CAMPAIGNERS whose actions led to the discovery of Richard III’s body are urging the public to play their part in the legal battle to bring his remains back to York.

David Johnson, of the Looking For Richard Project, said a High Court judge had ruled that public opinion should be taken into account by those who decide where the dead king will be laid to rest.

He urged everyone who believed Richard III should come to York to sign the petition calling for that on the Government website.

“Here is their chance to influence the decision and possibly have a real impact,” Mr Johnson said.

“We believe there is good evidence that has convinced a number of eminent historians that Richard III wanted to be buried in York and by bringing him back to York we will be carrying out his wishes.”

Mr Johnson’s call comes as a Leicester newspaper launches a campaign to gather signatures for a competing petition calling for the king to remain in Leicester.

Granting the descendants of Richard III’s family permission to judiciallly review the decision that Richard III should be buried in Leicester, Mr Justice Haddon-Cave gave a list of those who should be consulted about the burial place, which included the general public, and matters that should be taken into account. These included public opinion and the wishes of the next of kin and Richard III himself.

The main petition for Richard III to be buried in York has so far gathered about 28,500 signatures and it closes on September 24.

Mr Johnson would like to see it reach at least 30,000. The Leicester petition has about 12,450 signatures and closes on October 12. The judicial review is likely to be heard later this year.

The York petition can be seen at

The Looking For Richard Project began in 2009 and actively sought the king’s body.

The court case was brought by the Plantagenet Alliance, who are the descendants of Richard III’s family.