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The families of the victims of the Birmingham pub
bombings will get legal aid because of a change in the law.
You know, it is, it's marvellous, really.
As long as nothing else is going to follow.
We'll be speaking to Julie Hambleton from the
Her sister Maxine died in the bombings.
Two patients die in six weeks after being sent home from accident
and emergency in Coventry - with aneurysms.
She was really upset about how she had been treated.
She told me they told her she was a time waster.
A disaster waiting to happen - the military warn of a potential
collision between its aircraft and a drone.
We are at the school preparing to celebrate the life and career of the
Black Country artist whose drawings were just Dandy.
And after a bitterly cold day, you'd be forgiven for thinking prospects
were bleak for the weekend, but it is warming up. Details later.
The families of the victims of the Birmingham pub
bombings have learnt today they are to get legal aid.
Sir Oliver Heald QC, the Minister for Legal Aid, said this afternoon,
"It would be a travesty for families to be denied justice,
The Government has intervened in an apparent U-turn
to remove legal barriers - which had previously
It has been a hard-fought and often angry battle.
In a moment I'll be talking to Julie Hambleton, who's led
But first here's Carolle Forde Garcia.
It's been a fight which has been long and bitter.
Even as the families walked to the courts for a pre inquest
hearing last November they had no legal funding and were at war
If we do not have parity in legal funding, then that means to say that
the scales of justice will be so unbalanced that the inquest will not
be able to move forward. 42 years ago, people died and nearly
200 were seriously injured when bombs exploded in crowded Birmingham
pubs. Julie, whose sister Maxine was killed in the bombings, has led the
campaign for justice. It has taken her all the way to Northern Ireland,
to this Belfast law firm. The families believe only they could get
the truth. We deal with daily issues such as
intelligence, field investigations, misdirected investigations. An awful
lot of those issues permeate a lot of killings and unresolved
contentious killings in this jurisdiction. Those issues are at
play in relation to the Birmingham pub inquest case.
The Northern Ireland lawyers have worked for nothing.
Up to today they didn't qualify for legal aid in england and Wales.
In a statement, the Minister responsible for legal aid said:
Bill lost his brother James in the bombings.
Tonight, he gave a cautious response to the news.
It's marvellous, really, as long as nothing else is going to follow,
because we have got the inquest, and then we had the story with the
money. Now we have got the money, is something else could come up?
This week, the victims were granted the freedom of the city. Tomorrow
the law will change, allowing the Northern Ireland lawyers to seek
justice that the families have always thought to get. -- vote to
get. I'm joined now by Julie Hambleton,
whose sister Maxine was one of the 21 killed
in the bombings in 1974. Good evening, good to see you. Your
reaction to the news? We are cautiously optimistic. We are
not going to move further forward until the ink is dry. However, if
the promise is not fulfilled, the government will look pretty silly.
But it does appear that the empty rhetoric has now become reality.
How did you hear the news? I was telephoned at work its so
Oliver Hill, they contacted me yesterday to see if I was available,
and he was almost apologetic in his tone, but he did say that it was
time for us to be given access to the funds, because we file into an
unprecedented funding bubble. And as such, he wanted to try and help us,
and to change the law accordingly to do so.
When you received the phone call, what was your overriding emotion?
Well, I am still cautious about the whole situation because, when Amber
Rudd telephoned me in September, she said she fully supported our
application for a legal aid, and we thought that was the door open, and
nothing happened from there. Another barrier was built and the door did
not open. So until the ink is dry, we will sit cautiously. However, we
would hope that once the firm has filled the application in again,
that the legal aid agency will be expeditious in their application to
get it through and ready, so that we can be fairly and effectively
legally represented at the forthcoming preliminary hearing on
the 23rd of debris. And the family is not Iraq are
severe and is has turned the empty rhetoric of the politicians into
reality. It is quite an achievement, isn't it?
Absolutely, and we have to thank our supporters, from local Brummies, the
Birmingham mail, the BBC, ITV, supporters all over the country, in
Ireland, and even the Lord Mayor, the council leader, everybody. The
Birmingham Mail, everybody. We want to thank everybody out there.
Without you, we would never, ever have got to where we are, and we
thank each and every one of you. All the families are indebted to
everyone, thank you. From the bottom of our hearts.
Julie, thank you for coming in. Other news...
Two patients have died in six weeks, after being sent home from accident
and emergency in Coventry with a known condition.
