News Round-Up

Jan 15: Fresh No 10 rule-breaking claims; June sentence for Maxwell; Toyota reveals GT3 Concept and Yaris GRMN

  • Here are the headlines on Saturday, January 15

Time 2 weeks ago

Fresh No 10 rule-breaking claims emerge as PM puts fightback plan in place

Fresh allegations of rule-breaking in Downing Street have emerged as it was reported Boris Johnson is looking to reboot his leadership after a bruising week.

The prime minister’s administration was forced to apologise on Friday to Buckingham Palace after it emerged two staff parties were reportedly held on the eve of the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral.

Sue Gray, the senior civil servant investigating the litany of claims about lockdown-busting parties in government, is said to have been ‘completely blindsided’ by the latest revelations, The Times reported.

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PM ‘unable to lead’ following party accusations, says Starmer

The allegations of rule-breaking surrounding the prime minister and Downing Street have left Boris Johnson ‘unable to lead’, Labour’s leader is due to say.

Sir Keir Starmer, in a speech at the Fabian Society conference, is preparing to accuse the Conservatives of running down the health service and the PM of being ‘too preoccupied defending his rule breaking’ to turn it around.

On Saturday, Sir Keir is due to set out his ‘personal crusade’ for NHS reform, accusing subsequent Tory-led administrations of allowing the health service to fall into a ‘critical condition’.

Andrew’s accuser seeking witness testimony from duke’s former assistant

The Duke of York’s accuser in his civil sex case is seeking witness accounts from his former assistant and a woman who claims to have seen the royal in Tramp nightclub.

Virginia Giuffre is asking the UK courts to help with obtaining testimony after her lawsuit against Andrew took a major step forward this week when a judge threw out a motion by the duke’s lawyers to dismiss the case and ruled it can go to trial.

Giuffre is requesting testimony from Andrew’s former equerry Robert Olney and a woman called Shukri Walker.

June sentence set for Ghislaine Maxwell in sex traffic case

A late-June sentencing date has been set for British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell after her conviction on charges including sex trafficking and conspiracy relating to the recruitment of teenage girls for Jeffrey Epstein to abuse.

US District Judge Alison J Nathan announced the June 28 date even as she waits to resolve defence claims that a new trial should be ordered after a juror’s public admissions after the verdict about his childhood sexual abuse.

The juror, who has never been fully publicly identified, told media outlets last week that he told other jurors during a week of deliberations that he was sexually abused as a child and used what he learned about the subject to persuade others to convict Maxwell. Defence lawyers say the revelations warrant a new trial. The juror has retained a lawyer. And Judge Nathan said she will rule at a future date what will happen as a result of the revelations.

‘No payments’ for unvaccinated healthcare staff sacked in mandatory jab plans

Unvaccinated healthcare staff in England face being sacked without an exit payment, an official document shows.

Frontline staff must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 with two jabs by April 1 – meaning they must have had their first vaccine on February 3.

Healthcare employers have been told that from the following day – February 4 – unjabbed staff should be invited to a meeting and told that a potential outcome may be dismissal.

Toyota reveals GR GT3 Concept and hot Yaris GRMN

Toyota has revealed a bespoke GT3 race car concept that demonstrates it’s serious about making ‘ever-better cars, bred from motorsport’.

The Japanese firm is putting a big focus on its motorsport programme, with this GR GT3 Concept demonstrating its ‘driver-first’ vehicle development for customer motorsport.

Toyota has also revealed a new limited edition version of the GR Yaris. Limited to just 500 units, the GRMN sport a 20kg weight reduction, a 10mm increase in width to improve aerodynamic performance, and a 10mm drop in ride height to lower the centre of gravity. Two packs are available – Circuit and Rally – but the car will only be available to customers through a lottery system in Japan.

Friday Car Dealer headlines you might have missed

E.ON apologises for sending customers free socks during energy crisis

Energy company E.ON has apologised for sending socks as presents to customers as a way to help them keep warm ahead of a massive spike in energy prices.

The company shipped a free pair of polyester socks to 30,000 households it supplies with energy, the Daily Mail reported.

The customers had reportedly engaged with one of E.ON’s energy saving campaigns last year and the socks were there to encourage them to continue to save energy. But E.ON said it should not have gone ahead with the plan in light of major price rises that are about to hit millions of households.

Investors jittery over US interest rate rises

Investors ended the week on a cautious note with markets falling as fears build over just how much the US Federal Reserve will need to bump interest rates to combat rising inflation.

Economic news from the US tends to filter down throughout Europe, and the start of the country’s banking reporting season did little to calm nerves.

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This included the FTSE 100, which closed the day down 20.9 points, or 0.28 per cent, at 7542.95 – although it was up on the start of the week. The French CAC closed at 0.81 per cent and German Dax closed down 1.02 per cent.

Weather outlook

A cloudy day for many with the chance of the odd bright spell in places, reports BBC Weather. It’ll take time for mist and fog to clear in the south; light rain in the north at times.

Tonight, most of the UK will see variable cloud and clear spells. Rain will push into Scotland from the north-west overnight.

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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