Good night. Rishi Sunak gave one of the most important speeches of his time as Prime Minister, when he announced that the ban on the sale of petrol and diesel cars will be delayed from 2030 to 2035. Additionally, the King and Queen arrived in France for a state visit.
MPs react to leaked dilution of net zero emissions promises
The speech came amid growing conservative backlash over previously leaked plans to water down net zero policies. Boris Johnson warned Sunak that the UK “cannot afford to fail” on net zero emissions, while Chris Skidmore, the former Conservative energy minister, told the prime minister not to make “the biggest mistake of his mandate”.
After the speech, Tom Harris has explained how the Labor Party could also be torn apart by net zero – read his full comment. And he finds out whether or not Sunak is delivering on the five key promises of his New Year’s speech.
EV chargers join Ford in net zero fallout
The electric charging industry has joined Ford in urging the Government to deliver on its plan to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2030. Ford UK president Lisa Brankin said: Any changes would undermine the industry’s drive towards a cleaner future, while electric vehicle charging companies have warned it could lead to job losses. Follow the latest updates on our live blog. However, Matthew Lynn believes Rishi Sunak’s net zero adjustments are “long overdue”. Read his full comment.
The King and Queen arrive in France for a state visit
The King and Queen arrived at the Elysee Palace today, where Her Majesty participated in a gift exchange with Emmanuel Macron. King Charles presented the French president with Voltaire’s Lettres sur les Anglais, also known as Lettres philosophiques, one of the most influential works of the European Enlightenment. The trip, seen as an opportunity to rebuild ties since Britain’s exit from the EU, will make Charles the first British monarch to give a speech inside the French Senate chamber. Read the latest updates on our live blog.
Afternoon Briefing: Today’s Essential Headlines
Crime | The police officer who shot dead unarmed rapper Chris Kaba in south London last year has been charged with murder, the Crown Prosecution Service said.