Live updates

Right-to-die campaigner welcomes Carey's backing

The widow of a man who campaigned for the right to assisted dying has welcomed a change of heart by the former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey.

Jane Nicklinson from Melksham, who's husband Tony was paralysed, says she's delighted the former Bishop of Bath and Wells has changed his mind, and believes others in the church will now speak out in support of assisted dying.

David Woodland reports:

Case of Tony Nicklinson changed Lord Carey's mind

Tony Nicklinson was paralysed in 2005 after suffering a stroke. Credit: PA

Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey has said he changed his views on assisted dying after being inspired by the case of a locked-in syndrome sufferer from Wiltshire.

Tony Nicklinson from Melksham battled for seven years to have the right to end his own life but it was refused and he died naturally aged 58 in 2012.

Writing in the Daily Mail, Lord Carey said: "It was the case of Tony Nicklinson that exerted the deepest influence on me,"

"Here was a dignified man making a simple appeal for mercy, begging that the law allow him to die in peace, supported by his family.

"His distress made me question my motives in previous debates. Had I been putting doctrine before compassion, dogma before human dignity?"

Advertisement

Former Bishop of Bath & Wells backs right-to-die

Lord Carey was Bishop of Bath and Wells between 1988 and 1991. Credit: PA

A former Archbishop of Canterbury and Bishop of Bath and Wells has broken free with the Church of England's stance on assisted dying and said it would not be 'anti-Christian' to legalise it.

Writing in the Daily Mail, George Carey said he would be backing legislation tabled by Lord Falconer which proposes allowing doctors to prescribe a lethal dose to terminally ill patients with less than six months to live.

He warned that by opposing reform the Church risked 'promoting anguish and pain.'

It marks an extraordinary U-turn by the 78-year-old cleric, who was Bishop of Bath and Wells between 1988 and 1991, before becoming Archbishop of Canterbury.

National

Tony Nicklinson's widow says he would have been 'really pleased'

Jane Nicklinson with daughter Lauren. The family have pledged to carry on Tony's right-to-die fight.
Jane Nicklinson with daughter Lauren. The family have pledged to carry on Tony's right-to-die fight. Credit: PA

The widow of locked-in syndrome sufferer Tony Nicklinson, who tirelessly campaigned to have the right to end his life, has said he would be 'really pleased' the former Archbishop of Canterbury's is backing laws to legalise assisted dying.

Jane Nickinson lost Tony two years ago but said she was 'amazed and thrilled' at Lord Carey's U-turn on the issue.

She told BBC 5 live's Stephen Nolan: "This is huge because the Church has always been one of our greatest opponents.

"I think Tony moved a lot of people but to hear he moved someone in such a prominent position - someone who is willing to come out and openly support our position - I'm just over the moon about it.

"I'm really pleased and I know Tony would be as well."

Mrs Nicklinson and paralysed former builder Paul Lamb lost a right-to-die fight in the UK's highest court last month, but said they were hopeful that change would come.

West Country (W)

Watch the latest Westcountry at Westminster Part 1

This month our topics are the huge public sector strike, and more funding for the Somerset Level's flood defences. Also, we start looking at the run-up to next Spring's General Election.

And, following the start of the Tour de France in the UK, we discuss the impact of cycling in the West ahead of this September's Tour of Britain.

Our guests are : Charlotte Leslie, Conservative MP for Bristol North West, keen cyclist Labour's Ben Bradshaw, who's MP for Exeter and Gawain Towler, UKIP's former press manager.

Mr Towler narrowly failed to win a third seat for the party in the South West at the European elections. The West Country at Westminster is hosted by Alastair Stewart.

Advertisement

Southstoke campaigners disappointed with green belt decision

Campaigners in Bath have failed in their bid to save greenbelt land from development. Bath and North East Somerset Council last night agreed a plan to meet Government targets that would see three hundred homes on land between Southstoke and Odd Down.

Robert Hellard is the vice chairman of Southstoke Parish Council and says they are hoping to get the attention of the minister to call in the plan and look at it closely and build within Bath instead.

Plans for former MoD site on display

The latest plans for a former Ministry of Defence site in Bath go on show to the public today.

Social housing group Curo wants to build 700 homes and community facilities at Foxhill - which will now be named Mulberry Park.

An exhibition is being held at St Andrew's Church for two days.

Plans for greenbelt housing go through

Bath and North East Somerset Council has agreed to set aside greenbelt land for housing.

It would mean 300 homes being built on land on the South Stoke Plateaux to meet government targets for 13,000 new homes in the next 15 years.

Protesters met before the meeting to try and stop the decision going through.

Protesters gather outside Bath greenbelt meeting

There have already been protests against the proposals for the Greenbelt site and an online petition is gathering support.
There have already been protests against the proposals for the Greenbelt site and an online petition is gathering support. Credit: ITV News

Demonstrators campaigning against proposals to build around 300 homes on fields on the outskirts of Bath have gathered outside the building where the plans are being discussed.

Open fields on the South Stoke Plateau - towards the south of the city - have been earmarked for development.

Councillors for Bath and North East Somerset are meeting in the city tonight.

Campaigners want the fields to remain untouched.
Campaigners want the fields to remain untouched. Credit: ITV News
Load more updates

Advertisement

Today's top stories