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  1. Headlines on Friday, 1 July 2016
  2. News, sport, travel and weather updates resume on Monday at 08:00

Live Reporting

By Pete Cooper

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Live updates have finished for the week

That's all for today.

Don't forget there is full coverage of Northamptonshire's T20 match against Birmingham Bears on BBC Radio Northampton.

And full coverage of the Austrian Grand Prix on the BBC Sport website.

As for us, we'll see you on Monday at 08:00. Have a great weekend.

Weather: Sunshine and showers

Alex Dolan

BBC Look East weather

Rather cloudy and breezy with the risk of showers tonight, although they are likely to be quite isolated with lows of 9C (48F).


A fine start with sunny spells tomorrow but cloud increasing with the risk of showers, and highs of 19C (66F).

More details on the BBC Weather website.

Top of the table clash in T20 for Northamptonshire

Alex Winter

BBC Radio Northampton sport

Northamptonshire's cricketers are in action at Edgbaston against Warwickshire's Birmingham Bears tonight.

And Birmingham does look rather splendid this evening...


The Steelbacks are top of the T20 Blast North group, with the Bears only behind them on net run-rate.

There is full coverage from 19:00 on BBC Radio Northampton.

Lindsay Lohan 'furthering her career' with Kettering Christmas lights switch-on

Pete Cooper

BBC Local Live

It seems Kettering comedian James Acaster has taken some umbrage at Lindsay Lohan accepting MP Philip Hollobone's offer to switch on Kettering's Christmas lights...

View more on twitter

I'm sure he's joking... as James tweeted the US actress on the night of the referendum, saying he was a "big fan" and attempting to explain where Kettering was to her.

More MPs endorse Andrea Leadsom for PM

Andrea Leadsom is gaining more support for her bid to be the next leader of the Tories.

The MP for South Northamptonshire now has 17 confirmed MPs supporting her, including John Baron, the MP for Basildon and Billericay, who himself was seen as a leadership contender.

And it seems some MPs have used the BBC to declare their support...

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

New Saints signing Picamoles arrives in Northampton

Rugby doesn't quite move as fast as football.

It was November last year the Saints confirmed they were signing the French number eight Louis Picamoles.

And now, finally, he's arrived in Northampton...

View more on twitter

Nico Rosberg beats Lewis Hamilton in rain-hit Austrian GP practice

Andrew Benson

Chief F1 writer

Nico Rosberg edges Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton in a rain-interrupted second practice session at the Austrian Grand Prix.

Getty Images

Rosberg set his time in the seven minutes of running at the beginning of the session before a heavy downpour.

Hamilton recorded his lap in the final 10 minutes after the rain had abated and the sun returned.

There was just 0.019 seconds between them, with Force India's Nico Hulkenberg third from Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel.

Another Action Man astronaut set for space

Helen Burchell

BBC News

As the #FindMajorTom campaign continues, organisers plan to launch another Action Man astronaut in the hope of gathering the footage denied to them by Major Tom's thieves.

Action man
Wisdom Design

The "Mercury 10" mission is the brainchild of Chris Hillcox, from Sutton Coldfield in the West Midlands, and Rob Wisdom, of Essex, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Action Man's creation.

Action Man astronaut still not found

Helen Burchell

BBC News

Earlier this week we told you about the desperate search for an astronaut lost in the Northamptonshire countryside after plummeting to Earth from space.

Well... a mini version.

Action Man
Wisdom Design

We're sad to say Action Man Major Tom has still not been found, but the good news is his "brother", Commander Tim, is in training for a repeat mission.

Major Tom fell to Earth in Creaton on Sunday after being launched 19 miles (30km) into near space. Before the rescue team which was tracking his fall could arrive, space scavengers had made off with the vintage 1966 toy, his space capsule and on-board camera.

Are Wales the Northampton Town of Euro 2016?

Joe Townsend

BBC Radio Northampton sport

Cobblers' boss Rob Page told me his former Wales team-mate and now manager Chris Coleman has been "exceptional", adding the Welsh side "epitomise" team spirit. 

Rob Page
Getty Images

Page, capped 41 times by Wales, said they show "togetherness and a bond" similar to that shown by Northampton Town last season, which led them to the League Two title.

He said it was "fantastic to see and long may it continue".

Wales face Belgium in Lille in the quarter-final of Euro 2016 tonight at 20:00.

Welsh Cobblers' boss happy to talk Euro 2016 with English players

Joe Townsend

BBC Radio Northampton sport

Northampton Town manager Rob Page told me he'll "definitely" bring up Wales' progress in Euro 2016 during the start of pre-season training today.

Rob Page
Getty Images

Page played 41 times for Wales, captaining the side once, which he described as the "proudest moment" of his career.

