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  1. Updates on Friday 21 April
  2. News, sport, weather and travel updates resume at 08:00 on Monday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Our coverage across the day

That's it from us on Friday. Please join us again from 08:00 on Monday for our normal service of news, sport, travel and weather updates.

Have a good weekend.

Weather: Cloudy with some rain

BBC Weather

Remaining cloudy through the evening and first part of the night with a little patchy light rain. 

However, most areas will become dry with clear spells later, leading to a chilly end to the night.  Lowest temperatures 8C.

Weather graphic

Sun columnist Kelvin MacKenzie 'to be quizzed' over Ross Barkley comments

Merseyside Police are to interview Sun columnist Kelvin MacKenzie over his article about Everton footballer Ross Barkley, according to the city's mayor.

Kelvin MacKenzie
Kelvin MacKenzie is on holiday but will be interviewed on his return

His column compared the midfielder - who has a Nigerian-born grandfather - to a "gorilla" saying he is "one of our dimmest footballers".

At a meeting of Liverpool City Council's cabinet this morning, Mayor Joe Anderson described the comments as a "racial slur" and said Merseyside Police will be "interviewing the person concerned".

The Sun which suspended its former editor apologised for the offence and said it was "unaware of Ross Barkley's heritage". 

Mr MacKenzie has been approached for comment but is currently on holiday. 

Merseyside Police said it was an ongoing investigation and officers will be speaking to relevant witnesses.

Cabbage lead singer Lee Broadbent denies claims of sexual assault at gig

Manchester band Cabbage have denied claims their lead singer assaulted a female audience member at one of their gigs.


A woman who attended the Wednesday night gig - but not the person said to have been assaulted - claimed on social media to have seen the incident.

The band strongly deny the accusations made against singer Lee Broadbent.

Nicole Rushworth said Cabbage's performance was poor and claims he was "so off his head" that he was unable to remove his own guitar strap.

Latest headlines for the North West

  • A man who had sex with a 13-year-old girl from Nelson and abducted her is jailed

Morrisons recalls green beans after metal find

Morrisons is recalling its own-brand trimmed green beans after metal was found inside them.

Green beans

Two customers found the metal in packets of the vegetables in Manchester and Glasgow stores.

The Food Standards Agency issued a warning for the affected products, which are the supermarket's 170g bags of the beans with display until dates of 22 April, 23 April and 24 April.

A spokeswoman for Morrisons said an investigation was under way.

Moston man jailed for murdering wife during row

A man who strangled his estranged wife during a row has been jailed for life for murder.

James Neary

Christine Neary, known as Chrissy, was found dead at a property in Kinver Road, Moston, Manchester on 28 January.

Christine Neary

The 46-year-old and her husband James Neary, or Jimmy, had recently split up and he had taken it "badly", police said.

Neary, also 46, of Kinver Road, admitted murder at Manchester Crown Court. He will serve a minimum of 12 years in prison.

Football: Burnley defender's future has not changed, says manager

BBC Sport

Michael Keane's future at Burnley has "not changed" despite reports linking the defender with a move away from the club, says manager Sean Dyche.  

Michael Keane
Getty Images

The 24-year-old has had an impressive season and has been shortlisted for the Professional Footballers' Association young player of the year award.

He made his England debut on 22 March in the 1-0 defeat by Germany.

"He is focused on the job at hand in delivering performances for the club," said Dyche.

Severe disruption: M60 Greater Manchester clockwise

BBC News Travel

M60 Greater Manchester clockwise severe disruption, between J16 for A666 and J17 for A56 Prestwich affecting J13 for A572.

M60 Greater Manchester - One lane closed and heavy traffic on M60 clockwise between J16, A666 (Pendlebury) and J17, A56 (Prestwich), because of a broken down car. In the roadworks area. Congestion to J13, A572 (Worsley).

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

CCTV of 'shocking' east Lancashire arson released

Police are investigating an arson attack on a car in Brierfield which spread to a nearby house.

CCTV image of a car on fire
Lancashire Police

CCTV images show two men poured accelerant on a blue Vauxhall parked outside a bungalow on Walter Street in the early hours of Thursday morning, and then set it alight.

The men then ran off along the side of Walter Street Primary School.

The blaze damaged the side of the bungalow and a garage.

This was a truly shocking incident, especially considering one of the occupants is disabled and there were also two teenagers inside the house. It is lucky that no one was seriously hurt.

DC Mick SmithBurnley CID

Latest headlines for the North West

  • A man who had sex with a 13-year-old girl from Nelson and abducted her is jailed
  • Police are hunting a man who kidnapped a couple at gunpoint from their home in Wigan then forced them to take hundreds of pounds out of a nearby cash machine  
  • The Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is told it must improve its services to patients

Lancashire bride 'heartbroken' as shop closure leads to dress confusion

A bride-to-be from Ribbleton says she is "heartbroken" after one of Lancashire's oldest wedding dress businesses collapsed. 

Dan Kerr shop in Blackpool

Beth Whiting, 26, from Ribbleton ordered her dress from Dan Kerr for her wedding in October and has paid more than half of the cost already.

