Labour’s Sadiq Khan is re-elected as the Mayor of London at City Hall, via PALabour’s Sadiq Khan is re-elected as the Mayor of London at City Hall, via PA

News Round-Up

May 7: Khan’s vow for third term; Fresh train strikes; Retail sales down; Boeing launch aborted

  • Here are the headlines for Tuesday, May 7

Time 6:39 am, May 7, 2024

Sadiq Khan vows to make London ‘byword for opportunity’ in historic third term as mayor

London mayor Sadiq Khan will kick off his third term today with a pledge to use the next four years to make London the ‘best city in the world to grow up in’.

The Labour incumbent won a historic third term of office on Saturday, becoming the first London mayor to do so, with a majority of some 275,000 over Conservative rival Susan Hall.

In an advance copy of his speech, seen by the PA news agency, Khan will outline his commitment to improving the lives of young Londoners, saying his work is about ‘giving the next generation a chance’ and ensuring Londoners can reach their potential from birth to buying a house and getting a job.

Fresh strikes by train drivers to cause more disruption for rail passengers

Rail services on some of the busiest commuter routes in the country will be at a standstill today because of a fresh strike by drivers in a pay dispute that has lasted nearly two years.

Members of Aslef at operators including those running services into London such as Southern, Southeastern and South Western Railway will walk out for the day.

Strikes will also be held tomorrow and on Thursday at different operators, while drivers are also banning overtime until Saturday, which is also causing disruption. The dispute is now the longest in the rail industry.

Early Easter and bad weather contribute to drop in spring retail sales figures

Retail sales dropped 4% in April versus the previous year, dampened by a spell of wet weather and an early Easter bank holiday.

The year-on-year drop is set against a growth of 5.1% in April 2023, but was artificially worsened by the earlier timing of Easter, which previously pushed March sales unusually high, according to the British Retail Consortium-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor.

Nonetheless, even when correcting for the seasonal distortion, the average growth for March and April together was only 0.2% – down on the three-month average of 0.5% and the 12-month average of 2.2%.

Boeing aborts first astronaut launch because of valve issue on rocket

Boeing called off its first astronaut launch last night because of a valve problem on the rocket.

The two Nasa test pilots had just strapped into Boeing’s Starliner capsule when the countdown was halted two hours before the planned lift-off.

The issue involved an oxygen relief valve on the upper stage of the company’s Atlas rocket. There was no immediate word on when the team would try again to launch the test pilots to the International Space Station for a week-long stay.

Sunak ‘determined to fight’ in face of fallout from local elections losses

Rishi Sunak has said he is ‘absolutely determined to fight’ in the run-up to the general election as he braces for a continued fallout from Conservative losses in the local elections.

MPs return to Parliament today after the full extent of the Tories’ drubbing in the local polls became clear over the bank holiday weekend, with the PM likely to face further calls to change political course or to call a national vote.

During a visit to a north London community centre yesterday, he dismissed demands for a change, telling broadcasters he was ‘determined more than ever to show the public that what we’re doing is making a difference’ on issues including the economy and migration.

First Direct relaunches offer of £175 to switch current account

First Direct has relaunched its £175 cash-to-switch incentive on current accounts – at a time when many similar offers have vanished from the market.

The bank said it previously saw significant take-up of the incentive when it launched for four weeks in late March.

To receive the money, customers need to meet certain eligibility criteria, including transferring a £1,000 balance into the account, switching at least two regular payments and using their debit card at least five times within 30 days of the account opening.

Biden warns Netanyahu against major Rafah offensive

President Joe Biden yesterday urgently warned Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu against launching an offensive in the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

It comes as the divide between the two leaders continues to grow along with the mounting Palestinian death toll.

The call between Biden and Netanyahu came as Israel appeared to be moving closer to a major military operation to root out Hamas militants in Rafah — something that Biden and his top aides have repeatedly told Israeli officials will only lead to more deaths and worsen the despair in the war-ravaged territory.

Artwork at National Trust property found to be rare 18th-century colour print

An artwork displayed at a National Trust property and seen by thousands of visitors each year has been identified as a rare surviving work by a printmaker credited with inventing colour printing.

It had always been assumed that the copy of the Sir Anthony van Dyck portrait – The Three Eldest Children of King Charles I – displayed at Oxburgh Hall in Norfolk was oil on paper.

But the artwork was found to be a rare print by 18th century printmaker Jacob Christoff Le Blon when it was sent away for conservation treatment at the trust’s Royal Oak Conservation Studio at Knole in Kent.

Bank holiday weekend headlines on Car Dealer you might have missed

Weather outlook

Sunny spells will develop for most today, says BBC Weather. A few spells of rain will linger in the morning, with showers in the afternoon in western areas, but they’ll be lighter than yesterday. Elsewhere will be drier and brighter.

Wednesday will turn settled for most as high pressure builds. It’ll become warm in the south but cloudier and breezy towards the far north and west of Scotland, with persistent rain moving in from the evening.

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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