Campaigners at an event to protect in Staffordshire highlighted concerns around fracking, badger culling and other issues in the region.Read the full story ›
A remembrance service was held in Staffordshire today to mark the anniversary of the massacre of more than 20,000 prisoners of war.Read the full story ›
Dog walkers are being warned to take care on Cannock Chase after a greyhound was bitten by an adder at the Staffordshire beauty spot.
Animal charity PDSA says eight-year-old Cookie was rushed to its Wolverhampton branch after being bitten while out on a walk.
Almost immediately, she lay down and began to swell up - and needed emergency treatment to save her life.
The adder is the UK's only native venomous snake.
Conservative Cannock Chase MP Aidan Burley has announced that he will stand down as a candidate at the next general election.
It was a wonderful surprise to win the seat of Cannock Chase in May 2010 with the biggest swing in the country and it has been a huge privilege to represent the people of Cannock Chase in Parliament over the past four years. I am grateful to all those who voted for me and supported our campaign which led to our famous victory, winning a seat which had been held by Labour for 18 years. In particular I would like to thank my Agent Ian Collard, without whom none of this would have been possible, and who has been my rock of support since being selected as the Conservative Candidate in July 2008.
I am proud to have been able to deliver many positive things for our area since our election success, including spearheading the campaign to save Cannock Chase Hospital from the administrators axe, running four local Jobs Fayres to help get people back into work, and securing £35 million to electrify the Chase Line. That is what really matters to local people in their day to day lives.
After a difficult time I have decided to announce I will stand down at the next general election. I will continue to work for the people of Cannock Chase until that election, and look forward to supporting my successor, as soon as he or she is selected, to ensure that Labour have no chance of re-taking this seat.
Cannock Chase MP Aidan Burley has announced that he will stand down as a candidate at the next general election.
More to follow.
Aidan Burley, the Tory MP at the centre of a row over a Nazi-themed stag do, will step down as MP for Cannock Chase at the next election, he has announced.
A Conservative MP who organised a Nazi-themed stag party in France in 2011 has apologised for the incident again, after an internal party inquiry found that he was "stupid and offensive" but not racist.
Speaking to the Express & Star, the MP for Cannock Chase in Staffordshire admitted he bought the controversial fancy dress - but said he regretted his actions now.
He said he was not aware the outfit would be illegal in France, and said it was done to "mock" Nazis.
A number of people agreed on what the fancy dress should be and I was tasked with buying it.
I regret the incident and I hope now we can put it behind us. I apologised then and I apologise again now for my role in it.
The outfit was bought legally in London by me as best man and I take responsibility for that.
We did not know that wearing a fancy dress outfit would be illegal in France.
It was done in the spirit of mocking the Nazis. There was no malicious intent, no ideological motive, no desire to offend people. And that was borne out by the investigation by the French authorities.
The MP for Dudley has criticised a Conservative Party report into the MP for Cannock Chase who organised a Nazi-themed stag party in France.
Ian Austin says:
“He claimed at the time that this event was a fancy dress party, and he told his constituents and the Jewish Chronicle that he had not known what was going to happen.
“The trial in France and this report shows neither of those statements was true and it beggars belief that anyone should believe him now.
“His behaviour was an absolute disgrace and I can't understand why the Tories haven't removed the whip.”
The Conservatives' report on MP Aidan Burley was published after the conclusion of French legal proceedings against the groom at the "offensive" stag party.
Mark Fournier, for whom Mr Burley acted as best man, was fined 1,500 euros (about £1,200) for wearing an SS uniform and insignia, which is outlawed in France.
A court in Albertville also ordered the 33-year-old to pay 1,000 euros (about £820) to an organisation representing the families of Holocaust victims.
Neither Mr Burley nor any of the other 10 guests at the party were prosecuted.