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Up to 700 Brits 'fighting with Islamist militants'

MP for Stratford on Avon Nadhim Zahawi is on a visit to Kurdistan in northern Iraq Credit: David Jones/PA Wire

Iraq-born Tory MP Nadhim Zahawi has said that local leaders in northern Iraq estimate that between 500 and 700 Britons are fighting with the Islamist militants.

He told Channel 4 News that he was seeking further information after a high-ranking official told him one had been found "with a Liverpool Football Club membership card" and another carrying a different UK-related membership card.

Bulldog Bash returns to Stratford-upon-Avon after year out

More than 4,000 bikers are expected to attend the festival Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

The Bulldog Bash returns to Stratford-upon-Avon today after a year out.

More than 4,000 campers are expected at the motorcycle and music festival which runs until Sunday.

The event includes drag strip demos, fairground rides, food and the custom show tent for bikes.

The festival has been held at Long Marston Airfield since 1987 and attracts bikers from across Europe.

The Bulldog Bash includes a number of biker-related events Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

The Bulldog Bash has been hit by controversy over the years. In 2007 Hells Angel member Gerry Tobin was shot in the back of the head while riding home from the festival on the M40.

Seven members of rival gang Outlaws were sentenced to a total of 191 years in prison for his murder.

Warwickshire Police say they will have an increased police presence in the area during the festival and are warning people to plan their travel arrangements in advance.

Hells Angels Gerry Tobin was murdered in 2007 after the Bulldog Bash Credit: Warwickshire Police

While this year's event is expected to be smaller than previous years, the nature of the roads leading to Long Marston Airfield means that they can quickly become congested.

We are urging people to consider their travel arrangements during next week's event and if they do intend to travel allow themselves extra time.

– Chief Inspector Ian Whiting, Warwickshire Police


Man with stoma bag defies doctors to become a model

Blake Beckford was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2003 Credit: SWNS

A bodybuilder from Stratford-upon-Avon who was forced to give up his career because of devastating bowel disease is now a fitness model - sporting an ileostomy bag.

Blake Beckford, 33, was preparing to compete in a bodybuilding competition when he was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2003.

His condition meant he was constantly tired and needed to go to the toilet up to 20 times a day.

The condition stopped him from training and being a bodybuilder. In October he needed surgery to remove his entire colon.

Blake was determined to prove doctors wrong and build himself back up Credit: SWNS

Despite warnings from doctors that training could cause injuries such as hernias, he was determined to get back into shape.

Doctors also warned the father-of-one he would never be able to train at the level required to be a fitness model.

But determined to prove them wrong, he began a training regime in January, starting at a weight of 11st 12lbs.

Over the last six months he has bulked up to 13st 2lbs and has just appeared in ‘Men’s Fitness’ magazine.

Now a personal trainer, Blake hopes his progress will inspire others with stoma bags to have more confidence.

MORE: Worcester woman with Crohns disease becomes internet sensation

Police investigate death at GlobalGathering festival

Warwickshire Police are investigating the death of a 20-year-old man who became unwell at the GlobalGathering event in Stratford-Upon-Avon.

Police say he was taken from the event to Warwick Hospital by ambulance around 11 o'clock last night. Despite attempts to save him, he was declared dead in the early hours of the morning.

His death is being treated as unexplained and a post-mortem is due to take place. The man's next of kin have been informed.

Scene of coffee shop smash in 2012 - driver found guilty

The crowded scene in Stratford-upon-Avon after the crash Credit: ITV News Central
The VW Touran smashed into two shop including a busy coffee shop Credit: ITV News Central
All three emergency services attended on 23 April 2012 Credit: ITV News Central

Man who smashed car into coffee shop found guilty

A former magistrate from Warwickshire, who smashed his car into the front of a coffee shop leaving several people seriously injured, has been found guilty of dangerous driving.

Alan Marks, from Shottery in Stratford-upon-Avon, claimed the crash was caused by a mechanical fault.

But Birmingham Crown Court heard during the trial that the 65-year-old mistakenly pressed the car's accelerator rather than the brake, and failed to control the Volkswagon Touran as it careered into a pedestrianised street.

The crash at the Costa Coffee in Henley Street left a shopper with a traumatic brain injury and another victim with multiple fractures.

Marks was given a two-year conditional discharge and ordered to pay £1,200 in costs, after the jury took two hours to consider its verdict.


Sally Bee becomes Ambassador for Heart Research UK

A television chef and presenter who suffered three heart attacks says becoming an Ambassador for Heart Research UK is one of her proudest moments.

Sally Bee, who lives in Statford-on-Avon, has been at Birmingham Children's Hospital speaking to others about her experiences.

James Clark reports.

Top 5 tips: TV chef says how to keep your heart healthy

Woman killed in Stratford-upon-Avon car crash

A woman has died after a two car crash in Stratford-upon-Avon on Saturday night.

The woman, who was the driver of one car, died at the scene of the crash on the A3400 near to the Ettington Park Hotel in Alderminster at 8.40pm.

Another woman is in hospital after being trapped in the wreckage for more than an hour.

The driver of the second car, a woman believed to be in her 20s, was significantly trapped in the wreckage. Upon initial assessment, medics found she had sustained multiple traumatic injuries including a head injury...

After more than an hour, the woman was released and medics were able to fully immobilise her with a neck collar, spinal board, pelvic, arm and leg splints as well as deliver further drug therapy before she was taken to University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire for further treatment.

– West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman

Princes Charles visits RSC in Stratford-upon-Avon

The Prince is visiting various locations in Warwickshire today Credit: ITV News Central

Prince Charles has been watching a short Shakespeare performance by local pupils at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon.

His Royal Highness is visiting various landmarks in Warwickshire today.

The trip to RSC is part of the Shakespeare 450th year celebrations which have been taking place in Stratford-upon-Avon.

PM asked to create national day commemorating Shakespeare

The PM has been urged to create a national day to commemorate the birth of Shakespeare Credit: PA Wire

David Cameron has been urged to create a national day to commemorate the birth of playwright William Shakespeare.

The 450th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth has been celebrated in recent days, leading to the MP for Stratford-upon-Avon to make the request to the prime minister.

Mr Cameron disclosed to MPs that he was inspired and driven on by Henry V's speech before the Battle of Agincourt.

Shakespeare's house in Stratford-upon-Avon Credit: ITV News Central

In a lengthy question which appeared to have taken inspiration from Shakespeare's works, Conservative MP Nadhim Zahawi referred to the Prime Minister as he said:

"Could this right honourable man, the captain of our state, lend his help to make our national poet's birth a national day, and could he disclose before the House what Shakespeare means to him?"

Mr Cameron replied: "Can I thank you for that beautifully and brilliantly crafted question about the anniversary of Shakespeare's birth.

It is a moment for celebration, not just here in Britain but all across the world, where Shakespeare's works are getting a wider and wider understanding and distribution.

I won't attempt the quotes you have brought out in your question.

But I would say to any politician, if you read Henry V's speech before Agincourt - if that doesn't inspire and drive you on, I can't think what does."

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