The Week Ahead: More political change, Tour de Yorkshire route unveiled and an online shopping bonanza

The peloton of the Tour de Yorkshire make their way through the crowds near the Cow and Calf in Ilkley. (YPN).
The peloton of the Tour de Yorkshire make their way through the crowds near the Cow and Calf in Ilkley. (YPN).
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Ukip appoints its new leader and the annual Christmas shopping frenzy continues. Chris Bond looks ahead to who and what is likely to be in the news this week.

NEW LEADER

It should have been their finest hour, but ever since the country voted to leave the EU, Ukip has been in turmoil. Diane James lasted just 18 days as the party’s leader before she quit – both the job and the party.

Then came the embarrassing episode involving Steven Woolfe and Mike Hookem in the European Parliament. Today we’ll finally find out who will be taking from Nigel Farage as the party’s leader.


SHOPPING FRENZY

If we didn’t know already we certainly do now – the Christmas shopping season is well and truly under way. Last week we had Black Friday with sales topping £2bn as shoppers went on the hunt for bargains and today we have Cyber Monday as one of the busiest weekends for online shopping continues.

We’re not even in December yet and already the festive spirit is in danger of ebbing away. If only there was a sanity claus we could conjure up...

BREXIT V HEATHROW

When Zac Goldsmith resigned as Conservative MP of Richmond Park after the Government gave the green light for a third runway to be built at Heathrow Airport, he was just sticking to his word.

The former London Mayor candidate said he would resign if the Government backed Heathrow’s expansion and he did just that. This week sees the subsequent by-election in which Goldsmith is standing as an independent.

But he’s far from certain of victory, for although he campaigned against the runway extension he also voted for Brexit and most of his constituents voted to Remain. Given the fact the Lib Dems candidate Sarah Olney is against the runway and a Remainer, it’s likely to be a close call.

CAPTAIN MARVEL

When US Airways flight 1549 hit a flock of birds shortly after taking off from New York’s LaGuardia airport in 2009, it appeared doomed. Both engines shut down and the captain was forced to ditch the Airbus A320 in the Hudson River, not far from Manhattan.

Thankfully all 155 souls on board, including a nine-month-old baby, survived. The incident quickly became known as “The Miracle on the Hudson” and the plane’s unassuming captain Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger was rightly hailed a national hero.

It had “Hollywood” written all over it and seven years later this real-life feat of heroism has been brought to the silver screen. The film – Sully: Miracle On The Hudson – opens in the UK this week with Tom Hanks (who else?) in the title role.

TOUR RETURNS

The six towns hosting the start and finish events during the 2017 Tour de Yorkshire cycle race were named last month and later this week the full route will be unveiled at a press conference in Bradford.

Since the inaugural event was held two years ago the Tour de Yorkshire has become a popular fixture on the region’s sporting calendar. This year’s tour attracted around two million spectators and you wouldn’t bet against next year’s being even bigger.

FEMALE PIONEER

Many of you will recognise the name ‘Alice Bacon.’ She was Yorkshire’s first ever female MP serving as Labour’s Member of Parliament for Leeds North East from 1945 through to 1970.

A pioneering figure she’s the subject of a new book by Rachel Reeves, Labour’s Leeds West MP, called – Alice in Westminster: The Political Life of Alice Bacon – which is published this week.

Given recent events across the Pond, it’s a timely reminder that there are glass ceilings in politics still to be smashed.