They both had an aortic aneurysm - a swelling of the body's
main blood vessel - which if it bursts, can be fatal.
Both families blame a crisis in the NHS for the death
Our Health Correspondent, Michele Paduano,
This was June Foxwell on holiday last March.
She suffered from high blood pressure and breathing difficulties.
But her family are still trying to come to terms
She was sent home from A twice with a known aortic aneurysm.
She collapsed 11 hours later after it burst.
The aorta is the main vessel carrying blood from the heart.
Sometimes the wall becomes weak and begins to bulge.
If operated on, 96% of patients survive,
She was really upset about how she had been treated.
She told me they told her she was a time waster,
and a malingerer, and as my dad has said earlier, that was not her.
A post mortem report shows an ultrasound scan on August 22nd
But after three days in hospital she was sent home.
On August 30th, she was kept in A overnight, then sent home.
She collapsed 11 hours later and died.
University Hospital Coventry would not answer any detailed
questions, said it was working with the coroner to address
But the coroner has already held an inquest to a death that occurred
six weeks before Mrs Foxwell's in remarkably similar circumstances.
The father of Labour MP Toby Perkins died on July 15th after being put
in a taxi and sent home from University Hospital.
Four days earlier he had been sent home from the A department
at Coventry and Warwickshire hospital with what a vascular
surgeon described at my father's inquest as classical aneurysm
Mr Perkins was shocked it could happen again.
It is very worrying that the pressures that
are on the national Health Service, and on the University Hospital
in Coventry particularly in this case are such that the hospital
are constantly having to make decisions about sending people home
who really should be in a hospital bed.
A couple for 39 years, they used to do everything together.
But Dave is having to come to terms with life on his own.
The military in Shropshire are warning it's only a matter
of time before one of their low flying aircraft collides
with a drone, causing a potential disaster.
The skies above the Midlands are already busy -
but planes and helicopters are increasingly being
Our Special Correspondent Peter Wilson has been investigating.
They have been flying here for 100 years.
There's not much that scares these men and women,
but the home of the defence helicopter flying school has
We operate at heights below 500 feet, which is exactly where drone
operators will be flying their toys, and it is only a matter of time,
Drones, remote-controlled aircraft, can cost as little as ?50.
30,000 were sold last Christmas by just one UK retailers.
The helicopter crews in Shropshire have increasingly
had to dodge the drones as they practice their
We have had reported sightings in various parts of Shropshire,
over Nesscliffe training area and over Telford.
and, you know, drones are only supposed to be flown up to 400 feet.
These viewings have been spotted up to 1800, 2000 feet.
It is not only airfields that have seen near misses
Prisons too, as criminals use the devices to fly
The RAF has grave concerns about such flights,
if they were to be operating over Her Majesty's
Right opposite the main entrance to the prison is an airfield,
Turnhill, and the helicopter relief landing ground.
So concerned are the RAF about drones that they are saying
to people living in Shropshire, if you see a drone
At Harper Adams University in Shropshire, the next generation
of drones are being developed for the farming industry.
In the future, they may be used to spray crops.
Already the drones are being used by farmers to survey their fields,
and researchers are now working with the military to make sure
that their drones can be seen by the helicopter crews.
So, a cloudy day, lights work really well.
On really bright sunlight days, you can't see lights too well,
hence mirrors on the system here, the disco balls, allowing it to be
visualised by flashing light from the strongest source
More than 50 flights a day take off from Shawbury.
The helicopter crews pray that they will not be the first
The family of former Birmingham City footballer Denis Thwaites,
who was killed in the Tunisia terror attack, have told an inquest that
an "evil and twisted" ideology had torn apart their lives.
