News Round-Up

Dec 7: Immigration minister Jenrick resigns; Train drivers strike again; Johnson: ‘I’m sorry’

Here are the headlines on Thursday, December 7

Time 6:41 am, December 7, 2023

Sunak’s Rwanda policy hit by fresh chaos as immigration minister Jenrick resigns

Rishi Sunak was under fresh pressure over his Rwanda policy after his immigration minister resigned with a warning that new legislation to revive the strategy to stop small boats falls short.

Robert Jenrick told the prime minister on Wednesday that his draft Bill aimed at stopping small boat crossings ‘does not go far enough’ and is a ‘triumph of hope over experience’.

Sunak’s long-term political ally argued that he had to quit because he has ‘such strong disagreements’ with his approach to immigration.


Fresh disruption to train services as drivers strike again

Trains to the country’s busiest airport will be among services disrupted on Thursday because of ongoing strikes by drivers in a long-running pay dispute.

Members of Aslef have launched a rolling programme of walkouts and a ban on overtime, which has caused travel chaos since the weekend. Busy commuter routes into London from southern England were affected by walkouts on Wednesday following strikes at the weekend and on Tuesday in other parts of the country.

Train drivers on CrossCountry, Great Western Railway and Heathrow Express will strike on Thursday.


Boris Johnson admits mistakes were made and says ‘sorry’ to Covid victims

Boris Johnson has said he takes personal responsibility for mistakes made in the handling of the pandemic as he apologised to victims at the UK Covid-19 Inquiry.

The former prime minister said his government should have ‘unquestionably’ done things differently but insisted ‘we did our level best’ in ‘very difficult’ circumstances.

His highly-anticipated appearance was hit by protests as he began issuing an apology to victims of the pandemic.

Man accused of Paris attacks handed terror-linked charges

A man accused of fatally stabbing a tourist and injuring two other people at the weekend near the Eiffel Tower was placed under investigation on Wednesday on charges of murder and attempted murder in connection with a terrorist organisation, the prosecutor’s office said.

An investigating magistrate handed Armand Rajabpour-Miyandoab the preliminary charges at the request of anti-terrorism prosecutors.

The judge ordered him placed in isolation. Under French law, preliminary charges precede any indictment, which comes after an investigation and would send the suspect to trial. Charges also can be dropped.

Grant Shapps to call for faster aid delivery into Gaza during Middle East visit

Defence secretary Grant Shapps will discuss efforts to ‘accelerate the delivery of lifesaving humanitarian assistance into Gaza’ during a visit to the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs) and Israel.

Shapps is expected to meet interior minister of the Palestinian Authority, General Ziad Hab Al-Reeh in the OPTs, and Israeli defence minister Yoav Gallant in Tel Aviv during his trip on Wednesday and Thursday.

He will discuss options to provide civilians in the Gaza Strip with more humanitarian aid, how the UK can support the Palestinian Authority and efforts to prevent further escalation in the Middle East, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said.


AI could pose new risks to UK financial stability, Bank of England warns

The Bank of England is reviewing how artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning is being used in financial services, as governor Andrew Bailey admitted the technology must be embraced ‘with our eyes open’.

The Bank’s Financial Policy Committee (FPC) revealed it is looking more closely into whether the wider adoption of AI poses risks to financial stability in the UK.

AI and machine learning has been used by financial firms for at least a decade, such as to detect fraud and money laundering. But adoption of the technology has become more widespread and its usage more varied. This could pose ‘system-wide financial stability risks’, such as increasing cyber-risks or leading to more ‘herding’ mentality, meaning when financial decisions are influenced by group behaviour, the FPC found.

Wednesday Car Dealer headlines you might have missed

Cash usage has grown for first time in a decade, British Retail Consortium finds

Cash usage has grown for the first time in a decade as households look to balance their budgets amid the cost-of-living squeeze, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

Across the UK, coins and banknotes accounted for nearly a fifth (19%) of transactions in 2022, the BRC’s annual Payments Survey found.

Its report said: ‘This year’s Payments Survey shows an increase in cash usage for the first time in a decade, up from 15% (in 2021) to just under 19% of transactions (in 2022). Faced with rising living costs, cash was a useful tool for some people to manage their finances and track their day-to-day spending.’

Total cost of policing Just Stop Oil protests nears £20m, Met reveals

The Metropolitan Police have called on the group Just Stop Oil to ‘reach out and speak to us’ as the force revealed that policing the eco activists has cost nearly £20m.

Since the protest group’s first campaign in October 2022, Just Stop Oil has ‘refused to engage’ with police when planning its protests, the force said.

Scotland Yard said time spent on the group equated to about 300 officers per day being taken out of frontline policing across London. Some £19.9m has been spent on the group to date, with £3.5m spent since October this year, the Met said.

McDonald’s to open 10,000 new restaurants over the next four years

McDonald’s expects to open nearly 10,000 restaurants over the next four years, a pace of growth that would be unprecedented even for the world’s largest burger chain.

At an investor update on Wednesday, the Chicago burger giant said it aims to have 50,000 restaurants in operation worldwide by the end of 2027. McDonald’s had 40,275 restaurants at the start of this year.

It plans to open 900 new stores in the US and 1,900 in international markets with company operated and franchised restaurants like Canada, Germany, the UK and Australia. McDonald’s plans another 7,000 stores in international markets that are operated by licensees. More than half of those stores would be in China.

Weather

Strong winds and heavy rain for much of the UK today, reports BBC Weather. It’ll turn drier in the west later on. A milder day with temperatures up to 10 degrees.

Rain will push eastwards leaving clear spells tonight. Blustery showers will develop in the west later on, some thundery. 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.



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