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  1. Updates on Tuesday 21 March
  2. Merseyrail staff to join RMT strikes announced for Grand National Day
  3. Cheshire twins 'had parents' ashes' in Dover cliff death fall, inquest finds
  4. George Galloway to stand as an independent in Gorton by-election
  5. Hundreds of people greet Prince Charles at Clitheroe food festival

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Our live coverage across the day

Our live updates have finished for the day, but we'll be back from 08:00 on Wednesday with more of the latest news, sport, travel and weather.

Colin Parry: 'Respect but not forgiveness' for former IRA leader

Peace campaigner Colin Parry - whose son was killed in an IRA bomb attack in Warrington in 1993 - says he is now able to remember the former IRA leader Martin McGuinness with respect.

Mr Parry's 12-year-old son, Tim, was one of two people killed when two bombs exploded on Bridge Street leaving 54 people injured.

Mr McGuinness, the IRA leader who turned peace negotiator and later became Northern Ireland's former deputy first minister, died earlier today.

Colin Parry says that, while he cannot forgive the late Sinn Fein politician, he is glad he worked closely with him to promote peace.

Football: Thanks for the memory Bastian

BBC Sport

Bastian Schweinsteiger is heading for MLS side Chicago Fire in the USA but not before leaving us with memories of his final goal for the club.

He scored this improvised effort in the 4-0 victory in the FA Cup Fourth Round against Wigan.

Severe accident: M60 Greater Manchester clockwise

BBC News Travel

M60 Greater Manchester clockwise severe accident, between J10 for B5214 and J11 for A57.

M60 Greater Manchester - One lane blocked and heavy traffic on M60 clockwise between J10, B5214 (Trafford Centre) and J11, A57 (Barton), because of an accident.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Northern Education Trust academies criticised by watchdog

An education trust which runs schools across the north of England is failing to improve standards, the education watchdog has said.  

Northern Education Trust
Northern Education Trust

The Northern Education Trust took on "too many poorly performing schools" and had "unrealistic and unachievable" plans for improvement, Ofsted found.

The trust runs academies on Tyneside, Wearside, Teesside, Northumberland, Yorkshire and Greater Manchester.

The report does not reflect changes made since the inspections, it said.

One-year manhunt continues for "dangerous" criminal

Police are hunting a "dangerous" criminal who has been on the run for almost a year.


Neil Brennan, 33, failed to return to HM prison Thorn Cross in Warrington last May.

Despite several arrest attempts and a wide scale search Brennan has still not been found.

Police said he was known to change his appearance often and has been seen with short hair, glasses and a beard and also with a shaved head, no glasses and no beard.

He is also known to call himself Tom Ford and it is believed he has links to Bury and Blackley in Greater Manchester and also spends time in Cheshire.

A police spokesman said: "Brennan is known to be dangerous and the public are asked not to approach him if they see him, but contact police."

Cosmetic surgery boss avoids driving ban over 'vodka in breakfast juice'

Manchester Evening News

A Manchester businesswoman has escaped a road ban after telling court she drank orange juice for breakfast - not realising it contained vodka.  

Latest headlines for the North West

Severe disruption: M61 Greater Manchester southbound

BBC News Travel

M61 Greater Manchester southbound severe disruption, at J15 for M60.

M61 Greater Manchester - M61 lane blocked on exit slip road to the M60 clockwise and queuing traffic southbound at J15, M60 (Swinton Interchange), because of a broken down lorry.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Merseyrail staff to join RMT strikes on Grand National day

Workers on Southern, Merseyrail and Northern services  are to hold fresh strikes on 8 April , the day of the Grand National, the RMT union has said.


The 24-hour industrial action is part of a continuing dispute over staffing and the role of conductors.

A strike planned for 4 April on Southern routes was moved to 8 April after the company offered fresh talks.

'Mistrust' leads to council morale fall

"Fear and mistrust" has led to morale at a scandal-hit council being at "rock bottom", a trade union has said .