He did admit to me that England were the "better side" when they beat Wales 2-1 in the group stages, but said that was "the only positive" for England in the tournament.

Union boss to be Chieftain for Corby Highland Gathering

Pete Cooper

BBC Local Live

Roy Rickhuss, the general secretary of the Community Union which represent steel workers, will be the Chieftain for this year's 48th Corby Highland Gathering.

roy rickhuss

The Corby steel plant, which employs 578 people, is due to be sold as part of Tata Steel's UK business.

The Corby Highland Gathering will take place next Sunday, 10 July, on Charter Field in Corby Old Village.

Former environment secretary backs Leadsom for PM

Pete Cooper

BBC Local Live

Owen Paterson, the former environment secretary, has backed Andrea Leadsom to be the next prime minister.

View more on twitter

Mr Paterson has even written a piece for The Telegraph describing the South Northamptonshire MP as "a businesswomen, a mother and an exemplary local MP", adding "she has acquired a true understanding of the needs and aspirations of the people up and down the land".

Watch: Andrew Neil explains Tory leadership election timings

Andrew Neil

Presenter, The Daily Politics

Andrea Leadsom overtakes Michael Gove to become second favourite in Tory leadership race

The Spectator

The bookmakers have reported that Andrea Leadsom has overtaken the Justice Secretary when it comes to betting on who will be the next Tory leader. Theresa May remains the favourite at 1/3, with Leadsom at 7/2 and Gove at 12/1.  

Ceremony in Corby to mark Somme centenary

The centenary of the Battle of the Somme has been marked across the UK. In Corby, a ceremony took place outside the Cube.

View more on twitter

Court closes as justice moves digital, despite warning from legal profession

Elinor Cross

BBC Radio Northampton

Yesterday we brought you news of the Kettering Magistrates and County Court closing and today it's the turn of Corby Magistrates' Court to shut its doors for the final time.

Corby Magistrates Court

Jonathan Smithers, president of the Law Society, said the courts set for closure were well used and "every citizen... should have access to justice".

He said: "It shouldn't depend on how much money you have, whether you have your own car, whether you have to rely on public transport. Everyone should be able to use it."

But the Ministry of Justice said: "Access to justice is not just about proximity to a court and we are investing over £700m to reform and digitise our courts and tribunal services, to deliver swifter and more certain justice."

The plan is to use technology such as video, telephone and online conferencing for face-to-face hearings, but also use public buildings such as town halls for cases.

Weather: Sunny spells but also showers

BBC Weather Watchers

There's patchy cloud and sunny spells at the moment around Northamptonshire. Here's Roade from BBC Weather Watcher 'dugjay72'.


But scattered showers will develop and where the showers occur, they may well be heavy. A high today of 19C (66F).

There are more details on the BBC Weather website.

'May the best woman win', says Leadsom supporter

The Daily Politics

Tim Laughton MP, who supports Andrea Leadsom to be the Conservative party leader, was asked how he thought she would do in the first ballot.

He believes she will be one of the final two candidates...

View more on twitter

More backing for Andrea Leadsom in Conservative Party leadership race

Backing continues for Andrea Leadsom to be the next prime minister.

Firstly, The Leave.EU campaign, founded by businessmen Arron Banks and Richard Tice, has pledged its support to the South Northamptonshire MP, describing her as "the breakout star of the Leave campaign".

She has also received the backing of former Corby MP Louise Mensch...

View more on twitter

Austrian Grand Prix practice under way as Hamilton worries about engine penalties

Andrew Benson

Chief F1 writer

It's the Austrian Grand Prix this weekend and in first practice at the Red Bull Ring Nico Rosberg heads his team-mate Lewis Hamilton, as Brackley-based Mercedes dominate the session.

Austrian GP
Getty Images

Meanwhile, world champion Hamilton fears engine-related grid penalties will harm his attempts to win the world title this year.

A maximum of five changes are permitted to the six parts of an engine before a grid penalty is incurred.

The Mercedes driver has made a fifth change to two parts for this weekend's GP.

Andrea Leadsom 'frontrunner' to be PM along with May, says political commentator

This Week

Last night political commentator Iain Dale disagreed with former deputy Conservative leader Michael Portillo (right) that Michael Gove was a frontrunner for the party's leadership.

On the BBC's This Week, he suggested Andrea Leadsom was leading the race with Home Secretary Theresa May.

View more on twitter

More MPs pledge support to Andrea Leadsom in race to be the next PM

Andrea Leadsom has been receiving support from several more MPs since she announced she would stand to be the next leader of the Conservative party.

The South Northamptonshire MP has already had backing from county colleagues Tom Pursglove (Corby) and Chris Heaton-Harris (Daventry), as well as former ministers Penny Mordaunt and Tim Loughton.

