from BBC News for Staffordshire

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Updates from the Cannock Chase Radio News Desk via BBC Stoke and Staffordshire From: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/50990435

A body has been found in the search for a missing man last seen fishing in Staffordshire.Roger Wheat disappeared on Tuesday after being seen near to Ellastone Bridge on the River Dove in Ellastone.Staffordshire Police said a body believed to be that of the missing 79-year-old had been found during a search of the river, adding officers did not believe there were any suspicious circumstances.Mr Wheat’s family has been informed.The force says formal identification will take place in due course with a file prepared for the coroner.Latest news from the West MidlandsFollow BBC West Midlands on Facebook, on Twitter, and sign up for local news updates direct to your phone.

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There is often an assumption that former MPs are set for life after losing their seat, with many walking into consultancy jobs or similarly well-paid roles. While public sympathy may be low for those who fail to get re-elected, the reality of instant political redundancy rarely involves walking into a high-flying position – it means a trip to the job centre. Laura Smith, Crewe and Nantwich MP 2017 – 2019Former teacher Laura Smith lost the Crewe and Nantwich seat in the December election after two years in the role. When she was photographed job-hunting, she posted it on social media, tweeting with the shrugging emoji: “What do people expect me to do?”The ex-Labour politician told BBC 5 live: “I am not ashamed to be going to the job centre, it is about dealing with this misconception… that people who are members of parliament – even local councillors – are kind of sitting on a bank of reserves or will automatically have connections who will come and want to hire you.”I am somebody from a working class background, I am like millions of other people looking for work and I haven’t really got the luxury to sit around for too long thinking about it, I need to get on with it.

Skip Twitter post by @LauraSmithCrewe

Someone just took a picture of me at the job centre. Another person said ‘are you the actual Laura?’ I’ve lost my job and unlike many in Parliament I don’t have a family fortune to fall back on. What do people expect you to do 🤷‍♀️Bizarre— Laura Smith (@LauraSmithCrewe) January 8, 2020

End of Twitter post by @LauraSmithCrewe

“I don’t want anybody to feel sorry for me – you know the risks about being voted out. I’d be lying if I said it hadn’t [been tough], I absolutely loved my job. I was never expecting to be elected in 2017 to represent my home, so I was gutted [to lose in 2019].”We were obviously in it to win the seat and I feel desperately sorry, really, that I wasn’t able to persuade enough people to vote for me. That is the nature of politics.”You get a period of time to wind up your constituency office, which is by the end of February, and then it is basically statutory redundancy.”I would like to stay in politics in some form or another, but again, you have to look at your options. I need to keep a roof over my family’s head and we will see what happens.”Karen Lee, Lincoln MP 2017-2019Ex-Labour politician Karen Lee replied to Ms Smith’s tweet, saying she too was at the job centre looking for work “like you and millions of others”. The former nurse was ousted at the general election from the Lincoln seat and has applied for six positions since then. “The reality for MPs is absolutely different to the perception. I have seen people online saying we get a massive payout – I get a bit of redundancy pay but it is not massive and I haven’t got a job so I am living on it. “It is not like I am taking a holiday to the Bahamas, it will pay the mortgage and gas bill. It should last until I get another job. I was in the job centre on Wednesday and the staff there were very kind, supportive and helpful. “Going [there] shouldn’t be something that we dismiss. I think it is a positive that MPs reflect the people they did represent or still represent.Defeated MPs set to share £2m payoutWhat happens when you lose your job as an MP?Defeated MPs’ staff on the ‘grief’ of losing a job”It was really disappointing and sad to lose my seat. But on the night I thought to myself a huge number people had come out during the campaign and helped me and gave it their all.”Since the election I have been helping my team wind the Lincoln office down. I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to go to Westminster and represent the city I am from. “I lost my daughter Lynsey to breast cancer in 2011 when she was 35, and when you have had something like that, it puts these things into context. I still have my nursing registration and have put myself down for shifts at my local hospital but ultimately I would like to do something more strategic.I feel optimistic, looking for another job is quite exciting.” Jo Platt, Leigh MP 2017- 2019Jo Platt had worked in marketing then later becoming a local councillor. She was elected to represent Leigh for Labour in 2017 and was the first woman to do so, before losing to James Grundy in December. “Historically we know MPs were very privileged people and came from privileged backgrounds… the actual number of working class MPs has risen quite sharply on both sides of the house.”That demographic has changed within Westminster [but] I am not sure if perceptions match that. There’s this [idea] we all live in the castle, not in the constituency somewhere, and it is wrong.”People come from ordinary backgrounds and when they stop being MP they go back to being or doing what they were before, or basically look for something else.”I was a single parent when I entered Parliament. I was a councillor before I was an MP so since 2012 I’ve been serving politically in [some] way. To come out of that and think ‘what’s next?’ is a daunting prospect.”All the work I have been doing locally, the groups I am involved with, that connection and that push doesn’t stop.”For me that is what I am concentrating on and obviously, the issue of getting a job – yes it is there but there are still bits of work that I was doing while I was an MP and will carry on doing now. “It is a transition.”

