News Round-Up

May 24: Lib Dems pledge easy access to GPs; Energy bills to fall; Decision on Lucy Letby appeal

Here are the headlines on Friday, May 24

Time 6:44 am, May 24, 2024

Tories and Labour clash on energy policy as they battle for power

The Tories and Labour clashed on energy policy as the General Election campaign focused on the prospect of cheaper household bills.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer is using a visit to Scotland to promote his plan for a publicly-owned green electricity generator, which he said would cut bills and boost energy security.

Energy secretary Claire Coutinho set out plans for consumer-friendly changes and accused Labour of not being ‘honest about the costs’ that their plans for net zero power would involve. The row came as regulator Ofgem was due to set out the latest level for the energy price cap on average bills.

Swift GP access at the heart of Lib Dem election offer, Sir Ed Davey to say

A right for patients to see a GP within seven days will be at the heart of the Liberal Democrats’ election offer, Sir Ed Davey will say.

The Lib Dem leader will on Friday announce a five-year plan aimed at delivering on the pledge, as the political parties begin the second day of election campaigning.

Some 8,000 more GPs would be recruited by the end of the next parliament to fulfil the goal, the Lib Dems say, delivering an extra 65 million appointments each year.

Households set to learn of further fall in energy bills

Households are set to learn that their energy bills will fall again in July but remain around 40% higher than pre-gas crisis levels.

Ofgem is expected to announce on Friday that the average household energy bill will drop by around 7% from July 1, when the latest change to the regulator’s price cap takes effect.

Energy consultants Cornwall Insight said they expect the typical household’s energy bill to fall from the current £1,690 a year to £1,574. This would be £500 less than the cap in July last year, when it was £2,074.

Child killer Letby to find out if she can appeal against her convictions

Child serial killer Lucy Letby is set to find out whether her bid to challenge her convictions at the Court of Appeal has been successful.

At a two-and-a-half day hearing last month, Letby’s lawyers asked senior judges for the go-ahead to bring an appeal against all her convictions. Dame Victoria Sharp, Lord Justice Holroyde and Mrs Justice Lambert are expected to give their decision on the appeal bid at a short hearing on Friday.

In August 2023, Letby, of Hereford, was convicted of the murders of seven babies and the attempted murders of six others at the Countess of Chester Hospital between 2015 and 2016.

Thursday Car Dealer headlines you might have missed

Consumer confidence continues ‘upward momentum’ – survey

Consumer confidence has continued its ‘upward momentum’ despite the cost-of-living crisis remaining a daily reality for households, a survey suggests.

GfK’s long-running Consumer Confidence Index rose by two points in May as it slowly climbed out of negative territory to minus 17.

Confidence in the general economic situation over the next 12 months saw a four-point boost to minus 17, 13 points higher than last May.

Support for low-emission zones in Scotland growing, poll suggests

The number of Scots who support the rollout of low emission zones (LEZs) has grown since last year, a poll suggests.

LEZs are areas within cities where owners of older, heavily polluting vehicles including cars, buses, taxis and motorcycles are fined for driving in.

A recent survey of 1,000 Scots conducted by Opinion Matters found 60% support LEZs, up from 53% last year. The March poll also shows 21% oppose LEZs, down from 23% in 2023.


Patchy cloud and light rain for most of the UK today, reports BBC Weather, although the south-east will see sunny spells develop. Lighter winds with temperatures up to 19 degrees.

Clear skies tonight bringing cooler temperatures across the UK. Cloudier in Scotland.

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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