Mr Thwaites, and his wife Elaine, were among 38 tourists who died
Mr Thwaites, who was 70, played 87 times for Birmingham City from 1962
A gang who groomed and raped teenage girls in coventry have been jailed
The judge said the five men accused social media to exploit teenage
girls. Marcus Woolcock and Zahid Chaudhary
were told they would be expected to serve half of their respective
sentences before being Waqaar Khan, Kadeem Bourne,
and Kenan Kelly were told they would also be placed on the sex
offenders register for life. Labour has named its candidate
to fight the Stoke-on-Trent Central Gareth Snell is currently a
councillor in Newcastle-under-Lyme, and will contest the seat vacated
by Labour's Tristram Hunt. Mr Snell started his
campaign with a visit to the Wade Ceramics factory,
along with Shadow Brexit Secretary, Mr Snell said he now wanted the best
outcome for the city. We accept the referendum outcome,
and now it is our duty to make sure My focus will be getting the best
deal for the Potteries. And I think it is important
that the Labour Party now comes forward and supports the triggering
of Article 50 because that's There's a full list of candidates
on the BBC website. Thanks for joining us
on Midlands Today. The families of the victims
of the Birmingham pub bombings will get legal aid
because of a change in the law. We'll have your detailed weather
forecast from Shefali shortly. A big rise
in production at Jaguar Land Rover, making it Britain's biggest car
maker for the second year running. Firefighters are still tackling
a huge fire at a derelict factory It started at a former paper
manufacturers in the Fordhouses area At its height over a hundred
firefighters were on site, as they worked to protect
neighbouring businesses. Piled high with rolls of paper,
it did not take long The intense heat burning
through walls and ceilings. This was a substantial fire,
really severe fire. At the height of the blaze we had
20 fire appliances here. That was a total
of 100 firefighters. A severe incident which has
taken protracted time At the heart of an industrial
estate, work went on through the And this is why getting it under
control was so important. This is the side of the factory
which was on fire, and this is the perimeter
of Marston Aerospace, where last night the team
on the night shift had If the fire had jumped just
this short distance, By morning, the fire was under
control, but still burning. The concern now, to find out
if the chemicals contained in tanks By the afternoon, specialist teams
working with the Environment Agency We've identified the chemicals,
they are not harmful to human life. However, we don't want
them entering the canal, We've also got a brook,
which runs very close So we're trying contain the water
on the site along with the chemicals and we are in the of putting
the fire out. That work is expected
to go on into the night. The owners of the site did not
want to appear on camera, but told me this afternoon
they are working closely with the Fire Service to provide
as much information as possible Still quite a lot of activity going
on this evening, around 40 firefighters still on the scene,
working to put out the fire. You may be able to see a bit of a glow and
smoke behind me, that is the fire still alight. Good news this
evening, we are told that most of that is steam as opposed to smoke,
which is good news for people living and working in the area who have
been told to keep windows and doors closed for most of the day.
Firefighters are actively trying to put out the fire in the centre of
the building, they have been avoiding trying to do that for most
of the day, not wanting to put warm water onto the situation, because of
concerns about those chemicals. However, they have been allayed, and
there is a plan in place. Much more work to do, to get the fire out, so
that the hard job of investigating how this fire started can get
underway. "An animal wouldn't be allowed
to suffer like my son does." The words of the Mother
of five-year-old Alfie He has a rare and severe
form of epilepsy. Alfie has been hospitalised
scores of times, His mother Hannah believes
an alternative therapy, She's campaigning for
the Government to legalise Five-year-old Alfie in Warwick
Hospital just a few weeks ago. He is about to experience
a mild seizure. He had 16 seizures in a row,
which we had to treat, Alfie's mum, Hannah,
who is from Kenilworth, Every seven to ten days,
Alfie will experience It is because he has a very rare
form of epilepsy, called TCDH 19. When he comes out of it,
he is hysterical, crying, he must have a headache,
he's frightened, he's confused, he can't talk properly
because obviously his When Alfie was eight months old,
he very nearly did not pull through. They basically put him to sleep
on a life-support machine. It was just horrendous,
it was just the worst. We went from being a happy family
to that within hours, it was awful. It obviously really upsets me now
just thinking about it, Since then, Alfie's been
prescribed a series of drugs, He is being pumped full of drugs
all the time that don't work, he is being held down
against his will for these drugs to be put into him,
and as far as I'm concerned You wouldn't allow an animal to go
through what he goes through, Which is why she is now
campaigning for cannabis oil, which has helped children like Alfie
in other countries, to be If all these countries recognise
this cannabis herb has this extraordinary medicinal value,
surely we should move, But for people like the Deacons,
it cannot be too soon, these children with severe childhood
epilepsy, they need medication now, But the Conservative government
is still saying it has no plans It argues that cannabis damages
mental and physical health. Epilepsy is a very dangerous,
dangerous illness that can kill you, and I have to have the right to use
this for my son, and if that means I have to take him a broad then
fine, but I will still fight for everyone to have
the right to use this. In two weeks, she has got 1500
signatures on a petition, which she plans to hand
into the government later this year. One of the biggest employers
in the West Midlands has reported a significant
increase in production. Production is up 11%, with more than
500,000 vehicles coming off the production lines at its two plants.
