News Round-Up

Feb 29: Rochdale by-election; British Airways killer loses bid for freedom; House prices jump 15%

Here are the headlines on Thursday, February 29

Time 6:55 am, February 29, 2024

Report due on whether red flags about killer police officer were missed

An independent report on whether red flags were missed about killer police officer Wayne Couzens is due to be published on Thursday.

The former armed Metropolitan police officer will never be released from prison after he abducted, raped and murdered marketing executive Sarah Everard in March 2021.

The 51-year-old used his status as a police officer to trick Everard into thinking he could arrest her for breaking lockdown rules in place at the time.


Voters to go to the polls in Rochdale by-election

Voters in Rochdale go to the polls on Thursday in one of the UK’s most divisive by-elections in recent years.

Alleged death threats, candidates wearing stab vests and vandalism have been reported during campaigning to win the seat following the death last month of sitting MP Sir Tony Lloyd.

Former Labour MP and Celebrity Big Brother contestant George Galloway is the favourite to take the seat, he is now standing for the Workers Party of Britain. Labour’s campaign was torpedoed days after launch after a recording surfaced of its candidate, Azhar Ali, speaking at a party meeting suggesting Israel was complicit with the massacre of its own people in the October 7 terror outrage.


PM announces £72m to fund security for Jewish communities

Jewish schools, synagogues and other community centres are to be given a £72m security package, Rishi Sunak has announced.

In a bid to tackle the ‘utterly sickening’ rise in antisemitism seen in recent months, the prime minister announced the funding which will provided security guards, CCTV and alarm systems at Jewish community sites.

The Home Office has said the announcement is made of £54m of new funding for the Community Security Trust (CST) to provide the security measures until 2028 in addition to £18m previously allocated to the charity for the period of 2024-2025.

UK descending into ‘mob rule,’ Sunak says as he urges police to protect MPs

Rishi Sunak has warned that the UK is descending into ‘mob rule’ as he told police they must use the powers they have or risk losing public confidence amid fears about MPs being targeted by demonstrators heightened by the Israel-Hamas conflict.

The prime minister discussed a new ‘democratic policing protocol’ with police chiefs, which would see more patrols and ‘provides clarity that protests at elected representatives’ homes should be treated as intimidatory’.

He was speaking to police leaders about the issues around MPs’ safety at a roundtable meeting in Downing Street on Wednesday afternoon alongside home secretary James Cleverly.

British Airways killer loses High Court bid for freedom

A British Airways captain who bludgeoned his millionairess wife to death more than 13 years ago has lost his bid for freedom.

Robert Brown bludgeoned 46-year-old Joanna Simpson with a claw hammer in their family home in October 2010 as their two young children cowered in a playroom. The killing was the subject of a recent two-part ITV documentary The British Airways Killer.

Brown’s High Court challenge against a government move to block his automatic release from prison was dismissed by Mr Justice Ritchie on Wednesday.


Wednesday Car Dealer headlines you might have missed

Police ‘assessing’ hate speech report against MP Lee Anderson

The Metropolitan Police are ‘assessing’ a report of hate speech made against MP Lee Anderson after he accused the mayor of London of being controlled by Islamists.

Scotland Yard said a report was received a day after the former Tory deputy chairman made the remarks that unleashed an Islamophobia row.

The Ashfield MP was stripped of the Conservative whip over the weekend after he claimed that ‘Islamists’ had ‘got control’ of Sadiq Khan and that the first Muslim London mayor had ‘given away our capital’ to such extremists.

House sales jump 15% in a year, Zoopla says

House sales were 15% higher in recent weeks than the same period a year ago as mortgage rates started to fall, a new survey has suggested.

Zoopla found that agreed sales jumped as demand from buyers was up by 11% and the number of homes for sale 21% higher than a year ago.

The survey, which covers the four weeks to February 18, found that house prices only dropped 0.5% compared to a year earlier. The reduction has mellowed since October when prices dropped 1.4% on average across the UK.

Weather

Rain in the south will continue to spread eastwards today, reports BBC Weather. It’ll be drier in the north, but the north-west will see strong winds and blustery showers, sometimes wintry. Temperatures will be between nine and 11 degrees.

The earlier rain will pass tonight leaving clear spells for many areas, although more will arrive towards dawn in the south and 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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