News Round-Up

Mar 1: George Galloway wins Rochdale by-election; Sainsbury’s axes jobs; Maserati GranCabrio

Here are the headlines on Friday, March 1

Time 6:42 am, March 1, 2024

George Galloway wins Rochdale in by-election mired in controversy

George Galloway has won the Rochdale by-election after a controversial and chaotic campaign.

Galloway’s campaign team claimed early on in the night that the former Labour and Respect MP would win ‘comfortably’, and so it proved. The Workers Party of Great Britain leader received just under 40% of the vote.

In his victory speech, Galloway began by focusing on Palestine, saying: ‘Keir Starmer, this is for Gaza. You have paid, and you will pay, a high price for the role that you have played in enabling, encouraging and covering for the catastrophe presently going on in occupied Palestine in the Gaza Strip.’

Rwanda asylum scheme cost could soar to £500m, watchdog says

The cost of Rishi Sunak’s troubled Rwanda asylum scheme could soar to half a billion pounds, plus hundreds of thousands more for each deportee, an investigation by the public spending watchdog has found.

The Home Office has so far refused to say how much more money, on top of the £290m already confirmed, the UK has agreed to pay Kigali under the stalled plan, but a National Audit Office report has revealed millions more in spending including £11,000 for each migrant’s plane ticket.

Critics said the ‘staggering figures’ reveal ‘the extortionate bill the taxpayer will have to pay the Rwandan government for an unworkable and inhumane scheme’ and ‘the national scandal the Tories have been trying to hide’.

Sarah Everard’s killer Wayne Couzens ‘should never have been a police officer’

Sarah Everard’s killer Wayne Couzens should never have been given a job as a police officer and chances to stop the sexual predator were repeatedly ignored and missed, an inquiry has found.

Police ‘repeatedly failed’ to spot warning signs about his ‘unsuitability for office’, a damning report concluded amid fears many more women and girls could have been victims of Couzens.

Publishing her findings on Thursday, inquiry chairwoman Lady Elish Angiolini warned without a radical overhaul of policing practices and culture, there is “nothing to stop another Couzens operating in plain sight”.

TikTok refuses to recognise the fair value of your songs, says Universal Music

Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) has claimed TikTok is refusing to respond to concerns over artificial intelligence (AI) in an ongoing dispute, indicating ‘they simply do not value your music’.

The entertainment companies have failed to come to an agreement in contract renewal discussions over payments to artists, AI and online safety.

The impasse could mean more musicians face the prospect of their work disappearing from social media platform TikTok, which has driven music consumption over recent years.

Savile Row tailor Richard James opens £2m bespoke store amid suit ‘resurgence’

A Savile Row tailor to stars from Sir Elton John to Stormzy has opened a new bespoke £2m store, as its boss said the luxury menswear market is in a ‘bubble’ which is more cushioned from the wider cost-of-living squeeze.

The third Richard James store opened in Clifford Street, just off Savile Row, on Friday, as the company said it wants to see greater protections put in place for London’s famous tailoring street.

Co-founder and managing director Sean Dixon said the retailer, which sells bespoke tailored suits costing up to £6,000, has not seen a significant shift in spending habits despite UK inflation hitting double digits a year ago.

Government approves £2.5bn in ‘loans’ for distressed councils

Effective loans totalling nearly £2.5bn requested by 19 councils suffering acute financial distress have been approved in principle by the government.

Birmingham City Council will be able to access the largest amount of £1.25bn, followed by Woking Borough Council, which has secured £330.7m. Both councils declared effective bankruptcy last year. The next largest amounts have been approved for Bradford City Council and Southampton City Council of £220m and £121.6m respectively.

The money has been made available through ‘capitalisation directions’, which give councils permission to use capital funds, often generated by selling assets, to top up spending on services.

Thursday Car Dealer headlines you might have missed

Sainsbury’s plans to axe around 1,500 jobs in cost-cutting effort

Sainsbury’s has said it will cut around 1,500 roles as part of plans that it hopes will cut costs by around £1bn a year.

The business said that it would cut roles in its contact centre in Widnes, in Cheshire, at its in-store bakeries and a few at local fulfilment centres.

‘As we move into the next phase of our strategy, we are making some difficult, but necessary decisions,’ chief executive Simon Roberts said.

Maserati GranCabrio revealed with an electric model to follow

Maserati has revealed the next reincarnation of its GranCabrio grand tourer.

The GranCabrio is the drop-top version of the Maserati GranTurismo coupe and will go on sale later this summer.

Wind and road noise should be kept to a minimum, thanks to the new roof being acoustically layered. It’ll also be available in a choice of five different colours to match the exterior.


A colder day for all with showers in the south and east – wintry in some central areas, with snow on higher ground, reports BBC Weather. Most of Scotland will remain dry. Temperatures will be between six and nine degrees.

Rain will push into Scotland tonight, again snow in higher areas. The south and east will hang on to showers.

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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