Audi Q6 e-tron interior 1Audi Q6 e-tron interior 1

News Round-Up

Sep 5: Keegan in concrete sweary outburst; Retail sales boost; Record £2.5bn motor claims; Audi Q6 e-tron interior

  • Here are the headlines for Tuesday, September 5

Time 6:44 am, September 5, 2023

Pressure mounts over crumbling concrete in schools

Rishi Sunak and Gillian Keegan are under growing pressure over the crumbling concrete closing schools, as the education secretary was forced to apologise after a sweary outburst in which she claimed others had failed to tackle the crisis.

In criticism caught on camera after an interview with ITV News yesterday, a frustrated Keegan hit out at those she argued had ‘sat on their a*se and done nothing’.

She also questioned why no one was saying ‘you’ve done a f****** good job’, before being forced to go before broadcasters to apologise for the language she used.

Confident consumers boost retail sales in August

Rising consumer confidence boosted retail sales in August as slowing inflation offered some hope for the all-important Christmas season.

Total UK retail sales were up 4.1 per cent on last August, above the three-month average of 3.6 per cent, according to the British Retail Consortium-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor.

Health, beauty and food and drink were the strongest-performing categories, both on the high street and online, as consumers made the most of brief spells of sunshine to enjoy the summer holidays.

Record £2.5bn in motor claims was paid out between April and June, says ABI

A record £2.5bn in motor claims was paid out in the second quarter of this year, according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

This was the highest quarterly figure since the ABI started collecting data in 2013 and a 29 per cent jump compared with the same quarter last year.

Within the total, the cost of vehicle repairs leapt by 46 per cent annually to reach £1.5bn, which was also the highest figure since ABI started collecting this data in 2013.

Ovo joins calls for overhaul of household energy standing charges

Energy firm Ovo has joined calls for energy standing charges to be abolished for vulnerable customers as it confirmed it will not be passing on the latest increase from October 1.

Chief executive Raman Bhatia warned that households were facing a prolonged period of high prices compounded by wider cost-of-living pressures that would leave millions struggling unless urgent action was taken.

The firm is calling for a social tariff to be in place by next winter, targeted at customers who are the most financially vulnerable, and for the standing charge – a fixed amount of around £303 a year – to be scrapped this winter for consumers who need support in the meantime.

Nearly 700,000 responses to consultation on station ticket office closures

More than 680,000 responses were submitted to a consultation on proposals for a widespread closure of railway station ticket offices, Transport Focus and London TravelWatch have said.

Concerns were raised by the public and ‘stakeholders’ around the impact on accessibility, safety and security, issues with ticket machines and how stations will be staffed in future, according to the watchdogs.

They will analyse the proposals and consultation responses before responding to train operators by the end of October.

Redundancies start at Wilko offices as hopes remain for shops

The first round of potentially thousands of layoffs at failed retailer Wilko were expected to start yesterday even as hopes of a rescue deal for parts of the business remain.

Administrators confirmed last week that 269 people in the company’s Worksop support centre would be having their last day with the business.

Redundancies at the company’s Worksop and Newport warehouses are also due to start early this week. The administrators didn’t say how many warehouse staff would lose their jobs, but around 1,296 people are thought to work there.

Audi Q6 e-tron interior 2

Audi showcases interior of new Q6 e-tron

Audi has unveiled the interior of its new electric Q6 e-tron SUV ahead of a full debut later in the year.

Revealed at the Munich Motor Show, it features a new ‘wraparound’ dashboard design, with a free-standing 14.5-inch curved touchscreen being utilised with OLED technology. A new version of Audi’s virtual cockpit digital instrument cluster is also used, while the front-seat passenger even gets their own screen.

It features an ‘active privacy mode’, so that if the passenger is watching a film, it doesn’t distract the driver.

Yesterday’s headlines on Car Dealer you might have missed

Heatwave alert issued

The UK Health Security Agency has issued a yellow alert across the whole of England apart from the north-east for up until 9pm on September 10.

Heatwave criteria will likely be met in a number of places over the next couple of days, and for much of the UK it will feel ‘very warm to hot’, said senior meteorologist Rachel Ayers.

Weather outlook

Speaking of the weather, it’ll be dry and warm today with sunshine for most once any mist and fog clears and any patchy cloud in the south-west clears, says BBC Weather. The far north will be cloudier but drier, and it’ll be very warm or hot for most in the south.

Wednesday will see early areas of cloud, mist and fog in the north and east lift during the morning. It’ll be mostly dry and fine elsewhere with warm conditions, and hot locally in the south.

Market movements

The FTSE 100 closed 11.78 points down yesterday to end the day on 7,452.76. The Cac 40, meanwhile, was down 17.26 points at 7,279.51, the Dax was down 15.49 points at 15,824.85, but the Dow Jones was up 115.80 points at 34,837.71.

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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