Andrew Flintoff. Image by John Walton_PAAndrew Flintoff. Image by John Walton_PA

News Round-Up

Nov 16: Sunak’s Rwanda vow; Economy’s £80m Barbie boost; Flintoff Top Gear future fears

  • Here are the headlines for Thursday, November 16

Time 6:36 am, November 16, 2023

Sunak seeks to revive Rwanda plan after Supreme Court defeat

Rishi Sunak will seek to revive his plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda with emergency legislation, after the Supreme Court ruled the landmark plan unlawful in a major blow to the government.

Ministers sought to play down the scale of the court defeat, as the PM pledged that he would ‘not allow a foreign court to block these flights’ amid pressure from the Tory right to pull the UK out of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The five senior justices unanimously ruled that the plans are unlawful because there is a risk that genuine asylum seekers could be forced back to their country of origin by Kigali.

Starmer loses eight frontbenchers over Gaza ceasefire stance

Sir Keir Starmer has suffered a major rebellion over his stance on the Gaza conflict, losing eight frontbenchers as dozens of Labour MPs backed a ceasefire.

High-profile shadow minister for domestic violence Jess Phillips joined several frontbench colleagues including Yasmin Qureshi, Afzal Khan and Paula Barker in quitting yesterday evening after deciding to support an SNP amendment to the King’s Speech backing a ceasefire.

Four other frontbenchers – Rachel Hopkins, Sarah Owen, Naz Shah and Andy Slaughter – have also left the front bench after breaking the party whip to back the amendment.

Box office hit Barbie ‘contributed more than £80m to UK economy’

Box office hit film Barbie contributed more than £80m to the UK economy and created 685 jobs, according to the studio that made it.

The film was largely shot at Leavesden Studios in Hertfordshire, where Greta Gerwig created the detailed and vivid Barbieland sets.

In written evidence to the culture, media and sport committee as part of the British film and high-end TV inquiry, Warner Bros said: ‘During its production in the UK, it contributed over £80m in direct spend to the local economy, created 685 jobs, involved over 6,000 extras, supported 754 local businesses [and] paid over £40m in local wages.’

£70m investment fund announced for small businesses in Northern Ireland

A £70m investment fund for small businesses in Northern Ireland has been announced by the British Business Bank.

The fund will offer a range of commercial finance options, with loans and equity stakes both available for local entrepreneurs.

It’ll support businesses from all sectors in Northern Ireland and at different stages of their growth journey, and aims to target start-ups that may have struggled to access finance elsewhere.

Parcel firms deliver ‘miserable’ service for third year running

Parcel firms have delivered a ‘miserable’ service to consumers for the third year running, according to an annual survey by Citizens Advice.

Evri and Yodel ranked at the bottom of the consumer charity’s league table, both managing an overall score of just two stars out of a possible five.

None of the major parcel firms managed to secure even three stars, with Royal Mail and Amazon achieving joint best position with 2.75 stars.

SpaceX plans new mega rocket launch after first attempt ended in explosion

Elon Musk’s SpaceX is aiming for another test flight of its mega rocket tomorrow after getting final approval from federal regulators in the US.

The first launch of Starship ended in an explosion minutes after lifting off from south Texas in April.

The Federal Aviation Administration issued its licence yesterday, saying that SpaceX had met safety, environmental and other requirements to launch again.

Ofgem reopens debate on energy standing charges amid rising bills

Ofgem is to consider alternatives to energy standing charges amid predictions that household bills will keep rising until the middle of next year.

The regulator said it was the ‘right time’ to look at standing charges again as wider cost-of-living pressures left customers continuing to struggle with bills.

Every household pays the same daily standing charge no matter how much energy they use – around 83p since the start of October. This has risen from 74p a year ago.

Millions of women to be offered free contraceptive pills in pharmacies

Millions of women will be able to get free contraceptive pills on the high street without having to see a GP under new NHS plans.

Starting next month, women in England can obtain a first prescription of the pill by visiting their local pharmacy.

The move will give women greater choice over where to get the pill and will free up appointments in GP surgeries. Pharmacies need to sign up for the new service.

Flintoff coaching role puts Top Gear return into question

Andrew 'Freddie' Flintoff in series 33 of Top Gear. Credit: BBC/Lee Brimble

Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff in series 33 of Top Gear. Credit: BBC/Lee Brimble

Andrew Flintoff’s appointment as head coach of cricket team the Northern Superchargers in The Hundred could call into question his return to BBC show Top Gear.

Filming on the show was halted after the former England cricket captain was taken to hospital last December after he was injured in an accident while filming at Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey – the Top Gear test track.

At the time, the BBC stopped filming for the latest series. It has yet to reveal if it’ll resume with Flintoff, and a spokesperson has now told the PA news agency: ‘A decision on the timing of future Top Gear shows will be made in due course with BBC Content.’ Main image: John Walton/PA

Yesterday’s headlines on Car Dealer you might have missed

Market movements

The FTSE 100 closed 46.44 points up yesterday to end the day on 7,486.91. The Cac 40 was up 23.93 points at 7,209.61, the Dax was up 133.74 points at 15,748.17 and the Dow Jones was up 163.51 points at 34,991.21.

Weather outlook

It’ll be cloudy in most areas today but bright spells are expected in northern Scotland, says BBC Weather. There’ll also be outbreaks of rain, mainly in the south, during the morning and in the east and far west in the afternoon.

Friday morning will bring early mist and fog for Northern Ireland and Scotland. Later, it’ll be mostly bright with isolated cloud in places, turning cloudy, wet and windy from the south-west by the evening.

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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