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Thousands have signed petition calling for MP Selaine Saxby to resign

Thousands of people have signed a petition calling for North Devon MP Selaine Saxby to resign over her comments on free school meals – as the council she still sits on have announced they will use a Local Hardship Fund to help.

The Conservative MP, in a post on North Devon News Facebook group on Friday night under her personal account, stated that she hoped that if eateries in the area were able to offer free food, that they would not require further government assistance.

In the message that was later deleted, the MP for North Devon said: “I am delighted our local businesses have bounced back so much after lockdown that they are able to give food away for free, and very much hope they will not be seeking any further government support.”

Calls have since been made by the Liberal Democrats in North Devon for her to resign, saying her apology isn’t good enough, while North Devon Council, where she remains a councillor for the Instow ward, have said they will be using their Local Hardship Fund to provide financial assistance to schools in the area who then identified and provided direct help to families and pupils most at need.

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Cases rise across Devon and Cornwall – but a sharp drop in Exeter.

Cases in Plymouth and Torbay have seen sharp rises, having doubled in the last week, with a large rise in East Devon also recorded, but are down in Exeter and Torridge

The number of new coronavirus cases confirmed in the last seven days has risen across Devon and Cornwall – but there has been a fall in the Devon County Council area.

Government statistics show that 1,395 new cases have been confirmed across the region in the past seven days in both pillar 1 data from tests carried out by the NHS and pillar 2 data from commercial partners, compared to 1,113 new cases confirmed last week.

Cases in Plymouth and Torbay have seen sharp rises, having doubled in the last week, with a large rise in East Devon also recorded, and small rises in Mid Devon, North Devon, Teignbridge, the South Hams, and West Devon recorded.

But cases in Torridge have dropped, while in Exeter, cases are down by a third on last week, mainly driven by a reduction in cases linked to the University, and a sharp fall in cases in Exeter has outweighed the rises elsewhere in the region to see 13 fewer cases confirmed within the Devon County Council area than last week.