UK News

UK pumping more than 70,000 tonnes of extra carbon emissions into atmosphere, Sky News finds | Business News

Britain is sending tens of thousands of tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere because its electricity grid operator is prioritising gas-fired power stations over battery storage, Sky News has found.

National Grid Electricity System Operator (NGESO) has been dramatically under-using the battery storage available to it, skipping those cells and relying instead on other power sources, including fossil fuels.

Analysis for Sky News by Modo Energy, an energy data analytics platform, found that these decisions to “skip” available battery storage and fire up gas power stations created 71,000 tonnes of extra carbon emissions in the year to October alone – equivalent to the annual emissions of 44,000 petrol cars.

Electricity pylons in Kent

The revelation, which comes as ministers and delegates in Dubai near the conclusion of the latest round of COP talks, underlines the extent to which today’s power systems are struggling to accommodate new, green technology – with the upshot, perversely, of more carbon emissions than there should be.

Ben Guest, managing director of New Energy at Gresham House, which controls the single biggest fleet of battery parks across the UK, said that these lithium ion cells, dotted around the country, are part of the answer to how to eliminate carbon emissions.

The theory is that they charge when there’s more power being generated than is needed, and then send that power back to the grid when the wind isn’t blowing hard enough or during peak periods.

But, at present, Mr Guest said, National Grid is choosing to skip its batteries about 80% of the time.

“Unfortunately, it means if you’ve got to fire up gas [power stations] to provide that flexibility, they’ve also got to push something else off [the grid], and it’s invariably wind generation.

“So, we’re curtailing and paying to turn off perfectly good, renewable generation to a fairly significant degree.”

carbon emissions
national grid


More information about this article Read More
This notice was published: 2023-12-08 17:09:00

UK News

Italian grandmother who has lived in UK for 42 years told to leave by Home Office | UK News

An Italian woman who has lived in the UK for 42 years has been ordered to leave or face prosecution.

Leonarda Zarcone, 74, who has three children and four grandchildren in the UK, was born in Italy and has French citizenship.

After moving to the UK permanently with her husband, Marcel Brunetto, in 1981, they settled in Leicester and opened a fish and chip shop.

After the UK left the EU in 2020, her family applied for and were granted settled status, but the Home Office requested more information on Ms Zarcone before they approved her application.

An email from the government went into the grandmother’s spam emails, and she did not see it. Last month, she got a letter ordering her to leave the country.

Ms Zarcone told the SWNS news agency: “When I opened the letter it was the shock of my life. All my family and my roots are here. It’s really frightening. I have nowhere to go.

“I moved to this country 42 years ago with my husband. We raised our three children here and ran a business together here.

“I have paid National Insurance, taxes and lived an honest life. My family have made their lives here and my youngest daughter was born in the UK. We even support Leicester City football team, this is our home.”

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Tough visa rules for foreign workers

Ms Zarcone only found out about her situation with the Home Office after she was stopped by an immigration officer when returning from France in September after a family wedding.

She was eventually allowed through border control at East Midlands Airport with a 28-day visitor stamp which has now expired.

“I am now an illegal immigrant and all because of an email which was sent to my junk folder,” she added.

“I am not great with computers. It makes me cry to think…

More information about this article Read More
This notice was published: 2023-12-08 16:05:00

UK News

Omid Scobie appears to admit early draft of book did name King and Kate, Princess of Wales, as royals in race row | UK News

Author Omid Scobie appears to have admitted an early draft of his book did name the royals alleged to have raised “concerns” about the skin colour of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s son.

It comes after the Dutch version of his title Endgame was pulled from shops due to a “translation error” last month after it identified the King and Princess of Wales as the members of the Royal Family who allegedly made comments about the couple’s baby before he was born.

The royal biographer previously insisted that he never submitted a version of book that included the names.

However, Scobie has now suggested that an early draft of his work, which mentioned the King and princess, was submitted to the Dutch translators – but not by him and without his knowledge.

He said the only publisher he had worked with directly was the company in charge of the UK and US versions, and that responsibility for foreign language editions had been outsourced to others.

The writer made the admission in a column for the i newspaper, published on Friday, in which he addressed the “backlash” against his book.

Mr Scobie said he had been “confused” about the Dutch version and had been trying to “piece together” what happened.

