News Round-Up

Dec 23: Khan’s Car4Ukraine u-turn; Banksy artwork removed; Recession warning; Tube strikes planned

  • Here are the headlines on Saturday, December 23

Time 6:04 am, December 23, 2023

Sadiq Khan backs Cars 4 Ukraine scheme in U-turn

The Mayor of London has pledged his support to send 4x4s and other vehicles to Ukraine that would otherwise be scrapped under the Ulez scheme.

In an apparent U-turn, Sadiq Khan has asked the Transport Secretary, Mark Harper, to enable Londoners, and others across the country, to donate suitable vehicles to Ukraine through scrappage schemes.

The mayor had previously made it clear he did not believe altering the Ulez scheme for exporting vehicles would be possible under current laws.

UK economy at risk of recession

The UK is at risk of falling into a recession after revised official figures show the economy declined between July and September.

Gross domestic product fell by a revised 0.1% against the zero growth initially estimated, the Office for National Statistics said.

If GDP contracts between October and December then the economy will have entered a technical recession, which can be defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth.

Sir James Dyson calls on political leaders to ‘go for growth’

Sir James Dyson has accused political leaders of not ‘going for growth’ after official figures showed the UK is at risk of falling into a recession.

In an interview with The Telegraph, Sir James said wealth generation and growth had become ‘dirty words’ as the nation’s political leaders emphasise cutting inflation.

The inventor, 76, told the paper: ‘I’ve always believed that inflation isn’t quite the enemy everyone thinks it is. If you’ve got growth, a bit of inflation doesn’t matter. If you get inflation down and kill growth, I think you’re in trouble.’

Tesla plan for energy storage battery factory in China goes ahead

Tesla’s plans to produce energy storage batteries in China have moved forward with a land acquisition signing ceremony for a new factory in Shanghai, China’s state media said.

Construction is scheduled to start early next year with production to come online by the end of the year, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

The factory will not build batteries for cars but for electric utilities and other companies to store power. The new factory will initially produce 10,000 of Tesla’s Megapack units annually for sale worldwide.

Banksy artwork removed within hour

A Banksy artwork (pictured) has been removed from a south London street less than an hour after it was confirmed as a genuine installation.

The artist confirmed the work, a traffic stop sign covered with three aircraft said to resemble military drones, was his, in a social media post on Friday shortly after midday.

Two men were seen taking down the sign at the intersection of Southampton Way and Commercial Way in Peckham at about 12.30pm. It is understood Banksy is not behind the removal.

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Friday headlines you may have missed

London Underground staff plan rolling week of strikes in January

London Underground workers will stage a series of strikes in the new year in a dispute over pay.

Engineering and maintenance workers will be taking action over January 5/6, with no rest-day working or overtime until January 12. London Underground control centre and power/control members will be taking action over January 7/8, and fleet workers will walk out on January 8.

Signallers and service controller members will take action on January 9 and 12 while all fleet, stations and trains grades will walk out on January 10.

Labour MP put training on expenses after being suspended

A Labour MP who was suspended after using ‘abusive language with racial overtones’ towards a journalist went on to charge taxpayers for equality training.

Neil Coyle, who rejoined Sir Keir Starmer’s party after having the whip restored earlier this year, claimed £295 in expenses for the course.

The MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark was suspended from Labour last year following an incident in a Commons bar during which he was said to have made Sinophobic comments towards political journalist Henry Dyer. Coyle went on to put an equality training course in January 2023 on expenses, it has emerged.

FTSE treads water in last pre-Christmas session

Shares in the City trod water on the last day of trading before Christmas, as the index closed just below the 7,700 mark.

JD Sports and Ocado were the two worst performers on the index, down 5.15% and 4.25% respectively, in a short day of trading in London.

The FTSE 100 rose 2.78 points, or 0.04% to end the day at 7697.51. Frankfurt’s Dax index rose 0.28%, while the Cac 40 in Paris had closed up 0.19%.

‘Remain guarded’ against scams over festive season

Fraudsters will continue to prey on people over the festive holidays, a bank is warning, with some customers reporting scams to it on Christmas Day.

Santander UK said two customers made claims on Christmas Day 2022 after falling victim to the family and friends WhatsApp impersonation scam.

WhatsApp impersonation scams involve criminals impersonating people that message recipients know and trust, including family members. They may send a message pretending to be a loved one, leading the conversation towards an urgent appeal for help and a need to transfer money.

Dover queues remain as Christmas travel disruption continues

Long queues were still affecting cross-Channel journeys at the port of Dover as Christmas getaway disruption continued across the country last night.

P&O Ferries said there were still large queues of ‘approximately 90 minutes’ at border control.

The port has attributed the delay to a surge in demand for ferries after the Channel Tunnel rail link was closed on Thursday due to unscheduled industrial action by French workers, which ruined the travel plans of tens of thousands of people.

Motorola loses appeal against price cap for emergency services radio network

Motorola has lost its appeal against the competition watchdog’s decision to cap the price it can charge for the radio network used by all of the UK’s emergency services.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) previously said emergency services had no option but to use Motorola’s Airwave Network so the business can charge ‘prices well above competitive levels’.

The CMA said the decision to cap prices will reduce the current price by almost £200m per year.

Final Royal Navy warship returns home in time for Christmas

Hundreds of families have welcomed home the crew of HMS Duncan, the final Royal Navy warship to return to base in the UK for Christmas.

The Type 45 destroyer sailed into Portsmouth Naval Base through blustery winds as more than 700 friends and families waited on the jetty to be reunited.

Commander Ben Martin, the ship’s commanding officer, said: ‘We thank our families and friends for their continued support.’


The BBC says it’ll be mostly cloudy today, with patchy rain in western areas, but a few brighter spells in the east. Further heavy rain in Scotland, falling as snow in the far north and north-east at first. Windy and mild.

It will be cloudy and windy for much of tonight. Heavier spells of rain will move in from the west, progressing southwards and eastwards. Rain turning patchier towards dawn. Clear spells in the north-east.

Christmas Eve will be windy with mostly cloudy skies and patchy rain in Wales, central and southern England. Variable cloud, bright spells and heavy, scattered showers elsewhere. Mild for most.

James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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