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  1. Andrea Leadsom enters Conservative leadership contest
  2. Local MPs give their reaction
  3. Updates on Thursday, 30 June 2016

Live Reporting

By Pete Cooper

All times stated are UK

Get involved

That's all from us today

Live updates have finished for today.

It's been quite a busy day, with the big news that the MP for South Northamptonshire, Andrea Leadsom, is to run for the leadership of the Conservative party and prime minister.

Tomorrow we'll be looking at the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, plus the rest of the day's news, sport, weather and travel.

See you at 08:00 tomorrow.

Kettering MP 'should have asked me' to turn on Christmas lights, says darts player

And finally... it looks like Lindsay Lohan may have some competition for the Kettering Christmas lights switch-on...

Kettering's PDC darts player 'Rapid' Ricky Evans fancies the job.

Move over Lohan - those darts are pretty sharp...

View more on twitter

Weather: Sunny spells but rain tonight and tomorrow

Alex Dolan

BBC Look East weather

Sunny spells this evening, but rain later in the night with lows of 13C (55F).


Mainly dry at first tomorrow with some sunny spells, but cloud building to bring some scattered showers by the afternoon. Highs of 20C (68F).

There are more details on the BBC Weather website.

Closure of magistrates' courts 'spells end of local justice'

Elinor Cross

BBC Radio Northampton

In other news today, the closure of magistrates' courts spells the end of local justice, campaigners have said.

Kettering Magistrates' Court and Kettering County Court closed on Thursday, while Corby Magistrates' Court will shut on Friday as part of the governments "modernisation" plans.

Kettering Magistrates Court

They are three of 86 courts to close across the country. Many magistrates say the move will lead to delays and more defendants failing to turn up to court.

Terry Knights, chair of the magistrates' bench in Corby, said the closures were "all wrong". He said: "The courts are busy. It affects the whole of Corby and East Northamptonshire, whether you are a court user or not.

"If you haven't got a court you do not get local justice."

A statement from the Ministry of Justice said the closures would save £500m a year, adding Corby and Kettering's courts were both costly to maintain and some of the facilities were inadequate.

Leadsom to 'transform society' if she becomes prime minister

Tom Barton

BBC Look East political reporter

South Northamptonshire MP, Andrea Leadsom, says she wants to "transform society" if she becomes prime minister.

She explained to me that better mental health provision was one of her priorities.

Leadsom 'disappointed' Johnson not an opponent in leadership race

Tom Barton

BBC Look East political reporter

Andrea Leadsom told me she was "bowled over" and "disappointed" that Boris Johnson was not standing to become the next leader of the Conservative party.

It was widely expected Mr Johnson would stand, but earlier today he pulled out of the race.

However, she hopes she can now win over some of his supporters...

Watch Philip Hollobone invite Lindsay Lohan to turn on Kettering's Christmas lights

Sam Read

BBC Radio Northampton politics reporter

Aside from everything else going on today, Kettering's MP Philip Hollobone took the opportunity in the Commons to raise the issue of actress Lindsay Lohan's "offensive" tweet on referendum night, where she implied she didn't know where Kettering was.

He offered the Hollywood star a chance to "redeem" herself...

Andrea Leadsom's team 'upbeat'

Westminster journalist Giles Dilnot says the team around South Northamptonshire MP Andrea Leadsom is feeling good...

View more on twitter

Leadsom 'calm and reassuring', says Widdecombe

Sam Read

BBC Radio Northampton politics reporter

The former Conservative minister Ann Widdecombe (left) has backed Andrea Leadsom for the leadership of the Tory party.

Ann Widdecombe and Andrea Leadsom

Ms Widdecombe said the South Northamptonshire MP was a "calming voice" during the EU referendum debate.

She also said on the day after the Leave vote she was "impressed" at how she gave reassurances on the strength of the economy.

Who are Northamptonshire's MPs backing for the next PM?

Northamptonshire's MP have nailed their colours to the mast and told me who they are backing to be the next Conservative leader and prime minister.

Two are for Theresa May, two are for Andrea Leadsom and two are undecided, which makes this picture work nicely...

MPS backing

If you're not familiar with their faces, Michael Ellis (Northampton North) and David Mackintosh (Northampton South) are backing Theresa May, Tom Pusglove (Corby) and Chris Heaton-Harris (Daventry) are backing Andrea Leadsom, and Peter Bone (Wellingborough) and Philip Hollobone (Kettering) are undecided.

