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

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.

As far as I was aware there was no mad gunman on the loose, no dangerous road traffic accident ahead, no sensitive military secrets being defended and this was certainly not one of those countries with a cavalier attitude to legal and civil rights.

This was the 1980s in the English countryside on a road passing through the glorious natural beauty of the Cannock Chase Country Park in North Staffordshire.

It was also the road that five miles further along led to a coal mine.

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?

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

More Correspondents

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

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  • 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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