News Round-Up

May 29: Sunak vows to axe ‘rip-off degrees’; Diane Abbott returns; Audi marks RS4’s 25th

Here are the headlines on Wednesday, May 29

Time 6:36 am, May 29, 2024

Sunak vows to axe ‘rip-off degrees’ as Starmer sets sights on NHS

Rishi Sunak has pledged to create 100,000 more apprenticeships a year by shutting down ‘rip-off degrees’ as he battles to remain in No 10.

He said his party is offering young people ‘the employment opportunities and financial security they need to thrive’ as he seeks to narrow Labour’s double-digit lead in the polls.

Sir Keir Starmer’s party said the policy is ‘laughable’ after the Tories ‘presided over a halving of apprenticeships for young people’. Labour is setting its sights on tackling NHS backlogs, with Sir Keir detailing first steps to clear waits of more than 18 weeks within five years of taking office.

Cutting waiting lists to be ‘first step’ of Labour government’s NHS plan

Cutting NHS waiting lists will be ‘the first step’ in a Labour government’s plan to get the health service ‘back on its feet’, Sir Keir Starmer has said.

The opposition leader pledged to create a health service that is ‘there for everyone’ ahead of a visit to the West Midlands.

If it wins the General Election, Labour will initially focus on reducing treatment backlogs, which currently stand at 7.54m. The party claims the figure could rise to 10m if the Conservatives are in office for another five years.

Diane Abbott has Labour whip restored

Diane Abbott has had the Labour whip restored, the PA news agency understands.

It comes after pressure on Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer intensified after reports that an investigation into her racism comments was completed five months ago.

Labour withdrew the whip from the long-standing MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington in April 2023, after she suggested Jewish, Irish and Traveller people experienced prejudice, but not racism.

Rayner hits out at Tories after police take no further action over house row

Angela Rayner has hit out at the Tories’ ‘desperate tactics’ after police said they would take no further action following an investigation into her living arrangements prompted by a senior Conservative.

The deputy Labour leader had faced claims she may have broken electoral law and dodged capital gains tax and council tax because of the way she and her then husband used separate homes.

But Greater Manchester Police and Stockport Council both confirmed they would take no further action against the Ashton-under-Lyne MP.

Three officers injured and 40 people arrested after protest in Westminster

Three police officers were injured and 40 people have been arrested during a protest in Westminster on Tuesday night.

One officer was left with a serious facial injury after she was hit by a bottle thrown from the crowd, while two officers had minor injuries.

Metropolitan Police said the suspect who threw the bottle has not been identified but police are investigating.

Tuesday Car Dealer headlines you might have missed

UK has Europe’s most expensive diesel

UK motorists are being charged the highest diesel prices in Europe, according to new analysis.

The RAC, which carried out the research, said there is ‘no good reason’ why British fuel retailers are not cutting pump prices.

It found the average price of a litre of diesel at UK forecourts is 155p. That is 5p more than Ireland and Belgium, which have the continent’s joint second most expensive diesel at 150p per litre.

Audi celebrates 25 years of the RS4 Avant with new special edition

Audi has revealed a special version of its RS4 Avant to celebrate the estate car’s 25th anniversary.

The RS4 Avant Edition 25 Years gets another 19bhp taking power up to 463bhp, manually adjustable coilover suspension and carbon ceramic brakes.

Three colours are available including Imola Yellow – the latter being an option for the original RS4 of 1999. There’s also a smattering of 25 years badges while the interior gets yellow stitching. Prices will start at £115,880 with just 50 examples heading to the UK.


A mixture of sunny spells and scattered showers, reports BBC Weather. Eastern areas will get the brunt of the showers with some thundery downpours. A colour day with highs of just 13 degrees.

Showers will spread eastwards tonight, the heaviest being in Northern Ireland, southern Scotland and northern England. Clear skies elsewhere.



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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