News Round-Up

Jan 29: Lords debates Rwanda Bill; Interest rates due to be held at 5.25%; Furious French farmers

Here are the headlines on Monday, January 29

Time 6:52 am, January 29, 2024

Sunak braced for Rwanda debate in Lords as critics line up to speak

Rishi Sunak is braced for further battle in the Lords over his Bill to revive the government’s Rwanda scheme as the legislation faces scrutiny from a number of prominent critics.

Some 71 members of the upper chamber are expected to speak at the second reading debate of the draft law on Monday.

Among them is the Archbishop of Canterbury, who has voiced profound concerns about the plan to send asylum seekers who cross the Channel in small boats on a one-way flight to Kigali.

Cameron condemns Iran-backed militias after US troops killed in Jordan

Lord David Cameron has condemned the actions of Iranian-backed militias after three American troops were killed and dozens injured in north-east Jordan amid fears of a wider conflict with Tehran.

The UK foreign secretary renewed calls for Iran to de-escalate in the region following the first US deaths since the start of the Israel-Hamas war.

President Joe Biden said on Sunday that the US ‘shall respond’ to the overnight drone strike near the Syrian border.

Former health secretary and Michael Gove due to appear before Covid inquiry

Former Scottish health secretary Jeane Freeman and levelling up secretary Michael Gove will appear before the UK Covid-19 Inquiry on Monday.

Freeman served in the post from the beginning of the pandemic before she left Holyrood following the 2021 election. Among the decisions shen was involved in during her time in the cabinet was the discharge of hospital patients to care homes without testing them for the virus.

The inquiry is expected to quiz Gove on how the Scottish and UK governments worked together.

Borrowing costs expected to be held at near 16-year high for longer

UK borrowing costs are expected to be held at their nearly 16-year high for at least another month, as the Bank of England’s cautious policymakers await further signs that the cost-of-living crisis is easing.

Decision-makers on the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) are widely expected to keep interest rates at 5.25% for the fourth time in a row.

It would continue to take some of the pressure off borrowers who have seen costs go up steadily from lows of 0.1% at the end of 2021, to the highest rate since early 2008.

UK ‘undaunted’ after Houthis target HMS Diamond, Shapps says

Grant Shapps has said the UK remains ‘undaunted’ after Iran-backed Houthis targeted the HMS Diamond in the Red Sea during their latest round of strikes.

Crew on the ship shot down a drone deployed by the Yemen-based group, which appears undeterred despite UK-US military action against the rebels earlier this week.

No injuries or damage were sustained, the Ministry of Defence said.

Dorries pledges to hand back nearly £17,000 mistakenly received as severance pay

Former Tory MP Nadine Dorries has said she will hand back more than £16,000 she mistakenly received in severance pay for being a Cabinet minister.

Dorries received the money following her tenure as culture secretary under Boris Johnson, but under current rules it should not have been paid.

A departing minister is entitled to three months’ salary in lieu of notice but only those under 65 are eligible. Dorries turned 65 several months before leaving her Cabinet role.

Weekend Car Dealer headlines you might have missed

Latest hearing due in Harry’s phone hacking claim against Mirror Group

The latest hearing in the Duke of Sussex’s phone hacking claim against Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) will be held on Monday to deal with the consequences of a High Court ruling that saw him awarded a six-figure sum in damages.

Last month, a judge ruled that phone hacking became ‘widespread and habitual’ at the publisher’s newspaper titles, and was practised ‘even to some extent’ during the Leveson Inquiry into press standards.

A follow-up hearing dealing with the consequences of the ruling, expected to include the issue of legal costs, is due to be held in London on Monday.

French farmers aim to put Paris ‘under siege’ in tractor protest

France’s interior ministry on Sunday ordered a large deployment of security forces around Paris, as angry farmers threatened to head toward the capital.

The move came hours after climate activists hurled soup at the glass protecting the Mona Lisa painting at the Louvre Museum. French farmers are putting pressure on the government to respond to their demands for better remuneration for their produce, less red tape and protection against cheap imports.

French interior minister Gerald Darmanin held a security meeting on Sunday before potential road blockades around Paris, his office said in a statement.

Tribunal to begin hearing £1.3bn BT compensation case

A class action trial seeking £1.3bn in compensation from BT for more than three million customers is due to begin.

Customers could be in line for between £300-400 depending on the length of their contract with BT if Collective Action on Land Lines (Call) founder Justin Le Patourel is successful. After a series of appeals, the case is now proceeding to a full trial at the Competition Appeal Tribunal.

In 2017, watchdog Ofcom said that BT had unfairly charged millions of landline customers from 2015 after an investigation. At the time, BT agreed to reduce the price of its landlines. However, Le Patourel took the issue to the Competition Appeal Tribunal as he believed the telecoms provider owed compensation payments, arguing that many customers were vulnerable and were owed refunds.


A dry and bright day for most of the country reports BBC Weather. It’ll only be northern England and southern Scotland which will see cloud and some outbreaks of rain; snow further north. Temperatures will be around six in the areas with cloud and rain, and up to 14 degrees in the south east of England.

Cloud for most of the UK tonight. Rain for much of England, Wales and the far south of Scotland.

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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