He wrote: “Unbeknownst to me at the time, early and uncleared text was provided to the Dutch publisher in order for them to start work on the translation, with the understanding that their translation would be updated to reflect the final version of the book I officially submitted.

“Other foreign-language publishers, including in France and Italy, were also doing the same thing, though their versions perfectly replicated the completed work.”

Mr Scobie added: “What I can be sure of is that I edited carefully, took independent legal advice, and the finished book that I submitted was not the version published in the Netherlands.”

Read more from Sky News:
Strong winds and heavy rain to batter Britain
Adele reveals why she won’t move back to UK
Hugh Grant and wife donate…

More information about this article Read More
This notice was published: 2023-12-08 16:17:00

UK News

Chanel show in Manchester: Kristen Stewart, Alexa Chung and Liam Gallagher’s sons attend star-studded fashion event | Ents & Arts News

Fashionistas, film and TV stars hit the front row in Manchester as Chanel turned part of the city into a catwalk for a star-studded show.

Hollywood star Kristen Stewart, actor Hugh Grant and his wife Anna Elisabet Eberstein, and model and presenter Alexa Chung were among the stars pictured at the Chanel Metiers d’Art show on Thursday.

Actress Jenna Coleman, British rappers Bugzy Malone and Aitch, director Sofia Coppola, and Liam Gallagher‘s children Gene and Lennon were also pictured at the event in Thomas Street in Manchester‘s Northern Quarter.

The street was closed for Chanel to put on the show, one of the fashion world’s most prestigious events.

Manchester is “one of the most effervescent cities of pop culture and an avant-garde one, whose bands, spanning all genres, have changed the history of music”, the French luxury fashion house said when explaining how it chose the 2023-24 event’s location.

Bugzy Malone, who is from Manchester, was among the music stars at the event. Pic: Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP

Jenna Coleman attends the Chanel Metiers d'Art show in Manchester Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)
British actress Jenna Coleman styled a brown tweed coat with black lapels and a tie belt. Pic: Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP

Alexa Chung attends the Chanel Metiers d'Art show in Manchester Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)
Alexa Chung paired a black and white wool coat with a black Chanel bag. Pic: Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP

Gene Gallagher, left, and Lennon Gallagher attend the Chanel Metiers d'Art show in Manchester Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)
Brothers Gene, left, and Lennon Gallagher were both dressed in Chanel for the show. Pic: Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP

Anna Elisabet Eberstein, from left, Hugh Grant, Tilda Swinton and Lucy Boynton attend the Chanel Metiers d'Art show in Manchester Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)
Hugh Grant took time out from promoting his latest film Wonka to attend with his wife Anna Elisabet Eberstein – seated next to actresses Tilda Swinton and Lucy Boynton on the FROW. Pic: Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP

Kristen Stewart attends the Chanel Metiers d'Art show in Manchester Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)
Twilight and Charlie’s Angels star Kristen Stewart was among the A-listers on the guest list. Pic:…

More information about this article Read More
This notice was published: 2023-12-08 08:34:00

UK News

More rail disruption today after thousands of passengers were stranded on trains for hours | UK News

Commuters are facing more disruption today on services to and from one of the UK’s busiest railway stations, after thousands of passengers were stuck on cold, dark trains for hours.

Damage was caused to overhead electricity wires after a train hit an obstruction outside London Paddington on Thursday night – meaning power had to be switched off.

Great Western Railway, Heathrow Express and Elizabeth line services were all affected, with National Rail warning disruption will continue until the weekend.

Friday morning commuters were warned their journeys may be delayed by up to 90 minutes and urged to use alternative routes.

It comes on the final day of a wave of strikes by drivers in a long-running dispute over pay.

Members of the ASLEF union on Northern Trains and TransPennine Express are walking out.

Both operators are set to cancel services, and the industrial action could also lead to knock-on disruption on Saturday.

Footage from last night showed people huddled in darkness as young children wailed – and eventually, trains were evacuated with passengers walking along railway tracks to safety.

One passenger said it felt like a “wartime” evacuation.

Passengers after being evacuated from trains at Paddington station in London on Thursday night. Pic: @mikeyworrall1

BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE Photo taken with permission from social media site X, formerly Twitter, posted by @mikeyworrall1 showing passengers after being evacuated from trains at Paddington station in London on Thursday evening. Damage to overhead electric cables continues to severely affect trains to and from the station. Issue date: Friday December 8, 2023.
Pic: @mikeyworrall1

Some reported being stuck for more than three hours while receiving no information from operators.

