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News Round-Up

Dec 19: Call for Israel-Hamas war ceasefire; TfL to get £250m; Couple drive pole to pole in EV

Here are the headlines on Tuesday, December 19

Time 6:46 am, December 19, 2023

Sunak raises concerns about Gaza death toll as senior Tories push for ceasefire

Rishi Sunak faced calls from senior Tories to back an immediate ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war as he acknowledged too many innocent lives had already been lost.

A group of Conservative MPs, including three former Cabinet ministers, have written to foreign secretary Lord Cameron saying the case for an immediate ceasefire is ‘unanswerable’.

The prime minister said the UK wanted a ‘sustainable ceasefire’, with the release of hostages and access for much-needed humanitarian aid for the Gaza Strip, but that was based on Israel succeeding in removing Hamas. ‘Israel obviously has a right to defend itself against what was an appalling terrorist attack perpetrated by Hamas, but it must do that in accordance with humanitarian law,’ he said.

Cameron to meet Macron and Meloni during tour of European capitals

Foreign secretary Lord Cameron will visit Paris and Rome in a diplomatic blitz as he lobbies for unity in the European approach to the Israel-Hamas war, Ukraine and efforts to tackle unauthorised migration.

The former premier will meet with the leaders of France and Italy, Emmanuel Macron and Giorgia Meloni, as well as his foreign ministerial counterparts, during the trip on Tuesday.

It comes after Rishi Sunak met with Italian premier Giorgia Meloni on Saturday, with the Conservative Party leader warning that the threat of migration could ‘overwhelm’ European states.

Gove to target council planning units that ‘drag their feet’ on housing

The housing secretary is expected to announce he will take on council planning departments that ‘drag their feet’ when it comes to processing housing applications.

Michael Gove, in a speech in central London on Tuesday, is set to say that he will call out local authorities where planning performance has been poor.

He is expected to pledge to intervene if there have been delays to house building as a result of poor performance among planning teams.

UK to be part of international coalition to protect Red Sea ships from attack

Britain is set to join an international coalition to protect ships sailing through the Red Sea after tankers came under attack from militants in Yemen.

The announcement comes after oil giant BP paused all of its tanker journeys over safety concerns after Iranian-backed Houthi soldiers stepped up attacks on vessels in the Red Sea in recent days.

US defence secretary Lloyd Austin said the UK was one of a host of countries that would be joining forces as part of the Washington-led alliance to ensure vessels could navigate safely. It is understood the Royal Navy’s HMS Diamond, which was deployed to the Middle East last month and saw action in the Red Sea on the weekend, is likely to be part of the patrols.

Tories will not be wiped out in Scotland, says Sunak

The Tories will not be wiped out at the next general election, the prime minister has said.

The party have been lagging behind Labour in polls in recent months, with Sir Keir Starmer’s party expected to win back the keys to Downing Street if the opinion polls are replicated.

But Rishi Sunak said he was ‘confident’ of his party’s chances north of the border, despite both the leader of the Scottish Tories, Douglas Ross, and the current Scottish secretary Alister Jack standing down at the end of the Parliament.

Junior doctor strikes will put health service ‘on back foot’, says NHS chief

Strikes by junior doctors in England are going to put the NHS ‘on the back foot’ as it enters its most challenging time of year, the service’s top doctor has said.

Professor Sir Stephen Powis said that the walkouts – set to begin at 7am on Wednesday morning – will cause ‘huge disruption’. The industrial action comes as the NHS is already seeing pressure from winter viruses, Sir Stephen warned.

Junior doctors from the British Medical Association (BMA) are to take to picket lines from 7am on December 20 to 7am on December 23 in a major escalation in the bitter dispute over pay.

Monday Car Dealer headlines you might have missed

TfL to receive £250m government support in 2024

London’s public transport network will receive a £250m investment from the government next year.

Transport for London (TfL) said it will have a ‘shortfall in funding’ after the Department for Transport (DfT) announced the level of its support. The department said the package will be used by TfL for projects such as providing new Tube trains for the Piccadilly line.

TfL, which had requested £500m a year and a longer-term deal, is not allowed to spend the money on its day-to-day operations.

Couple finish 21,000-mile challenge to drive electric vehicle from pole to pole

A couple have said their ‘dream has come true’ after they became the first people to travel between the two poles in an electric car.

Chris and Julie Ramsey set off in March from the 1823 Magnetic North Pole location in Canada and have since driven about 21,000 miles across 14 Countries to reach Antarctica.

Travelling in their Nissan Ariya electric car they arrived at the South Pole on December 15. The couple, from Aberdeen, have spent several years preparing for the Pole to Pole expedition, which they hoped would help raise awareness about climate change.

White Christmas forecast for northern UK with snow on December 25

A white Christmas is predicted, with snow due to fall on December 25, forecasters say.

Cold conditions in northern parts of the UK will lead to wintry showers over the weekend and frost on Monday, the Met Office said.

However, conditions will not be ‘picture perfect’, as the snow is unlikely to set or be widespread.


For today, though, the outlook is far from being cold and snowy. Rain will dominate for most of the day, before clearing and leaving sunny spells, reports BBC Weather. Brighter but windier in the north. Temperatures around 10 degrees.

A dry night in the south which will turn cloudier towards dawn. Blustery showers in the north.

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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