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Summary

  1. Broxtowe MP Anna Soubry leaves Conservative Party
  2. Firefighter diagnosed with breast cancer dies
  3. Controversial Leicester Cathedral extension approved
  4. Police appeal after Peak District sheep shot
  5. Coach fire causing delays on A52
  6. Updates for Wednesday 20 February

Live Reporting

By Nick Smith, Gavin Bevis and Amy Woodfield

All times stated are UK

  1. Council tax increases across Leicestershire

    Nick Smith

    BBC News Online

    Council tax increases were approved yesterday, affecting every rate payer in Leicestershire.

    Leicester City Council voted for a rise of just under 3%, while Leicestershire County Council approved an increase of just under 4%.

    Leicestershire County Council
  2. Weather: Cloudy start gives way to brighter afternoon

    Alex Hamilton

    BBC Weather

    We can expect another mild day, with warmer weather moving up from the south leading to temperatures of around 16C.

    Today will get off to a cloudy and drizzly start but it will become drier and brighter as the day goes on.

    Here's Alex with the weather.

    Video content

    Video caption: East Midlands weather 21 February
  3. Envelope update

    Severe accident: M1 Leicestershire southbound

    BBC News Travel

    M1 Leicestershire southbound severe accident, from J21 for M69 to J20 for A4304 Lutterworth Road.

    M1 Leicestershire - Two lanes closed on M1 southbound from J21, M69 (Leicester) to J20, A4304 (Lutterworth), because of an accident.

    To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

  4. Envelope update

    Severe accident: M1 Leicestershire southbound

    BBC News Travel

    M1 Leicestershire southbound severe accident, from J20 for A4304 Lutterworth Road to J19 for M6.

    M1 Leicestershire - One lane closed and very slow traffic on M1 southbound from J20, A4304 (Lutterworth) to J19, M6 (Catthorpe Interchange), because of an accident.

    To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

  5. Envelope update

    Severe disruption: M1 Derbyshire southbound

    BBC News Travel

    M1 Derbyshire southbound severe disruption, from J29 for A617 Chesterfield to J28 for A38 Alfreton.

    M1 Derbyshire - One lane closed on M1 southbound from J29, A617 (Chesterfield) to J28, A38 (Alfreton), because of a lorry having a tyre changed. Traffic is coping well.

    To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

  6. Our live coverage across the day

    The East Midlands Live page has now finished for the day. However some posts linking to BBC articles may continue to appear.

    Full live coverage will continue at 08:00 on Thursday.

  7. Weather: Mild and sunny

    Sara Blizzard

    BBC Weather

    Staying dry for most places this evening but some places to the west of the region may have the odd light shower.

    Weather

    It'll be a fine and very mild day on Thursday with cloud breaking through to leave some spells of sunshine.

  8. Broxtowe councillor: 'Let’s have a by-election'

    Hugh Casswell

    Political reporter, BBC Radio Nottingham

    The long-serving Broxtowe Conservative councillor Philip Owen has told the BBC he’s “extremely disappointed” in Anna Soubry.

    Heidi Allen, Sarah Wollaston and Anna Soubry

    Former Conservative MP Soubry was one of three to quit the party earlier announcing she was to join a new breakaway independent group.

    Mr Owen said: “Bring on a people’s vote in Broxtowe and let’s have a by-election”.

  9. Woman 'left for dead' in Leicester park

    Giles Taylor

    BBC East Midlands Today reporter

    A number of local residents have described hearing screams from a play park in Leicester at the time a woman was attacked.

    They were speaking during the trial of a 24-year-old man accused of rape and attempted murder on Cedar Road in the early hours of the 3 August 2018.

    However, the residents said none of them thought anything of it, as they said those sounds were common in that area.

    The court also heard from Sgt Victoria Lucas, who was the first officer to respond to the scene.

    She arrived in the park at about 05:00 and she described seeing a woman lying in the grass, covered in blood and naked from the waist down. She noticed a large deep wound to the woman's forehead, and gave her first aid until the ambulance arrived.

