Scaled Ferrari Testa Rossa J at HarrodsScaled Ferrari Testa Rossa J at Harrods

News Round-Up

Dec 12: Crunch Rwanda vote; Royal Mail bosses quitting; Scaled Ferrari Testa Rossa J at Harrods

  • Here are the headlines for Tuesday, December 12
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Time 6:46 am, December 12, 2023

Sunak bids to see off major Tory rebellion in crunch Rwanda vote

Rishi Sunak will today try to avert a mass rebellion by right-wing Tory MPs against his Rwanda plan, as he struggles to reconcile the competing demands of different Conservative factions.

Would-be rebels have warned the PM that ‘major surgery’ is still required to fix the flagship asylum legislation, with as many as 40 MPs prepared to either abstain or vote against the proposed legislation in its first Commons vote.

Around 20 members of the New Conservatives are to attend a breakfast with Sunak in Number 10 later this morning, as ministers engage in a last-ditch attempt to win over party colleagues.


Two Royal Mail bosses to leave after agreement with union

Two top executives at Royal Mail who were close to the company’s recent long-running dispute with its unions are going to leave in the new year.

In an email to employees, the boss of parent company International Distributions Services (IDS) said the delivery firm would part ways with its chief operating officer and chief people officer.

HR boss Zareena Brown has a new job lined up that starts in March, said IDS chief executive Martin Seidenberg, while operations head Grant McPherson will be replaced in January.


WH Smith boss sees pay deal jump by 78% to nearly £3m

WH Smith’s boss has seen his pay surge by 78% over the past year after the retailer continued its travel-boosted resurgence.

Carl Cowling, chief executive since 2019, received a total pay deal worth £2.91m for the year to August 31, according to the firm’s latest annual report. He was given a £1.63m pay deal a year earlier.

WH Smith reported a headline pre-tax profit of £143m in the year to August 31, versus £73m a year earlier. Group revenue for the year rose by 28% to £1.79bn.

Virgin Media O2 to contact all five million customers about social tariffs

Virgin Media O2 is contacting all five million of its broadband, landline and TV customers to ensure low-income households are aware of bill support available to them over Christmas.

The telecoms giant said it will include information about its social tariff offers in its monthly bills for December.

Social tariffs are discounted packages for services aimed at low-income households, including those receiving a range of benefits, with the aim of making those services more accessible to people no matter their financial situation.

Plans to move Civil Service jobs outside London accelerated

Plans to relocate more than 20,000 Civil Service jobs outside London will be brought forward to 2027, the government has said.

A target to move 22,000 Civil Service roles away from the capital by 2030 has been accelerated, with plans to open second headquarters for several departments in Aberdeen, Darlington and Greater Manchester as well.

More than 300 jobs will also be located in Wrexham, as ministers said it was a sign of the government’s commitment to levelling up.


Centuries-old Scots pine saved as part of Highlands rewilding project

A remote ancient woodland containing Scotland’s oldest wild Scots pine has been saved by a rewilding charity from being lost forever.

Trees for Life stepped in to save dozens of pines throughout Glen Loyne in the north-west Highlands after they were identified to be at risk from overgrazing by excessive numbers of deer.

The charity has erected deer-proof fencing around the perimeter of the woodland to protect the trees from harm and allow young seedlings to grow without being eaten. The oldest pine in the grouping of some 57 has been dated as being 565 years old.

Public thinks government did bad job of handling Covid, poll finds

More than half the public thinks the government did a bad job of handling the Covid-19 pandemic, a new poll has found.

Just 26% of 1,095 British adults told pollster Ipsos UK they thought the government had handled the pandemic well, while 51% said it had done a bad job.

The poll, conducted in mid-November and published today, came as the Covid inquiry continued to hear evidence on decision-making at the heart of government.

Scaled Ferrari Testa Rossa J at Harrods interior

Scaled Ferrari Testa Rossa J with electric twist on show at Harrods

The Little Car Company has created an immersive display of the limited-edition 75%-scale Ferrari Testa Rossa J at Harrods.

Built in partnership with Ferrari Classiche, only 299 of the electrified classic will be made, and each one will be developed and handcrafted using the original drawings held by the team at Maranello.

It features the quintessential Ferrari Rosso Corsa red exterior and is complemented by an elegant Beige Tradizione leather and tone-on-tone stitched interior. No price has been given.

Yesterday’s headlines on Car Dealer you might have missed

Market movements

The FTSE 100 closed 9.58 points down yesterday to end the day on 7,544.89. The Cac 40 was up 24.98 points at 7,551.53, the Dax was up 35.21 points at 16,794.43, and the Dow Jones was up 157.06 points at 36,404.93.

Weather outlook

Today will be largely cloudy and unsettled with spells of rain and blustery showers pushing eastwards, some thundery in the south-west, says BBC Weather. It’ll be drier with brighter skies in north-western Scotland, and generally breezy.

Wednesday will see the south-east remain mostly cloudy with further showers. It’ll be mainly dry and brighter elsewhere but clouding over in Northern Ireland and west Scotland with some rain by evening there.

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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