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Accident closes A58 Easterly Road in Leeds

The A58 Easterly Road is closed outbound in Leeds and there is queueing traffic due to a serious accident between Oakwood Lane and Hollin Park Mount. This is affecting traffic heading out of Leeds City Centre towards Roundhay. Police have advised that the road is likely to remain closed for much of the morning.

Victory for baby ashes campaigners in Hull

Parents who have been calling on Hull City Council to hold a local inquiry into the baby ashes scandal are celebrating a victory for their campaign.

Justice Secretary Michael Gove has today written to the council demanding it holds an independent inquiry - similar in extent to the Emstrey inquiry in Shropshire.

Hull MP Diana Johnson and Tina Trowhill met with the Justice Secretary in February

Tina Trowhill, along with Hull North MP Diana Johnson, met with justice secretary Michael Gove in February.

Tina's son William was stillborn in 1994. She was told there would be no ashes, and only in 2014 did she find out there had been - and they had been scattered at a crematorium in the city. She launched a support group and dozens more parents came forward with a similar story.

The meeting with Mr Gove followed an investigation by Calendar, which found the scandal went deeper. It found the ashes of up to 50 babies were still being held at Co-op Funeralcare, which had a historic working arrangement with the local NHS Trust. Some dated as far back as 23 years ago.

Today, Diana Johnson confirmed that Mr Gove had written to her, informing her that he was to ask Hull City Council to hold a local inquiry - something that it has refused to do during the 18-month campaign.

The letter says:

''I am pleased to be able to tell you that my fellow Secretaries of State for Health, and Communities and Local Government, have agreed with me that there is a need for an historic investigation into the practices relating to infant cremations in the Hull area, and we have today jointly written to the Chief Executive of the council asking him to commission this.

We have suggested that the Hull investigation should have similar terms of reference to the Emstrey investigation. It will be independent of central Government.''

– Justice Secretary Michael Gove, in a letter to Diana Johnson MP

In a statement, Hull City Council says it will consider the request, but will not commit to holding an inquiry.

"We are very sensitive to the feelings of those who have been affected by this historic issue and of the need to ensure that parents across the country do not have to deal with the upset and uncertainty of not knowing what has happened to their baby's ashes.

"No decision has yet been made to hold a local inquiry but we will consider the Minister's request taking into account all of the work that has been undertaken locally with the hospital and funeral directors, the previous enquiries in Scotland and Shropshire and the recent national call for evidence, towards which we have contributed substantially.

"Our position has always been that this is a national issue and that the best way to ensure that parents, at a time of great distress, have confidence in a consistent and caring process across all hospitals, funeral directors and crematoria in dealing with the ashes of their babies is for the Government to develop and issue clear guidelines within a national Code of Practice, based on the findings of a national inquiry."

– Trish Dalby, Deputy Chief Executive, Hull City Council


Gyles Brandreth's terry bears gifted to Newby Hall

Teddy bears belonging to broadcaster and writer Gyles Brandreth are to be given a new home in North Yorkshire.

The collection which includes bears such as Paddington, Sooty and Fozzie feature in a public exhibition at Newby Hall.

The former MP's collection of around a thousand bears is believed one of the biggest of its kind in the world. It was assembled by teddy bear enthusiasts Brandreth and his wife, Michele Brown, over many years and previously housed at the former Teddy Bear Museum in Stratford-on-Avon.

A permanent display will open at Newby Hall on Saturday 28 May.

More details expected about Bradford City takeover

More details will be released today about the takeover at Bradford City.

Bradford City joint chairman Mark Lawn will step aside. Credit: Press Association

The club announced on Sunday that two German investors had completed a 100% takeover of the League One outfit on Sunday.

The deal means current joint-chairmen Mark Lawn and Julian Rhodes will both step aside from their roles.

The Bantams finished 5th in League One last season but lost their playoff semi-final to Millwall over two legs.

Lincoln rail plans to be put to council committee

Credit: Press Association

Plans for an hourly train service from Lincoln to Birmingham will be discussed by councillors in Lincolnshire today.

Members of Lincolnshire County Council's Economic Scrutiny Committee will consider how the proposals fit into their wider economic strategy.

The plans are included in the potential service improvements linked to the new East Midlands Rail Franchise due to start in March 2018.

The service would be operated either by East Midlands Trains or Cross Country, and would be around 20 minutes quicker.


Last Orders: Watch the latest episode of our political programme

The European Union referendum features heavily on the latest episode of ITV's political programme Last Orders.

We speak to businessmen and steel workers with a month to go before the crucial vote.

The panel consists of:

  • Barry Sheerman MP (Labour, Huddersfield)
  • Rishi Sunak MP (Richmond, Conservative)
  • Lord Newby of Rothwell (Liberal Democrat)
  • Mike Hookem MEP (UKIP, Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire)

Click below to watch the full episode with Paul Brand

Leeds man reported missing

Police are appealing for anyone who sees a missing Leeds man to get in contact.

Credit: West Yorkshire Police

Neil Hume Charlton, 39, was last seen at 9pm on Sunday 22 May on Milner Bank, Otley.

Neil is described as white, 5'8" tall, with a dark coloured beard and short black hair. He has an athletic build.

Police say he was last seen wearing a woollen hat, black jumper with a grey band over the chest, black jeans and a bright green lightweight jacket with white beading on the arms.

Police praise North Yorkshire fracking protestors

North Yorkshire Police has praised those who took part in protests for the "fracking" planning application decision in Northallerton.

Credit: Press Association

The two-day meeting, which concluded today (Monday 23 May 2016), saw hundreds of people gather to air their views outside County Hall, North Yorkshire County Council.

Police say the atmosphere largely remained good natured while they and North Yorkshire County Council facilitated lawful protest. No arrests were made.

Superintendent Dave Hannan, Head of Specialist Operations at North Yorkshire Police, said: "This issue has generated a great deal of feeling in the local community and beyond. It also has potential to boil over into public disorder and unlawful behaviour.

"North Yorkshire Police worked closely with North Yorkshire County Council and liaised with representatives from all sides of this issue to mitigate this concern, whilst fulfilling our duty to facilitate lawful protest.

"I sincerely thank the protestors for their co-operation throughout the planning meeting and for respecting the local community by keeping disruption to a minimum. Positive feedback from the groups involved demonstrated that the neutral role of the police in these often challenging situations was understood and appreciated by the majority of those in attendance."

– Superintendent Dave Hannan
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