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  1. Daniel Hewitt

Labour donor says party WILL split if Corbyn wins and pledges to fund a breakaway group

One of Yorkshire's richest men and one of the Labour Party's biggest individual donors has said he will fund a breakaway party in Jeremy Corbyn is re-elected.

Dr Assem Allam, who owns Hull City Football Club, has long been a critic of Mr Corbyn's leadership, describing him as unelectable.

Now he's told our Political Correspondent Daniel Hewitt it is inevitable Labour will split, and has revealed he's been in contact with senior party figures about forming a new party.


Hull City owner donates funds for robotic surgery equipment

Hull City owner, Dr Assem Allam has donated £1.4 million to bring patient treatment in Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust into the robotic age.

Dr Allam has made the £1.4 million donation Credit: Press Association

Allam and his family have pledged the funds to buy surgical equipment that will make it possible for surgeons to perform complex operations through tiny incisions with a robot nicknamed, The 'Da Vinci'.

The robot replicates the range of movements of a surgeon’s hand, but unlike open surgery, the robot does this through tiny holes, reducing the pain and blood loss caused by open surgery.

The new equipment is planned to be brought into use in the summer of 2015 once the system and supporting equipment has been installed and the clinical team has completed the necessary training.

Dr Allam said:

I was most surprised to learn that the population of Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire did not have local access to Robotic Surgery. There are currently more than 40 units installed in Britain, with the majority being mainly in London and the South East of England, but none in the East Riding of Yorkshire. I am always striving for the East Riding to be the best and to support developments that will benefit the local community.

– Dr Assem Allam

Football finance expert says "Allam won't walk away"

A leading expert on football finance believes Hull City owner Assem Allam won't walk away if - as expected - the FA rejects his bid to rebrand the club as Hull Tigers.

Ahead of an FA Council vote on April 9, the FA's Membership Committee yesterday recommended turning down his application.

Mr Allam, who's invested more than £70m in the club, says the rebranding is essential to maximise commercial opportunites, and he's repeated his pledge to sell up if he's not allowed to change its name.

But Rob Wilson - a leading football finance expert at Sheffield Hallam University - told Calendar's Sports Correspondent John Shires that he doesn't believe Mr Allam will quit.

City accuse FA of prejudice

Hull City have accused the FA of being prejudiced in its handling of the club's bid to change their name to Hull Tigers.

The club has released a statement responding to the FA's membership committee recommendation that the application to alter the club's existing name should be rejected.

The club are disappointed with the timing of Monday's announcement made by the FA. We feel we have been prejudiced right from the outset. The FA introduced a new policy to handle our application on the back of consultations with the City Til We Die group, and we therefore feel that our application was already pre-judged. This feeling has been reinforced with Monday's announcement, as the club feel this will further prejudice the forthcoming ballot of season pass holders. However, this is now the time for the silent majority to come forward and support the club's aspirations.

– Hull City statement

FA confirms Hull City name change rejection

The Football Association has now confirmed that the committee given the job of examining Hull City's plans to change the club's name to the Hull Tigers has recommended rejection.

The recommendation, which came after consultation with stakeholders within and outside of the game, will be discussed and voted on at a full FA Council meeting on 9 April 2014. The club will be able to make a further submission before the meeting.

Hull owner Assem Allam, who's invested more than £70m of his family's money into the club, has warned he'll walk away if his rebranding plans are turned down.


FA "to reject" Hull City name change

Assem Allam waves to the Hull crowd at the KC. Credit: Richard Sellers/EMPICS Sport

Hull City's bid to be re-branded as Hull Tigers is set to be rejected by the FA next month.

In the biggest blow yet to the controversial plans of owner Assem Allam, it's reported that the FA Membership Committee will make a recommendation to reject the plan when the full FA Council meets on April 9.

During the FA's own consultation process on the issue, there was unanimous opposition to the plans from supporters’ groups, the Football League and the Premier League.

Mr Allam has consistently warned that he'd walk away from the club - into which he's invested more than £70m - if his plans are rejected.

Meanwhile The FA has declined to comment.

Fans challenge Hull rebrand

Hull fans group City Till We Die will meet owner Assem Allam on Friday to debate his proposal to rename the club Hull Tigers.

Allam revealed in the summer he wanted to rebrand the club and ditch the current Hull City AFC moniker, which has stood for 109 years.

He angered fans when he claimed it was a "lousy identity" and that the 'City' suffix was "common".

A range of supporters' groups have come together under the City Til We Die banner in a bid to stop the change and representatives will have the chance to put their case to Allam this week.

City Till We Die campaigners will be urging Dr Allam to reconsider his decision to change Hull City's 109-year-old name, explaining that it is an important part of the local community, and that a rebrand to "Hull Tigers" is not necessary to market the club more successfully.

"They will also be calling on the owner to engage in proper consultation with supporters."

– City Till We Die statement