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Campaigners call for an elected Mayor in B&NES

A meeting's being held tonight, 23 July, to promote a campaign for an elected mayor in Bath and North East Somerset, similar to the one in Bristol.

A petition has been started which, if it attracts 6,900 names of voters in the area, will trigger a referendum on the issue.

Supporters are meeting at the BRLSI in Queen Square in Bath at 7pm to discuss the campaign.

Entrance to Bath Guildhall
The campaigners feel there should be an elected mayor in control of B&NES Council, which meets at the Guildhall in Bath Credit: ITV News West Country


Mayor Ferguson says "no tanks" to parking protesters

Campaigners fighting plans for new residents-only parking zones around Bristol drove a tank down one of the city's main streets tonight.

The protest was to highlight a petition expressing "no confidence" in Mayor George Ferguson's handling of the scheme.

Mayor Ferguson rejected the groups concerns, which he described as of "no consequence". The petition was debated in tonight's meeting of Full Council but no vote was made and the system is set to continue.

So why did a tank drive down Park Street in Bristol?

People shopping in Bristol this afternoon may have been shocked to see a Sherman tank making its way down Park Street.

The display came courtesy of a group campaigning against the city's parking zones. The demonstrators were heading to College Green to support the fight for a vote of no confidence in Bristol Mayor George Ferguson's plans to control residents parking.

If you missed the spectacle, here it is:

Bristol FGM campaigner to attend summit in London

Fahma Mohamed
Fahma Mohamed Credit: ITV West Country

A teenager from Bristol will be attending the Girl Summit in London today, which aims to end Female Genital Mutilation - or FGM - within a generation.

Fahma Mohamed, who's 17, recently persuaded the Government to contact every school about the tradition, which is illegal in the UK but still practised among the region's African communities.


Bristol Mayor faces 'no confidence' debate

Bristol Mayor George Ferguson will face a 'no confidence' debate later today over the way he's introduced residents' parking schemes.

Protesters have submitted a petition of more than 5000 signatures, enough to force a council debate.

Seven out of twelve proposed zones have now been approved, but campaigners argue they hit trade and force businesses to move.

Tonight's debate is purely a symbolic gesture, as the city's 70 councillors do not have the power to remove a directly-elected mayor from office.

Calls for Swindon MP to stand down as Solicitor General

There are calls for a Wiltshire MP to stand down from the job he was given just six days ago. Robert Buckland, of South Swindon, became the new Solicitor General in last week's reshuffle.

But the appointment's been criticised after it emerged that three years ago he was found guilty of professional misconduct by the legal body he now oversees. Our Wiltshire Correspondent Robert Murphy reports:

Labour question Robert Buckland's appointment

This afternoon Labour released the text of a letter from the Shadow Attorney General, Emily Thornberry MP, to the Bar Council, querying Mr Buckland's appointment.

In it she queries whether a finding of professional misconduct disqualifies an individual from becoming a member of the Bar Council, and whether there is any precedent "for a senior member having had such a finding made against them".

She also asks what background checks were made, and whether a failure to disclose the "conviction" constitutes a fresh misconduct.

" I would be grateful for your views on whether Robert Buckland is a proper person to be Solicitor General for England and Wales".

– Emily Thornberry MP, Shadow Attorney General

Labour is playing a clever game here- not attacking the government directly, but instead querying the legal procedure. That makes it harder for Number 10 to defend the appointment of a man who, by his own admission, did not think the disciplinary finding against him should be mentioned on the grounds that it no longer appears on a website and is therefore "spent" (a legally dubious argument). The Prime Minister has huge issues on his plate at the moment over Ukraine - this is one he could do without.

– Bob Constantine, ITV West Country political correspondent

Bristol MP cleared of breaching parliamentary rules

Photo of MP Charlotte Leslie who is cleared of breaching parliamentary rules
Charlotte Leslie is cleared of breaching parliamentary rules Credit: Fiona Hanson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

A Bristol MP has been cleared of breaching parliamentary rules over a donation to her local party. Charlotte Leslie, Conservative MP for Bristol North West, put down questions about the proposed Severn barrage without properly recording a ten thousand pound donation from the boss of the Port of Bristol, which opposes the scheme. However the standards commissioner says this did not breach the rules, even though Ms Leslie had already apologised for the error.

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