News Round-Up

Feb 22: Commons Speaker in hot water; King moved to tears; Drunk drivers could be banned roadside

Here are the headlines on Thursday, February 22

Time 6:43 am, February 22, 2024

Commons Speaker under pressure after Gaza vote chaos

The Speaker of the House of Commons is under pressure over his handling of a debate on Gaza, which resulted in MPs passing Labour’s amendment calling for an ‘immediate humanitarian ceasefire’ amid scenes of chaos.

The motion was approved but only after Sir Lindsay Hoyle upended parliamentary convention by selecting Labour’s bid to amend an SNP motion on the Israel-Hamas war. His decision sparked fury from the Conservative and SNP benches, who accused him of helping Sir Keir Starmer avoid another damaging revolt over the Middle East issue.

Sir Lindsay issued an apology after a day of acrimony but continues to face calls to resign. More than 30 MPs have signed a parliamentary motion tabled by a Tory MP declaring no confidence in the Speaker.


King moved to tears by get well messages as PM says ‘country is behind you’

The King revealed he has been reduced to tears by the messages and cards of support he has received since his cancer diagnosis, as prime minister Rishi Sunak told him the ‘country is behind you’.

Charles carried out his first face-to-face official duties – an audience with Mr Sunak and a Privy Council – since his medical condition was made public.

The monarch met Sunak at Buckingham Palace late on Wednesday afternoon, marking the restart of their weekly encounters to discuss matters of government.


Households set to learn about fall in energy bills

Households are set to learn that their energy bills will fall to their lowest level in more than two years from the start of April in some long-awaited good news amid the cost-of-living crisis.

Ofgem will announce its latest price cap on Friday, with energy consultancy Cornwall Insight predicting the regulator will lower it by around £293 a year.

That would see the typical household’s bill falling from £1,928 per year to £1,635 from April 1, a drop of around 15%.

UK quits ‘outdated’ treaty that could penalise shift to net zero

The UK is pulling out of a treaty that lets fossil fuel giants sue governments over their climate policies.

The government said the UK was withdrawing from the Energy Charter Treaty after efforts to modernise it ended in stalemate. It joined France, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands in withdrawing from the agreement.

The controversial treaty was established in the 1990s when the world energy system was heavily dominated by fossil fuels and enables foreign companies to challenge energy policies that threaten their investments, using secretive arbitration courts. The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero said efforts to modernise the treaty to better support cleaner technologies had led to stalemate among European countries.

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Space satellite returns to Earth’s atmosphere after almost 30 years

A satellite that has been in orbit for nearly 30 years has fallen back down through the Earth’s atmosphere, the European Space Agency (Esa) has said.

The ERS-2 satellite fell in the North Pacific Ocean somewhere between Alaska and Hawaii at around 5.17pm GMT on Wednesday, bringing to an end a nearly three-decade-long orbit.

Throughout its working life, ERS-2 collected data on the Earth’s diminishing polar ice, changing land surfaces, rising sea levels, warming oceans, and atmospheric chemistry. ERS-2 was also called upon to monitor natural disasters, such as severe floods and earthquakes, in remote parts of the world.


Drug and drink-drivers could be disqualified at the roadside

Police could get the power to disqualify drink or drug-drivers instantly at the roadside.

Force chiefs are in early discussions looking at the type of tests that could be used and the legal changes needed to make the move possible.

Chief Constable Jo Shiner, the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) lead for roads policing, also wants tougher punishments for drivers who kill while under the influence, including potential murder charges.

Weather

The south-east will see heavy, showery rain and squally winds for most of the day, reports BBC Weather. Brighter spells and showers elsewhere. A colder day in store with temperatures reaching no higher than eight degrees.

Blustery showers to start off with tonight, followed by a period of dry spells, although more rain will push in towards dawn. A cold night with temperatures around three degrees.

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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