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Tory MPs lend support to Mark Harper after resignation

Conservative MPs have voiced their support for Mark Harper, who has resigned as Immigration Minister after he discovered he was employing a cleaner who no longer had the right to live in the UK.

Tory MP Nick de Bois said he was "very sorry" to hear of Mr Harper's departure, calling him "a very good minister, colleague and decent man".

Conservative MP Andrew Percy said Mr Harper was a "really decent guy", and said it was "like him to act honourably" by resigning as he did.

  1. National

Mark Harper: 'I must hold myself to a higher standard'

Mark Harper, who has resigned as Immigration Minister after discovering that his cleaner was in the UK illegally, said that he felt compelled to resign even though he had "complied with the law at all times".

Mark Harper has resigned as immigration minister after discovering his cleaner was in the country illegally Credit: PA

In his resignation letter to Prime Minister David Cameron, the Conservative MP said: "As Immigration Minister, who is taking legislation through Parliament which will toughen up our immigration laws, I should hold myself to a higher standard than expected of others."

He added: "I have always believed that politics is a team game, not an individual sport.

"Under the circumstances, I have therefore decided that the right course is for me to return to the backbenches. I am sorry for any embarrassment caused."

Mr Harper said he would continue to support the Conservative party and the government "in whatever way I can".

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PM accepted Harper's resignation 'with regret'

The Prime Minister accepted the resignation of Immigration Minister Mark Harper "with regret", Downing Street said.

Harper announced his resignation over his employment of a cleaner who was not permitted to work in the UK.

"Mark Harper offered his resignation after he was informed that his cleaner did not have indefinite leave to remain in the United Kingdom, despite having shown him documents claiming she did," a Downing Street statement read.

"He immediately notified the Prime Minister - who accepted his resignation with regret. There is no suggestion that Mr Harper knowingly employed an illegal immigrant."

Fatal crash in the Forest of Dean

A man has died after a single vehicle crash on the A48 in the Forest of Dean.

At around 10.45am this morning, a black Seat Leon was travelling towards Gloucester when it left the road near Blakeney and collided with trees.

The driver, a 30-year-old man from Churchdown, was pronounced dead at the scene. His next of kin have been informed.

The road was closed for 5 hours as police carried out accident investigation work.

Two people killed in Lydney crash

A man and a woman have died and another woman is seriously injured after a two car collision on the A48 in the Forest of Dean this afternoon.

It happened at about 3.40pm at Lensbrook near Lydney. The two occupants of a Peugeot car - a 29-year-old man and a 46-year-old woman, both from Lydney, died at the scene.

A 72-year-old local woman in a Mitsubishi was airlifted to Frenchay Hospital near Bristol and remains in a serious condition.

Road closures were in place for around five hours while a full collision investigation was carried out.

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MP culls for culling of boars in Forest of Dean

There are calls to increase the number of Wild Boar being culled in the Forest of Dean.

The population has risen in recent years, and some locals say there are now too many and that they are damaging the local area.

One of the parish councils has just passed a motion supporting the cull, and now the local MP want the larger district council to follow suit. Mark Harper says that action needs to be taken quickly before the problems escalate.

Full report: Former care worker escapes jail

A man has escaped a jail sentence despite being convicted of ill-treating three vulnerable residents at a care home in Gloucester.

Brent Morgan had stood on the feet of a woman with severe learning difficulties and forced his fingers into the mouth of a man.

It comes just a year after 11 care workers were convicted of abusing mental health patients at a hospital in Bristol, as Rebecca Broxton reports:

Former care worker receives suspended prison sentence

Brent Morgan had denied ill-treating or neglecting three patients. Credit: ITV News West Country

Former care worker Brent Morgan from Mitcheldean in Gloucestershire has received a suspended jail term, after being found guilty of ill-treating or neglecting three patients at a care home in the Forest of Dean.

But he will have to carry out 240 hours of community service.

Mr Morgan denied the allegations, which the Court heard took place at the Woodlands Care Home in Longhope between January and September 2011.

The home is now run by a different company.

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