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News Round-Up

Jan 18: Tory rebellion fizzles out; Train passengers pay more at machines; New Ford Kuga

Here are the headlines on Thursday, January 18

Time 6:50 am, January 18, 2024

Peers urged to ‘get on’ and pass Rwanda Bill after Tory rebellion fizzles out

Peers are being urged to ‘get on’ and pass the Rwanda Bill after Rishi Sunak saw off the prospect of a defeat at the hands of right-wing Conservative MPs.

The Safety of Rwanda Bill passed its third reading in the Commons unamended with a majority of 44 after only 11 Tories, including former home secretary Suella Braverman, voted against the prime minister’s flagship immigration legislation.

Before the third reading vote, Sunak was hit by another revolt as 61 Tory MPs backed an amendment, proposed by former immigration minister Robert Jenrick, designed to toughen the Bill. But rebels signalled before the third reading vote that they were prepared to back the Bill without any changes.

Hunt to tell Davos summit: Britain is on the up and open for business

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt will tell political and business leaders at the World Economic Forum that the UK is ‘on the up and open for business’.

Hunt’s trip to the exclusive Swiss ski resort of Davos to join the annual gathering of international movers and shakers will be the first time a UK chancellor has attended the forum in five years.

The Treasury said the chancellor will use his visit to champion the UK’s ambition to be a science and technology superpower and pitch that the country is ripe for investment from the international business community.

Steel unions meeting Tata for talks over future of company

Unions representing steelworkers will meet industry giant Tata on Thursday for talks about the future of the company.

There have been fears of heavy job losses, especially at the plant in Port Talbot, South Wales, under moves to move to a greener form of steelmaking to cut emissions and stem financial losses.

Charlotte Brumpton-Childs, GMB national officer, said unions had produced a ‘well thought-out and researched’ alternative proposal aimed at saving jobs.

Government ‘largely off track’ on environmental targets, says watchdog

The government is ‘largely off track’ on its environmental targets while many policies have been announced but not implemented, the Office for Environmental Protection (OEP) has said.

In its second annual report, the watchdog said progress on around half the government’s goals – such as ensuring there is enough clean air and water, minimising waste and adapting to climate change – is either static or moving in the wrong direction.

The government said it wants to leave the environment in a better state for the next generation and it set up the OEP after the UK left the European Union as a body to oversee its progress. OEP chair Dame Glenys Stacey said that overall, improvement efforts have had mixed results but that ‘deeply concerning adverse environmental trends continue’.

‘Little bit of respite’ for housing market after challenging year

The housing market has had some respite in recent weeks after a challenging year, according to surveyors.

Inquiries from new buyers are approaching a flatter trend, after falling in recent months, according to the December 2023 report from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics).

The volume of newly agreed sales, while still falling, was at its least negative since March 2022, Rics’ survey of property professionals found. Professionals predicted a solid recovery in home sales volumes emerging in 2024, and while house prices were down in December, the negative pressure on prices is diminishing.

Wednesday Car Dealer headlines you might have missed

Train passengers pay more when buying tickets from machines – study

Railway station ticket machines charge passengers more than twice as much as a major online retailer for some journeys, according to new analysis.

Consumer group Which? said its investigation found the best value fares are either unavailable or hidden among myriad options on many machines.

Which? sent mystery shoppers to 15 stations – each run by a different train operator – to compare the price of tickets for 75 journeys offered by machines with those from online retailer Trainline. It found fares purchased online were cheaper around three-quarters of the time, with travel on that day costing an average of 52% more from machines.

2024 Ford Kuga revealed with new look and more technology

Ford has revealed a mid-life update for its Kuga, bringing a more modern design and improved hybrid powertrains to this popular SUV.

Styling revisions give the Kuga a much bolder look than before, courtesy of new silver detailing and a revised grille. There are new LED headlights with a bold signature, while a rugged-looking Active specification is also introduced, with more plastic cladding and underbody protection.

Other changes include a new 13.2-inch touchscreen, a new four-wheel-drive self-charging hybrid model for the first time, and the plug-in hybrid model has a small power bump from 227bhp to 240bhp.


Another cold day, reports BBC Weather, with most areas seeing fine and dry conditions. At times, parts of Northern Ireland, Wales and western and eastern England will see snow showers. Temperatures between two and five degrees.

A dry and clear night for the south of England tonight. Eastern areas may see the odd wintry shower, while there will be heavy rain and snow showers in the 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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