Live updates

  1. National

Lord Ahmed 'claims Jewish friends pressured courts'

Lord Ahmed was sentenced in 2009 after pleading guilty to dangerous driving, having sent and received text messages in the build up to a fatal crash on the M1 near Sheffield on Christmas Day in 2007.

The final message was sent two minutes before his Jaguar struck the stationary car of 28-year-old Slovakian Martyn Gombar.

No causal link was made between the text messages and Mr Gombar's death, though.

The Times said it gained four separate Urdu-English translations to verify Lord Ahmed's comments during a television interview, which it said were thought to have been made in April last year during his visit to Pakistan. The newspaper claims the peer is seen saying:

I was charged with a traffic offence, for texting while driving. A traffic offence, dangerous driving, and it should have gone to the magistrates court.

My case became more critical because I went to Gaza to support Palestinians. My Jewish friends who own newspapers and TV channels opposed this.

  1. National

Labour: Downgrade means 'time for plan for growth'

Labour's shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, Rachel Reeves has reacted to Britain's credit rating downgrade by the ratings agency Moody's:

Advertisement

Labour Party Conference round-up

Labour Leader - and Doncaster North MP - Ed Miliband made his big speech yesterday at the Labour Party Conference in Manchester. To the faithful was, naturally, warmly received, with one union leader saying it was the best he'd ever heard from him.

Our political correspondent, Ben Erlam, has been speaking to some of our region's MPs to see what they thought of their leader's speech.

Advertisement

Calls for government to halt flood defence cuts

Labour have today called for the Government to reverse its decision to slash funding for flood defences following devastating downpours across West Yorkshire. The shadow environment secretary Mary Creagh claimed cutting flood defence spending by a third could leave more homes at risk.

She said: "Communities that have been devastated by flooding should not have to go through that experience again." But Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman insisted prevention was "a vital area of the work of Government" and said ministers were spending £2 billion on measures to stop floods.

In some places a month's rain fell in 24 hours, leaving hundreds of homes swimming in dirty water and prompting forecasters to say the country could be on course for one of the wettest Junes of the last 100 years.

Load more updates