Singer James Blunt and TV presenter Rachel Riley were among those affected by the disruption.

More information about this article Read More
This notice was published: 2023-12-08 08:43:00

UK News

Inside ‘tinseltown’ – where it’s Christmas all year round | UK News

With the Christmas season in full swing, the country is lit up by decorations and illuminations.

But there’s one Welsh town where it’s Christmas all year round.

Festive Productions Ltd is one of the biggest suppliers of Christmas decorations in the UK.

Sky News visited its base in Cwmbran, south Wales, which is located on a site measuring 250,000 square feet.

Its distribution office here has over 16,000 pallet spaces, and its showroom for Christmas 2024 has already opened.

No corner of the showroom is left undecorated, as baubles and bells, tinsel and trees span several rooms.

Each room is intricately decorated to fit a different theme, from candy cane colours to a winter wonderland extravaganza.

For fans of Christmas, it truly is a site to behold – a vibrant celebration of all the festive period’s beloved traditions.

Decorations for sale at Festive Productions Ltd in Cwmbran, South Wales

Christmas decoration buying patterns have returned “towards normal” this year as energy costs eased, the company said.

It comes after UK inflation fell to a two-year low in November.

Jonathan Hughes is the company’s marketing director.

He told Sky News consumers this year were looking for “fairly traditional” items.

“Christmas lighting has made a bit of a comeback this year,” he said.

“Where people, with the cost of living crisis, have avoided some of those higher ticket items, they’re now looking to buy those again along with Christmas trees, artificial Christmas trees, which weren’t selling so much last year.”

Christmas decorations on display at Festive Productions Ltd in Cwmbran, South Wales
Decorations for sale at Festive Productions Ltd in Cwmbran, South Wales

Not only are the decorations for next Christmas already on display, planning for the 2025 festive period is also under way.

Mr Hughes said the company analyses data to predict what kind of decorations consumers will be looking for.

“We use a variety of data sources, trend sources, which will look at the trends coming through from fashion, stationery, homewares, interiors and we’ll disseminate that information and use it within our Christmas…

More information about this article Read More
This notice was published: 2023-12-08 04:06:00

UK News

UK’s largest mobile firms sued for £3bn – amid claims they overcharged loyal customers | UK News

Vodafone, EE, Three and O2 are facing a “£3bn-plus” class action claim that alleges they used their market dominance to overcharge on up to 28.2 million UK mobile phone contracts.

The four largest network operators are accused of penalising loyal customers – meaning they paid more than new customers for the same services.

Many contracts involve gradually repaying the cost of a smartphone over a two or three-year period – but it is alleged that, when the device was paid off, firms failed to reduce the monthly bill.

The legal action has been brought by former Citizens Advice executive Justin Gutmann and the law firm Charles Lyndon, and they are seeking damages of at least £3.285bn.

If successful, affected consumers could receive as much as £1,823 each, Mr Gutmann claimed.

The class action has been filed with the Competition Appeal Tribunal in London.

All qualifying consumers will be automatically included in the claim for free unless they follow specific steps to opt out.

The claim follows a “super complaint” from Citizens Advice to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in September 2018, which resulted in the CMA finding: “We do not consider that providers should continue to charge customers the same rate once they have effectively paid off their handsets at the end of the minimum contract period.

“This is unfair and must be stopped.”

Read more:
Can your smartphone detect how drunk you are?
France threatens to ban iPhone 12
Inside the UK’s biggest facility recycling phones

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Apple changes connector again

Mr Gutmann said: “I’m launching this class action because I believe these four mobile phone companies have systematically exploited millions of loyal customers across the UK through loyalty…

More information about this article Read More
This notice was published: 2023-12-08 01:10:00

UK News

London Paddington: ‘Major’ disruption to Elizabeth line and rail services to Heathrow after overhead cables damaged | Breaking News News

Commuters heading to and from London Paddington faced “major disruption” on Thursday because of damage to overhead electric cables.

Trains running to and from the station may be cancelled or delayed by up to 80 minutes, National Rail said.

The disruption also affects the Elizabeth line, with services to stations between Paddington and Heathrow and Reading cancelled.

