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  1. Updates from Thursday 27 November 2014
  2. More news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Friday

Live Reporting

By Stephanie Barnard

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good evening

BBC Local Live will be back from 08:00 on Friday with the latest news, sport, travel and weather updates for Birmingham and the Black Country.

Coming up on Midlands Today

Shefali Oza

BBC Midlands Today Presenter

The political fallout from the Andrew Mitchell "Plebgate" libel case is dominating tonight's news. The Sutton Coldfield MP faces a huge legal bill but more damaging still is the impact on his political career

Patrick Burns, Midlands Today's political editor will be live in Sutton Coldfield tonight.
Watch from 18:30.

Crimestoppers reward

A £2,000 reward has been put forward to find a man believed to have stabbed a manager of a fish and chip shop in Birmingham.

CCTV of a man police want to speak to after a chip shop stabbing
Police handout

Police have released CCTV footage of a man they'd like to speak to after the incident on 7 November at Simply Fish and Chips.

Anyone with information is being urged to contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or


'Line drawn' on Plebgate

The officer involved, PC Toby Rowland, says he hopes a "line can be drawn" under the Plebgate scandal following today's ruling.

The judge said PC Rowland was "not the sort of man who would have had the wit, imagination or inclination to invent on the spur of the moment an account of what a senior politician had said to him in temper".

Read more on this story on BBC News.

Mum supports new Edkins inquiry

Tom Richardson

BBC News Online

The mother of Phillip Simelane, who killed Birmingham schoolgirl Christina Edkins on a bus last February, says she supports a new inquiry into the death.

Pricilla Von-Groening welcomed reports earlier this week that NHS England had commissioned a new investigation after Christina's family wrote to them to express concerns about a review carried out by Birmingham Crosscity Clinical Commissioning Group.

That report found authorities missed chances to refer Simelane, who had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, for appropriate treatment.

Poundland profits soar

Poundland has reported a 12% increase in half-year profits to £9.3m.

Getty Images

The company based in Willenhall had some hefty one-off charges during the first-half, including £1.2m related to a new distribution centre and costs of launching pilot stores in Spain.

First-half like-for-like sales, which strip out new stores, rose 4.7%.

Plebgate summary

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

Wondering what the Plebgate row is all about? Here's a summary of what's happened over the past two years.

Summary of Plebgate story

You can also read more on BBC News.

News on the hour

Jo Tidman

Journalist, BBC WM

We'll have more reaction to the Plebgate ruling in the news over the next hour.

Hear more on BBC WM.

'Scintilla of humility'

Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant

tweets: This is a personal tragedy for Andrew Mitchell which needn't have happened if only he had sown a scintilla of humility. #plebgate

'Bitterly disappointed'

Andrew Mitchell says outside the High Court that he's "bitterly disappointed" by the result of the trial.

Andrew Mitchell speaking outside court

The Sutton Coldfield MP says it's been a "miserable two years but we now need to bring this matter to a close and move on with our lives".

Listen: Plebgate reaction after 17:00

Paul Franks

Presenter, BBC WM

The Conservative MP for Lichfield, Michael Fabricant will be talking to me on Drivetime.

It's after a judge ruled his party colleague, Sutton Coldfield MP Andrew Mitchell, did call a police officer a "pleb" at the gates of Downing Street in 2012. We'll have more on

BBC WM after 17:00.

Mitchell's reputation 'seriously damaged'

Clive Coleman

Legal correspondent, BBC News

Sutton Coldfield MP Andrew Mitchell loses libel case against The Sun newspaper.

BBC's Clive Coleman

Libel actions are notoriously pricey. I do not know what the funding arrangements were. it will be interesting to see if there is an application for costs by The Sun and PC Rowland. This could be a huge huge amount of money, running in to hundreds-of-thousands-of-pounds.

Putting the money to one-side - Mr Mitchell's reputation has been injured. He brought the action to protect that and now it has been seriously damaged, I would suggest.