Britain’s Adam Peaty has been named European Men’s Swimmer of the Year for the third time.The 25-year-old has been recognised for claiming three gold medals at the World Championships in South Korea in 2019.He also became the first person in history to go under 57 seconds for the 100m breaststroke, clocking 56.88.

“I’m incredibly honoured to receive such a prestigious award, especially with athletes such as Kristof Milak breaking down barriers,” said Peaty.”As always though it’s down to my irreplaceable team that help me get these results and I want to thank everyone for such commitment and dedication to what I do.”The honour was awarded by LEN, the European governing body for aquatic sports.Peaty defended his world titles over 50m and 100m breaststroke, and claimed gold in the men’s 4x100m medley relay.He also won the European Men’s Swimmer of the Year award in 2016 and 2017.Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu was named 2019 European women’s swimmer of the year, while Russian pair Aleksandar Bondar and Ekaterina Beliaeve took the diving titles.Jack Laugher – who won the men’s diving award in 2016 and 2018 – was second in the voting. Britain’s Tom Daley has also won the diving title three times (2009, 2015 and 2017), while Rebecca Adlington (2008) and Keri-Ann Payne (2011) have won the women’s award.

Laura Smith has told Radio 5 Live she isn’t “ashamed” after being photographed at a job centre. The former Labour MP, who lost her Crewe and Nantwich seat during the 2019 general election, says she’s “like anybody else who finds themselves out of work”.She told Radio 5 Live’s Chloe Tilley: “I’ve got two young children and I need to look at all of my options.”“I haven’t really got the luxury to sit around for too long thinking about it, I need to get on with it and that’s what I intend to do.”This clip is originally from 5 Live Drive on 9 January 2020.

A man who killed grime rapper Cadet in a crash after drinking six pints of beer has been jailed for four years and eight months. Jordan Birch’s van smashed into the taxi Cadet was in at twice the 30mph speed limit. The 28-year-old, whose real name was Blaine Johnson, was on his way to a gig at Keele University.The head-on crash happened in February last year in Wrinehill, Staffordshire. Birch, 23, from Shropshire, admitted causing death by dangerous driving.He also pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving to the taxi driver.The defendant, from Woore, had been veering on to the wrong side of the A531 and driving at 65-69mph, Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard.Latest updates from the West MidlandsThe rapper was “widely adored as a rising star of the music scene” and “on the cusp of securing greater commercial success”, prosecutor Paul Spratt said.Judge David Fletcher said he had listened to some of his work and described it as “very impressive”.Birch had spent the evening at two licensed premises before the crash, which happened early on 9 February, Mr Spratt said.He stated the defendant made the “fateful decision” to drive, adding: “It was a conscious decision by him, and he said he felt slightly drunk as he did so.”Mr Johnson, who was from south London, died as a result of catastrophic and significant head trauma, the court heard.Birch suffered a punctured lung and a broken leg.Peter Cooper, defending, said his client was “full of remorse”.He said: “Mr Birch does not look forward to prison, but he knows that he deserves it.”Follow BBC West Midlands on Facebook, on Twitter, and sign up for local news updates direct to your phone.

