Roman Abramovich sanctioned by UK over ties with Vladimir Putin
Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich has been sanctioned over his links to Vladimir Putin as the UK targeted a fresh round of oligarchs accused of having the ‘blood of the Ukrainian people on their hands’.
Branded a pro-Kremlin oligarch, Mr Abramovich was hit with an asset freeze and a travel ban on Thursday after ministers came under sustained pressure to target him over the Russian President’s invasion of Ukraine.
The updated sanctions list, which hits seven new Russian elites, said Mr Abramovich has had a ‘close relationship for decades’ with Mr Putin, which the billionaire has previously denied.
Britons to be asked to house Ukrainian refugees
The Government will ask the British public to open their homes to Ukrainians fleeing the fighting in their country amid continuing criticism of its response to the refugee crisis.
Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove will set out on Monday details of a new ‘sponsored’ humanitarian route to allow Ukrainians without family links to the UK to come to the country.
The Daily Telegraph reported that ministers will unveil a hotline and webpage where individuals, charities, businesses and community groups will be able to offer rooms to those escaping the conflict.
Covid-19 Inquiry to visit towns and cities across the UK
Representatives of the Covid-19 Inquiry will visit towns and cities across the UK over the next few weeks to meet with people impacted by the pandemic.
Chair of the inquiry Baroness Heather Hallett said she wants to hear from people across the four nations who will give her their views on what it should investigate.
It comes after the Cabinet Office published its draft terms of reference for the public inquiry on Thursday.
Judges to rule over Met Police’s handling of proposed Sarah Everard vigil
Two senior judges are due to give their ruling over whether the Metropolitan Police breached the rights of the organisers of a planned vigil for Sarah Everard with its handling of the planned event.
Reclaim These Streets (RTS) proposed a socially-distanced vigil for the 33-year-old, who was murdered by former Met officer Wayne Couzens, near to where she went missing in Clapham, south London, in March last year.
Four women, who founded RTS and planned the vigil, brought a legal challenge against the force over its handling of the event, which was also intended to be a protest about violence against women.
Average price of petrol nears £1.60 per litre
Drivers have been hit by the average cost of a litre of petrol reaching a record of nearly £1.60.
Figures from data firm Experian Catalist show UK forecourts sold the fuel at an average price of 159.6p per litre on Wednesday, up 3.2p since Monday.
The average cost of a litre of diesel was 167.4p on Wednesday, following an increase of 5.1p from the start of the week.
Energy cost rise to leave quarter of older households in ‘fuel stress’ – charity
Almost a quarter of older households in England will be in fuel stress – spending more than 10 per cent of their after-tax income to stay warm – when energy prices go up next month, a charity has warned.
Age UK has urged the Chancellor to do more to help older people through the energy price crisis after a survey suggests 24 per cent of older households will struggle to afford to heat their homes from April 1, up from 12 per cent now.
Furthermore, the charity said this figure could rise to 35 per cent from October, when prices are expected to rise even higher.
Thursday’s Car Dealer headlines you might have missed
- Nissan: No plans yet to introduce agency sales as it would disrupt our dealer network
- Head to head: Car dealer boss debates online car sales future with founder of Freeserve
- Online platform PistonHeads launches updated classified site for improved experience
- Toyota and Nissan boost humanitarian relief efforts in Ukraine with multi-million donations
- Supercar dealer has 14 vehicles stolen in ‘terrifying’ raid that saw thieves return three times in one night
- Beechwood Derby agrees deal to sponsor Derbyshire County Cricket Club
- Tesla will pay Ukrainian staff for three months if they are called back to fight for their country
Shell boss pockets £1m pay rise
The boss of Shell pocketed a £1.1m pay rise last year after the business reported a record profit that led to strong calls for a windfall tax on the sector.
Ben van Beurden took home £6.3m, up from £5.2m a year earlier, the company revealed on Thursday.
The chief executive took an income hit during Covid, and his total remuneration is still lower than before the pandemic. It is also far below the £17.2m that he made in 2018.
Global Covid death toll ‘may be more than three times higher than recorded’
The actual number of deaths due to the Covid-19 pandemic may be more than three times higher than official records suggest, according to a new study.
It is estimated that more than 18.2m people may have died because of coronavirus by the end of December last year.
This is despite the official Covid death toll indicating that 5.9m people lost their lives between January 1 2020 and December 31 2021.
Hermes to change its name and invest millions in couriers’ pensions
Courier giant Hermes is to change its name and invest millions of pounds in pensions for its employees, the company has announced.
The GMB union said it was a ‘breakthrough’ deal which will give couriers proper retirement plans and the right to maternity and paternity leave.
Hermes is to rebrand as Evri, with a new logo rolled out across the country.
Markets slip back as commodity prices rebound
Europe’s biggest markets lost ground as talks between Ukraine and Russia showed little progress and commodity prices lurched forward again.
The FTSE 100 ended the day down 91.63 points, or 1.27 per cent, at 7,099.09 points on Thursday.
The French Cac was down 2.83 per cent at 6,207.20 points and the German Dax dropped 2.93 per cent to 13,442.10 by the end of the session.
Toyota releases new offers for bZ4X
Toyota has introduced a series of new leasing options for its new bZ4X electric SUV.
Private customers will be able to lease the bZ4X in Motion trim for £611 per month including VAT, via a 36-month contract with an initial rental of £3,662. It’s via a Personal Contract Hire (PCH) agreement.
In addition, buyers who order their car before June 30, 2022, will get a special launch offer of three years’ servicing for their vehicle too.
Wet, windy and cloudy day ahead
Today will be windy, cloudy and wet for most, with showery outbreaks of rain moving eastwards. These will be followed by showers in the south-west, some of which may be heavy with a chance of thunder, the BBC reports.
Tonight, will see mostly cloudy skies with scattered showers, these falling rather heavy at times. A few clearer spells may develop in the far south towards dawn. Winds will ease as well.
Tomorrow will have variable cloud in the north with scattered showers, these heavy at times. The south will be drier with some sunny spells, but blustery rain will arrive in the south-west later.