News Round-Up

May 23: Sunak under pressure over Braverman; Fresh strike for junior doctors; Trains could lose free wi-fi; VW prices up Amarok

Here are the headlines on Tuesday, May 23

Time 6:40 am, May 23, 2023

Sunak to chair Cabinet as pressure mounts for probe into Braverman claims

Rishi Sunak faces an awkward Cabinet meeting on Tuesday as he mulls whether to order an investigation into Suella Braverman’s handling of a speeding offence, a scandal that threatens to deepen rifts in the Tory party.

The prime minister is reportedly looking at emails in which officials raised concerns about the cabinet minister’s request for help last autumn to arrange a private speed awareness course for her.

The home secretary has been accused of breaching the ministerial code by asking taxpayer-funded civil servants to assist with a private matter. Braverman insisted she had done ‘nothing untoward’. She admitted speeding, paid a fine and took penalty points on her licence.

Junior doctors to stage fresh strike in dispute over pay

Junior doctors in England will stage a 72-hour strike next month in their long-running dispute over pay.

Members of the BMA will walk out from 7am on June 14 after the government failed to make a ‘credible offer’ on pay, it was announced.

The BMA said, despite its strike announcement, it expected to meet health secretary Steve Barclay on Wednesday for talks.

Dominic Raab to stand down at next election

Dominic Raab, who resigned from Cabinet last month after a bullying inquiry, will stand down as an MP at the next general election.

The former deputy prime minister and justice secretary confirmed his exit plans to the PA news agency on Monday night.

He quit Rishi Sunak’s Cabinet last month over bullying allegations from civil servants. Raab will not contest his Esher and Walton seat, which he has held since 2010, at the next election, due by January 2025.

Police in Portugal to search reservoir in Madeleine McCann investigation

Searches as part of the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann are set to take place in Portugal, police in the European country have confirmed.

The Policia Judiciaria said in a press statement that it is co-ordinating searches in the Algarve over the next few days, at the request of the German police and in the presence of British officers.

An area near the Barragem do Arade reservoir, around 50km from Praia da Luz where Madeleine went missing in 2007, is being sealed off as searches are expected to start on Tuesday, Portuguese news website SIC reported.

Hunt to discuss curbing rampant food inflation with manufacturers

Jeremy Hunt will ask food manufacturers to do what they can to support consumers amid skyrocketing food prices.

The chancellor will meet with representatives from the industry on Tuesday to raise concerns over rampant food inflation, according to the Treasury.

It comes amid warnings that food prices are set to overtake energy bills as the ‘epicentre’ of the cost-of-living crisis. The Resolution Foundation said on Friday that food prices would continue to rise even as energy costs are set to fall, having already increased by 19.1 per cent in the year to March.

Train passengers could lose access to free wifi to cut costs

Train passengers face losing access to free wifi under cost-saving measures.

The Department for Transport (DfT), which controls the finances of most operators in England, said it is reviewing whether the service ‘delivers the best possible value for money’.

Most train services on Britain’s railways offer free wifi, enabling people to connect their electronic devices to the internet without paying for data. But the DfT cited a survey by passenger watchdog Transport Focus which indicated that this is a lower priority among travellers than value for money fares, reliability, punctuality and personal security.

Monday Car Dealer headlines you might have missed

Vehicle thefts up 25 per cent as criminals use ‘variety of hi-tech methods’

Vehicle thefts rose by a quarter in England and Wales last year, figures show.

Some 130,389 incidents of vehicles being stolen were recorded in 2022, according to AA Insurance Services analysis of data from the Office for National Statistics. This is up 25 per cent from the total of 104,435 during the previous 12 months.

AA Insurance Services said thieves are using a ‘variety of hi-tech methods’ to steal vehicles. These include relay thefts, which involves cars being tricked into opening, and key cloning.

Volkswagen announces pricing for new Amarok pick-up

Volkswagen has announced pricing and specifications for its eagerly-anticipated Amarok pick-up.

Built in partnership with Ford, the Amarok comes with a choice of two 2.0-litre four-cylinder engines – a 168bhp model paired to a six-speed manual gearbox, and a 202bhp version that gets a 10-speed automatic. Above this sits a 237bhp 3.0-litre six-cylinder unit that uses an automatic gearbox.

Life kicks off the range at £33,000 (exc. VAT) and features 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and a 10-inch touchscreen. Style and PanAmericana grades follow with Aventura topping the range at £47,000 (exc. VAT).

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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