News Round-Up

Feb 3: Chancellor promises cost-of-living support; Brexit checks halted; Levelling up plan revealed; MPs turn on Johnson

  • Here are the headlines on Thursday, February 3

Time 6:55 am, February 3, 2022

Sunak to announce support with energy price cap set to soar

Chancellor Rishi Sunak will announce support to ease the pressure on millions of households facing soaring energy bills.

Ofgem is expected to announce on Thursday that the energy price cap is to rise by 50% because of soaring wholesale gas prices, meaning the average bill could hit £1,915.

According to the Times, Sunak will commit to giving households in council tax bands A to C rebates funded by Government grants under targeted measures for poorer households.

Three Tory MPs signal no confidence in Boris Johnson in a day over partygate

Boris Johnson was facing a growing revolt in the wake of Sue Gray’s pared-back but damning report into allegations of lockdown-breaking parties in No 10 when three more Tory MPs withdrew their support in a single day.

Senior Conservative Tobias Ellwood was first on Wednesday to announce he had submitted a formal letter calling for a vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister as he hit out at the “horrible” situation of having to defend Downing Street.

Anthony Mangnall, who entered Parliament in 2019, followed by criticising Mr Johnson’s ‘actions and mistruths’ before long standing MP Sir Gary Streeter also confirmed he had taken the same step.

UK Government will not intervene in DUP order to halt Brexit checks

The UK Government has said it will not intervene in an order to stop Brexit agri-food checks at Northern Ireland ports.

DUP minister Edwin Poots, whose officials are responsible for carrying out Northern Ireland Protocol checks, said he had ordered his permanent secretary to stop them at midnight on Wednesday night.

It is unclear whether the senior civil servant in his department, Anthony Harbinson, will comply with the order.

Gove sets out ‘levelling up’ plans to reshape UK economy and society

Michael Gove promised to reshape the British economy and society under the Government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda, but was criticised for a lack of ambition by Labour while a senior Tory hit out at his ‘socialist’ plans.

The Levelling Up Secretary based his plan around 12 national ‘missions’ covering areas including economy, housing, education, transport and culture with targets for dramatic improvements by 2030.

But Labour pointed to the Tories’ record in office since 2010 ‘turbocharging the decline of our communities’.

Fuel prices at motorway services to be cut by 15p per litre

Drivers will benefit from fuel price cuts of 15p per litre at motorway service areas.

Moto, the UK’s largest operator of MSAs, announced it will initially slash prices at five of its sites in the coming months.

It made the decision after securing permission to install roadside price displays at the locations.

Wednesday’s Car Dealer headlines you might have missed

Calls for review of coronavirus fines and prosecutions

Campaigners, lawyers and MPs have called on the Justice Secretary to urgently review all coronavirus fines and prosecutions.

More than 40 politicians and 15 human rights groups made the demand to Dominic Raab amid claims there is ‘substantial evidence that thousands of people have been wrongfully fined and even prosecuted unlawfully under coronavirus-related legislation’ while there are ‘allegations of numerous offences under these same laws in the heart of Government’.

Thousands of fines were issued by police during the pandemic for breaches of lockdown laws.

Sadiq Khan puts Cressida Dick ‘on notice’ over racist and sexist police messages

Sadiq Khan has put Dame Cressida Dick ‘on notice’ following the exposure of racist and sexist messages sent by Metropolitan Police officers.

The London Mayor told the Metropolitan Police Commissioner that the messages revealed a ‘culture of racism, homophobia, bullying and misogyny’ within the force which she must ‘drive out’.

A report by the Independent Office for Police Conduct revealed highly offensive language used on WhatsApp and in Facebook chats by officers from a now disbanded team based in Westminster, primarily at Charing Cross police station.

New mobile phone rules to come into force on March 25

The Department for Transport has announced that tougher rules on using a mobile phone while driving will be put into force from March 25.

The move will see previous loopholes closed, which allowed drivers to operate their phone to take a picture or video, as well as other actions.

Motorists are facing points and a fine if caught under the new rules.

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FTSE finishes in the green in mixed day for European markets

The FTSE 100 enjoyed a strong day yesterday as markets across Europe endured mixed results.

The British stock index closed on 7,583.00, up 47.22 points or 0.63 per cent.

Elsewhere the German Dax dropped 0.036 per cent to 15,613.77 but the French Cac rose by 0.22 per cent to 7,115.27.

Mild day expected before heavy rain sets in

Today will be a mild day for most with sunny spells developing. Some northern areas will see drizzle in the morning. It will turn breezy in the north-west in the afternoon as a band of heavy rain arrives from the west, the BBC reports.

Tonight, heavy rain will spread south-eastwards across the UK. Turning colder in the north with showers of sleet and snow pushing into western Scotland, Northern Ireland and north-west England.

Tomorrow will be a chillier day for many with blustery showers across northern and western areas, with sleet and snow to lower levels at times. Staying mostly dry in the south with sunny spells.

Jack Williams's avatar

Jack joined the Car Dealer team in 2021 as a staff writer. He previously worked as a national newspaper journalist for BNPS Press Agency. He has provided news and motoring stories for a number of national publications including The Sun, The Times and The Daily Mirror.

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