News Round-Up

Feb 16: Labour wins by-elections; London Overground strike called off; UK drones for Ukraine

Here are the headlines on Friday, February 16

Time 6:51 am, February 16, 2024

PM suffers double blow as Labour wins Kingswood and Wellingborough by-elections

Rishi Sunak has suffered a double blow after losing both the Kingswood and Wellingborough by-elections.

Labour overturned majorities of 11,220 and 18,540, delivering the government’s ninth and tenth by-election defeats of the current Parliament and securing its second largest swing from the Conservatives ever.

Gen Kitchen secured Wellingborough with 45.8% of the vote, while Damien Egan (pictured top) won Kingswood with 44.9% of the vote.

Voting begins for Mark Drakeford’s replacement in Wales

Voting begins on Friday for the two candidates vying to be the next first minister of Wales.

Jeremy Miles, the current minister for education and Welsh language, and Vaughan Gething, the minister for the economy, are competing to see who will lead Welsh Labour, and the country, by mid-March.

They want to replace Mark Drakeford, who has been first minister since 2018, having announced his intention to resign late last year.

UK to supply Ukraine with thousands of drones

The UK will supply thousands of drones to Ukraine as the Ministry of Defence pledged to stand with Kyiv ‘for as long as it takes’.

Defence secretary Grant Shapps said the UK will jointly lead a major drone capability coalition with Latvia that will include the provision of first-person view (FPV) and sea drones.

The UK’s latest support for Ukraine comes as Kyiv moved to a defensive posture amid critical shortages on the battlefield. Sea drones are small, unmanned vessels that can be used for clearing mines, carrying out surveillance or detonating enemy ships.

Planned strikes by London Overground workers called off after improved pay offer

Planned strikes next week by London Overground workers have been called off after a pay offer was improved, the RMT union announced.

RMT members working for Arriva Rail London (ARL) on London Overground were due to take strike action on Monday and Tuesday.

They will now vote on the new offer next week.

Deepfakes could swing close UK election or referendum, Sadiq Khan suggests

Deepfakes could swing a close UK election or referendum in future, the Mayor of London has suggested.

Sadiq Khan, who fell victim to a fake AI recording of him supposedly making inflammatory remarks in the run up to Armistice Day protests last year, made the comments during a visit to the Metropolitan Police’s Command and Control Centre in south London on Thursday.

He told the PA news agency that regulation around the fakes is currently ‘not fit for purpose’ and needs strengthening.

Thursday Car Dealer headlines you might have missed

Sturgeon transferred ‘zero’ WhatsApp Covid messages on to corporate record

Nicola Sturgeon is facing calls to make a personal statement to Holyrood after it was confirmed the former Scottish first minister failed to transfer any WhatsApp messages from during the Covid pandemic on to her government’s corporate record.

The Scottish government confirmed ‘zero’ WhatsApp messages were transferred to the electronic records and document management (eRDM) system by the former SNP leader.

Freedom of information (FOI) requests from Sam Taylor of the These Islands think tank also show current first minister Humza Yousaf, former Scottish deputy first minister John Swinney, ex-finance secretary Kate Forbes, and former health secretary Jeane Freeman similarly did not transfer messages.

Trump to stand trial on hush money charges in March, judge rules

Donald Trump’s hush-money trial will go ahead as scheduled with jury selection starting on March 25, a judge ruled on Thursday, turning aside requests for a delay from the former president’s defence lawyers.

The decision means that the first of Trump’s four criminal prosecutions to proceed to trial is a case centred on years-old accusations that he sought to bury stories about extramarital affairs that arose during his 2016 presidential run.

Other cases charge him with plotting to overturn the results of the 2020 election and illegally hoarding classified documents at his Florida estate.


A bright start for many with just the odd shower creeping into north Wales and northern England. It’ll remain bright and dry for the rest of the day, reports BBC Weather. Breezier and slightly cooler than yesterday, but still very mild with temperatures between 12 and 14 degrees.

Long, clear spells for most areas tonight. Cloud thickening in the west with the odd spot of rain.

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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