News Round-Up

Oct 20: Highest Covid numbers since March; NHS warns of winter crisis; Morrisons’ takeover approved; Volvo extends XC40 Recharge range

  • Here are the headlines on Wednesday, October 20

Time 1 month ago

UK hits highest level of coronavirus deaths and cases in months

Coronavirus deaths in the UK have risen to their highest daily level since early March, while cases are at their highest for almost three months.

The latest figures come as Downing Street said it is keeping a ‘very close eye’ on increasing case rates and after a leading scientific advisor warned it is “critical” that the Covid-19 booster programme is accelerated.

On Tuesday, the Government said a further 223 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19, bringing the UK total to 138,852.


Enforce Plan B immediately or risk winter crisis, NHS boss warns ministers

Ministers must immediately enforce ‘Plan B’ coronavirus restrictions or ‘risk stumbling into a winter crisis’, an NHS leader has warned.

Amid rising Covid-19 cases, Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, has urged the government to implement the back-up strategy which involves measures including bringing back mandatory face coverings in public places.

The NHS Confederation’s warning comes as coronavirus deaths in the UK rose to their highest daily level since early March, while cases are at their highest for almost three months.

Four arrested over Heysham house explosion in which young child died

Four people have been arrested in connection with an explosion at a house in Heysham, Lancashire, in which a young child died.


Emergency services were called to the scene on Mallowdale Avenue in the early hours of May 16, and found two houses had collapsed with a third seriously damaged.

Two-year-old George Arthur Hinds died as a result of the blast, while his parents and another man and woman required hospital treatment, Lancashire Constabulary said in a statement.

Small businesses behind a third of the UK’s emissions, but lag in net zero fight

The UK’s small businesses are responsible for nearly a third of the country’s greenhouse gases, yet are falling behind their larger counterparts in efforts to slash emissions.

A tiny 3 per cent of smaller businesses said that they have measured their carbon footprint at any point in the last five years and set an emissions reduction target.

The data comes from a survey by the British Business Bank, a government-backed institution which supports small and medium-sized companies.

Queen welcomes billionaires and tech entrepreneurs to Windsor Castle

The Queen welcomed billionaire business leaders, presidential envoys and tech entrepreneurs to Windsor Castle for a reception following a Government investment summit.

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates was among the guests invited to the Queen’s Berkshire home after the day-long conference in London aimed at encouraging foreign funding by showcasing the best of British innovation.

The Queen was joined by the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge at the reception, and met some of the leading figures in the castle’s green drawing room before the royals mingled more widely.

Tuesday’s Car Dealer headlines you might have missed

Morrisons’ £7bn private equity takeover approved by shareholders

The £7bn takeover of Morrisons by private equity giant Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) has been given the go-ahead by shareholders.

The Bradford-based supermarket chain agreed the deal at the start of this month after a lengthy auction.

On Tuesday, Morrisons held a general meeting with investors to seek approval for the move. The retailer confirmed that 99.2 per cent of the shareholder vote was in favour of the takeover.

Government defeat as peers demand action to bolster future telecoms security

Peers have defeated the government in backing a move aimed at strengthening the nation’s telecoms security by ensuring a diverse supply chain.

The House of Lords supported by 180 votes to 176, majority four, a legislative change that would require the government to provide an annual update on network diversification.

The Telecommunications (Security) Bill, currently going through the upper chamber, will force providers to stop installing equipment by the Chinese phone-maker Huawei in the UK’s 5G networks and also sets out a road map to remove high-risk vendors altogether.

Volvo XC40 Recharge to extend range via new over-the-air updates

Volvo’s XC40 Recharge looks set to benefit from increased electric range thanks to a new over-the-air update.


The update aims to bring an improved electric range thanks to refinements in battery management and regeneration performance, alongside a smarter timer to pre-condition the batteries for optimal performance.

Currently, the XC40 offers up to 259 miles from a single charge. The update also includes a Range Assist app.

FTSE enjoys strong day despite mixed results across Europe

The FTSE 100 ended the day in the green yesterday, despite mixed results elsewhere in Europe.

The British stock index rose by 3.70 points yesterday

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The German Dax also rose by 0.27 per cent to 15,515.83 but the French Cac slumped by 3.25 per cent to 6,669.85.

Heavy wind and rain expected

Today, England and Wales will see further spells of rain and blustery showers, with some sunny intervals. It will be dry in N Ireland and much of Scotland to start, but rain will push in from the north-west, reports the BBC.

This evening most areas will see rain. The rain will be heavy at times in the south. Overnight it turns drier but very windy and cooler with clear spells for most but showers in the far north.

Thursday will be very windy and cool but generally dry with sunny spells for most. Frequent showers continue in the far north, possibly wintery on higher ground.

Jack Williams's avatar

Jack joined the Car Dealer team in 2021 as a staff writer. He previously worked as a national newspaper journalist for BNPS Press Agency. He has provided news and motoring stories for a number of national publications including The Sun, The Times and The Daily Mirror.

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