News Round-Up

Oct 23: UK & US push against war escalation; HS2 cash for buses; Home Sec to meet Met chief

Here are the headlines on Monday, October 23

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Time 6:53 am, October 23, 2023

Sunak and Biden in joint push with allies to prevent Israel-Hamas war spreading

World leaders including Rishi Sunak and Joe Biden are stepping up diplomatic efforts to prevent the Israel-Gaza war triggering wider bloodshed across the Middle East.

The prime minister and US president, along with the leaders of France, German, Italy and Canada, called for Israel to respect international humanitarian law, demanded the release of the hostages held by Hamas and pushed for aid for Gaza.

The joint call came as the conflict threatened to spread as Israel continues preparations for a ground offensive in Gaza.


Sir Keir Starmer vows to put party politics aside to make UK a leader in steel

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said he will put party politics aside to make the UK a world leader in clean green steel and ‘turn the industry around’.

Sir Keir made the vow as the industry faces job cuts as part of the drive to lower emissions.

‘A bastion of UK industry, British steel is integral to our growth and prosperity as a nation. From Port Talbot to Rutherglen, to Scunthorpe, it’s been the fabric of our society for generations,’ Sir Keir said. ‘But for far too long, our steel industry has been left behind while our European allies forge ahead. We must turn this around. We must make Britain a world leader again.’


Households battling to make homes safe amid warning flooding could continue

Storm Babet has left at least four people dead and hundreds more homeless as the Environment Agency (EA) warned there could be more flooding this week.

Around 1,250 properties in England have been flooded while an estimated 30,000 properties have needed protection against rising water levels, the EA said.

The agency said more flood warnings are expected for some of the worst affected areas this week although severe flood warnings, meaning risk of death or serious injury, have been lifted.

Braverman to meet Met chief Rowley over Gaza protest

Suella Braverman will demand an explanation from Scotland Yard chief Sir Mark Rowley over the handling of pro-Palestine protesters chanting ‘jihad’.

The home secretary will make clear the police should ‘crack down on anyone breaking the law’.

The force said no offences were identified in a video of a Hizb ut-Tahrir protest showing a man chanting ‘jihad’ in London on Saturday. Home Office minister Robert Jenrick said chanting the word on the streets of the capital is ‘inciting terrorist violence’.

Rail replacement buses: Sunak pumps £150m of HS2 cash into local services

Rishi Sunak said he was delivering a ‘fairer and improved transport system’ by putting £150m into bus services rather than the HS2 high-speed rail project.

The prime minister scrapped the northern leg of the HS2 scheme from Birmingham to Manchester, promising instead to put the money into hundreds of smaller transport projects.

The government has now announced new funding for bus services in the Midlands and northern England in the first stage of a £1bn investment plan.

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Uplift in grants for heat pumps takes effect amid concerns government off target

A 50 per cent uplift in the government grant available for households to install air source heat pumps takes effect from Monday, providing an extra £2,500 in support, the government said.

The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) said it will mean the cost of installing a heat pump could be below that of the average gas boiler for some households.

The change, announced by prime minister Rishi Sunak last month as part of his ‘new approach to achieving net zero’, means the grant available under the boiler upgrade scheme for households installing air source heat pumps will be increased from £5,000 to £7,500. And ground source heat pump grants have risen from £6,000 to £7,500.

UK charities call for safe passage for Palestinian and Israeli refugees

A group of British charities have called on the Government to provide safe passage for refugees fleeing from Israel and Palestine.

Organisations including the Refugee Council, Safe Passage International, Doctors of the World, Helen Bamber Foundation, and City of Sanctuary have raised concerns about the conflict worsening the Palestinian refugee crisis.

They have created a list of emergency measures the government can put in place, including medical evacuation for people in need of specialist care, an emergency family reunion scheme, an emergency refugee protection visa, and facilitated travel for UK nationals and those with the right to enter the UK. The groups have also called on the government to prioritise cases of Israelis and Palestinians already in the UK asylum system.

Weather

It’ll be a cold start in the north with fog and a local frost taking time to lift, reports BBC Weather. Aside from that, it’ll be a day of hazy sunshine and patchy cloud. Rain will push into the far west and south-east later on. Temperatures between 11 degrees in Scotland and 17 in the far west of England.

The rain will develop tonight, becoming heavy. The band of rain will push up from the south into the north. A milder night.

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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