It is welcome news for thousands of employees and the many companies
which supply car parts. Our reporter reports on another bumpy year.
Jaguar's first SUV has been a phenomenal success after it went on
sale last year, along with new and refreshed models, which has helped
Jaguar Land Rover retain its position as the UK's number one
car-maker. It is a source of relief for the staff at Solihull.
Everyone has been working hard, and it is picking up, and everyone has a
bright future. Proud to work here and be part of
the company. Solihull is one of three car
manufacturing plants run by Jaguar Land Rover in the UK. The company
said reduction has increased by more than 240% since the recession in
2009, and in the past five years sales have doubled, and the number
of jobs has more than tripled. We've invested ?3 billion per year
on new factories, new products, new technologies. And therefore we have
a business plan that is delivering the sort of production figures you
have heard today, and the sales figures.
80% of the cars made here are exported and many are being sold in
EU countries will stop what does Jaguar Land Rover want as we move
towards Brexit? We have been a beneficiary of what
has been in place with the EU for a long time. We hope the government
can negotiate an ongoing, tariff free environment. Additionally,
still secure the best people from Europe and the UK to work for Jaguar
Land Rover. If conditions are right the company
wants to expand further with a new factory near Coventry. With new
models, production could rise to another million cars per year by the
end of the decade. Millions of us chuckled at his
drawings as children, yet few if any could name him. That is interchange
in the Black Country, where this comic artist lived all his life. He
was commemorated and his contribution to legendary
publications like the Dandy remembered.
A very special guest on my show, you are here further especial reason to
talk about your dad. Many others grew up with Charlie
Griggs. But we never knew it. It was an expose of cigar!
I could nip upstairs and watched dad drawing, that was part of life for
me. It was great. Johnny drew tens of thousands of
strips from desperate Dan to Corky the cat. Many of them on the Dandy's
front cover, read by 2 million children per week.
During his heyday, millions of people must have seen his work. It
brought a lot of joy to people, I think, and that is nice.
OK, tell you what, see if you can score a goal against me?
Charlie grew up in Langley in the 1930s. Thanks to a campaign begun by
a Black Country radio personality, a commemorative plaque is to be placed
at his old school. He had the opportunity to move, he
could have moved up north, but he chose to stay in his room and draw
his cartoons, because he loved the Black Country so much.
The Dundee -based publishers would not allow artists to sign their
work, making recognition for Charlie at his old school all these years on
all the more important. It is a real source of inspiration
for these children to say, he is a local hero.
He did a nice line in seaside postcards as well, which did bear
his signature. But in truth he was a modest man who did not crave the
live late. -- limelight. I bet that brought memories flooding
back for many of you. The weather got rarely above freezing, so are we
in a more chilled mood? Yes, another cold and raw night.
There may be clouds glowing with iridescent colours. But the pictures
of the neon lights in Birmingham earlier this morning. Otherwise it
was dull and drab. But at least it was dry. We had snow around, and it
was very cold, temperatures barely got above freezing. With the wind
chill, more like -6 in parts of the region. So these were the high
temperatures from today, and if we take a look at them, -1 at Churchill
offered, and 0 degrees in Birmingham, so not very good at all.
But this is how it is looking over the coming days, milder conditions
heading in as winds they are around to the south-westerly. As they do
so, they will draw in rain from the West, coming in for a later
tomorrow. But also into Sunday as well. We will have to see how far
north as area of rain gets, but the best day out of the weekend will be
Saturday, where we have gotten sunshine. Turning milder, there will
be spells of rain around as well, but some brightness on the cards as
well. But let's take a look at this evening. Some fair spells developing
right now, when temperatures will plummet to below freezing, so
looking at -2, minus three Celsius, without much of a wind. It may feel
a touch milder than it was today, but we have got mist and a little
bit of fog in the odd sheltered hollow. But otherwise, a bit of
cloud starting to fill in later tonight, giving us a cloudy start.
That mist will start to lift, and we will get them as a brightness coming
through. Then the cloud thickens up from the South West, bringing in
this light, patchy rain, and that will continue its journey
north-eastward during the course of tomorrow night. Temperatures
tomorrow, 45 Celsius, much better than today, could be into 7-8.
Thank you. On tomorrow's Midlands Today, we will be catching up with
the big garden bird watch. That's all from me, I will be back at
10:30pm. Have a good night.