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UK ban on prisoner votes upheld

The European Court of Justice has ruled that the UK ban on prisoner voting should stay in place.

It comes after a case in France, where convicted murderer Thierry Delvigne claimed a ban on him voting in European Parliament elections violated his civil and political rights.

But the court ruled the ban was "proportionate" to the offence.

If the court had ruled the other way it could have outlawed all bans on prisoner voting, including the UK's.

The ruling said the "ban to which Mr Delvigne is subject is proportionate in so far as it takes into account the nature and gravity of the criminal offence committed and the duration of the penalty".

Former prisoner John Hirst from Hull started a UK-wide campaign for prisoners to be given the right to vote.


Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale to be awarded a Benefit Year

Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale has been awarded a Benefit Year for 2016 after more than a decade of service to the county.

Andrew Gale Credit: Press Association

The 31-year-old, who lifted the County Championship for a second successive year last month, is now regarded as Yorkshire’s second most successful post-war captain alongside Brian Close.

Gale, born in Dewsbury, started out in league cricket at Gomersal as an eight-year-old but it is the Bradford League club Cleckheaton he regards as his home club. He came through the age groups with England, playing at Under-15 through to Under-19 levels. He captained the Under-19 team, and was named in the England Performance Squad for their trip to South Africa in 2009-10. That December, he was named as Yorkshire captain, replacing Anthony McGrath, so becoming the youngest professional captain in the county's history.

I am immensely proud to be awarded a benefit year and I would like to thank the club for the opportunity. I have represented Yorkshire since I was 10 years old, and love every minute of pulling on the White Rose shirt. I have had some great times at the Club, particularly the last few years where we have enjoyed some success. Although I am probably nearer the back of my career than the start, I still have a burning desire to continue to drive the Club to more success.

– Andrew Gale

Court to issue ruling on prisoners' right to vote

A European court will issue a verdict this morning on whether prisoners should have the right to vote.

John Hirst has previously failed in his bid to get prisoners the vote Credit: ITV News

The original case was brought by John Hirst from East Yorkshire who was convicted in 1980 of killing his landlady.

The government has previously been advised it cannot impose a blanket ban on the vote by the European Court of Human Rights.

Today's ruling comes from the EU's European Court of Justice.

David Cameron: 'if people want to donate then they should'

A Bradford charity has told ITV Calendar that it is considering withdrawing its work from the Calais camps, claiming that too many people are there for the wrong reasons.

The UK Government has so far preferred to focus its attention on the camps in the countries bordering Syria. But the Prime Minister said that people should not be discouraged from donating aid to Calais if they wished to do so.

"There are some important charities working in Calais to help people there and if people want to donate to that part of the refugee crisis then they should. I would encourage people to give to responsible charities that can account for what they do."

– Prime Minister David Cameron

He nevertheless defended the Government's record of helping those caught up in the refugee crisis.

"The right way to help the refugee crisis is to donate money to the Syrian refugee organisations including the work that is being done in Turkey and Lebanon and Jordan. We don't want to encourage people to make what is a very dangerous journey to Europe."

– Prime Minister David Cameron

The Prime Minister said the people living in the Calais Jungle should talk to French authorities and put in an asylum claim there. He pointed out that Britain is 'building very strong borders around the tunnel and the Calais port', in an attempt to 'make sure that people who come to Britain have a right to come to Britain.'


Bradford charity considers withdrawing Calais aid

A Bradford-based charity has told ITV Calendar that it is considering withdrawing its aid from the camp in Calais, following a visit to assess the situation in the area.

A human chain forms to transport a food donation into the camp Credit: ITV Yorkshire

The Human Relief Foundation said that many people living in the Calais Jungle have enough food and clothes, with some suggesting they are happy to stay in the camp.

Deputy CEO Kassim Tokan described life in the camp as “miserable”, but said the visit had led him to question the motivations of some people living there.

“I thought they have valid reason, but most of them they haven’t any valid reason… they want to go (to the UK) to get money, a better economic situation.”

– Kassim Tokan, Human Relief Foundation

Given the current political climate, Mr Tokan suggested many of the people living in the camps would be better off closer to home.

“There is no point in staying here... Syrian people in Jordan have a much better life.”

– Kassim Tokan, Human Relief Foundation

He stressed that each case had to be taken individually, but indicated that it would be difficult to isolate “genuine” cases among the thousands of people living in the camps.

Mr Tokan suggested the charity would look instead to support people closer to their country of origin. “We need to find other places to help them… we are going to help people in Jordan, in Lebanon, in Turkey.”

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