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Sir Alan Haselhurst steps down after 40 years as MP

Stepping down after 40 years Credit: PA Images

The region's longest serving MP Sir Alan Haselhurst is stepping down after 40 years at Westminster.

The Conservative was first elected as the MP for Saffron Walden back in 1977. The former Deputy Speaker said that initially he had been ready to stand again, but today issued this statement:

"I have had time during the last seven days to consult many people, not least my family and reflect on the unexpected situation which has arisen. Whilst I have no doubt as to my capacity and commitment to carry out my representative duties I have begun to recognise that it might test the friendship and goodwill of so many people whose support I have enjoyed if I sought to do so for a further five years. I feel now that my initial instinctive response was premature and that I should not after all seek re-election for the Saffron Walden constituency in whose debt I am for the privilege of being granted 40 years’ service.

– Sir Alan Haselhurst


'It was a massive surprise' say couple who owned piano with hidden hoard of gold inside

A couple who donated a piano to a local school which then turned out to have a hoard of stashed gold sovereigns hidden inside say 'It was a massive surprise'.

Graham and Meg Hemmings had owned the piano for 33 years from when they lived in Saffron Walden in Essex.

They moved to Shropshire two years ago and donated the piano to a local school, where the gold was discovered when it was being tuned.

An Inquest concluded it was treasure, meaning it will now be offered for sale to a museum. The school and the piano tuner who found the gold could be in line to benefit with a reward of up to the market value of the coins under the Treasure Act of 1996.

The original owners say they're happy the find will now benefit the school.


Five-year-old critically injured after 'being hit by learner driver'

Police believe the driver of the car was a learner driver Credit: PA

A five-year-old boy has suffered life-threatening injuries after a suspected learner driver crashed into him in Saffron Walden.

The youngster was struck by a Renault Megane on Wednesday, which then crashed into a house in Gabriel Street.

An Essex Police spokesman said: "Police believe the driver was a learner and there were L-plates on the vehicle."

The boy was airlifted to hospital where he remains in a critical but stable condition.

The driver and passenger of the vehicle have been voluntarily interviewed by police and inquiries are continuing.

Police are keen to speak to children who were with the boy at the time of the incident but have not yet spoken to officers.

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