Pic: Tim Singleton

Major disruption is expected, National Rail said, until the end of the day.

One stranded passenger told Sky News: “I’ve been sat for an hour outside Paddington and [it was] just announced another train has crashed into a power line.

“There’ll be thousands of people heading for Heathrow missing flights.”

Another said: “We’ve just seen passengers from another train being escorted along the tracks. But it’s now more than three hours that we’ve been stuck – and we haven’t seen a single representative of TFL or the emergency services. People are calm in this carriage but they’re getting increasingly frustrated.”

Chiltern Railways and South Western Railway are accepting tickets on parts of their networks.

Customers can also use their tickets on London Underground…

More information about this article Read More
This notice was published: 2023-12-07 20:34:00

UK News

BBC TV licence fee to increase from April – but minister warns hikes can’t go on forever | UK News

The BBC TV licence fee will go up next year from an annual £159 to £169.50.

Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer told MPs she was launching a review of the BBC‘s funding model as she announced the 6.7% increase.

The fee has been frozen for two years and was set to rise by 9% from April 2024 – the equivalent of £15.

However, Ms Frazer has settled for a smaller £10.50 rise.

The increase is based on the consumer prices index (CPI) inflation rate from September.

The culture secretary said the licence fee would now increase annually in line with CPI.

“The government is committed to supporting families as much as possible during these difficult times,” she said.

“We recognise bill rises are never welcome and family budgets remain under pressure.”

Read more from Sky News:
Presenter apologises for rude gesture on air
BBC Newsnight to be cut to 30 minutes

Mr Frazer said the fee was being “kept as low as possible” and that the upcoming rise amounted to an extra 88p a month.

She said the BBC was already feeling the impact of people cancelling their TV licence, with 400,000 fewer taken out last year, and 1.7 million fewer compared with 2017-18.

By law, every UK household has to pay the fee if:

They watch or record programmes as they’re being shown on any TV channel

Watch or stream shows live on any online TV service such as All4 or YouTube

Download or watch any BBC shows on iPlayer.

The rules apply to any device, including TVs, laptops, phones and tablets

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

BBC presenter’s rude gesture goes to air

There have long been questions over the future of the fee, with increasing numbers subscribing to monthly services such as Netflix and regular TV viewing declining.

Mr Frazer appeared to indicate that a major change might not be…

More information about this article Read More
This notice was published: 2023-12-07 12:29:00

UK News

Phillip Schofield ‘declined’ to take part in review of ITV because of ‘risk to health’ | Ents & Arts News

Phillip Schofield “reluctantly declined” to participate in an external review following his departure from ITV because of the “risk to his health”.

The presenter quit This Morning – which he had hosted for more than 20 years – after admitting to an “unwise but not illegal” relationship with a younger male colleague, who also refused to participate in the review.

Schofield admitted lying about the affair and was dropped by his talent agency, YMU.

Of 48 people interviewed by Jane Mulcahy KC, who led the review, only one reported any knowledge of the affair – a former junior member of staff, the barrister said.

They did not report their knowledge at the time, Ms Mulcahy added, and “nor did others report suspicions from much earlier in 2017”.

Many junior employees “remain convinced that to speak out will have a detrimental impact on their careers”, Ms Mulcahy said.

That is despite her having “no doubt” that senior ITV management are “absolutely wedded to the importance of an open culture”.

However, that culture is “not filtering down to junior employees”, Ms Mulcahy said.

In future, she is recommending that ITV set out clear guidelines to ensure good behaviour “even by those who are household names”.

ITV’s management “made considerable efforts to determine the truth” about the affair, the review found.

But in the “face of the denials of the individuals involved, ITV was unable to uncover the relevant evidence”, it added.

Ms Mulcahy said it was “clear” that Phillip Schofield’s “patronage” assisted his younger colleague in the “early days of his time at ITV”.

Beyond that, however, he appeared to have “made his way on his own”.

Holly Willoughby has also left This Morning

Read more:
Timeline of ITV departure after colleague affair
Schofield’s statement as he stepped down – and Holly’s response
Presenter dropped as ambassador for The Prince’s Trust

In a letter in August, Schofield’s lawyer said the presenter…

More information about this article Read More
This notice was published: 2023-12-07 14:15:00