Peter Mullineaux

South Ribble Borough Council elected a new leader in 2016 after a furore over the handling of claims taxi drivers were sexually exploiting children.

Unison said a staff survey found staff proud to work there had fallen from 98% in 2015 to 33% in 2017 and that senior managers and councillors needed training on how to treat people with more respect.  

The council's leader said the authority was tackling concerns "head on".

Peter Mullineaux was elected leader in September after Margaret Smith  resigned  due to ill health.

English Democrats launch Greater Manchester Mayor campaign

Kevin Fitzpatrick

BBC Radio Manchester journalist

The English Democrats candidate for Greater Manchester's first directly elected metro mayor has launched his manifesto.

Stephen Morris is one of six candidates standing in the 4 May poll.

English Democrat mayor candidate @SteMorris has published his manifesto, promising to improve health and increase p……

.@SteMorris also says he would attempt to persuade hospitals to stop charging people to park. Full manifesto is here

Merseyrail workers to strike on Grand National day

Workers on Southern, Merseyrail and Arriva Trains North are to strike on 8 April, the day of the Grand National, in disputes over staffing and the role of conductors, the RMT union has announced.


Severe disruption: M56 Cheshire eastbound

BBC News Travel

M56 Cheshire eastbound severe disruption, at J10 for A49.

M56 Cheshire - M56 entry slip road closed and slow traffic eastbound at J10, A49 (Stretton), because of a police incident.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Cliff-death twins 'had parents' ashes'

Twins found dead at the foot of cliffs in Dover had rucksacks containing the ashes of the their dead parents , an inquest heard.

Cliffs at Langdon Bay

Twins Muriel and Bernard Burgess, aged 59, from Elton, Cheshire were discovered on New Year's Day.

The "private and reclusive" siblings had struggled since their parents' deaths, the hearing was told.

Coroner Patricia Harding recorded an open conclusion at the inquest at Archbishop's Palace in Maidstone, Kent.

She said: "The evidence doesn't disclose to the required standard of proof whether there was an intention by them to take their own lives or was indeed simply a tragic accident."

Boy bailed after boss 'hit by object'

A 12-year-old boy has been bailed after Blackpool's manager was allegedly hit by an object in the dugout at Newport County on Saturday.

Gary Bowyer
Huw Evans picture agency

The Football Association and the club have  both launched inquiries  after Blackpool boss Gary Bowyer was struck in his side's 3-1 win at Rodney Parade.

Gwent Police has confirmed an arrest was made and the boy has been bailed pending further inquiries.

It warned supporters they could face a ban from future matches.

Latest headlines for the North West

  • The cliff deaths of a twin brother and sister from Cheshire could have been a 'tragic accident' a coroner says
  • A mother and child are left "traumatised" after shots are fired at their house in Gorton, police say
  • Union leaders claim morale is "rock bottom" among staff at South Ribble Council due to a culture of "fear and mistrust" 

Anti-fracking protests 'need firm line'

Police need to " take a firm line " on anti-fracking protesters who target businesses, company bosses have said.

Protester's brolly

Protests have been held at the Preston New Road site in Lancashire since  work began in January  and one group has now promised "escalated action".

The local chamber of commerce said the tactics used by protesters were like those of "animal rights extremists".

Lancashire Police said it provides an "effective and proportionate" response, while facilitating peaceful protest.

Fifty-nine people were arrested at the site between 27 January and 17 March, with 47 of those being charged, police said.

Weather: Becoming increasingly cold and showery

Alexandra Hamilton

BBC weather presenter

Some heavy showers are likely this afternoon, with wintry spells over the hills.

After a cold but mainly dry start to the night, rain will push in from the southwest, falling as snow over higher ground.

Temperatures overnight will dip to between 3 and 5C.

More from BBC Weather

Mother and child 'traumatised' by house shooting

A mother and child were left traumatised after shots were fired at their house in Manchester, police have said.

Sutton Road, Gorton, Manchester

Greater Manchester Police said a hooded man fired a pistol at the house in Sutton Road, Gorton, before driving off.

