News Round-Up

May 25: Michael Gove quits; Venells sobs during fierce grilling; Ofcom investigates Royal Mail

Here are the headlines on Saturday, May 25

Time 6:50 am, May 25, 2024

Veteran minister Michael Gove becomes latest high-profile Tory to stand down

Veteran cabinet minister Michael Gove has become the latest high-profile Tory MP to announce that he will not stand at the July 4 General Election.

The housing secretary cited the ‘toll’ of public office as he said it was time to let ‘a new generation lead’ following a political career spanning nearly 20 years.

Gove, who has been MP for Surrey Heath since 2005, joins a growing parliamentary exodus coming mainly from the Conservative Party as it languishes behind Labour in the polls.


Labour and Tories fight over economy as Hunt and Reeves drop tax cut hints

The Tories and Labour will fight over the economy as Sir Keir Starmer centres Saturday’s campaign on the cost-of-living crisis while the Conservatives hint at tax breaks for high earners.

The chancellor signalled the party would seek to end the impact of tapering of personal allowances on larger incomes, while his opposite number vowed to deliver financial stability with a Thatcher-style commitment to ‘sound money’.

Jeremy Hunt used an interview with the Telegraph newspaper to dangle the prospect of a change to the current system. Meanwhile, Rachel Reeves will on Saturday meet with supermarket workers in London to talk about the cost-of-living crisis, and she has written a piece in the Daily Mail proclaiming the need for ‘sound money’.


Jeremy Corbyn’s Islington North constituents back his re-election campaign

Jeremy Corbyn’s constituents have expressed their ‘love’ for their MP after he announced he would stand as an Independent candidate in the General Election.

Speaking close to his home in Islington North, most voters spoken to by the PA news agency said they would support the former Labour leader regardless of the party he represents.

Corbyn has been suspended by Labour since 2020 after he refused to fully accept the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s findings that the party broke equality law when he was in charge and said antisemitism had been ‘dramatically overstated for political reasons’.

Hunt criticised by watchdog for misleading tax claims in Budget speech

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has been criticised by the official statistics watchdog for misleading claims in his spring Budget speech that the Government was bringing down taxes.

The chancellor said in his March 6 speech that ‘today … a Conservative Government brings down taxes’, which would most likely be interpreted as referring to the overall tax burden, the UK Statistics Authority (UKSA) said.

Sir Robert Chote, chairman of the UKSA, noted that ‘intelligent transparency demands that ministers consider how someone with an interest, but little specialist knowledge, is likely to understand what they say’.

Friday Car Dealer headlines you might have missed

Venells sobs as she declares love for Post Office during fierce inquiry grilling

Paula Vennells sobbed as she declared her ‘love’ for the Post Office during a fierce grilling at the Horizon IT inquiry.

The 65-year-old has appeared visibly emotional on all three days as she gave evidence to the probe, and was forced to compose herself after she was accused of being someone who ‘couldn’t be bothered’ to find a problem that would devastate the Post Office.

During a tearful episode at Aldwych House in central London, Vennells admitted she had let subpostmasters down, but claimed her ‘only motivation was for the best for the Post Office and for the hundreds of postmasters that I met’.


Ofcom investigates Royal Mail after it misses delivery targets

Regulators have launched an investigation into Royal Mail after it delivered less than three quarters of first class post on time in the last year.

In its yearly financial results on Friday, Royal Mail’s parent company, International Distribution Services (IDS) said only 74.5% of first class mail was delivered within one working day.

Under communications watchdog Ofcom’s rules, 93% of first class mail must be delivered within the timeframe, excluding Christmas. Royal Mail also missed its 98.5% target of second class post being delivered in three days, delivering only 92.4% on time.

Weather

A dry start but eastern parts will cloud over with showery rain, reports BBC Weather. Other areas will hang onto sunny spells for the majority of the day, although the south-west will see cloud and rain this evening. It’ll feel warmer again with highs of 21 degrees.

Rain will fall in most parts of the country tonight, but the north-east will escape the worst of it and remain dry.

It’s a mixed picture over the bank holiday weekend with sunny spells and showers, sometimes heavy.

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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