    Another officer described finding the woman's handbag by her legs containing cash, but no mobile phone.

    Forensic van at crime scene

    In a statement, an ambulance technician said the woman was hypothermic when he arrived, with a significant head wound, and had lost a lot of blood.

    He said that in his opinion she had been left for dead. And he went on to say if she'd been undiscovered much longer, he doesn't think she would have survived.

    She was taken to the trauma unit at the Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham, where the registrar described her wounds as shocking and like nothing she'd seen before.

    Her skull had to be recreated with metal, but some plates later had to be removed leaving her with holes in her head.

    Forensic examination of crime scene

    A forensic scientist was brought into court to described how he'd analysed numerous items - including the victim's clothing, beer cans, and even a discarded condom wrapper.

    Michael Wheelhouse said DNA traces matching both the victim and the defendant had been found on all of them. The defendant claimed that he met the victim in the park, but left before she was attacked.

    Traces of the victim's blood were also found on pieces of paper and a cigarette packet found at his home address.

    Zakarya Etarghi denies the charges and the trial continues.

  10. Burglars steal dead man's watch

    David Pittam

    BBC News Online

    An Armani watch which belonged to a Derbyshire man who died earlier this year was among items stolen in a burglary, police have said.

    The thieves are also said to have taken jewellery, electrical items and several bottles of perfume from the man's family home on Edward Street, Eckington on the evening of 3 February.

    They took the keys to a Ford Fiesta and used it as a getaway vehicle. The car was later discovered in Sheffield and is now undergoing forensic checks.

    Edward Street
  11. Compromise over controversial pub colour

    East Midlands Today

    A Nottinghamshire pub is being repainted for a second time, after falling foul of council planning regulations.

    Last month the White Hind in Newark was painted blue. But as a Grade II listed building in a conservation area, the council demanded it be changed back.

    Now the landlord, Richard Belam, says he hopes he's finally agreed a compromise - grey.

    Richard Belam
  12. Man 'kicked in head' outside Argos

    David Pittam

    BBC News Online

    A 35-year-old was kicked in the head and face by a group of men after they asked him for a cigarette.

    He was walking through Newark Market Place at around 3.15am this morning (Wednesday 20 February) when he was approached by three men and asked for a cigarette.

    Argos

    They then followed the man and assaulted him near an Argos shop. They also attempted to take his mobile phone.

    The men are all described as white, in their early 20s and around 5ft 6ins tall.

  13. Envelope update

    Severe accident: M1 Leicestershire northbound

    BBC News Travel

    M1 Leicestershire northbound severe accident, from J22 for A50 Coalville to J23 for A512 Ashby Road East.

    M1 Leicestershire - Lane closed and slow traffic on M1 northbound from J22, A50 (Coalville) to J23, A512 (Loughborough), because of an accident.

    To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

  14. Masked man flashes hiker in Peaks

    David Pittam

    BBC News Online

    A man wearing a balaclava flashed a hiker as she made her way along a Peak District path this afternoon.

    Police said the man, described as in his 20s, around 6ft tall and of medium build, "emerged from the trees and sexually exposed himself" to a woman along the Midshires Path near Fernilee Reservoir.

    It happened at about 13:15.

    Goyt Valley
  15. Tax hike to help fund 'high-demand care services'

    Tim Parker

    BBC Radio Leicester reporter

    Leicestershire councillors discussing next year's budget have said growing pressure on social care services and the removal of the Revenue Support Grant are the authority's top spending pressures and the reason council tax will go up.

    Leicestershire County Council budget meeting

    In the past five years the amount of vulnerable adults, children in care and demand in special educational needs has increased by 32%.

    The Revenue Support Grant - a chunk of government money previously given to the authority - will stop this year.

    The Lib Dem leader Simon Galton has suggested the administration is holding out for national government generosity in future years and has asked if that’s wise.

    The budget meeting continues.