Det Insp Muz Kernain, said: “We believe that this was a targeted attack that poses no threat to the wider community and we have increased patrols in response. 

“A mother and child have been left extremely shaken by this traumatic ordeal and it is fortunate that neither of them were injured."

Severe accident: M56 Greater Manchester eastbound

BBC News Travel

M56 Greater Manchester eastbound severe accident, between J6 for A538 and M56 J5.

M56 Greater Manchester - Stationary traffic on M56 eastbound between J6, A538 (Hale Four Seasons Roundabout) and M56 J5, Manchester Airport, because of a rolling road-block and an accident.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Ex-soldier 'jumped to his death' from cliffs on New Year's Day

Dave Guest

Chief reporter, BBC North West Tonight

A coroner has concluded that a former soldier from Greater Manchester "jumped to his death" from the cliffs at Dover.

Cliffs of Dover

Coroner Patricia Harding said she was satisfied Scott Enion, 45, who served in the 1991 Gulf War, had committed suicide on New Year's Day.

The inquest at Maidstone heard Mr Enion, from Radcliffe, had claimed he was racially bullied in the army and complained of suffering Gulf War Syndrome.

He was last seen on Langdon Cliff at 14:30 New Year's Day.

The inquest has also been hearing evidence on the deaths of Cheshire twins Bernard and Muriel Burgess whose bodies were found half a mile away on the same day. 

Robinson backs Warrington to improve

BBC Sport

Warrington Wolves will bounce back from their poor start to the Super League season, says former dual code international Jason Robinson .

Warrington Wolves players
Rex Features

The Wire have lost all five of their matches this campaign and are bottom.

They reached a third Grand Final in five years last season, and Robinson believes they will improve.

"They are under the pump, but they have got a great system and some great players and it's only a matter of time before they turn it around," he said.

Cyclist sustains head injuries in Lytham crash

A cyclist has suffered serious injuries after he was in collision with a Mercedes in Lytham.

Lytham Road-Lodge Lane junction

The crash happened about 08:50 yesterday on the A584 Lytham Road, close to the junction of Lodge Lane.

The 24-year-old cyclist, from Lytham, was taken to Royal Preston Hospital, where he has since had surgery for head injuries and a broken jaw.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact police.

Latest headlines for the North West

  • A Gulf War veteran from Radcliffe who was "racially bullied" took his own life by jumping from cliffs near Dover on New Year's Day, an inquest concludes
  • A mother and child are left "traumatised" after shots are fired at their house in Gorton, police say
  • Union leaders claim morale is "rock bottom" among staff at South Ribble Council due to a culture of "fear and mistrust" 

Boxing: 'Selfish' Crolla wants 'special night'

BBC Sport

Anthony Crolla believes an enforced selfishness will help him create " one of the most special nights in Manchester boxing " on Saturday.  

Anthony Crolla and Jorge Linares
Rex Features
Manchester fighter Crolla (left) lost the WBA lightweight belt to Linares in September last year

The 30-year-old faces WBA lightweight champion Jorge Linares at Manchester Arena, six months after being outpointed  by the Venezuelan.

Trainer Joe Gallagher has asked Crolla to become more "selfish, angry and horrible" to beat the 31-year-old.

I've had to be a little bit selfish and miss out on a few things, like training kids at the old amateur club. But I certainly feel the benefits of being locked away a bit more this camp

Anthony Crolla

Severe accident: M6 Cheshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M6 Cheshire southbound severe accident, between J19 for A556 and J18 for A54 Middlewich.

M6 Cheshire - Two lanes closed and queuing traffic on M6 southbound between J19, A556 (Knutsford) and J18, A54 (Middlewich), because of an accident.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Union claims South Ribble staff morale 'at rock bottom'

A trade union has criticised leaders and officers at South Ribble Borough Council, saying a survey has revealed that staff morale is "rock bottom".

South Ribble Borough Council

The union claims there is a culture of "fear and mistrust" alleging several councillors are acting "with little integrity" in attempting "to bring the council down". 

