Live updates

Criticism over choice of Trojan Horse investigator

Police and council leaders in Birmingham today voiced dissatisfaction over the Government's decision to appoint former anti-terrorism chief Peter Clarke to investigate the Trojan Horse allegations.

West Midlands Police's Ch Cons Chris Sims called the appointment "desperately unfortunate".

This is a desperately unfortunate appointment. Peter Clarke has many qualities but people will inevitably draw unwarranted conclusions from his former role as National Co-ordinator for Counter Terrorism.

I am a strong supporter of open and inclusive education for all children in Birmingham and across the West Midlands and am committed to the process adopted by Birmingham City Council with educational and social inclusion at its heart.

– Chief Constable Chris Sims, West Midlands Police

Meanwhile, city council leader Sir Albert Bore warned having Mr Clarke as an independent investigator risked undermining the investigations already being carried out.

At first sight, today’s announcement of an Independent Commissioner is a missed opportunity to strengthen our co-ordinated approach to addressing these very serious matters.

Peter Clarke will need to give careful consideration to building a strong relationship with us and, given his recent counter-terrorism responsibilities in London, ensure that his investigation does not undermine the confidence of our communities.

– Birmingham City Council leader Sir Albert Bore

Advertisement

Commissioner appointed to investigate Trojan Horse

The Department for Education today announced a dedicated education commissioner has been appointed to examine allegations that schools in Birmingham are being targeted by a hardline Muslim plot.

Peter Clarke will work with Birmingham City Council to analyse reports that extremists are trying to infiltrate and take over academies and council-run schools to push their agenda.

Education Secretary Michael Gove said he was "extremely concerned" by the allegations.

I have already asked Ofsted to inspect a number of schools of concern and these investigations are ongoing. But wider, more comprehensive action is needed.

These allegations need either to be substantiated and firm action taken, or to be shown to be baseless. We cannot allow uncertainty for parents or pupils to persist.

That is why I am appointing a Commissioner to oversee this work.

Peter Clarke brings a wealth of relevant skills and experience, and is very well placed to lead a fair and thorough assessment of the evidence, and report back to me. We expect he will work closely with Birmingham City Council.

No pupils should be exposed to extremist views or radicalisation while at school.

I have tasked Peter Clarke with getting to the bottom of these allegations, so schools in Birmingham can continue the excellent progress that so many have been making.

– Education Secretary Michael Gove

Road set to stay closed all morning after stabbing

Police officers will be on the scene of a stabbing which left a man in a critical condition for most of the morning, detectives have confirmed.

Part of Slade Road in Erdington has been closed in both directions while investigations are carried out into who attacked the 24-year-old.

Where the stabbing happened
Where the stabbing happened Credit: Google Maps

Ch Insp Neil Hobson said officers were speaking to witnesses as well as trawling through CCTV footage from the area.

A young man is fighting for his life in hospital, so if anyone saw anything and has not yet spoken to us, I would urge them to come forward as soon as possible.

Slade Road is likely to remain closed for much of this morning as it’s vital we fully examine the crime scene during daylight hours.

Advertisement

Stabbing in Birmingham leaves man fighting for life

A man was fighting for his life this morning after being found in a Birmingham street with a number of stab wounds.

Officers were called to Slade Road in Erdington to reports of a disturbance near the junction with St Thomas Road at around 10.50pm.

The man was found in Slade Road, Erdington
The man was found in Slade Road, Erdington Credit: ITV News Central

They found the 24-year-old at the scene with life-threatening injuries.

Slade Road has been closed in both directions between Fentham Road and Abbey Road while investigations are carried out.

National

Birmingham extremism claims from 1990s to present

Birmingham City Council's Cabinet member for Children and Family Services has said allegations relating to extremism in the city's school span from 20 years ago to right up to the present day.

Speaking to ITV News, Cllr Bridget Jones said: "So far the allegations that have come in recently relate to things that are happening present day, as well as things that happened 20 years ago.

"We have got a very wide range here. Each of these allegations, we will look into individually. We hope to build up a full picture as to what has happened. We think some of it will be related to Trojan Horse [investigation], maybe some of it not."

Read: Birmingham investigating 25 schools over extremism claims

Robbers lock staff in cricket club fridge in Birmingham

Robbers locked four people in a fridge in a cricket club
Robbers locked four people in a fridge in a cricket club Credit: West Midlands Police

An investigation is underway after staff and customers were locked in a refrigerated cellar by robbers.

A female staff member and three customers were approached by a group of four men as the woman locked up at the Old Hall Cricket Club in Sandwell at around midnight on Sunday morning.

The group threatened the woman with a screwdriver and made her hand over her possessions.

They were then forced into the refrigerated cellar as the robbers stole cash and spirits.

DC Derek Cole from the Acquisitive Crime Team in Force CID is leading the inquiry. He said:

This was very distressing for the four people caught up in the raid, as they were forced to hand over their money and personal goods before being made to get into the cellar.

They were down there, in the refrigerated space, for around an hour before managing to break out and raise the alarm.

The men were all in their 20s wearing dark coloured tracksuits with hoods.

Skype and IM your GP in new plans

GPs in the Midlands will trial new ways to improve access of care including Skype and Instant Messaging
GPs in the Midlands will trial new ways to improve access of care including Skype and Instant Messaging Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The Midlands will benefit from over £6 million to improve access to care in new plans outlined by David Cameron.

A £50 million pound access fund across the UK means people will be able to see their GP outside working hours and have the option to Skype, e-mail and instant message for consultations.

Two primary care centres will be developed in Birmingham which will trial the extended opening hours from 8am - 8pm seven days a week offering an extra 540 appointments each week.

While GPs in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire will trial similar initiatives including telecare to help people manage their conditions at home.

Karen Helliwell, Director of Commissioning, NHS England Birmingham, Solihull and the Black Country, said:

Improving access to GPs is imperative to prevent health problems storing up and to avoid pressure on our hospitals. I look forward to seeing the results of this exciting scheme and how it transforms healthcare in Birmingham.

Read More: Need to speak to a doctor? Just log on...

Load more updates

Advertisement

Today's top stories