AN EAST Lancashire MP Gordon Prentice wants regional and local newspapers such as the Lancashire Evening Telegraph to be preserved for people in a hundred years' time.

He has been assured that books from the collection of the British Library are not being thrown out as he feared and is asking for a similar reassurance about newspapers.

In culture questions in the House of Commons the Pendle MP tackled Culture Minister Alan Howarth about allegations that 80,000 books had been thrown out by the British Library to create space for new acquisitions.

He claimed the books had been weeded out by junior staff.

The Minister told the MP: "The Library has never discarded books and has no plans to do so now."

Mr Prentice who said his fears were based on a statement in the Guardian that books were being discarded all the time, said the news was immensely reassuring.

Afterwards he said: "There are rumours that 10 per cent of the national newspaper collection at Colindale is to be sold or destroyed after it has been put on micro fiche.

"I want a similar assurance from Ministers that our old national and regional newspapers are safe

"In a hundred years' time I want people to be able to pick up a yellowing copy of the Barlick and Earby Times, the Craven Herald and the Lancashire Evening Telegraph and wonder at the way we lived our lives.

"Our regional newspapers tell a story."