Jon Ashworth MP: Richard's remains should stay here
The recent discovery of a grave containing a skeleton with spinal abnormalities thought to belong to Richard III is hugely exciting.
It allows us to revisit an important period in English history and look again at the reputation of the last English monarch to be killed on the battlefield, who was much loved in the north of England and was something of a social reformer.
The old maxim that those who win wars write the history books has shown to be true in Richard's case, as starting with the Tudors, this last Plantagenet King of England has had his reputation traduced over centuries.
The University of Leicester has to be congratulated for identifying the site and finding what hopefully is Richard's remains. We all eagerly now wait the DNA tests but the whole discovery has reinforced a view I have always held.
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Namely, the University of Leicester and indeed De Montfort University, are two of the most impressive universities anywhere in the country and contribute immensely to Leicester as a city.
And if it does turn out to be Richard, we have to keep him in Leicester – after all he has rested here for 500 years.
I would argue he should be laid to rest at Leicester Cathedral and enjoy a state funeral.
State funerals in the past have taken place at Westminster Abbey and St Paul's Cathedral but wouldn't it be splendid if Leicester hosted what, I think, would be the first state funeral outside of London? Of course other cities are also laying claim to Richard.
I had to defend Leicester's claim to an unsympathetic audience on BBC Radio York, but, as always, I strongly fought Leicester's corner.
Some have criticised me for suggesting the discovery could boost tourism to our city. I make no apology for that. Since my election, pressing for jobs and investment has been my top priority and will continue to be.
Back in the political world, we are in our Party Conference season. Liberal Party Leader Nick Clegg opened his Conference by making an apology. But his apology wasn't for actually trebling tuition fees to £9,000 it was just for making the pledge in the first place. It was a rather a cynical manoeuvre. I'm not sure if Leicester teenagers starting university will be impressed with Mr Clegg.
In the next few days, the Labour Conference will be held in Manchester. It will be important that Labour's Conference addresses the issues that people in Leicester raise with me all the time, from stagnating wages to ryouth unemployment. For example, how do we build an economy that works for working people.
After Conference season, we're back to Parliament. But I always love being out and about in the constituency. In recent days I've visited a number of impressive voluntary organisations all of whom do vital work in Leicester such as working with disadvantaged young people or helping people get skills to find work.
Yet because of Tory-Liberal cuts they all face a challenging future. We have a Government that likes to boast of wanting to support "Big Society'', isn't it time they put their money where their mouth is?