Len Tingle, Political editor, Yorkshire

Len Tingle Political editor, Yorkshire

This is where I hope to make sense of the complex political issues and decisions affecting our daily lives in Yorkshire and the North Midlands

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.

The 10 local councils that make up Greater Manchester signed a deal last month where they would pass on strategic powers for planning, social welfare and housebuilding to a "combined authority" to be run by a new executive mayor. Elections are pencilled in for 2017.

The chancellor sees this as the most efficient way to create his idea of a "Northern Powerhouse" where choices are made locally on how to spend and invest billions of extra public money shifted from Whitehall budgets.

Limited powers

Two combined authorities have already been set up in Yorkshire. The five West Yorkshire councils together with neighbouring York City form one. The other is made up of the four South Yorkshire 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?

Len added analysis to:

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?

Is Yorkshire devolution genie out of the bottle?

  • 23 September 2014
  • From the section England
Union flag piggy banks
Questions are already being asked about who would control the public purse strings if the central funding pot is divided up among the regions

Anticipation, scepticism and bewilderment in equal measures appear to be the responses in Yorkshire to the views of all three party leaders that devolved powers are now an inevitability.

Anticipation is clearly uppermost in the mind of veteran Wakefield council leader Peter Box. "The genie is out if the bottle," he tells me.

Read full article Is Yorkshire devolution genie out of the bottle?

Yorkshire eyes on Scotland vote

  • 4 September 2014
  • From the section England
Yorkshire flag
Some calls have been made for Yorkshire's flag to be seen flying over an independent county in future

There were around 100 at the event in Wakefield listening to my passionate speech.

Hands shot up in agreement with what, in my humble opinion, was a pretty good case for Yorkshire declaring its immediate independence.

Read full article Yorkshire eyes on Scotland vote

The North tunnelling to prosperity with HS3?

  • 12 August 2014
  • From the section England
Steam train emerges from the Woodhead Tunnel
The first HS3? Postcard of Woodhead Tunnel held in Thameside Archive

It is a simple idea aimed at boosting the economy of the North.

Dig an expensive tunnel under the Pennines and run lots of high-speed trains through it carrying commuters and goods between Yorkshire and Lancashire.

Read full article The North tunnelling to prosperity with HS3?

UKIP's changing road to Doncaster

  • 1 August 2014
  • From the section England

When I turned up to report on my first UK Independence Party annual conference I was handed a biro, a piece of card and told to write out my own ID badge.

I even had to recycle a clear plastic wallet and safety pin still in my pocket from the previous week's TUC Conference.

Read full article UKIP's changing road to Doncaster

More Correspondents

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    Analysis of politics in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire


  • Richard Moss, Political editor, North East & Cumbria Richard Moss Political editor, North East & Cumbria

    Reporting politics in the North East and Cumbria


  • Andrew Neil, Presenter, The Daily Politics and Sunday Politics Andrew Neil Daily and Sunday Politics

    People and policies that make Westminster tick


About Len

Len Tingle is the BBC's veteran political editor for Yorkshire and the North Midlands, reporting and commentating on the challenges facing of one of the most socially and economically diverse regions in the UK.

He is a familiar face on Look North, on the weekly Sunday Politics programme, and is also heard regularly on the BBC's local radio stations in Leeds, Sheffield and York.

Born in Barnsley, he reported on business and industrial issues from across the UK and the world for newspapers, ITV and the BBC before returning to Yorkshire in the mid-1990s.

"Think of an idyllic or exotic place and I've probably reported from a shop floor, steel mill or coal mine close by - then caught the next flight out without seeing a single tourist attraction.

"It was all great experience for eventually specialising in politics. Scratch the surface of any business story and a politician usually pops out - wherever you happen to be in the world."

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