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Farron to launch Lib Dem leadership bid in Otley

Tim Farron will officially announce his candidacy to replace Sheffield Hallam MP Nick Clegg as Leader of the Liberal Democrats when he visits Otley today.

Tim Farron will announce his candidacy to replace Nick Clegg as the Lib-Dem leader on a visit to Otley Credit: ITV News

The local Leeds North West MP Greg Mullholland will be the Westmorland and Lonsdale MP's campaign co-ordinator.

Farron served four years as President of the Liberal Democrats, until December 2014, and is hugely popular among party grassroots.

“That over 10,000 people have joined the party since polling day shows we still have huge appeal among voters.

"I have every confidence that we as a party can rebuild after a difficult general election - I want to be at the forefront of that, and that’s why I am running to be Leader of the Liberal Democrats.

“I am greatly looking forward to visiting Otley to announce my candidacy. It’s a great example of an area where people see us as the party with the right priorities and are ready to back us.

"That was clear to see in local residents re-electing Greg Mulholland for a third straight term, and overwhelmingly voting Liberal Democrats to run the local town council. Yes, we had a difficult general election result, but we are determined to rebuild and places like Otley show how we can do that.”

– Tim Farron MP
Leeds North West MP Greg Mullholland will act as Tim Farron's campaign co-ordinator Credit: ITV Yorkshire

“I am delighted to be backing Tim Farron to be the next leader of the Liberal Democrats. We need to re-establish a strong identity for the party and reconnect and re-engage with the public.

"Tim has a clear vision for how the party can be energised to do just that and I want to be part of that vision and making it happen.

“I am very pleased that Tim agreed to come to Otley to launch his leadership campaign. Otley is a proud liberal town, with strong civic pride and a wonderful community spirit.

"It is great that after the remarkable Liberal Democrat victory in the Otley Town Council elections, Tim is launching the Liberal Democrat fightback – and we want Otley to be an example of how a strong liberal team can deliver for people.

“Tim has the ability to connect with people from all different backgrounds, in all different parts of this country and he is the right person to lead the liberal revival this country needs. "

– Greg Mullholland MP

Otley in UK first for protecting local pubs

The town of Otley has made history by becoming the first place in the country to get a successful mass listing of its pubs.

Otley in UK first for protecting local pubs Credit: Johnny Green/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Residents must now be consulted before any of the 19 pubs can be converted into supermarkets or office space. Previously changes could be made without planning permission.

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Teenage sailor celebrates being chosen for voyage of a lifetime

A teenage sailor from West Yorkshire is celebrating today after being picked for a voyage of a lifetime.

Heather Thomas from Otley Credit: ITV Yorkshire

18-year-old Heather Thomas from Otley was down to the final two in a competition to get a crew place on the Clipper round the world yacht race.

Heather who has been sailing since she was seven will now be one of the team taking part in the sixth leg of the race when the famous yacht crosses the Pacific Ocean.

Six-year-old Sam protests over drug funding at Westminster

People with ultra rare genetic diseases have protested at Westminster in their continuing campaign to try and persuade the health service to keep funding a drug which could change their lives.

They include six-year-old Sam Brown, from Otley, who has Morquio Syndrome.

It is a rare condition that means his skeleton does not grow properly, but his internal organs do.

Sam has been receiving a drug called Vimizin that helps him live a normal life.

It is expensive but it had been provided free by the drug company which produces it.

However, that deal is coming to an end.

Jon Hill reports:

Campaign for brave Sam's drugs returns to Westminster

Leeds MP Greg Mulholland will lead campaigners later today in a protest outside Parliament to step up the pressure on NHS England to fund much-needed drugs for people with ultra-rare diseases.

Sam Brown Credit: ITV Yorkshire

He has taken up the case of six-year-old Sam Brown from Otley who suffers from the rare genetic disease Morquio Syndrome, but has been told his drug, previously provided for free by the drug company, will not be supplied beyond May 12.

Greg Mulholland MP Credit: ITV Yorkshire

"These families and charities have had enough of being let down and fobbed off over the failure to approve funding for the life changing drugs these children need.

"They are we are consistently getting no real responses from NHS England or from Ministers, all of whom are hiding behind the ongoing consultation for a new system and even then, it is not clear when funding could be approved for the three drugs these children need and how long this will take.

“It was NHS England’s who had to scrap their process in December due to it being flawed and discriminatory, so the moral as well as legal responsibility is on them and the Department for Health to put in place interim funding now to pay for these until a they can establish a new, fit for purpose system for approving drugs longer term, that should have been there in the first place.

"So the Prime Minister must now personally intervene and with less than three weeks before Parliament dissolves, we need a decision on interim funding before then.

"People including children will soon lose access to the drugs they need and their conditions will deteriorate irreversibly as result and for that to happen due to a lack of leadership and accountability is appalling so we need an announcement on interim funding for these drugs now".

– Greg Mullholland MP

Hundreds say final farewell to Otley's "hero" cyclist

The family and friends they described as 'a hero' in the cycling community have said their final goodbyes.

Craig Armitage

Craig Armitage died after his bike collided with a car during an event in North Yorkshire. A few days later, those he rode alongside paid tribute in a mass cycle through Otley.

He was looking forward to what he was going to be doing with his cycling - teaching kids, coaching them.

I remember speaking to him just before he left that day, he was so passionate.

– Gary Hudson

The father-of-three regularly raised money for charity by long-distance rides. Since his death, friends have raised more than £16,000 to support his family.

Hundreds turned out in Craig's home town to pay their respects at his funeral:

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Funeral to take place for Otley cyclist

The funeral takes place today of a cycling coach from Otley who died in a road accident last month.

Craig Armitage was taking part in a cycling event when he was in collision with a car near Bolton Abbey.

Hundreds turned out for a bike ride in his memory a week later. His private funeral takes place at Otley Parish Church later today.

Funding for 6-year-old's life-altering drug to end

A 6-year-old with a rare genetic condition has been told he will only receive the drug he relies for another 10 weeks.

Sam Brown from Otley has Morquoi Syndrome Credit: ITV

Sam Brown from Otley has Morquoi Syndrome which means his skeleton doesn't grow properly, but his internal organs do.

He's been receiving a drug called Vimizin for free from the company which produces it as a goodwill gesture. But it says it'll stop providing the drug from May.

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