Former Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner backs May for PM

Adam Simmonds, the former Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner for Northamptonshire, has tweeted to say he's throwing his weight behind Home Secretary Theresa May to be the next PM.

Kettering MP 'pleased' Leadsom is standing, but won't back her yet

Sam Read

BBC Radio Northampton politics reporter

Philip Hollobone has told me he won't decide who to back in the Conservative leadership race until the weekend.

Philip Hollobone

The Kettering MP (pictured) says he wants to listen to the commitments the candidates make in the coming days.

But he says he is pleased South Northamptonshire MP Andrea Leadsom is standing.

The MP for Wellingborough, Peter Bone, has also said he hasn't decided who to back.

Weather: Sunshine now, but cloud coming

BBC Weather Watchers

There is sunshine in parts of Northamptonshire. Here's Long Buckby from 'WeatherWatcherWill'...

Long Buckby

However, cloud will increase as the afternoon goes on. Maximum Temperature of 18C (64F).

There are more details on the BBC Weather website.

Northampton North MP backs May

Tom Barton

BBC Look East political reporter

Michael Ellis, the MP for Northampton North, is backing Therasa May to be the next Conservative leader.

Michael Ellis and Theresa May
Michael Ellis

It's not much of a surprise, given Mr Ellis is the home secretary's parliamentary private secretary.

Gove, May head five-way Tory leader race

Michael Gove and Boris Johnson
Getty Images

To recap, here's the full list of people who have put their names forward to be the next PM. 

Leadsom: 'We must all pull together'

Andrea Leadsom's leadership bid has not had the media coverage of other candidates this morning... there's rather a lot going on, isn't there...

But here she is on her YouTube channel announcing her bid to be prime minister.

View more on youtube

Leadsom: 'Overwhelmed' by support and will look at HS2 if PM

Helen Blaby

BBC Radio Northampton

The MP for South Northamptonshire, Andrea Leadsom, says she has been "overwhelmed by the lovely messages" following her appearance on the TV EU debates, which she described as "terrifying".

Andrea Leadsom

She made two immediate pledges. One that there wouldn't be a General Election until 2020, which fellow candidate Theresa May also said, and that she would "look again" at HS2 and "whether it makes sense".

She said her instinct is the government should take a "different direction" on high-speed rail.

Leadsom: Leap from energy minister to PM but the 'economy is my specialist subject'

Helen Blaby

BBC Radio Northampton

Andrea Leadsom told me she doesn't "underestimate the leap" from energy minster to prime minster, but pointed out that David Cameron "hadn't been in government when he became leader" of the Conservatives.

Andrea Leadsom

The South Northamptonshire MP said she had "a 15-year career in financial services" and also experience "running and setting-up charities".

She also said she was concerned with the "mental health of our nation" and that the "economy is my specialist subject".

Boris Johnson won't stand for Tory leader

Boris Johnson

Just in case you haven't seen this breaking news nationally, former London mayor Boris Johnson has just ruled himself out of the race to be the next Conservative leader and prime minister.

Andrea Leadsom: 'I want to be prime minister'

Helen Blaby

BBC Radio Northampton

I've just been speaking to Andrea Leadsom about her bid to become the leader of the Conservative party. 

She told me she is "so desperate to see the opportunity of the Leave vote come to fruition".

Andrea Leadsom

She told me she "wanted to stand up and be counted" and concluded by saying "I want to be prime minster of this country".

Lindsay Lohan's Kettering tweet raised in the Commons, says Buzzfeed

Meanwhile, from the political editor at Buzzfeed UK...

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

This was Ms Lohan's original (now deleted) tweet from referendum night...


Armed forces minister backs Leadsom

The South Northamptonshire MP Andrea Leadsom has now received the backing of armed forces minister Penny Mordaunt, who was seen previously as supporting Boris Johnson.

View more on twitter

Corby MP backs Leadsom for leader

Meanwhile, the MP for Corby and Leave campaigner Tom Pursglove has pledged his support to South Northamptonshire MP Andrea Leadsom...

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Northampton MP backs May for Conservative leader

Home Secretary Theresa May has announced she'll be running to be the next leader of Conservative party and prime minister.

She has received the backing from Northampton South MP David Mackintosh...

View more on twitter

Weather: Sunny spells with the chance of shower

Owain Wyn Evans

Weather presenter, BBC Look East

It will be a dry start for most with some sunny spells. The odd shower possible with a high of 18C (64F).

My full forecast is below...

There are more details on the BBC Weather website.

