News Round-Up

Sep 29: Train drivers to go on strike; Hadrian’s Wall tree arrest; Skoda teases Kodiaq

Here are the headlines on Friday, September 29

Time 6:44 am, September 29, 2023

Teenager still in custody after family of girl visit scene of fatal attack

A teenage boy remains in custody after a 15-year-old girl was stabbed to death in Croydon, south London.

The 17-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of murder in New Addington, just over an hour after Elianne Andam was wounded in the neck at about 8.30am on Wednesday.

Her family visited the scene where she died in Wellesley Road on Thursday evening as crowds gathered outside the police cordon and prayers were said.

Overtime ban by train drivers ahead of strike

Train drivers will ban overtime on Friday ahead of two days of strikes which will cause fresh travel chaos for passengers.

Members of Aslef at 16 train operators in England are embroiled in a long-running dispute over pay, with no sign of a breakthrough.

The drivers will strike on Saturday and again next Wednesday, coinciding with the annual conference of the Conservative party in Manchester. They will ban overtime on Friday and from October 2 to 6.

Energy price cap to fall amid concerns households will pay more than last winter

A fall in Ofgem’s energy price cap takes effect this weekend amid concerns households could still end up paying around 13% more than last winter.

The regulator announced in August that the cap on a unit of gas and electricity would reduce the average bill from £2,074 to £1,923 for the three months from October 1 in England, Wales and Scotland.

However, this is still more than 50 per cent higher than pre-crisis levels, and the government is yet to announce any financial support along the lines of last year. These measures brought the average monthly cost of energy down to £141 but this year, unless further support is announced, average costs from October to December 2023 will rise to £160.

Sunak set to preside over biggest tax-raising parliament on record, say experts

The current Parliament will have presided over the biggest set of tax rises since at least the Second World War, experts have said.

By the time of the next general election, taxes will likely have risen to around 37 per cent of national income, according to analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS).

The widely respected think tank said that the spike was equivalent to around £3,500 more per household, even if in reality it will not be shared equally. Since comparable records began in the 1950s, no parliament has seen a bigger increase in taxes.

Teenage boy arrested over felling of landmark tree on Hadrian’s Wall

A teenage boy has been arrested in connection with the cutting down of one of the UK’s most photographed trees.

The Sycamore Gap tree, on Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland, was made famous in a key scene in Kevin Costner’s 1991 film Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves.

Northumbria Police launched an investigation on Thursday after the tree was ‘deliberately felled overnight’, saying they were treating it as an act of vandalism. The force later said a 16-year-old boy had been arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage. He is in police custody and assisting officers with their inquiries, a spokesperson said.

JK Rowling and Daniel Radcliffe lead tributes to Harry Potter star Michael Gambon

JK Rowling and Daniel Radcliffe have led the tributes to Harry Potter star Sir Michael Gambon, hailing him as a ‘wonderful man’ and an ‘outstanding actor’.

The Dublin-born star of stage and screen died peacefully in hospital late on Wednesday aged 82, his family said.

Rowling paid tribute to Sir Michael saying she first saw him perform in King Lear in 1982 and if someone had told her the late actor ‘would appear in anything I’d written, I’d have thought you were insane’. Radcliffe praised Sir Michael as ‘one of the most brilliant, effortless actors’ he has ever worked with.

Immigration worries hit six-year high as pensioners and Tories express concern

Concern about immigration has reached its highest point for six years, a new poll has found.

The survey by Ipsos UK found inflation and the economy still topped voters’ list of concerns, but worries about immigration had risen since August.

Last month, 23 per cent of people said immigration was one of the most important issues facing the country today, but that figure has now risen to 26 per cent – its highest point since July 2017. That increase has been driven mainly by older people and Conservative supporters. Almost half of pensioners listed immigration as one of the main issues facing the UK, with a similar proportion of Conservative supporters saying the same thing.

Thursday Car Dealer headlines you might have missed

Man and woman arrested in connection with suspected Crooked House arson

Two more people have been arrested by police investigating a suspected arson attack that destroyed the Crooked House pub.

A 34-year-old woman and a 44-year-old man, both from Leicestershire, were arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of conspiracy to commit arson with intent or being reckless as to whether life was endangered.

Staffordshire Police said the pair have been released on conditional bail while their investigation continues.

Covid-19 hospital admissions in England stabilise after recent rise

Covid-19 hospital admissions in England have stabilised after rising for several weeks, although the rate remains at its highest level for four months, figures show.

It comes as the NHS steps up the rollout of the latest Covid booster vaccine, with millions of people due to be invited for the jab this week.

The rollout was brought forward as a precaution against the latest Omicron subvariant of Covid-19, BA.2.86, although experts say there is currently no evidence the new strain is more likely to make people seriously ill than other variants in circulation, while vaccination is likely to provide ongoing protection.

Skoda’s new Kodiaq to gain sharper design and ‘even more interior space’

The new Skoda Kodiaq will gain a more ‘powerful’ design along with an increase in cabin space when it debuts on October 4.

The new replacement for the popular seven-seater – which is the largest SUV in Skoda’s range – has been showcased in a series of sketches ahead of its formal unveil next week.

The drawings show a car which follows the same boxy, upright design as its predecessor, though modernised with squared-off wheel arches and a more sculpted front end. This latest-generation Kodiaq also gains Skoda’s new Top LED Matrix headlights for plenty of illumination at night.


A day of blustery showers for most areas of the UK today, reports BBC Weather, although they will clear early on in the south-east leaving a dry day. Highs of 20 degrees i the south-east.

Tonight, cloud and showers will clear early on leaving a dry night to start, although cloud will move in from the south-west later on. A cooler night for all.

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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