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Welcome to Yorkshire 'had culture of toxicity'

Two ex-leaders of a Yorkshire tourism body held games over who could get the priciest wine on expenses, parliament heard.

Paul Scriven
ParliamentLive.TV

Paul Scriven told the House of Lords that Welcome to Yorkshire (WtY) had a "culture of toxicity" and misused public funds .

An independent inquiry found expenses at WtY had been made without receipts.

Responding to the wine claims, the tourism body's former chair Ron McMillan said: "On no occasion that I recall has that been the case."

Speaking during a debate about extending the Freedom of Information Act, former Sheffield City Council leader Lord Scriven said he had attempted to investigate "major excesses" and "recent scandals" at WtY.

The debate was told WtY was made a private company in 2009 by Sir Gary Verity and had received over £10m in public money in the last decade.

"Excesses include luxury spending on helicopters, hotels at £600 a night [and] lavish meals during which the chief executive Gary Verity and the former chair Ron McMillan were playing games about who could get the most expensive wine on expenses," Lord Scriven said.

The BBC has approached WtY and representatives for Sir Gary for comment.

Lightning strike disrupts trains near Wakefield

Train services on the line near Wakefield Westgate are being disrupted because of a lightning strike in the early hours of this morning.

Fewer trains are able to run on the section of track as there has been damage to the signalling system, with some services being cancelled.

Passengers travelling between Leeds and Wakefield Westgate are being warned to expect delays until about 11:00:

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In pictures: Lightning flashes in the skies over Yorkshire

If you struggled to sleep last night, it might have been because of the thunder and lightning across the county.

This is what was happening in the skies above Yorkshire in the early hours:

Lightning in Beverley
JBsShots

Above is a brilliant picture of lightning in Beverley while the shot below shows lightning over houses in Leeds at about 03:00 this morning:

Lightning in Leeds
Danny Lawson/PA Media

Scarcroft in West Yorkshire was also affected, with the photo below showing lightning flashing across the sky:

Lightning in Scarcroft
Delagare

Meanwhile, the stunning shot below was taken by Stephen Smith in Huddersfield from his attic window:

Huddersfield
Stephen Smith

If you have any photos of the weather from overnight, send them in to us.

Check your Yorkshire train journey

BBC News Travel

If you're making a journey on the rails in Yorkshire this Wednesday morning, most services appear to be running to time - however there do seem to be some problems today.

Be aware that there's still some disruption on the East Coast Mainline after major problems along the route yesterday. Check the LNER website for the latest details.

Also, trains running through Wakefield Westgate may be delayed by up to 30 minutes due to lightning damaging the signalling system. Check the latest details from National Rail Enquiries here.

For all the latest live updates from the county's main railway stations, click on the links below:

East Coast Mainline disruption continues

There's still some disruption on the East Coast Mainline after major problems along the route yesterday.

A train on the East Coast
BBC

Hundreds of passengers were stranded on trains after power lines were damaged near Grantham, with some passengers fainting when the lack of power cut off the air-conditioning.

Several services running through Yorkshire and Lincolnshire this morning have been cancelled.

It's the second power failure on the line this month.

Passengers who had tickets for trains yesterday can use them today, according to train operator LNER.