News Round-Up

Dec 4: £4bn for northern rail; ‘Ice rink Monday’ as UK freezes; BBC needs to cut costs – Sunak

Here are the headlines on Monday, December 4

Time 6:33 am, December 4, 2023

Government pledges almost £4bn to improve rail links in northern England

The government has pledged £3.9bn for a rail project which will improve connectivity in northern England.

The cash injection will accelerate the Transpennine Route Upgrade between Manchester, Huddersfield, Leeds, and York – which will bring faster and more frequent journeys, the government said.

It has already invested £3bn into the project which is expected to deliver electrified tracks by the middle of the decade. The announcement comes after the planned HS2 route between Birmingham and Manchester was axed earlier this year.

British ship reportedly attacked by Houthi rebels in Red Sea

A British-owned ship came under attack in the Red Sea as part of an hours-long assault by Iranian-backed rebels which forced a US warship to open fire in self-defence.

The Bahamas-flagged Unity Explorer, owned by a British company, was among two commercial vessels targeted in the drone and missile assault on Sunday, according to reports by AP.

The guided-missile destroyer USS Carney reportedly shot down two drones in the attack after responding to a call for assistance from the bulk carrier.

Foreign secretary Lord Cameron to travel to the US for Ukraine and Israel talks

Former prime minister Lord Cameron will travel to the United States this week for the first time since returning to frontline politics.

The foreign secretary, who was a surprise appointment during prime minister Rishi Sunak’s reshuffle three weeks ago, is set to visit Washington DC for talks about the conflict in Ukraine and the Israel-Hamas war in the Middle East.

Due to fly out on Wednesday, the Foreign Office said he will undertake a programme of bilateral meetings with key members of US president Joe Biden’s administration. The itinerary includes a meeting with his US counterpart, secretary of state Antony Blinken, as well as discussions with Republican and Democratic congressional figures.

Suspect in Paris attack, which left British man injured, ‘pledged support to IS’

A man who allegedly killed a German tourist and injured a British national in a suspected terror attack in Paris had pledged allegiance to the so-called Islamic State, authorities said.

The man, named by AP as Armand Rajabpour-Miyandoab, is accused of stabbing the German-Filipino man to death before using a hammer to injure a British man and a French national on Saturday near the Eiffel Tower.

France’s anti-terrorism prosecutor Jean-Francois Ricard said he had opened an investigation into the attack on Sunday. He said Rajabpour-Miyandoab, a French national, had posted a video on X before the attack pledging his allegiance to IS alongside other recent posts in which he made references to the Israel-Hamas war.

BBC needs to ‘cut its cloth appropriately’ amid higher cost of living – Sunak

Rishi Sunak has said the BBC should be looking to ‘cut its cloth appropriately’ as the country continues to deal with the heightened cost of living.

The corporation is seeking to make £500m of savings in the face of high inflation and a two-year freeze to the price of a TV licence, which provides most of its funding.

The prime minister said ‘final decisions haven’t been made’ about the future of the licence fee but the broadcaster should be ‘realistic’ about what they can expect people to pay at this stage.

Weekend Car Dealer headlines you might have missed

Shoppers being duped by fake sellers all year round, Nationwide warns

Nearly half of all scams reported to Nationwide during the summer involved shoppers being tricked into buying fake or non-existent products, the building society has said.

Far from being limited to the festive season and Black Friday sales, people are falling victim to fake sellers throughout the year, according to new data.

Between July and September, purchase scams made up 45% of all scams reported to the building society. The average claim per purchase scam case was about £556 across the 13 months to October.

Warning that parts of country face ‘ice rink Monday’ as snow refreezes

Warnings have been issued that parts of the country could be facing an ‘ice rink Monday’, as snow refreezes overnight.

The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for ice across much of the north of England from 5pm on Sunday to 12pm on Monday.

It also issued separate yellow weather warnings of snow in higher parts of Wales and the Peak District, as well as for snow and ice in eastern Scotland until 12pm on Monday.


Sticking with the weather, it’ll be a wet day for England and Wales with sleet in the far north. A breezy day but slightly milder than of late with temperatures rising to around eight degrees.

Cloud and rain will remain for most tonight. The odd area may escape the rain but it’ll be a wet night for nearly all parts.

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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