Dynisma’s simulator technology will be used to help speed up McLaren’s development process via PADynisma’s simulator technology will be used to help speed up McLaren’s development process via PA

News Round-Up

Mar 7: Hunt hints at more giveaways; NatWest share sale; McLaren’s driving simulator

  • Here are the headlines for Thursday, March 7

Time 6:42 am, March 7, 2024

Hunt hints at more pre-election giveaways after £10bn national insurance cut

Jeremy Hunt has left the door open for more pre-election giveaways after delivering another 2p cut in national insurance in yesterday’s Budget.

The chancellor spent around £10bn on cutting national insurance, described by commentators as a move to ‘sweeten the government’s electoral pitch’ on top of a similar cut last November.

But speaking after his announcement, Hunt suggested more could be on the way, telling Sky News the Budget was ‘absolutely not’ the last throw of the dice before the election, expected to take place in the autumn.

Government plans NatWest share sale as early as summer

The government has confirmed plans to start selling its stake in NatWest to everyday investors as early as the summer, as it whittled down its shareholding in the bank further yesterday.

It wants to fully hand over ownership of the bank by 2025 to 2026 and comes some 15 years after it bailed out NatWest Group, previously known as the Royal Bank of Scotland, for nearly £46bn during the global financial crisis.

It has since been whittling down its stake from a peak of 84% in 2009 and now owns about 31.85%, having sold another chunk of shares yesterday.

Dog thefts on rise across UK

Dog thefts have increased across the UK, with police figures suggesting that at least 2,290 dogs were stolen last year – a 6% increase on 2022.

Just one in six (16%) were found and returned successfully, the lowest level since insurer Direct Line started tracking the data in 2015. English bulldogs, French bulldogs and XL bullys were the most frequently stolen breeds.

The Metropolitan Police registered the most thefts, with 359 dogs reported missing across London, followed by Kent Police (138) and West Yorkshire Police (125).

Fire at police station brought under control

Firefighters have brought a blaze at a police station in east London under control after the roof of the building ended up completely alight.

Around 175 firefighters and 30 fire engines attended the blaze at Forest Gate police station, the London Fire Brigade said, after the alarm was raised just after 4.15pm yesterday.

Superintendent Dan Card said in a video posted on X, formerly Twitter, that the building had been evacuated and nobody was reported as injured. The cause isn’t being treated as suspicious as yet.

Comedian Hardeep Singh Kohli appears in court on sex charges

Comedian Hardeep Singh Kohli has appeared in court accused of sex offences.

The 55-year-old, who has been on TV shows including Celebrity MasterChef and Question Time, was released on bail after a private appearance at Glasgow Sheriff Court.

He faced three charges of indecent assault, one charge of sexual assault and two charges of breach of the peace. All were described as ‘non-recent’. Kohli didn’t enter a plea and was committed for further examination and released on bail. A date for his next court appearance has yet to be set.

Three killed in Houthi attack on ship in Gulf of Aden

A missile attack by Yemen’s Houthi rebels on a commercial ship in the Gulf of Aden killed three crew members and forced survivors to abandon the vessel, US officials said.

It is the first fatal attack in a campaign by the group over Israel’s war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

The US military’s Central Command said an anti-ship ballistic missile launched from a Houthi-controlled area in Yemen struck the True Confidence, causing significant damage. At least four crew members were also injured, with three in a critical condition.

Haley declines to endorse Trump after suspending presidential campaign

Nikki Haley has suspended her presidential campaign after being defeated across the country on Super Tuesday, leaving Donald Trump as the last remaining major candidate for the 2024 Republican nomination.

Haley didn’t endorse the former president in a speech in Charleston, South Carolina. Instead, she challenged him to win the support of the moderate Republicans and independent voters who supported her.

‘It is now up to Donald Trump to earn the votes of those in our party and beyond it who did not support him. And I hope he does that,’ she said.

‘World’s oldest fossil forest’ discovered in cliffs on south coast of England

Scientists have uncovered what they believe to be the world’s oldest fossil forest – dating back 390 million years – in the high sandstone cliffs along the Devon and Somerset coast.

The fossilised trees are palm-like in appearance but would have had thin trunks with hollow centres, researchers say.

The remains were discovered in the Hangman Sandstone Formation near Minehead, close to a Butlin’s holiday camp, and are around four million years older than the previous record holder – found in a sandstone quarry in the town of Cairo in New York State.

Dynisma’s simulator technology will be used to help speed up McLaren’s development process via PA

McLaren’s driving simulator partnership will help speed up development of new models

McLaren and motion simulator technology company Dynisma have partnered to create a state-of-the-art driving simulator.

It will help speed up McLaren’s development of new cars, allowing the British supercar maker to reduce its reliance on expensive prototypes while enabling tests and projects to take place in closed environments.

McLaren will use the simulator to develop new models in key areas such as aerodynamics and propulsion systems plus noise vibration and harshness.

Yesterday’s headlines on Car Dealer you might have missed

Market movements

The FTSE 100 closed 33.15 points up yesterday to end the day on 7,679.31. The Cac 40 was up 21.92 points at 7,954.74, the Dax was up 18.31 points at 17,716.71, and the Dow Jones was up 75.86 points at 38,661.05.

Weather outlook

Today will see scattered showers develop in much of England, Wales and eastern areas once early low cloud breaks up, says BBC Weather, while western Scotland and Northern Ireland will be mostly dry with sunny spells.

Friday will turn increasingly windy. It’ll be dry and sunny in the south but cloud will move into Cornwall later on. Further north, it’ll be cloudy with some rain and hill snow for northern Scotland initially.

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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