Lord Mason of Barnsley: Mineworker who never forgot his roots

  • 21 April 2015
  • From the section England
Roy Mason
Lord Mason served as Northern Ireland secretary at the height of the Troubles

Lord Mason of Barnsley was one of the most influential politicians of the 1970s but never forgot his roots as a mineworker who became the MP for his home town.

He was Labour's Defence Secretary under Harold Wilson and oversaw one of the most comprehensive reviews of the strength of the armed services since the Second World War.

And he was James Callaghan's uncompromising Secretary of State for Northern Ireland where he took on the IRA at the height of its powers.

All this was a long way from Roy Mason's upbringing in the pit village of Carlton just outside Barnsley where he left school with no qualifications and went down his local pit as an apprentice at the age of 14.

In an interview with the BBC in 2007 to mark him being awarded the Freedom of Barnsley: "I wasn't thinking about politics then- just getting on with life like everybody else and that meant going down the pit".

'Make a difference'

Read full article Lord Mason of Barnsley: Mineworker who never forgot his roots

Is Yorkshire still the promised land for UKIP?

  • 10 April 2015
  • From the section England
UKIP badges
UKIP supporters continue to work hard across Yorkshire despite their leader's absence from the campaign trail in the county

Every main party national leader has jumped at the chance to be quizzed by a BBC Look North viewers' panel at the Yorkshire news programme's Leeds studios.

After all, some of the UK's most closely-fought seats are in Yorkshire so all the leaders should be trekking to the county several times in the weeks of campaigning before the polls open on 7 May.

Read full article Is Yorkshire still the promised land for UKIP?

Leon Brittan and the miners who would never forgive him

  • 23 January 2015
  • From the section England
Police in riot gear during the 1984/5 miners' strike
The miners' strike saw a big change in police tactics, training and equipment

Three decades ago in the early hours of what promised to be a beautiful spring morning my car was stopped at a police roadblock on a quiet country lane and I was threatened with arrest.

It came as a complete shock.

Read full article Leon Brittan and the miners who would never forgive him

Yorkshire to be key General Election battleground

  • 13 January 2015
  • From the section England
David Cameron
David Cameron chose Halifax for the launch of the Conservative Party's first election campaign poster

If you want to know how important Yorkshire will be in deciding the outcome of May's General Election - just ask the Prime Minister.

In fact, if you were in Halifax on the first working day of the new year you would have been able to ask David Cameron personally.

Read full article Yorkshire to be key General Election battleground

Will Yorkshire enter the open door?

  • 4 December 2014
  • From the section England
11 Downing Street
The Chancellor says his door is always open to council leaders from Yorkshire

The chancellor never mentioned West or South Yorkshire council leaders by name in his Autumn Statement but it was clear he was referring to them when he said his "door was always open" for further discussion from cities wanting to follow Manchester's lead.

The coded message was clear - George Osborne has not accepted the strong rejection by Yorkshire of the introduction of directly-elected executive mayors to lead the implementation of devolved economic powers to clusters of neighbouring local councils.

Read full article Will Yorkshire enter the open door?

Two Yorkshire regions could get new elected mayors

  • 1 December 2014
  • From the section England
London Mayor's Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone
Parts of Yorkshire could come under the control of a London-style mayor

Parts of Yorkshire could be run by a London-style directly-elected mayor if new plans are proposed in the government's Autumn Statement.

South and West Yorkshire would both control some tax and spending if local councils devolve powers to new combined authorities run by a mayor.

Read full article Two Yorkshire regions could get new elected mayors

Devolution for the North: Catching the bus at last?

  • 4 November 2014
  • From the section England
Ed Miliband steps from bus
Labour leader Ed Miliband has recently joined the queue of politicians heading to the North to trumpet regional devolution

Devolution for the English regions is a bit like trying to catch a bus - you miss the first one, hang around for a while, and then half a dozen turn up virtually nose-to-tail.

Over the past few months just about every senior cabinet minister and their shadow have trekked north to announce that taxpayers' money by the lorry load will be heading our way and decisions on how to spend it will be made here.

Read full article Devolution for the North: Catching the bus at last?

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Labour win South Yorkshire police commissioner poll

There were sighs of relief from Labour supporters as their man inched past the winning post to be elected South Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner.

Labour took three votes for every two polled by closest rival UKIP but it was a whisker away from being forced into what could have been a nail-biting count of second preferences.

Read full article Labour win South Yorkshire police commissioner poll

Police Commissioner election overshadowed by grooming

  • 24 October 2014
  • From the section England
Shaun Wright
Shaun Wright was eventually forced out of office - but who is in line to replace him?

The UK Independence Party is battering at Labour's door in South Yorkshire and the issue of mass sexual assaults on young girls in Rotherham is the sledgehammer being used to create the breakthrough.

It has become a particularly potent weapon in the run-up to the by-election to replace the Police and Crime Commissioner Shaun Wright who is the highest profile Labour casualty of the scandal so far.

Read full article Police Commissioner election overshadowed by grooming

Farage and Miliband admit nerves and tiredness: Are they human after all?

  • 3 October 2014
  • From the section England
Nigel Farage
Nigel Farage briefly let his guard down before stepping onto the stage at his party's annual conference

It was one of those flukes that generate magic TV moments.

I unexpectedly found myself face-to-face with Nigel Farage.

Read full article Farage and Miliband admit nerves and tiredness: Are they human after all?