No worries, here’s a review today’s key headlines in Yorkshire.
1. ‘Take it or leave it’ challenge on issue of mayors
Yorkshire must embrace directly-elected mayors if it wants to run more of its own affairs, according to a senior Minister. Chief Secretary to the Treasury David Gauke moved to end speculation that the Theresa May administration may be ready to discuss devolution of powers and money to English regions without the elected mayors demanded by her predecessor. He also rejected suggestions that the new Government is less committed to devolution in England than David Cameron’s. Mr Gauke’s clear statement effectively represents a ‘take it or leave it’ challenge to South Yorkshire councils over whether they go ahead with the draft devolution deal they agreed with then chancellor George Osborne last year which includes the creation of an elected mayor. It also puts West, North, and East Yorkshire authorities on notice that ministers will not accept any solution to their ongoing wrangle over devolved powers unless it includes the creation of an elected mayor.
2. Brownlee’s medical data leaked online
Double olympic triathlon champion Alistair Brownlee is the latest British sports star to have his medical data leaked online by Russian computer hackers the Fancy Bears. The 28-year-old Leeds athlete is named among the sixth batch of stolen therapeutic use exemption (TUE) forms published by the hackers. Medical data relating to 20 athletes from 14 different countries are named in the latest volume, taking the total number of sports stars named by the Fancy Bears over the last three weeks to 127. Brownlee’s TUE- which is effectively a doctor’s note enabling him to take medication that would normally be banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency - was for a two-day course of acetazolamide in October 2013. The athlete explained on his twitter that this was used to battle altitude sickness when he climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro that year.
3. Region’s ‘super six’ still stars of dining firmament
Yorkshire’s ‘Super Six’ have retained their bragging rights as being among the best places to eat and drink in the whole of Britain. Eagerly anticipated, though perhaps with a little apprehension for those with something to lose, the annual publication of the Michelin Guide sees culinary reputations enhanced or otherwise on the country’s restaurant scene. In Yorkshire it was a case of standards maintained for six restaurants which retained their hard-earned Michelin stars, while it was a return to the very top table for celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal, whose restaurant The Fat Duck regained its three stars. One star each was awarded to the Pipe and Glass Inn in South Dalton, East Yorkshire; North Yorkshire’s Black Swan at Oldstead, Starr Inn at Harome and Yorke Arms at Pateley Bridge; and West Yorkshire’s Box Tree in Ilkley and The Man Behind the Curtain in Leeds.
4. Hammond accused of tightening Treasury’s grip on EU millions
Chancellor Philip Hammond was accused of tightening the Treasury’s grip on millions of pounds of cash from the European Union as he offered Yorkshire new safeguards over the loss of the funding. Mr Hammond told the Conservative Party conference that projects signed off to receive EU cash before Brexit will continue to receive money from the UK Government after Britain leaves. Yorkshire was due to receive more than £60m in so-called ‘structural funds’ to help the region’s economy in the current EU funding round running from 2014 to 2020. Mr Hammond had only previously promised that projects signed off by next month’s Autumn Statement would be guaranteed funding.
5. ‘Breakthrough’ cancer drug given approval
A last-chance drug that can lead to an “unprecedented” reduction in lung cancer tumours is now available on the NHS. Tagrisso was granted a licence only in February and has been hailed as a “breakthrough” drug by manufacturer AstraZeneca and welcomed by a charity set up in memory of Yorkshire-born Roy Castle. The one-a-day tablet is suitable for patients with non-small cell lung cancer who have specific mutation that means they have stopped responding to earlier treatments. Experts predict around 300 patients in England and Wales will be eligible for Tagrisso every year.