See more on BBC News.

Plebgate: Mitchell loses libel case

A judge has ruled Sutton Coldfield MP Andrew Mitchell

did call a Downing Street policeman a "pleb".

Andrew Mitchell and his wife outside the High Court
Getty Images

Mr Mitchell acknowledged that he had used bad language but maintained he had not used the word "pleb".

Mitchell 'looked stunned'

Inside court

Danny Shaw

Home affairs correspondent, BBC News

Little reaction from Andrew Mitchell. He looked stunned and confused.

There's now a 10 minute break at the High Court.

BreakingBreaking News

Sutton Coldfield MP and former government chief whip Andrew Mitchell has lost his High Court libel action over the so-called "Plebgate" incident.

Unsung Hero Award nominees

Midlands Today

Tonight we'll find out who's this year's BBC Midlands Sports Unsung Hero.

Unsung Hero nominees in the Midlands

Five contenders from across the region are in the running for the accolade.

The announcement will be made at a star studded awards ceremony at Villa Park. We'll bring you the result live tonight on

BBC Midlands Today at 22:25.

News on the hour

Jo Tidman

Journalist, BBC WM

The High Court is expected to give its judgement this afternoon in a libel case involving the former Chief Whip and Sutton Coldfield MP Andrew Mitchell.

Hear more on this story and others in the news at 15:00 on


Sutton Coldfield's Movember

Members of the Wylde Green Rotary Club have been creating a facial fuzz by doing their bit for charity Movember this month reports the

Royal Sutton Coldfield Observer.

'Kick starting Christmas'

Louise Brierley

BBC WM Reporter

I spent the day with 45 ladies from South Wales, who were on a coach trip to the Frankfurt Christmas Market in Birmingham.

Birmingham Christmas Market, November 2014

Many were from the valleys and had got up at 5am. It was the first time some had been and they were really excited about seeing the market.

It was extremely busy on Saturday and many felt it was too crowded. Overall they said they all enjoyed their day and "was a great way to kick start Christmas". Will they be coming back? They said definitely!

No Toney deal today

John Platt

BBC WM Sport

Wolves head coach Kenny Jackett says the club won't sign the Northampton striker Ivan Toney today.

The 18-year-old was expected to join Wolves on loan with a view to a permanent move in January.

Jackett's confirmed he was interested, but won't divulge the reason why the deal fell through.

Have your say on the Football Phone-in on

BBC WM from 18:00.

News on the hour

Jo Tidman

Journalist, BBC WM

In the news at 14:00

Profits at Black Country-based Poundland have jumped by a third to over £12m pounds.

Listen live.

Plebgate judgement

At around 14:00 the judgement in the libel action arising from the 'Plebgate' affair will be read out.

Andrew Mitchell

Sutton Coldfield MP Andrew Mitchell (pictured) is suing News Group Newspapers over a September 2012 article. But Mitchell is himself being sued by PC Toby Rowland over statements he made from December 2012 onwards.

Read more here.

Foley returns to Blackpool

BBC WM Sport

Wolves defender Kevin Foley

has returned to Blackpool on loan.

Kevin Foley

The 30-year-old right back has not played for Wolves since October 2013.

BBC one at 13:30

Sarah Falkland

BBC Midlands Today presenter

Fans of Saturday Kitchen better listen up - because James Martin himself is live on the programme from the Good Food Show. So what else is hot in the kitchen?

That and more on

Midlands Today this lunchtime.

Wildlife paths destroyed

Daz Hale

Reporter, BBC WM

Volunteers at a West Midlands Nature reserve say they're determined to carry on despite vandals wrecking new walkways at Moseley Bog on Sunday.

Jon Peakcock from the Wildlife Trust at Moseley Bog

Pathways had been ripped up and set on fire and other materials thrown into a pond in the reserve.

Joe Peacock from the Wildlife Trust (pictured) says it's heartbreaking to see all their good work undone.

See more footage on our Facebook page.

