway, West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern will walk out, mounting picket lines outside stations.

All five train operators said they will not run any services, with passengers urged not to attempt to travel. A ban on overtime at 16 companies is also continuing until Saturday, which will cause disruption to services.

Thursday Car Dealer headlines you might have missed

Vodafone-Three merger faces further in-depth probe

The planned £15bn mega-merger of UK mobile networks Vodafone and Three is to face an in-depth investigation by the competition watchdog amid concerns over the impact of the deal.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) confirmed it will launch a so-called Phase 2 probe after both firms told the regulator they would not be offering measures to ease its concerns ahead of the deadline.

The CMA said last month that the tie-up could have a ‘substantial’ impact on competition, warning it may lead to higher prices and reduced quality. It gave the companies until April 2 to address its concerns.

New Range Rover SV Burford Edition is inspired by the Cotswolds

A new limited-edition Range Rover SV which takes its inspiration from the Cotswolds is heading to the UK.

The new SV Burford Edition will be limited to just 10 units and all are destined for the UK alone. Based upon the Range Rover SV P615 V8 Long Wheelbase, the Burford Edition gets a ‘Aether Grey’ exterior shade, with a satin finish and metal script badging. Inside, there’s a two-tone interior of ‘Light Cloud’ and ‘Cinder Grey’ made from woven textiles. It even gets ‘co-ordinating scatter cushions’ for ‘clients who prefer to be driven’.

Range Rover says that the Burford Edition’s price is available on application, though prices for the standard SV Long Wheelbase kick off from £192,000. Interested parties will be invited to a preview event through the Range Rover House service at Daylesford Farm in the heart of the Cotswolds.

Mazda cuts MX-30 prices by £3k

Mazda has sliced £3,000 off its electric MX-30 and introduced lower finance to tempt buyers.

The revised range now starts at £27,995 for the Prime-Line, rising to £29,995 for the Exclusive-Line and £29,995 for the Makoto.

A new Mazda PCP deal has been introduced offering 0% finance after a £6,000 deposit contribution from the carmaker. It means drivers can pay as little as £199 per month on a 48 month package. Mazda is also throwing in a fully installed Pod Point charger worth around £1,000 for free.


A cloudy day with showers for the north, reports BBC Weather. The south will start with rain but these will clear leaving sunny spells and showers. A very windy and mild day with temperatures between 10 and 13 degrees.

Rain will push into the south-west tonight, moving northwards overnight. Drier in the south-east. A windy night.

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.

More stories...

Server 108