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Last Post at Abington Park Museum to remember the fallen at the Somme

Sam Read

BBC Radio Northampton politics reporter

Commemorations are being held to mark the centenary of the start of the Battle of the Somme.

Members of the Western Front Association, together with Northampton's mayor, held an all-night vigil at the museum of the Northamptonshire Regiment, located in Abington Park Museum.

This was the moment the Last Post was played at a service at the park at 07:30 to mark the moment troops went "over the top" 100 years ago...

MP says it would be 'marvellous' if Lohan turned on Kettering's Christmas lights


Pete Cooper

BBC Local Live

Philip Hollobone, the MP for Kettering, admitted he "doesn't know how to tweet" to respond to Lindsay Lohan's acceptance to turn on Kettering's Christmas lights.

Lindsay Lohan and Philip Hollobone

But he told BBC Radio Northampton "it would be marvellous if we can bring this about", and asked the BBC's "good offices and high reputation" to help contact the actress.

Can you actually imagine if she turned up? Let's make it happen!

From Eastenders actor to Hollywood star for Kettering Christmas lights?


So... if Lindsay Lohan does switch on Kettering's Christmas lights, then she'll be following in the footsteps of Eastender's actor Jake Wood, who plays Max Branning, who turned them on last year.

Jake Wood

In 2014 the lights were turned on by former The Bill actor Mark Wingett, who was in panto in Kettering.

Lindsay Lohan accepts MP's offer to switch on Kettering's Christmas lights


Really? Will she?

View more on twitter

Yesterday in the House of Commons, Hollywood actress Lindsay Lohan was invited to turn on Kettering's Christmas lights by the town's MP to make up for a Twitter snub on EU referendum night.

Ms Lohan, who supported Remain, tweeted: "#REMAIN Sorry, but #KETTERING where are you", during coverage of the count in which Kettering voted Leave.

Conservative Philip Hollobone, who supported the Leave campaign, said the tweet was "fierce and offensive". He told the Commons her appearance in the town would redeem her political reputation.

And then last night she appeared to accept the invitation.

Weather: Sunny start with showers later

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC Look East weather

A mainly dry start, but showers will become more widespread through the day. Some turning heavy and thundery.

Top temperature: 19C (66F).

Here's my full forecast...

There are more details on the BBC Weather website.

Battle of the Somme: Live page of national commemorations

If you'd like to read more about the Battle of the Somme commemorations going on across the UK today, the BBC is running a special live page reflecting events.

You can find it here.

Screenshot of Battle of the Somme live page

The Battle of the Somme - how it unfolded


  • Began on 1 July 1916 and was fought along a 15-mile front near the River Somme in northern France
  • 19,240 British soldiers died on the first day - the bloodiest day in the history of the British Army
  • The British captured just three square miles of territory on the first day
  • At the end of hostilities, five months later, the British had advanced just seven miles and failed to break the German defence
  • In total, there were more than a million dead and wounded on all sides, including 420,000 British, about 200,000 from France and an estimated 465,000 from Germany
The Battle of the Somme
Getty Images

Northampton Town mark Somme centenary

Among those from Northamptonshire that fought in the Battle of the Somme was Cobblers' footballer Walter Tull.

He was the first black solider to be made an officer in the British Army. He died later in World War One in 1918.

He is remembered at the Tull memorial at the Sixfields Stadium...

View more on twitter

Children whistle-blowing in Raunds to mark Somme centenary

Ceremonies have been taking place around the county to mark 100 years since the start of the Battle of the Somme.

Windmill Primary School in Raunds held its own whistle-blowing ceremony, to mark the moment troops were signalled to leave their trenches.

View more on twitter

Service in Northampton to mark centenary of the Battle of the Somme

Sam Read

BBC Radio Northampton politics reporter

Commemorations are being held across the UK and in France to mark the centenary of the start of the Battle of the Somme.

Members of the Western Front Association, together with Northampton's mayor, have been holding an all-night vigil at the museum of the Northamptonshire Regiment, which is located within Abington Park Museum.

Earlier there was a special service held outside the museum, which ended with a two minutes' silence at 07.28 - when troops went "over the top".

Abington Park
Abington Park
Abington Park

Welcome to live updates for Northamptonshire

Pete Cooper

BBC Local Live

Good morning.

Today we'll be reflecting the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme - the bloodiest day in British military history.

We'll also keep an eye on any manoeuvres in the race to be the leader of the Conservative party, with South Northamptonshire MP Andrea Leadsom throwing her hat into the ring.

Plus there is T20 cricket tonight, the Austrian Grand Prix weekend starts, and with a former Wales captain now the manager of Northampton Town, we'll have peak at Euro 2016 which resumes this evening.