News on the hour

Jo Tidman

Journalist, BBC WM

In the news at 13:00

Hear why the mother of the man who killed Birmingham schoolgirl Christina Edkins last February, supports a new inquiry into her death.

Listen Live here

Wolverhampton's child care budget facing £6m cut

Express and Star

The Express & Star reports six million pounds earmarked to help children in care in Wolverhampton could be slashed from the budget by the city council.

Good company & good food

Ben Sidwell

Reporter, BBC Midlands Today

I'm at the

Good Food Show at the NEC, the biggest event of its type in the country. So far I've bumped into the Hairy Bikers and Glynn Purnell. On Midlands Today at 13:30 we'll be with James Martin.

Appeal to trace man over attempted murder

Do you know this man?

Police release CCTV footage of a man they want to speak to after a 51-year-old man was stabbed in a fish and chip shop in Quinton earlier this month.

Man running from crime scene
West midlands police

The victim was violently assaulted at about 15:20 on 7 November at Simply Fish and Chips in Hagley Road West, Quinton.

The suspect (pictured) is described as mixed race. He was wearing a grey hooded top, grey tracksuit bottoms and a black beanie hat at the time of the incident.

Watch the CCTV footage on YouTube.

News on the hour

Rob Mayor

Journalist, BBC WM

In the news at 12:00 on

BBC WM: Volunteers at a West Midlands Nature reserve say they're determined to carry on - despite vandals wrecking new walkways paid for with £40,000 of charity funding.

Man charged after driver killed

A 26-year-old man has been charged with dangerous driving after a man died in a car crash in Oldbury over the weekend.

Adam Hancox, 26
Police handout

Adam Hancox (pictured) who was 26, died when his car, a Ford Ka, collided with a VW Passat on Wolverhampton Road at about 9:20 on Sunday.

West Midlands Police is appealing to anyone who witnessed the incident to come forward.

Morning meeting

Dave Hart

Producer, BBC Midlands Today

The tragic death in Australia of cricketer Phil Hughes (pictured) is resonating across the Midlands. We'll be talking to Paul Smith about the dangers of cricket. He was on the receiving end and needed facial reconstruction surgery after being hit during a game. Can anything more be done to make cricket safer?

Cricketer Phil Hughes
Getty Images

And millions of visitors come to Birmingham's Frankfurt German Market every year. They come for the beer, the bratwurst and the gifts of course.

Midlands Today joined a coach load of ladies from the Welsh Valleys to find out what they made of the market, and what they were taking home!

'Politically toxic'

Danny Shaw

Home affairs correspondent, BBC News

The key issue in the Plebgate case is whether Sutton Coldfield MP Andrew Mitchell did accuse police of being "plebs" - a word described by the judge as "politically toxic". The case is finely balanced - but the stakes for Andrew Mitchell and the police couldn't be higher.

Read more here.

News on the hour

Rob Mayor

Journalist, BBC WM

Counselling is being offered to those who knew the Australian international and former Worcestershire cricketer Phillip Hughes who died after being hit in the head by the ball.

Hear more on this story and others in the news at 11:00 on


'Helping Kurdish people'


A former soldier from Birmingham is to go to Iraq to help protect the Kurdish people against ISIS militants.

The man who does not want to be identified says he's been in touch with Kurdish groups in Iraq and plans to go within the next few weeks.

He says he won't be fighting, but will offer his help in other ways.

Plebgate libel judge to make ruling

Birmingham Mail

It's decision day on action involving Sutton Coldfield MP Andrew Mitchell and police officer Toby Rowland, reports the

Birmingham Mail.

Christmas market coach trip

The popularity of Birmingham's Christmas Market shows no sign of slowing down with thousands of visitors from all over the country visiting the city.

Christmas market coach trip

Reporter Louise Brierley spent the day with a group from South Wales taking a tour to the market by coach.

You can see her tour on

Midlands Today at 13:30 and 18:30, BBC One.