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News Round-Up

Jan 28: Post Office chairman steps down; Anti-Ulez protest; Skoda updates Scala and Kamiq

Here are the headlines on Sunday, January 28

Time 6:24 am, January 28, 2024

Post Office chairman steps down amid Horizon scandal fallout

The chairman of the Post Office has stepped down amid ongoing tensions in the wake of the Horizon IT scandal.

Henry Staunton will depart from the role following a phone call with business secretary Kemi Badenoch on Saturday.

Badenoch said she ‘felt there was a need for new leadership’ as the company remains under heightened scrutiny over the wrongful prosecution of hundreds of subpostmasters. An interim will be appointed ‘shortly’, the Department for Business and Trade said.


Four Rwandans ‘granted refugee status in UK over fears of persecution’

Four Rwandans have reportedly been granted refugee status in Britain over ‘well-founded’ fears of persecution, as Rishi Sunak pushes forward with legislation aimed at declaring the country a safe destination for asylum seekers.

The details of the cases are in addition to the six people who Home Office figures suggest had UK asylum claims approved between April 2022 and September 2023, according to the Observer.

The report threatens to undermine the prime minister’s position that Kigali is ‘unequivocally’ safe – an argument which is central to his plan to revive the government’s flagship asylum policy.


King spends second night in hospital after enlarged prostate procedure

The King is spending a second night in hospital after undergoing a procedure for an enlarged prostate.

The Queen visited her husband at the London Clinic in central London on Saturday – the same hospital where the Princess of Wales is being cared for following abdominal surgery.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: ‘His Majesty would like to thank all those who have sent their good wishes over the past week and is delighted to learn that his diagnosis is having a positive impact on public health awareness.’

Head of UNRWA calls on countries to reconsider ‘shocking’ pause in funding

The head of the UN relief agency in Gaza has called on countries that have suspended funding to reconsider their ‘shocking’ decision.

Philippe Lazzarini said the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) is depended upon by more than two million people for their survival.

It comes after Britain joined nations including the US, Australia, Italy and Canada in temporarily pausing support for the organisation over claims that a number of its staff were involved in Hamas’ October 7 attack.

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Union to use Human Rights Act to challenge minimum service strike law

A union is to launch a judicial review against the government’s new law to stop strike action in the Border Force.

The Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) said it will use the Human Rights Act to challenge the new law aimed at ensuring minimum levels of service during strikes. The new law allows employers to order staff to come into work during strike action to ensure minimum service levels are met.


The announcement was made by PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka at a huge rally marking the 40th anniversary of the ban on trade unions at the GCHQ communications headquarters.

‘Honk if you hate Ulez’ Trafalgar Square protesters urge motorists

Protesters have gathered in Trafalgar Square demanding an end to London’s ultra-low emission zone (Ulez).

Demonstrators wearing yellow high-vis jackets gathered along the road near Nelson’s Column in central London and urged passing motorists to “honk if you hate Ulez”.

Reform UK London mayoral candidate Howard Cox, who is challenging London mayor Sadiq Khan in the May local elections, described the low-emission scheme as unnecessary. ‘It’s such a sad thing because we do not need Ulez. Science proves we don’t need it,’ he said. ‘Stop picking on the motorists, they’re the commercial heartbeat of the economy.’

Updated Skoda Kamiq and Scala are now on sale

Skoda has announced that orders are now open for its facelifted Kamiq and Scala models.

Both cars receive similar mid-life updates for 2024, including new bumpers and badging to bring the two cars more in line with Skoda’s newer models. There’s also an increased use of recycled materials used throughout the cabins of the two cars.

A more efficient 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine is also included, which is available with outputs of 94bhp or a 116bhp version which gets a 6bhp increase. Standard kit now includes an 8.25-inch touchscreen with wireless smartphone mirroring, full LED headlights and a digital instrument cluster. Prices start from £22,095 for the Scala and £24,030 for the Kamiq.

Weather

Most areas will see a mixture of bright spells and variable cloud, reports BBC Weather. A band of heavy rain will move in from the west into Scotland and Northern Ireland later on. Very windy in the far north. Another mild day for most of the UK, though, with highs of 13 degrees.

Cloudy for most tonight with rain sinking slowly southwards. In the south east it will be dry with clear spells.

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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