Friends of a man and woman stabbed to death in the early hours of New Year’s Day have paid tribute to “a wonderful mummy” and “a doting dad”.Helen Hancock, 39, and partner Martin Griffiths, 48, were found by police in New Zealand Lane, Duffield, Derbyshire.Rhys Hancock, 39, is accused of murdering his estranged wife and Mr Griffiths in the marital home.A friend said Ms Hancock and Mr Griffiths celebrated the new year at her house and left at about 02:00 GMT.Latest news and stories from the East Midlands”She went home with Martin, and we all went to bed,” Hannah Ruggins told BBC Radio Derby.”I put my phone on the next morning, I looked on Facebook and the first thing I saw was a picture of Helen’s house.”I showed the picture to my husband and I just said: ‘Something awful’s happened’.”Ms Hancock, who had been using her maiden name Helen Almey, was a PE teacher at Fountains High School in Burton-upon-Trent.Her best friend of 20 years, Diana McGrath, said she had been “loving life” in her last few months after previously going through a difficult time.”It was a whole new lease of life for her within the last six months,” said Miss McGrath. “She just really started to pick herself back up again.”She had climbed Mount Snowdon for the first time, with Mr Griffiths, only a few days before they both died.Ms Hancock had also enjoyed the “best ever” Christmas Day with her children and the wider family at her sister’s house.”Helen was like ‘we had an amazing Christmas’,” said Miss McGrath. “Everybody was together, all the grandchildren and everybody.”She had two sons, aged three and nine, and a daughter aged four. They are being looked after by their maternal grandparents, who will be raising them with the help of Helen’s sister and brother-in-law.Ms McGrath said they are “still really coming to terms” with losing their mother.”Helen was such a lovely mum,” she said. “So caring and she just loved children so much. She had such a loving personality.”A fundraising page she set up to assist with the children’s upbringing has already raised more than £22,000.Another friend, Katy Rees, said Mrs Hancock was “a wonderful mummy to her three beautiful children”, and “just a lovely, bright, positive person”.Tori Yerbury met Mr Griffiths and his wife Claire through their children’s nursery in Mickleover, Derby.She said the 48-year-old “was an absolutely brilliant dad” who was “passionate about his mountaineering”. She said Mr Griffiths had separated from his wife Claire in October “but they were still very close”. “They’d been together for 21 years, they had two beautiful children,” she said. “He also wished her a happy new year on New Year’s Eve.”Claire only found out about Helen three days before they passed away, and it’s been an enormous shock for her, but she had had a chance to wish Martin well.”Mrs Griffiths has asked for privacy and in a message said her “paramount priority is to protect her two young children”.Mr Griffiths’s family said in a written message he was “a family man and a doting dad… a loving son, a loving brother and a special uncle”. An online fundraiser for Mr Griffiths’s children has seen more than £2,000 of donations.Mr Hancock attended a hearing at Derby Crown Court on Monday, but did not enter a plea.The defendant, of Portland Street, Etwall, is next due in court on 28 February. Judge Nirmal Shant QC set a provisional trial date of 24 August. Follow BBC East Midlands on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Send your story ideas to eastmidsnews@bbc.co.uk.

A major search has been launched for a man in his 70s who was last seen fishing in Staffordshire. Police were alerted at 14:00 GMT that Roger Wheats had gone missing, after he was seen near to Ellastone Bridge on the River Dove in Ellastone.He was wearing a brown Barbour jacket, dark trousers and boots. Staffordshire Police said: “Thorough and co-ordinated searches have taken place in the area this afternoon and a police cordon is in place.”Officers are in contact with Mr Wheats’ family and they will be kept updated, the force added. Anyone with any information is asked to call the force urgently on 101. Follow BBC West Midlands on Facebook, on Twitter, and sign up for local news updates direct to your phone.

A motorist who died when his car crashed into an HGV in a lay-by has been named by police.Callan Neal, 21, from Walsall, was driving a white Renault Clio on the eastbound A5 Wall Bypass near to Wall Island, Lichfield, at about 02:00 GMT on Saturday. Specialist officers are supporting his family.Staffordshire Police is continuing to appeal for witnesses.Follow BBC West Midlands on Facebook, on Twitter, and sign up for local news updates direct to your phone.


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