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  1. Stoke Labour MP calls for Corbyn to 'resign immediately'
  2. Judge demands review into abortion clinic death case
  3. Plans to reopen Stafford school delayed again
  4. Updates on Thursday 30 June 2016

Live Reporting

By Allen Cook

All times stated are UK

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  1. Thousands of statues to be planted in Somme commemoration

    Video content

    Video caption: Thousands of wooden statues are going to be planted in Somme commemoration.

    Thousands of wooden statues will be planted at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme.

  2. Football: Port Vale make Pereira their third signing of week

    Lee Blakeman

    Port Vale commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

    Port Vale have announced their third signing this week with French midfielder Quentin Pereira joining on a two-year deal.

    Quentin Pereira with Port Vale scarf

    Pereira, 24, has an option to stay beyond the initial two seasons if he proves a success at Vale Park.

    The midfielder joins from Stade De Reims and follows Rigino Cicilia and Kjell Knops to Vale Park as new manager Bruno Ribeiro adds to his squad.

  3. Battle of the Somme: Eddie Redmayne joins Lichfield project

    Rebecca Bradshaw

    Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

    The Battle of the Somme is going to be commemorated this summer at Lichfield Cathedral with a project involving poetry read by the Oscar-winning actor Eddie Redmayne. 

    Eddie Redmayne outside the cathedral

    The exhibition is due to be held between 4-6 August and the cathedral says the star of The Theory of Everything and Les Miserables visited them this week to record a "selection of well-known war poetry".

  4. 'Significant amount' of cocaine seized by police

    Jack Dowling

    Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

    A "significant amount" of cocaine has been seized by police after they pulled a car over in Burntwood, Staffordshire. 

    Water Street, Burntwood

    Staffordshire Police say they arrested three men who were in the black Ford Focus yesterday on Water Street on suspicion of possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply. 

    The force wouldn't put a figure on the amount seized but said it was "around 60 rocks" of cocaine.

  5. In photos: Statues planted for Somme anniversary and Stoke-on-Trent war memorial

    Allen Cook

    BBC Local Live

    People across Staffordshire and Cheshire have marked the day 100 years ago when the soldiers marched forward on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

    BBC Radio Stoke's Emma Thomas has been at the National Memorial Arboretum where the first painted soldier statues have been planted for each soldier killed on 1 July 1916.

    Painted soldier statues at National Memorial Arboretum

    While in Fenton, Stoke-on-Trent, BBC Radio Stoke's Perry Spiller took this poignant picture today at the town's war memorial.

    Fenton war memorial today
  6. The weather for the West Midlands

    Video content

    Video caption: The weather for the West Midlands.
  7. Football: Crewe boss 'not satisfied' with young players performance

    Graham McGarry

    Crewe Alexandra commentator, BBC Radio Stoke

    Crewe Alexandra's manager Steve Davis has admitted he's not been satisfied with the progress of the young players in his squad.

    Welcome to Crewe Alexandra sign

    All but two of the Alex's current playing staff are 25 or under and five of them will only be 19 when the season starts. 

    Davis told BBC Radio Stoke it's time for them to prove they can take the club back to League One.

    Quote Message: They're young lads, young-ish players but have experience and I'm looking for them to push on. A lot of them have stood still, haven't shown enough in League One." from Steve Davis Crewe Alexandra's manager
    Steve DavisCrewe Alexandra's manager
  8. End of an era as leisure centre demolished

    BBC Hereford and Worcester

    It's the end of an era this week - as a 30-year-old leisure centre in Kidderminster is demolished. 

    The Wyre Forest Glades Leisure Centre - which was opened by Princess Diana - is to be relocated on the Kidderminster to Stourport Road in the town next week.

    Wyre Forest Glades Leisure Centre
  9. Pottery firm sale: No exact figure on number of jobs saved

    Sarah Robertson

    Producer, BBC Radio Stoke

    More now on the news that an historic pottery firm in Stoke-on-Trent has been bought out of administration.

    Hudson and Middleton has been acquired by BID Group, which helps turn around struggling businesses.

    Hudson and Middleton exterior

    Its spokesman Lee Smith hasn't guaranteed all 45 employees will get their jobs back, saying they'll be employing "at least 25 people" but said he couldn't give an exact figure.

    He also said they'd been in contact with a large firm in China about a partnership - but added that didn't mean they'd move production to China.

    Quote Message: Definitely not, that's not what we are about. We are passionate about UK-made products." from Lee Smith Managing Director of BID Group
    Lee SmithManaging Director of BID Group
  10. Battle of the Somme: Families remember loved ones who fought

    Lauren Turner

    BBC News

    A man from Stoke-on-Trent has travelled to France to mark the anniversary of the start of the Battle of the Somme.