More than a quarter of staff said they had been on the receiving end of abuse or mistreatment at work. Only a third of staff felt proud to work for the authority.

A South Ribble Borough Council statement said: "There's no denying the council has experienced a difficult 18 months and these figures are a clear reflection of that", adding the council is "determined to tackle the issues raised".

Colin Parry: I can't forgive Martin McGuinness

Colin Parry, whose 12-year-old son, Tim, died in an IRA bomb in Warrington in 1993, said although he did not forgive the IRA or Martin McGuinness, he found him a man who was "sincere in his desire for peace".

The former IRA member and ex Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister died earlier today.

North West players prepare for England meeting with Germany

England's players have staged their final training session ahead of tomorrow's friendly against Germany in Dortmund.

View more on twitter

The squad includes a number of North West-based players...

  • Tom Heaton (Burnley)
  • Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool)
  • Phil Jones (Manchester United)
  • Michael Keane (Burnley)
  • Luke Shaw (Manchester United) 
  • Chris Smalling (Manchester United) 
  • John Stones (Manchester City)
  • Ross Barkley (Everton)
  • Adam Lallana (Liverpool) 
  • Jesse Lingard (Manchester United)
  • Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)
  • Marcus Rashford (Manchester United)  

Labour MP criticises 'self-serving' Galloway

A Labour MP has criticised former MP George Galloway's decision to stand in the Manchester Gorton by-election.

Lisa Nandy
Getty Images

Lisa Nandy, MP for Wigan, said her former colleague's decision is "self-serving and offers nothing to the local community".

Galloway, who was also a former Respect MP, said he was a friend of former MP Gerald Kaufman who held the Gorton seat for 33 years until his death last month. 

No date has been set for the by-election.

George Galloway shadow
Getty Images

Wellwishers greet Prince Charles in Clitheroe

Hundreds have people have turned out in Clitheroe for the visit of Prince Charles.

The Prince is on the first part of his one-day trip to Lancashire and will later meet some of the town's food producers.

He is set to travel to BAE Systems in Samlesbury to meet apprentices, before rounding off the day at a cheese business in Garstang.

Coverage of the tour continues on BBC Radio Lancashire .

Teenage killer denied parole

Liverpool Echo

A killer jailed for life as a teenager for his role in a gang shooting outside a Liverpool prison has failed to convince a High Court judge he deserves an early shot at parole.  

Man Utd let Schweinsteiger join Chicago

BBC Sport

Manchester United have agreed to let midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger join MLS side Chicago Fire .  

Bastian Schweinsteiger

A deal between the clubs was agreed on Monday and is subject to a medical and visa being secured.

The former Germany captain, 32, has signed a one-year contract, according to the  Chicago Tribune newspaper.

"I've always sought opportunities where I hoped to make a positive impact," Schweinsteiger said in the Tribune. "My move to Chicago Fire is no different."

Former deputy head faces child sex charges

A former deputy head teacher has been charged with sexual offences against 13 pupils .  

St John's Primary School

Grahame Brennand, 69, of Calder Avenue, Preston, is accused of 24 counts of indecent assault against young girls at St John's Primary School in Baxenden.

The offences were allegedly committed between 1974 and 1988, Lancashire Police said.

Mr Brennand is due to appear at Burnley Magistrates' Court on 18 April.

Latest headlines for the North West

  • Former Labour and Respect MP George Galloway is to stand in the Manchester Gorton by-election
  • Prince Charles is visiting Lancashire in a trip taking in a visit to the BAE plant at Samlesbury
  • A 19-year-old Liverpool man is accused of murdering a former Merseyside man in Exeter

Woman dies in house fire

A woman has died in a fire at a house in Greater Manchester, police have said.

Hayling Road Sale

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service and Greater Manchester Police are investigating the cause of the fire in Hayling Road, Sale on Monday.

Firefighters were called at about 14:50 and found the body of a woman, who has yet to be formerly identified.

Det Ch Insp Paul Parker said: “This is a tragic incident in which a woman has died and my thoughts are with her family at this time."

Prince Charles arrives in Clitheroe