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News Round-Up

May 16: SMMT appears before MPs; Starmer’s pre-election launch; Unfair margins on fuel

  • Here are the headlines on Thursday, May 16

Time 6:50 am, May 16, 2024

Car manufacturers to miss Government target for electric vehicle sales, MPs told

Car manufacturers will miss a key Government target for electric vehicle (EV) sales, MPs heard.

The share of the new car market held by pure battery electrics is predicted to be just 19.8% this year, the SMMT told the Commons’ Transport Select Committee.

At least 22% of new cars and 10% of new vans sold by each manufacturer in the UK in 2024 is required to be zero-emission – which in most cases means pure electric – under the Government’s Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) mandate.

Sir Keir Starmer to launch Labour’s key election doorstep offer to voters

Sir Keir Starmer will launch Labour’s doorstep offer to voters ahead of the general election, with a set of ‘first steps’ for government.

In a launch event at a potential electoral battleground in Essex, the Labour leader will set out his party’s offer, building on the missions for what it has branded a “decade of national renewal” should it win when voters go to the polls.

Among its first steps ‘to change Britain’ the opposition will aim to deliver economic stability, cut NHS waiting times, launch a new border security command, set up publicly-owned energy firm Great British Energy, crack down on antisocial behaviour and recruit 6,500 new teachers.

Drivers hit by retailers making ‘unfairly high margins’ on fuel, minister warned

Drivers are suffering from ‘unfairly high margins’ on fuel sales, a Cabinet minister has been warned.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) must be given the power to take ‘meaningful action’ against companies charging too much for petrol and diesel, according to a letter from the RAC to Energy Secretary Claire Coutinho.

The average retailer margin – the difference between the amount they pay for fuel and the pump price – has been above 18p per litre for diesel since May 7 and is nearly 12p per litre for petrol, RAC head of policy Simon Williams wrote.

‘Death by dangerous cycling’ offence backed by Commons

Cyclists who cause death by dangerous cycling could face up to 14 years in prison after the House of Commons backed a proposed law change.

MPs voted in favour of an amendment to create three new offences, including ‘causing death by dangerous cycling’, ‘causing serious injury by dangerous cycling’ and ‘causing death by careless or inconsiderate cycling’.

The plan, put forward by Sir Iain Duncan Smith (Chingford and Woodford Green), was supported by the Government and will form part of the Criminal Justice Bill, which is currently making its way through Parliament as it bids to become law.

Wednesday’s Car Dealer headlines you might have missed

Slovakian prime minister fighting for his life after attempted assassination

Slovakia’s populist prime minister, Robert Fico, was shot multiple times and gravely wounded on Wednesday in an attempted assassination that shocked the small country and reverberated across Europe.

The pro-Russian leader, 59, was reported to be fighting for his life after being hit in the stomach.

At least four shots were fired outside a cultural centre in the town of Handlova, nearly 85 miles north east of the capital, where Mr Fico was meeting with supporters, the government said.

Starmer accuses PM of wanting to issue ‘get out of free jail cards’ to criminals

Sir Keir Starmer has urged Rishi Sunak to stop trying to issue ‘get out of jail free cards’ to criminals, as he compared the Prime Minister to a ‘jumped-up milk monitor’.

The Labour leader used Prime Minister’s Questions to press Mr Sunak for assurances that domestic abusers and other serious offenders would not be freed from jail early as part of a Government bid to cut overcrowding.

Sir Keir said Mr Sunak should focus on the ‘chaos’ facing prisons instead of ‘colourful lanyards’, a nod to suggestions from a minister over a ban on civil servants wearing rainbow lanyards.

Nearly half of motorists think of their car as a human – survey

Motorists in the UK are more in touch with cars than first thought according to a new survey.

Around 2,000 motorists were surveyed by Motorpoint with data finding that 49 per cent looked at their car as human, referring to it as a friend or companion.

Furthermore, it is clear that the UK is a nation that loves the car in general, with 28 per cent of motorists saying that they love their car.

FTSE 100 makes further gains but retreats from intraday high

London’s top financial index has seen its recent rally slow but still finished higher on Wednesday.

The FTSE 100 finished 17.67 points, or 0.21%, higher to end the day at 8,445.80.

Elsewhere in Europe, the German Dax index was up 0.85% at the close and the Cac 40 in France ended up 0.17%.

Weather outlook…

Today will see outbreaks of rain move westwards across central England and northern Wales, these heavy in places. Dry with sunny spells in the north-east. Showers elsewhere, thundery in places, the BBC reports.

Rain clearing central England and Wales this evening. Overnight, the far north and south will be mostly clear. Rather cloudy elsewhere, with patchy mist and fog in places. Light rain in north England.

Tomorrow will be partly cloudy with some scattered showers in central and western areas, but northern and far southern areas looks to see lengthy spells of sunshine. Turning drier later in the day.

Jack Williams's avatar

Jack joined the Car Dealer team in 2021 as a staff writer. He previously worked as a national newspaper journalist for BNPS Press Agency. He has provided news and motoring stories for a number of national publications including The Sun, The Times and The Daily Mirror.

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