    Callan Chevin with picture of his great-grandfather

    Callan Chevin, 24, is there to honour his great-grandfather John Chevin and his great-great-grandfather's cousin Alfred Saunders.

    "It's important for me to remember the men in my family who fought so bravely," he said. 

  11. Battle of the Somme diary published

    BBC Midlands Today

    A war diary detailing the first day of the Battle of the Somme is being published for the first time today. 

    The account, written by Lieutenant-Colonel Francis Meynell, seen here with his son, was discovered by Staffordshire County Council's archives service. 

    Lieutenant-Colonel Francis Meynell and his son

    Last night a special candlelit vigil was held at the National Memorial Aroborteum in memory of the thousands of troops who lost their lives when the battle started a 100 years ago today.   

  12. Cheshire MP backs Theresa May's leadership bid

    Phil McCann

    Cheshire Political Reporter, BBC News

    The Cheshire Conservative MP Antoinette Sandbach has announced her support for Theresa May as the home secretary bids to become Tory leader.  

    Antoinette Sandbach

    The Eddisbury MP told BBC Radio Stoke the next Conservative leader will have a big affect on people's lives in her constituency. 

    Quote Message: The decision to leave the EU is one of the most momentous decisions that's been taken for many, many years. It's going to impact on all my constituents and I think it's really important to have somebody who will unite both sides of the party." from Antoinette Sandbach Conservative MP for Eddisbury
    Antoinette SandbachConservative MP for Eddisbury
  13. Apology for Stoke North MP who walked out of anti-Semitism event

    Today Programme

    BBC Radio 4

    Shami Chakrabarti, the former director of Liberty, says she has been to see the Stoke North Labour MP who walked out of an anti-Semitism event after being accused of "colluding" with the media.  

    Ruth Smeeth had called for Jeremy Corbyn to "resign immediately" for what she saw as his failure to intervene when "anti-Semitic slurs" were directed towards her in front of him.  

    Ruth Smeeth

    Ms Chakrabarti, who authored a report into alleged anti-Semitism within the Labour party,  defended Mr Corbyn for not intervening.

    She said "I probably didn't give him the chance," but adds that the Labour leader had concurred with her when she admonished the male heckler.

    Quote Message: I've been to see Ruth Smeeth and I've apologised to her because it was my press conference and I was chairing it and I'm really sorry she was treated in that way." from Shami Chakrabarti Former director of Liberty
    Shami ChakrabartiFormer director of Liberty
  14. Battle of the Somme remembered at National Memorial Arboretum

    Video content

    Video caption: The Battle of the Somme remembered at National Memorial Arboretum.

    Children have taken part in a service to remember the soldiers who died in the Battle of the Somme.

  15. Battle of the Somme centenary: Tweets from newly discovered war diary

    Emma Thomas

    Journalist, BBC Radio Stoke

    A war diary detailing the first day of the Battle of the Somme is being published for the first time today in Staffordshire. 

    The account was written by Lieutenant-Colonel Francis Meynell and was discovered by Staffordshire County Council's archives service

    They are tweeting excerpts from the diary on their Twitter page throughout the day.

    View more on twitter
  16. Football: Port Vale sign Roda JC striker on two-year deal

    Matt Newsum

    BBC Sport

    Port Vale have signed striker Rigino Cicilia from Dutch side Roda JC on a two-year deal.

    Cicilia, 21, has an option to stay beyond the initial two seasons if he proves a success at Vale Park.

    Rigino Cicilia

    The Curacao-born player played two games for his parent club last season, and spent time on loan at RKC Waalwjik.

    He made 24 appearances for Roda in total in league and cup, having played for youth sides at KVC Oranje, FC Kerkrade-West and Alemannia Aachen.

  17. BreakingStoke-on-Trent pottery firm bought and taken out of administration

    Lucy King

    News Editor, BBC Radio Stoke

    A Stoke-on-Trent pottery firm which had gone into administration has been bought by an investment group. 

    The BID Group has taken over the Longton-based Hudsons of England who make fine bone china products. 

    Hudsons of England

    Earlier this month the firm went into administration after blaming a lack of orders, with 45 staff being made redundant - they'll now be re-employed the BID Group say.

    Their managing director, Lee Smith, said Hudsons would fit "perfectly" into their portfolio and "be a benefit for the UK economy".

  18. Somme candlelit vigil held in Staffordshire

    Video content

    Video caption: Candlelit vigil held at National Memorial Arboretum to mark Somme centenary.

    A candlelit vigil was held last night at the National Memorial Arboretum in memory of the thousands killed in the Battle of the Somme.