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News Round-Up

May 20: Infected blood report due; Iran’s president dies in crash; Streeting forgets Labour pledges

Here are the headlines on Monday, May 20

Time 6:39 am, May 20, 2024

Infected blood report due decades after victims began campaigning for justice

Victims of the infected blood scandal have described feeling ’emotional and nervous’ as the final report into the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS is due to be published.

The Infected Blood Inquiry will conclude on Monday after decades of ‘tireless’ work by campaigners. Prime minister Rishi Sunak is widely expected to issue an apology following the publication of the report, which will lay bare the scale of the failings.

Tens of thousands of people in the UK were infected with deadly viruses after they were given contaminated blood and blood products between the 1970s and early 1990s.

Iran’s president found dead at helicopter crash site

Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi and the country’s foreign minister are among those found dead at the site of a helicopter crash after a search through a foggy, mountainous region of the country’s northwest, state media has reported. Raisi was 63.

The crash comes as the Middle East remains unsettled by the Israel-Hamas war during which Raisi, under supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, launched an unprecedented drone-and-missile attack on Israel last month.

Under Raisi, Iran enriched uranium closer than ever to weapons-grade levels, further escalating tensions with the West as Tehran also supplied bomb-carrying drones to Russia for its war in Ukraine and armed militia groups across the region.

Streeting fails to name Starmer’s six first steps for Labour government

Shadow health secretary Wes Streeting admitted he is ‘never going to live this down’ after failing to name Sir Keir Starmer’s six pledges for a Labour government.

The shadow cabinet minister correctly identified five of the six ‘first steps’ Sir Keir has set out for Labour in power. But he was forced to refer to his pledge card to name the sixth promise on tackling anti-social behaviour.

Challenged to name the six steps on BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg, he said: ‘Economic stability, cut NHS waiting lists, 6,500 extra teachers, secure border command, Great British Energy, and … what’s the one I’ve missed?’

Embracing AI could save government £40bn a year, experts say

Using artificial intelligence (AI) could save the government £200bn of taxpayers’ money over five years, according to a report from Sir Tony Blair’s think tank and leading technology firm Faculty.

The paper argues that the technology can transform public services and says a dedicated ‘AI mission control’ should be established in 10 Downing Street by Rishi Sunak or Sir Keir Starmer inside the first 100 days of their new government.

The UK government should also build its own AI capability which could be used on national security and sensitive tasks, the report said.

Listen to the latest Car Dealer Podcast

This week’s episode of the Car Dealer Podcast sees the return of James Baggott. He and Jon Reay share the top news stories over the past seven days, and are joined by Neil Monks from the Warranty Solutions Group.

You can listen to the podcast on all of your favourite streaming services, including Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Number of migrants crossing Channel rises closes to 10,000 mark so far this year

The number of migrants to have arrived in the UK in small boats across the Channel is approaching the 10,000 mark as two more vessels arrived on Sunday.

A total of 103 people made the crossing in two boats on Saturday bringing the total so far this year, not including Sunday’s arrivals, to 9,803.

This compares to 7,217 by the same date last year and 8,693 in 2022, 3,112 in 2021 and 1,492 in 2020.

Activists who block roads could be forced to pay compensation, report suggests

Protesters could be forced to pay compensation for the disruption they cause under proposals in a review by a government adviser.

Individuals, businesses or institutions that could show they endured loss, distress or suffering from an illegal protest would be entitled to court-ordered compensation from activists, the Daily Telegraph reported.

The measures are said to be contained in a review by Lord Walney, the government’s adviser on political violence and disruption, which will be published on Tuesday. The measures could be used to impose financial costs on organisations like Just Stop Oil if they carry out acts such as blocking roads or disrupting businesses.


A fine and warm day for most reports BBC Weather, although parts of western Scotland, Northern Ireland and southern England might have the occasional isolated shower this afternoon. Temperatures between 16 and 21 degrees.

Cloud will re-develop and spread tonight for many areas. Northern Ireland will see rain while it’ll be chilly in the east of the UK.

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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