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News Round-Up

Mar 25: Healthcare workers get £2k; Great Escape remembered; Easter chaos on roads

Here are the headlines on Monday, March 25

Time 6:52 am, March 25, 2024

UK to look at sanctions over ‘Chinese interference’ with democratic process

The UK is reportedly set to sanction individuals believed to be involved in Chinese state-backed interference in Britain’s democratic process which allegedly saw the personal details of millions of voters accessed in a hack.

Ministers will set out details on Monday in relation to what is said to have been cyber-attacks on the Electoral Commission as well as 43 people including MPs and peers.

Efforts to step up pressure on Beijing in response include looking at sanctions on individuals thought to be connected with the alleged acitvity, according to multiple reports.

More than 27,000 healthcare workers to receive payments worth up to £3,000

More than 27,000 healthcare workers are set to receive two one-off payments worth up to £3,000, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has said.

The payments – worth at least £1,665 – will benefit community nurses, sexual health workers, speech-and-language therapists, physiotherapists, and other frontline workers at non-NHS organisations.

The DHSC said the payments will recognise the vital role of healthcare workers at social enterprises, charities, private providers and local authorities.

Hunt makes triple-lock pledge but refuses to commit to Waspi women payouts

Jeremy Hunt has promised the triple lock for pensions will be included in the Tory election manifesto but refused to commit to compensation for so-called Waspi women.

The triple lock refers to the commitment to raise the state pension every year in line with whichever is highest out of wage growth, inflation or 2.5%. Hunt said he was confident the ‘expensive’ policy could be paid for through economic growth.

Elsewhere, Hunt declined to promise compensation for women hit by changes to state pension eligibility, amid accusations the government failed to adequately inform those born in the 1950s about an increase in the entitlement age.

Three plead guilty over attack on Moscow concert hall

Three of the four suspects charged with carrying out the concert hall attack in Moscow that killed more than 130 people have pleaded guilty in a Russian court.

Moscow’s Basmanny District Court formally charged Dalerdzhon Mirzoyev, 32, Saidakrami Rachabalizoda, 30, Mukhammadsobir Faizov, 19, and Shamsidin Fariduni, 25, with committing a terrorist attack. The offence carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

The court ordered that the men, all of whom are citizens of Tajikistan, be held in pre-trial custody until May 22.

Great Escape 80th anniversary marked in Polish ceremony

Observances have been held in Poland to mark the 80th anniversary of the so-called Great Escape, an act of defiance during the Second World War in which 76 prisoners of war tunnelled out of a German prisoner-of-war camp into a snowy forest.

British soldiers carried photos of pilots murdered on Hitler’s orders at a ceremony that was also attended by the British ambassador to Poland and marked the culmination of observances that lasted all weekend.

The ceremony on Sunday also included a Hercules C-130 transport aircraft and four F-16 fighters of the Polish Air Force flying over the town of Zagam and the ceremony site.

Weekend Car Dealer headlines you might have missed

London mayor rules out expansion of Ulez if he stays in role after election

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has pledged not to expand the ultra low emission zone (Ulez) scheme if he returns to the role after May’s election.

In a letter to London’s transport commissioner Andy Lord, Khan wrote that he had ‘categorically’ ruled out the introduction of a pay-per-mile scheme as well as any tightening of Ulez emissions standards.

Khan added he would focus on other measures to tackle air pollution, including improving walking and cycling routes, making buildings more energy efficient and expanding the network of electric vehicle charging stations.

Drivers warned over ‘carmageddon’ as 14 million Easter getaways planned

Drivers are being warned over long delays as more than 14 million Easter getaway trips are expected to take place.

The RAC said journeys on some popular routes could take twice as long as normal as the bank holiday weekend coincides with the start of a two-week holiday for many schools, leading to a surge in traffic.

Rail travel will also be disrupted as Network Rail carries out engineering work, with the southern section of the West Coast Main Line closed between Good Friday and Easter Monday.


A band of rain will push in from the far south-west covering most of the country at various parts of the day, although East Anglia and the far south-east will escape this, reports BBC Weather. It’ll be a cold day in Scotland with temperatures staying below six degrees, while temperatures will creep up to 10 degrees in southern England.

A blast of cold air will bring snow in northern Scotland, while in England, it’ll likely be a dry and clear night.

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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