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News Round-Up

Jan 24: Ex-minister calls on Sunak to stand down; Royal Mail report due; Vauxhall Frontera returns

Here are the headlines on Wednesday, January 24

Time 6:52 am, January 24, 2024

Tory infighting breaks out after former minister calls on Sunak to step down

Tory infighting broke out into the open with senior party figures warning against ‘divisive self-indulgence’ after a former minister called for Rishi Sunak to step down ahead of the general election.

Former ministers urged colleagues to put their duty to the country ahead of ‘tribalism’ following a challenge to the prime minister’s authority launched by Sir Simon Clarke.

Writing in the Telegraph, the former levelling up secretary insisted ‘extinction is a very real possibility’ for the party if Sunak leads it into the election this year. Other senior party figures immediately hit back, urging colleagues to ‘unite and get on with the job’.


MPs to debate UK military action against Houthis as Cameron heads to Middle East

MPs will have the chance to debate the UK’s military action against Yemen-based Houthi rebels after Rishi Sunak warned of further airstrikes if attacks on shipping continue.

The prime minister resisted calls to allow for a Commons vote after Britain and the US targeted sites linked to the Iran-backed group for the second time.

But parliamentarians will on Wednesday be able to express their views on the action, which followed the first wave of joint strikes on January 11.


Cameron to push for ‘urgent humanitarian pause’ in Gaza war on Middle East visit

The foreign secretary will visit the Middle East to call for an ‘urgent humanitarian pause’ in the Gaza war as fighting intensifies and tensions heighten in the region.

Lord David Cameron will raise concerns about the high number of civilian casualties in talks with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and push for water, electricity and fuel to be restored.

More crossing points need to be open for longer for aid deliveries to Gaza, including the port at Ashdod and the Kerem Shalom crossing, he is expected to say in his meetings. Efforts to secure the safe release of hostages still held by Hamas will also be high on Lord Cameron’s agenda in talks with regional leaders as he presses the cases of British and dual nationals through as many diplomatic channels as possible.

Storm Jocelyn blows in fresh disruption across much of the UK

Storm Jocelyn has brought fresh travel disruption to much of the UK, less than two days after Storm Isha left two people dead and thousands without power.

The 10th named storm of the season brought an amber warning for wind to parts of Scotland on Wednesday morning with much of the UK covered by a yellow alert into Wednesday afternoon.

Further transport disruption is expected with rail services to and from Scotland suspended until at least noon on Wednesday.

Regulator to report on potential Royal Mail reforms

Ofcom is set to release the findings of its review into the universal service provided by Royal Mail after calls from the firm to ditch Saturday letter deliveries.

The regulator is expected to publish a document outlining potential options for the future of the delivery company’s postal service on Wednesday morning.

It is understood that the review update is not likely to recommend specific proposals but will outline evidence from Royal Mail and potential options to change the service to more closely meet the needs of customers.


Ministers ‘risk repeating past industrial collapse with Tata Steel deal’

The government risks repeating the mistakes of the UK’s coal industry with steel, ministers have been warned.

Shadow business secretary Jonathan Reynolds claimed he was ‘begging’ the government not to make an irreversible decision on Wales’s steel industry as he called for further action to prevent the loss of thousands of jobs in Port Talbot.

But Welsh Secretary David TC Davies said the government had worked to save the ‘maximum number of jobs’, after it was faced with the possibility of Tata pulling out of the UK completely, resulting in ‘17,500 people losing their jobs, possibly even more than that’.

US hits sites in Yemen and Iraq as fight with Iranian proxies intensifies

The US military has struck three facilities in Iraq and two anti-ship missiles in Yemen operated by Iranian-backed militias that have continued to instigate attacks on US personnel and ships in the region.

Both the strikes in Iraq and Yemen targeted sites that the US has said are involved in the attacks against US forces in Iraq and Syria and were threatening US military and commercial vessels in the Red Sea.

In a statement on Tuesday, defence secretary Lloyd Austin said the strikes in Iraq were at the direction of president Joe Biden and targeted facilities used by the Iranian-backed Kataib Hezbollah militia group and other Iran-affiliated groups in Iraq.

Tuesday Car Dealer headlines you might have missed

Co-op targets new shops and expanding membership in growth strategy

The Co-op has said it plans to snap up new convenience shops and rapidly grow its membership programme as part of its new growth strategy.

The company, which has operations ranging from grocery stores to funerals, also said it is launching a new round of price cuts for its members on Wednesday as it seeks to accelerate sales growth.

It has ambitions to buy new potential Co-op shops and aims to more-than-double its number of new franchise stores and open 400 new shops in its Nisa business as part of the strategy. The retailer also said it would invest in lowering 117 further prices on everyday products as part of its latest round of membership prices.

Frontera name returns on Vauxhall SUV

Vauxhall is bringing back the Frontera name for its Crossland replacement.

Due to arrive later this year, the new compact SUV will come in both electric and petrol forms and will arrive shortly before a Grandland replacement is revealed. It’ll rival the Ford Puma, Nissan Juke and Dacia Duster.

The Frontera name was used between 1991 and 2004 on a Luton built SUV based on the Isuzu MU.

Weather

A mostly bright day with the odd shower here and there, reports BBC Weather. The day will start windy but will ease later. Another mild day with temperatures between nine and 12 degrees.

Rain will sweep into southern England and Wales, reaching Northern Ireland by dawn. Elsewhere it’ll gradually turn cloudier.

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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