News Round-Up

Dec 14: Tories to rebel over Covid passes; PM calls for booster volunteers; London bans E-scooters; Aston teases V12 Vantage

  • Here are the headlines on Tuesday, December 14

Time 6:54 am, December 14, 2021

Dozens of Tory MPs set to defy Johnson over Covid passes for England

Boris Johnson is facing the biggest rebellion of his premiership, with dozens of Tory MPs set to vote against the latest Covid restrictions.

More than 70 backbenchers are threatening to defy the whips and oppose the government’s Plan B for England, brought in in the face of the fast-spreading Omicron variant. It is reported that up to 10 ministerial aides could resign to oppose the controls, with up to four votes on the measures expected to take place on Tuesday evening.

The measures – including Covid passes for entry into nightclubs and other venues – are expected to pass the Commons with the support of Labour, who back tighter controls.

Boris Johnson appeals to the public for volunteers as booster jabs ramped up

Boris Johnson has issued an appeal to members of the public to step forward to assist the Covid booster jab programme in a race to counter the new Omicron variant.

The prime minister said ‘tens of thousands’ of volunteers were needed as the vaccination programme is ramped up to an unprecedented pace of delivery.

They range from stewards to organise and manage the queues to trained vaccinators to administer the jabs.

NHS told to prepare for ‘new and significant threat’ of Omicron

The NHS can run 24/7 vaccine clinics and discharge some patients to hotels under plans set out by health leaders.

The health service has been put on its highest level of emergency preparedness as it sets itself to tackle the ‘new and significant’ threat posed by the Omicron variant.

A new letter from health bosses states that the NHS will deliver ‘more vaccines over the coming weeks than ever before’ which might include 24/7 vaccine clinics ‘where relevant for the local community’. Vaccine sites should operate 12 hours a day ‘as standard’ seven days a week, while some GP appointments will need to be postponed as the NHS prioritises the vaccination programme.

Anne Sacoolas to face UK criminal proceedings over death of Harry Dunn

US citizen Anne Sacoolas is due to face criminal proceedings in the UK charged with causing Harry Dunn’s death by dangerous driving.

The 44-year-old is accused of killing the teenager in a road crash outside US military base RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire on August 27 2019.

The Sacoolas case will be heard at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on January 18, the Crown Prosecution Service said.

Monday Car Dealer headlines you might have missed

E-scooters banned from London transport over fire fears

E-scooters have been banned from all London transport amid fire concerns.

It comes after an e-scooter burst into flames on the Tube at Parsons Green station last month.

A review into e-scooters by Transport for London (TfL) found that defective lithium batteries could cause e-scooters to catch fire. TfL warned that a fire in an enclosed area like a bus or the Tube could lead to ‘significant harm’ to passengers and staff.

Aston Martin gives glimpse of upcoming V12 Vantage

Aston Martin has given a sneak peek at its upcoming V12 Vantage. The British manufacturer recently confirmed that the V12 engine would be making one final return to the Vantage in 2022, initially releasing a sound of the engine being revved aggressively.

Now, Aston Martin has revealed an initial look at the V12 Vantage alongside its predecessors. The image is clear enough to see a revised front end with a large grille and a reworked splitter. The enlarged grille is no doubt fitted to help cool the large engine sitting underneath the bonnet.

This generation of Vantage – first introduced in 2018 – will be replaced in 2025 by a fully electric model, according to CEO Tobias Moers.

Roads and public transport quieter as work from home guidance returns

The reintroduction of guidance to work from home appears to have had an an immediate impact after reports of a sharp fall in transport usage.

Figures from location technology firm TomTom show cities across England experienced a decline in traffic on Monday morning.

In London at 8am, congestion levels were down from 72 per cent two weeks ago to 60 per cent.Other locations to experience traffic reductions over the same period include Birmingham (from 87 per cent to 55 per cent), Brighton (from 59 per cent to 44 per cent), Bristol (from 60 per cent to 41 per cent), Leeds (from 74 per cent to 43 per cent), Leicester (from 98 per cent to 51 per cent) and Manchester (from 89 per cent to 53 per cent).

Click here to read what dealers think about the change in guidance

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New arrangements with Amazon and others to tackle rapid test delivery issues

New delivery arrangements have been agreed for rapid coronavirus tests after orders on the Government website were temporarily suspended amid high demand.

Health secretary Sajid Javid insisted there is no shortage of such tests and said the issue is with delivery. He told MPs in Parliament that he has agreed new arrangements with Amazon and others to address the problem.

On Monday, a day ahead of new rules coming in which require fully vaccinated contacts of a positive case in England to take daily lateral flow tests for a week, the government website where the kits can be ordered from advised people to ‘try again later’ or to book a coronavirus test site appointment instead.

NatWest hit with £264m fine after breaches of anti-money laundering rules

NatWest has been fined more than £264m after admitting breaching anti-money laundering regulations.

Bradford jeweller Fowler Oldfield deposited £365m with the bank over a five-year-period, including £264m in cash, some of which was brought into a branch in bin bags.

NatWest, part of the Royal Bank of Scotland group, in October pleaded guilty to three offences under the Money Laundering Regulations 2007, between November 8, 2012 and June 23, 2016. At Southwark Crown Court on Monday, Mrs Justice Cockerill fined the bank £264,772,620, ordered it to pay £4,297,466 in costs and made a £460,047 confiscation order.

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Weather outlook

A mostly dry day for the country, reports BBC Weather, with plenty of cloud and feeling mild. Western Scotland and the Northern Isles will see blustery rain, however.

Tonight, outbreaks of rain will push southwards into northern England and Northern Ireland. Dry 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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