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World's largest aircraft unveiled

The 300-foot-long HAV304 is the world's largest aircraft
The 300-foot-long HAV304 is the world's largest aircraft. Credit: Chris Radburn - PA

The world's largest aircraft - part plane, part airship and part helicopter - has been unveiled in Bedfordshire in all its 300ft-long glory.

Known as the HAV304 or Airlander, the giant aircraft has been displayed at Cardington in the only hangar big enough to accommodate the 113ft (34m) wide and 85ft (26m) high monster.

 The HAV304 at its launch at Cardington Hangar in Bedfordshire
The HAV304 at its launch at Cardington Hangar in Bedfordshire. Credit: Chris Radburn - PA

The ultra-green project was first flown in the USA but was unveiled today by pilot and Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson, who is an investor in the project.

Due to fly in the UK later this year, the craft is designed to stay airborne for up to three weeks and can be used for a variety of functions including surveillance, communications and delivering aid.

Tributes paid to priest found dead in Morrisons car park

Tributes have been paid to a priest who remained unnoticed for three days after having apparently died in the driver's seat of his car.

Father Joseph Williams, 42, was found slumped over the wheel in a Morrisons car park in Houghton Regis, Bedfordshire.

The Morrison's car park in Houghton Regis where Father Joseph Williams was found
The Morrison's car park in Houghton Regis where Father Joseph Williams was found Credit: Google Maps

The Bishop of Northampton, Peter Doyle, said it appeared he had died of natural causes, although a post-mortem has yet to be carried out.

Father Joseph Williams was missing for six days before he was found in this car park
Father Joseph Williams was missing for six days before he was found in this car park Credit: Google Maps

Read more on the Anglia website

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Victoria Pendleton to receive CBE at Buckingham Palace

Victoria Pendleton to receive CBE at Buckingham Palace
Victoria Pendleton to receive CBE at Buckingham Palace Credit: Ian West/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The Queen of British cycling Victoria Pendleton will receive an CBE today at Buckingham Palace. Victoria, from Stotfold in Bedfordshire has won 9 World Championship titles, 2 Commonwealth medals and of course 3 Olympic medals, two Gold and one Silver.

She will receive her award alongside triathlete Alistair Brownlee and fashion designer Stella McCartney.

Anglia

Mid-Bedfordshire MP under investigation by watchdog

Nadine Dorries: Under investigation

Mid-Bedfordshire MP Nadine Dorries is facing an investigation into her expenses claim by a parliamentary watchdog.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority's Peter Davis said he had reason to believe Ms Dorries may have been paid travel and accommodation costs she was not entitled to.

"An investigation will be conducted into claims submitted under the following areas of the third and fourth editions of the MPs' scheme of business costs and expense - accommodation expenditure, travel and subsistence," he said in a statement.

Family faces up to six years in prison over forced labour

Five members of the same family have all been jailed by a judge at Bristol Crown Court for conspiracy to require a person to perform forced or compulsory labour.

William Connors, 52, has been jailed for six and a half years and his wife Mary, 48, received a sentence of two years and three months.

The couple's son, John, 29, was jailed for four years. Their other son James, 20, got three years detention in a young offender institution.

Son-in-law Miles Connors, 24, received a three year prison sentence.

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Nadine Dorries swaps jungle for Santa's Grotto

Nadine Dorries MP visits the Santa's Grotto at the opening of the Christmas Bazaar in Westoning, Bedforshire. Credit: ITV Anglia

Nadine Dorries MP has made one of her first public appearances in her constituency since leaving ITV's I'm a Celebrity...Get me Out of Here!

The MP for Mid-Bedfordshire mingled with her constituents and even allowed schoolchildren to throw wet sponges at her during the opening of the Christmas Bazaar in Westoning, Bedforshire.

Watch the full report on the ITV Anglia website.

Dorries' local party: 'It has taken us by surprise'

The meeting of Nadine Dorries' local constituency association is due to get underway shortly, reports the London Evening Standard's political correspondent Peter Dominiczak:

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A member of the Mid-Beds Conservative Association tells me: "The first I heard about Nadine on this show was when I saw it on the news."

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Dep Chair of Mid-Beds Conservatives says they are meeting "in a few minutes" to discuss Dorries. "It has taken us by surprise," he says.

I'm A Celeb MP's local party 'to hold emergency meeting'

The Daily Mail's political editor James Chapman reports that Nadine Dorries' local party association did not know she was off to appear on the reality TV show in Australia:

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BREAKING Mid-Beds Conservative association to hold emergency meeting today on Nadine Dorries' future as MP. Knew nothing of I'm A Celeb

Judge brands traveller couple's actions 'pure evil'

A husband and wife who "brutally manipulated and exploited" destitute men by forcing them to work in servitude were branded as "violent, cold, hard, exploiters" by their sentencing judge.

34-year-old James John and his 32-year-old wife Josie were convicted of controlling, exploiting and abusing the men for financial gain at a caravan site near Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire.

Judge Michael Kay QC said:

The way they brutally manipulated and exploited men is pure evil. It is at odds with the moral code of the religion they profess to hold.

Their disdain for the dignity of others is shocking. They were not Good Samaritans but violent, cold, hard exploiters."

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