News Round-Up

May 10: More Tories could defect, says Labour; M25 weekend closure; Toys R Us returns

Here are the headlines on Friday, May 10

Time 6:44 am, May 10, 2024

Labour talking to more Tory MPs about defecting, Streeting claims

Labour frontbencher Wes Streeting said he has spoken to more Tories considering a defection to the opposition but insisted the party would not accept just any MP after former Conservative Natalie Elphicke crossed the floor.

The shadow health secretary said Elphicke had switched sides ‘with a purpose’ and ‘not out of personal ambition’ as he defended the move amid a backlash from some of her new party colleagues.

Streeting claimed he has spoken to more Tory MPs considering a move because of the ‘division and incompetence’ of Rishi Sunak’s government.

Starmer set to pledge new anti-terror powers to break small boats gangs

Labour will use new counter-terrorism powers to tackle people-smuggling gangs bringing migrants across the Channel in small boats, Sir Keir Starmer is set to announce on Friday.

In a speech on the Kent coast, the Labour leader will set out his party’s plans to tackle the small boats crisis if it wins the general election.

Sir Keir is expected to say Labour will ‘replace gimmicks with graft’, scrapping the government’s Rwanda scheme and using some of the money saved to fund a new ‘elite Border Security Command’ led by a former police, military or intelligence chief.

Mastermind behind raid that saw Pc Sharon Beshenivsky shot dead to be sentenced

The mastermind behind a bungled armed robbery that saw a police officer shot dead is to be sentenced for her murder.

Pc Sharon Beshenivsky was gunned down in the street on her daughter’s fourth birthday while interrupting a raid at Universal Express travel agents in Bradford, West Yorkshire, in November 2005.

Almost two decades on, the gang’s ringleader, Piran Ditta Khan, became the last of the seven men involved in the robbery to be convicted in April this year. He is due to be sentenced on Friday by Mr Justice Hilliard.

Swinney to chair first Cabinet meeting since becoming first minister

First minister of Scotland John Swinney will chair his first Cabinet meeting since taking up his new role.

Swinney was officially sworn in as Scotland’s seventh first minister and appointed his Cabinet on Wednesday.

On Friday morning he will chair its first meeting at Bute House, Edinburgh, before a series of visits in the afternoon.

Keegan: ‘Unacceptable’ number of parents letting kids skip Fridays

The education secretary has criticised parents who allow their children to skip school on Fridays, calling the behaviour ‘unacceptable’.

Gillian Keegan told the Times that parents working from home have contributed to a rise in students missing school days.

She said that 50,000 more pupils were absent at the end of the week compared with the start, leaving schools facing ‘major challenges’ with absenteeism as parents pull their children out of class for weekends away or holidays. According to analysis of recent government figures by the Times, student absenteeism jumps by 20% on the last day of the working week.

Drivers warned of delays during M25 closure

Motorists have been warned of lengthy delays as parts of the M25 close over the weekend, which could see the hottest day of the year so far.

The motorway – which is Britain’s busiest – will be closed in both directions between junctions 9 and 10 in Surrey from 9pm on Friday until 6am on Monday while concrete beams for a new bridge are installed.

Diversion routes will take cars on a 19-mile journey on A roads, crossing from Surrey into London’s Ulez area, though National Highways has assured drivers ‘no enforcement action will be taken’. But the highways authority said anyone who ignores official diversion signs in an attempt to find shorter alternative routes will be liable for the £12.50 daily Ulez fee if their vehicle does not meet minimum emissions standards.

Thursday Car Dealer headlines you might have missed

Green hydrogen production hub approved

The production of green hydrogen is set to begin on the west coast of Scotland amid hopes it can decarbonise transport and power hospitals.

A planning application by GreenPower has been approved by Argyll and Bute Council to produce green hydrogen, which it describes as ‘a zero-carbon fuel that can help meet climate obligations while delivering sustainable fuel for a range of purposes’.

It will now build a production and distribution centre at the Glenshellach Industrial Estate in Oban, with plans to help distilleries and fish farms move away from using fossil fuels.

WH Smith unveils 17 new Toys R Us shop-in-shops across the UK

Retailer WH Smith has unveiled the first 17 locations for the next tranche of Toys R Us shops to launch within its stores over the summer as the revival of the children’s chain gathers pace.

The high street group, which has already opened nine Toys R Us shop-in-shops as part of its retail partnership with the brand, is to open another 30 of the concessions by the end of August.

Three of the concessions – in Hereford, Herefordshire, Leamington Spa in Warwickshire and Fosse Park in Leicester – will open on May 25.

The Genesis X Dog Concept aims to make four-legged travel more luxurious

Genesis has unveiled a new dog-carrying concept which integrates some of the firm’s luxurious features into a place for your four-legged friend to travel.

The Genesis X Dog Concept – fitted to the Korean firm’s Electrified GV70 – utilises the EV’s on-board electric supply and vehicle-to-load technology to power a variety of pooch-pampering tools, such as a built-in electric shower and hairdryer. Even the bed itself is heated and there’s a fold down ramp.

The concept dog bed will be on display at the Genesis Studio Battersea from May 9 to 21, before moving to the brand’s studio in Westfield from May 22 to June 5. Each studio will be set up to cater for dogs, too, bowls and dog beds ready for four-legged visitors.


Another dry and warm day for the majority of the UK, reports BBC Weather, although parts of eastern England will have isolated showers later on. Highs of 23 degrees.

A dry night for all with clear skies for most areas, although central areas will have patchy cloud for a time and southern coasts may have some fog.

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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