Artist's impression of new national flagshipArtist's impression of new national flagship

News Round-Up

May 30: New national flagship; Heathrow billions at risk; Vietnam virus variant; RAC expands EV breakdown tech

  • Here are the headlines on Sunday, May 30

Time 2 weeks ago

PM promises new national flagship promoting ‘best of British’ around world

A new national flagship costing up to £200m will promote British trade and industry around the world, Boris Johnson has said.

The successor to the Royal Yacht Britannia, which was decommissioned in 1997, will be a ship rather than a luxury yacht and will host trade fairs, ministerial summits and diplomatic talks, as the UK seeks to build links and boost exports following Brexit.

Construction is expected to begin next year and she’ll enter service within the next four years. The news coincides with reports that Johnson married Carrie Symonds yesterday at Westminster Cathedral in a secret ceremony.

Billions could be lost in spending by passengers arriving at Heathrow

The UK is set to miss out on billions of pounds of spending from passengers arriving at Heathrow if the green list isn’t extended as part of the upcoming travel review, a new report warns.

Economic forecasting group the CEBR said its research suggested that business and leisure passengers arriving at the airport spend more than £16bn a year across the UK, sustaining jobs at thousands of businesses.

US visitors travelling through Heathrow are the largest source of inbound tourism revenue for the economy, accounting for £3.74bn, said the report.

Future of Edinburgh Festival Fringe in ‘real danger’, organiser warns

The future of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is in danger if the Scottish government doesn’t ease social distancing rules for venues within a fortnight, the organiser has warned.


Shona McCarthy, chief executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, urged ministers to drop the current two-metre rule for venues to the one-metre rule used in hospitality.

She told The Times Scotland: ‘Within another two weeks, it’s going to be impossible for any [Edinburgh promoter] to put on anything. There’s a real danger for the future of the Fringe. One year of no festival was manageable…At two years, you jeopardise the solid space the Fringe has held for 75 years.’

Six arrests in crackdown on fraudsters posing as police

Police in Northern Ireland have foiled two separate attempts by fraudsters to con cash from older people.

Six arrests were made in Belfast after police intercepted scammers in the south and west of the city after money had been taken.

There is an ongoing police operation against the scammers, who impersonate police officers to dupe pensioners into handing over money and valuables for supposed safe keeping.

More than half of people in 30s in England given coronavirus jabs

More than half of people in their 30s in England have received a coronavirus vaccination in a period of little over two weeks, new figures reveal.

NHS England said that since it began opening up the vaccine rollout to the age group on May 13, some 53 per cent of those aged 30 to 39 had been given at least one dose.

People aged 30 to 31 were the most recent group to be invited for their jab – from Wednesday – with more than five million appointments made through the national booking service within 72 hours.

Vietnamese experts find new virus variant

Scientists in Vietnam have discovered a new coronavirus variant that is a hybrid of strains first found in India and the UK, the country’s health minister has said.

Nguyen Thanh Long said scientists examined the genetic make-up of the virus that had infected some recent patients and found the new version. He said lab tests suggested it might spread more easily than other versions of the virus.

RAC electric vehicle breakdown tech expanded

RAC charger can help give a boost to flat EVs

One in five RAC patrol vans will be equipped with EV breakdown assistance systems by the end of next year, following a new deal with engineering firm Original ADS.

The initial partnership saw the pair design and develop a compact van-mounted charger capable of giving a boost to ‘flat’ EVs, enabling them to reach the nearest charge point. It replaced the need to have them picked up and recovered by a flatbed truck.

The new deal means the RAC is now the only breakdown company in the UK able to offer this technology and will see hundreds of patrol vans fitted with the system – called EV Boost – over the coming months.

Saturday Car Dealer headlines you may have missed

Temporary export ban placed on Renaissance £17m roundel

A temporary export ban has been placed on a late 15th century Renaissance bronze roundel made in the Lombardy city of Mantua and valued at £17m.

The roundel, which depicts the Roman goddess of love Venus surrounded by her lover Mars, husband Vulcan and son Cupid, is at risk of being sold overseas unless a UK buyer can be found.

Culture minister Caroline Dinenage announced the ban, saying: ‘This piece is a stunning combination of myth and mystery. I hope a UK buyer can be found so that researchers can reveal its secrets and the public can see this striking design on display.’

Chinese cargo spacecraft docks with orbital station

An automated spacecraft docked with China’s new space station today (May 30) carrying fuel and supplies for its future crew, the Chinese space agency announced.

The Tianzhou-2 spacecraft reached the Tianhe station eight hours after blasting off from Hainan, an island in the South China Sea, China Manned Space said. It carried space suits, living supplies and equipment and fuel for the station.

Beijing doesn’t take part in the International Space Station, largely because of US objections as Washington is wary of the Chinese programme’s secrecy and its military connections.

SNP finance boss quits over ‘lack of information’

An MP in charge of the SNP’s finances has quit – claiming he wasn’t given enough information to do the job.

Douglas Chapman, the MP for Dunfermline and West Fife, announced he had resigned as national treasurer of the party yesterday evening via Twitter.

However, SNP business convener and fellow MP Kirsten Oswald said she ‘fundamentally’ disagreed with his assessment.

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Weather outlook

It’ll be warm today with plenty of sunshine for most areas, says the BBC, but it’ll be cooler on the North Sea coastline, with some fog and mist. Scotland and Northern Ireland could also experience isolated showers.

Tonight, many areas will be dry and have clear spells, although central and eastern areas of England and Scotland will experience low cloud, fog and mist. It’ll be mild, with light winds.

Bank Holiday Monday will be another warm and sunny day throughout the UK, albeit with a few fog and mist patches on the eastern coast. The sunshine in western Scotland and Northern Ireland will be hazy.

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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