She says the company have told her she can collect her outfit from a warehouse in Manchester but to do so she must pay all the outstanding costs first.

Dan Kerr, which has shops in Preston and Blackpool, called in the administrators after more than 100 years of trading.   

It’s heartbreaking. Luckily we didn't have our suits with them otherwise we wouldn't have survived this because suits are just as expensive as wedding dresses. It's just crazy what they've done and how they've done it.

Beth WhitingBride-to-be

Roller Derby summit to be held in Manchester

Manchester will host the global summit for Roller Derby, the first time it has ever been held outside of North America.

Roller derby

The sport is played by two teams of 14 players, who are on roller skates.  

The city is also set to host the Roller Derby World Cup in 2018.    

Photos show devastation after huge fire at Widnes warehouse

These pictures by Cheshire Fire show the devastation caused after a huge fire at warehouse in Widnes last night.

Widnes warehouse fire
Cheshire Fire

At its height, 15 fire engines were needed at the site on Tan House Lane and smoke could be seen for miles around.   

Widnes warehouse fire
Cheshire Fire

No-one was injured, but officers expect to stay on the scene for some time to damp down.   

Widnes warehouse fire
Cheshire Fire

Tranmere Rovers has 'de facto ban' on Sun newspaper

Tranmere Rovers say a "de facto ban" on the Sun newspaper will remain in place. 

View more on twitter

The club has issued a statement clarifying its position in relation to the newspaper after bans imposed recently by Liverpool and Everton

The club says although the Sun doesn't normally report on the National League, requests for interviews or comments have been declined.

There has therefore been a de facto ban in place at least since 2015, the club said.

Weather: Grey afternoon with chance of rain

BBC Weather

A grey and cloudy afternoon with the odd patch of drizzly rain. Highs of 13C.

More from BBC Weather

Blackpool boy pleads guilty to taking indecent images of young girls

A 15-year-old schoolboy from Blackpool has admitted taking indecent pictures of girls and sharing them on the internet.

Blackpool Youth Court was told he targeted younger girls at his school, some as young as 12.

A prosecuting lawyer said the boy bullied and pestered them to take pictures of themselves and then send the photos to friends. 

The judge ordered that reports be prepared on the teenager before he passes sentence. 

Nigerian Manchester United fans electrocuted watching match

At least seven people died after an electric cable fell on fans watching a Manchester United match on TV in Nigeria, police say.

Manchester United

The high-tension cable fell on a crowded shack showing the Europa League quarter-final against Anderlecht in the southern city of Calabar.

At least 30 people were taken to hospital by local ambulances and police who arrived quickly at the scene.

English football has a large and passionate following in Nigeria.

Man jailed for abducting Lancashire teenager

A man who had sex with a 13-year-old girl from Nelson and abducted her has been sentenced to 11 years and six months.

Dean Hughes
Lancashire Police

Dean Hughes, 48, befriended the young girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, and abducted her on two occasions, leading to police investigations across Lancashire and Cumbria.

Hughes was found not guilty of rape but guilty of having sex with a child and taking a child without lawful authority, after a trial at Preston Crown Court. 

Dale Beresford, 23, was given a 12-month suspended sentence for abduction. 

Somerset on top at Old Trafford

Lancashire 64-6 v Somerset - lunch

Scott Read

BBC Radio Manchester Sport

Somerset's Lewis Gregory
Rex Features

Somerset have cashed in on both the conditions and some generous batting from Lancashire, to utterly dominate the morning session.  

Under thick cloudy skies in Manchester, the seamers have conjured up just enough movement through the air to create doubt about whether to play or leave, and six wickets later Lancashire have their final recognised batsman together trying to salvage something from the innings. 

Josh Davey was handed the new ball and set the standards right for the start with the wicket of Haseeb Hameed, his second duck in as many innings.

Two arrested in illegal dumping probe

Two men have been arrested after 25,000 tonnes of waste is dumped in sites across the North West, North East and the Midlands.

Liverpool City Council
Tonnes of waste was left at Wilbraham Street in Everton in August

Dawn raids were carried out at five addresses connected to addresses in Staffordshire, Herefordshire and Hertfordshire.

Waste has been dumped at 17 sites.

A third person is helping police with their inquiries.

Latest headlines for the North West

  • Police are hunting a man who kidnapped a couple at gunpoint from their home in Wigan then forced them to take hundreds of pounds out of a nearby cash machine
  • The Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is told it must improve its services to patients 
  • British cities interested in hosting the 2022 Commonwealth Games, including Liverpool, have been asked by the UK government to submit proposals for staging the event
Jose Mourinho

Premier League side Manchester United will face Spanish club Celta Vigo in the semi-finals of the Europa League.

Read more
Southport's Haig Avenue

Southport chairman Charlie Clapham stands down with immediate effect, along with vice-chairman Sam Shrouder.

Read more

Wigan robber wanted 'cash for dying daughter'

Police are hunting a man who kidnapped an elderly couple from their home at gunpoint, forced them to withdraw hundreds of pounds from a cash machine and then drove them back again- before leaving the "petrified" woman with a kiss on the hand. 

