Justice minister Thomas McNally said parliament should not intervene in the row over where the recently uncovered remains of Richard III will be buried.

In a letter issued the day after descendants of the monarch called for the remains to be interred in York, McNally said the decision was to be made by the University of Leicester, which made the discovery.

"They have indicated that they intend to reinter the remains in Leicester Cathedral, which is one of the possible locations referred to in the licence," he wrote.

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The Ministry of Justice licence to exhume the body was issued shortly after the remains, discovered under a Leicester car park, were identified as Richard's.

Nine of the king's descendants on Sunday said in an open letter that their ancestor would want to be buried in York, the city which gave its name to his royal house.

Richard ruled for two years until his death in 1485 in the Battle of Bosworth Field the decisive batle of the Wars of the Roses which ended the Plantagenet line of monarchs and ushered in the Tudors.