How does the Conservative party leadership contest work?

The party's 1922 committee will oversee the contest. Its executive has suggested the contest should follow the system used to elect David Cameron in 2005, which would see MPs pick two candidates to put to the wider membership.

MPs wanting to stand need to be nominated by two others to get onto the ballot paper. If there are three or more candidates, a ballot or series of ballots will be held of all the party's 331 MPs to whittle down the field to two. In each round, the candidate with the fewest votes will be eliminated.

After that, a vote of the wider party - in which all Conservative members will have a say - will be held to choose the winner, with hustings taking place.

Conservative party contest

South Northamptonshire MP a 'dark horse' in leadership contest

John Pienaar

BBC Deputy Political Editor

Andrea Leadsom is one of the minor players in the race so far, but people are saying she's a "dark horse" and "keep an eye on her" - because you never know in the Conservative party leadership contest.

Andrea Leadsom

The Tories have a way, down the decades, of bringing the unexpected person through to cross the line first.

We shall have to just wait and see what happens next.

Andrea Leadsom: From local MP to leadership contender

Pete Cooper

BBC Local Live

The MP for South Northamptonshire first came to prominence when she was appointed to the Treasury Select Committee, which dealt with the Libor scandal, following her election in 2010.

In 2014 she became economic secretary to the Treasury before being minister of state for energy following the May 2015 general election.

Andrea Leadsom
Getty Images

But it was this year she rose to greater public attention becoming a prominent Leave campaigner, giving a composed performance as she took her place alongside Boris Johnson in its debating team.

We will hear from Andrea Leadsom later.

Leadsom 'delighted' to bid for Conservative leadership

Pete Cooper

BBC Local Live

Only minutes after fellow Leave campaigner Michael Gove announced he would stand to be the next Tory leader and prime minister, the MP for South Northamptonshire entered the race...

View more on twitter

Ever since the vote to leave the EU she said she was considering leadership, and today has confirmed it. Tory MPs have until midday to declare their candidacy.

BreakingLeadsom enters Conservative leadership contest

South Northamptonshire MP Andrea Leadsom has officially entered the race to be the next leader of the Conservative Party.

Listen: Tory leadership - who's racing?

BBC Radio 5 Live

Boris Johnson and Theresa May prepare to join the Conservative leadership race today, but who are they up against? 5Live's race commentator John Hunt reminds us of the runners and riders.  

Will Leadsom back Boris to be prime minister?

Pete Cooper

BBC Local Live

We are still waiting to see if Andrea Leadsom will enter the race to be the next Conservative leader, but one of the persistent rumours is she may not stand but back Boris Johnson instead.

Boris Johnson and Andrea Leadsom

The pair appeared together in various Vote Leave public events and were on the TV debates. Mrs Leadsom recently praised Mr Johnson for "working his butt off" to secure the Leave vote.

There are suggestions the South Northamptonshire MP may not just back Boris, but be part of his team - with the promise of the position of chancellor should Mr Johnson win.

Mrs Leadsom previously worked in the Treasury before moving to her current position as an energy minister.

Leading Conservative think tank backs a Fox and Leadsom team

Pete Cooper

BBC Local Live

The Bow Group, a leading Conservative think tank based in London, has conducted a poll which shows support for a Conservative leadership team of Andrea Leadsom and Liam Fox.

Andrea Leadsom and Liam Fox
Getty Images

They polled 2,228 Conservative members asking which team would be "best placed to uphold Conservative values" and the Leadsom-Fox partnership scored almost 50% of the poll.

Liam Fox has declared his candidacy for leadership, but as yet Andrea Leadsom, the MP for South Northamptonshire, has not.

Will Andrea Leadsom be the next prime minister?

Pete Cooper

BBC Local Live

At noon today those who want to be the next Conservative Party leader and prime minister must declare their candidacies.

Work and Pensions Secretary Stephen Crabb has declared; ex-minister Liam Fox has also thrown his hat into the ring, while the favourites Home Secretary Theresa May and former Mayor of London Boris Johnson are set to enter the race.

Andrea Leadsom

However, we still do not know whether South Northamptonshire MP Andrea Leadsom will stand herself or back one of the other candidates.

Welcome to Thursday's live updates for Northamptonshire

Pete Cooper

BBC Local Live

Good morning.

Today we'll be looking at court closures and a shortage of teachers in the county.

Plus, it's the start of pre-season at Northampton Town so we'll hear from the manager.

But we'll start with what I'm calling "Leadsom watch"...