News Round-Up

Mar 13: Pressure on PM to hand back £10m donation; Job market cools; 1,100bhp Taycan Turbo GT

Here are the headlines on Wednesday, March 13

Time 6:53 am, March 13, 2024

Sunak facing calls to hand back £10m donation amid racism row

Rishi Sunak is facing calls to hand back £10m given to the Conservative Party after he condemned as ‘racist and wrong’ comments reportedly made by the major Tory backer who donated the money.

Frank Hester is alleged to have said Diane Abbott, Britain’s longest-serving black MP, made him ‘want to hate all black women’ and that she ‘should be shot’.

The prime minister had come under pressure over the remarks as Cabinet minister Kemi Badenoch broke ranks to say they were racist while Downing Street continued to refuse to describe them as such.


Law to exonerate wronged subpostmasters introduced by government

A law aimed at quashing the wrongful convictions of subpostmasters caught up in the Horizon IT scandal is being introduced by the government on Wednesday.

The proposed Post Office (Horizon System) Offences Bill ‘marks an important step forward in finally clearing’ the names of hundreds of wronged branch managers who have had their lives ‘callously torn apart’, Rishi Sunak said.

The legislation will exonerate those convicted in England and Wales on the basis of the faulty Horizon accounting software in what has been branded the biggest miscarriage of justice in British legal history.


London Fire Brigade completes Grenfell Inquiry first phase recommendations

London Fire Brigade (LFB) has completed all recommendations made to it by the first stage of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry as its chief fire officer said the change is ‘owed’ to the bereaved and survivors of the tragedy.

London fire commissioner Andy Roe insisted the brigade’s response to an emergency like that of the 2017 west London blaze, in which 72 people died, would be ‘so different’ today.

The recommendations were made in October 2019 and the last one – which involves new breathing apparatus sets – comes into force on Wednesday.

Andrew Tate to be extradited to UK on rape and human trafficking allegations

Social media influencer Andrew Tate will be extradited to the UK after a British police force secured a European arrest warrant for allegations of rape and human trafficking.

Bedfordshire Police said they are working with authorities in Romania as part of an investigation into the 37-year-old and his 35-year-old brother Tristan.

The pair were detained on Tuesday and appeared at the court of appeal in Bucharest where it was ruled they would be extradited following the conclusion of legal proceedings in Romania.

Pentagon to give Ukraine 300 million dollars worth of weapons

The Pentagon will rush about 300m dollars (£235m) in weapons to Ukraine after finding some cost savings in its contracts, US defence officials said.

The move comes even though the military remains deeply overdrawn and needs at least 10bn dollars to replenish all the weapons it has pulled from its stocks to help Kyiv in its desperate fight against Russia.

One of the senior defence officials who briefed reporters said the package represented a ‘one-time shot’ — unless Congress passes a stalled supplemental spending bill that includes roughly 60bn dollars in military aid for Ukraine, or more cost savings are found. It is expected to include anti-aircraft missiles, artillery rounds and armour systems, the official said.


Donald Trump wins delegates needed to become Republican presumptive nominee

Former US Donald Trump will lead the Republicans in a third consecutive presidential election after clinching the nomination on Tuesday.

With wins in Georgia, Mississippi and Washington state, Trump surpassed the 1,215-delegate threshold needed to become the presumptive Republican nominee.

He will formally accept the nomination at the Republican National Convention in July, by which point he could be in the remarkable position of being both a presidential candidate and convicted felon.

Jobs market cools as wage growth slows and unemployment rate rises

Wage growth has eased back once again as Britain’s unemployment rate ticked up in a sign of a cooling jobs market after the UK slipped into recession.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said average regular pay growth, excluding bonuses, fell to 6.1% in the quarter to January, down from 6.2% in the three months to December and marking the slowest growth for more than a year. When taking Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation into account, real regular wages rose by 2%, which is the highest since the summer of 2019, excluding the pandemic-skewed years.

The ONS said the UK rate of unemployment lifted unexpectedly to 3.9% in the three months to January from 3.8% in the previous three months while vacancies fell by 43,000 quarter on quarter in the three months to February to 908,000 – the 20th drop in a row. Read more

Porsche unveils its fastest road-going car ever with nearly 1,100 bhp

Porsche has revealed its most powerful road-going car ever, the all-electric Taycan Turbo GT.

Available in both Turbo GT and Turbo GT Weissach Pack guises, both models can deliver up to 1,084 bhp. Unlike the normal Taycan, the Taycan GT has had its rear seats removed for the ultimate track experience, giving the car a better power-to-weight ratio and the firm has shaved 75kg compared to the Taycan Turbo S.

Prices for the Taycan Turbo GT start from £186,300 and deliveries are expected to arrive in the spring of 2024.

Weather

A band of rain will linger over northern areas, including Northern Ireland, southern Scotland and the far north of England, reports BBC Weather. It’ll be drier and milder elsewhere, although it’ll be cloudy. Temperatures ranging from 11 to 15 degrees.

Rain for central parts, spreading to the south-west tonight. The rain will clear the north and it’ll be a dry night for the north and south.

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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