Andrew Evans
Greater Manchester Police

Police said Andrew Evans, 26, from Wigan, claimed he needed the money to buy a present for his dying daughter. 

He bundled the couple, who are in their late 70s, into their own car to get the cash - and then crashed it having been seen speeding at up to 70mph.

Evans is wanted for robbery and kidnap over the raid.

UK cities to submit 2022 Games plans

British cities interested in hosting the 2022 Commonwealth Games have been asked by the UK government to submit proposals for staging the event.

View more on twitter

Liverpool has expressed its interest in staging the Games -initially launching a bid to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games, but after Durban withdrew from hosting the games in 2022, the city said it wanted to host the earlier event.  

Cricket: Lancashire vs Somerset

Lancashire's cricketers return to county championship action this morning with a first home match of the campaign against Somerset. 

View more on twitter

Play is underway at Old Trafford from 11:00.

Festival of Steam on the Isle of Man

A convoy of vintage steam engines will be taking on the Isle of Man TT race course later.

View more on twitter

They are touring the island as part of the Festival of Steam.   

Latest headlines for the North West

  • An elderly couple were kidnapped and robbed in Wigan, police say
  • The Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is told it must improve its services to patients  
  • Firefighters remain at the site of a warehouse fire in Cheshire

Cream to receive Freedom of Liverpool

The music event promoter Cream, founded in Liverpool 25 years ago, is receiving the Freedom of the City later. 

View more on twitter

It has been awarded in recognition of its outstanding contribution to the music and event industry, showcasing Liverpool to millions worldwide.   

And the man behind the concept, James Barton, is being made a Citizen of Honour to recognise his "significant and unique" contribution to the city.

Elderly couple kidnapped and robbed in Wigan

Police are investigating the kidnapping and robbery of an elderly couple in Wigan.

A man armed with a gun and a knife forced his way into their home in Lowton on Thursday 16 March, police said.

The couple were taken in their own car to a cash machine in Golborne town centre, and ordered to withdraw hundreds of pounds. 

The man then drove them home before taking the car, which was later found crashed into a roundabout. 

Lancashire hospital trust 'requires improvement'

The Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been told it must improve its services to patients. 

Royal Preston Hospital

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) found problems with capacity and flow of patients, waiting in accident and emergency wards and staff shortages at the Royal Preston Hospital and Chorley and South Ribble Hospital. 

Overall the trust was rated as "requires improvement", although caring was rated as "good". 

The Trust's Chief Executive, Karen Partington, said work is well underway to make the necessary improvements.

Carjacking victim slashed in Hyde

Police are searching for two men who stole a man's car while armed with a knife and baseball bat in Hyde earlier this month.

Werneth Low Road

The 30-year-old victim, who was cut with the knife, was approached on Werneth Low Road on 9 April by two men demanding he hand over the keys to his BMW. 

The car was found a short time later in Hattersley. 

A 31-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of robbery and handling stolen goods and later released.  

Warrington man, 95, to be sentenced for trying to kill wife

A 95-year-old man from Warrington is due to be sentenced later for trying to kill his elderly wife. 

Denver Beddows has admitted attempting to murder his 88-year-old wife Olive at their home in Dam Lane in Woolston in February. 

He told Liverpool Crown Court earlier this month that it was an act of mercy. 

Mrs Beddows suffered serious injuries but is now recovering.

Southport MP says parliament has become 'too focused on Europe'

Southport MP John Pugh has been explaining why he wont be defending his seat at the general election in June.

John Pugh
Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrat says he had been planning to retire in 2020 when the next poll had been due but decided to stand down after the Prime Minister announced a snap election.  

The 68-year-old, who has held the seat since 2001, told BBC Radio Merseyside that parliament has become "too focused on Europe".

From now on I'm afraid, and probably after the next election for many years, it is going to be unpicking the huge legislative involvement we have with Europe.

Almost the entire bandwidth of Westminster was taken up with the issue of Brexit and I know Brexit is an important issue... but there are other things that I thought were important and imperative"

John PughSouthport MP

Burnley FC 'working to improve' stadium accessibility

Burnley Football Club is "working on improvements" after being named as one of 13 Premier League clubs which were criticised for not providing adequate disabled facilities.

Turf Moor
Getty Images

In a report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the club is named for making limited progress with improving accessibility.

We are aware of the current situation and fully committed to ensuring we meet the legal obligations laid down to us by the appropriate date of August, 2018.

We recognise the issues involved and are working closely with the relevant authorities, the Premier League and a design team to meet the necessary requirements.

Stadium and operations manager Doug Metcalfe

New Labour candidate for Leigh as Burnham to step down as MP

A new Labour candidate will be selected for the Leigh constituency for the forthcoming general election after MP Andy Burnham announced he would step down.

Andy Burnham

Mr Burnham is Labour's candidate in the upcoming mayoral elections for Greater Manchester.

Labour's National Executive Committee is to decide on a candidate.

It is expected his replacement is unlikely to be a candidate from the local area. Labour is defending the seat with a majority of more than 14,000. 

View more on twitter

The other Greater Manchester mayoral candidates:

Sean Anstee - Conservative

Mohammad Aslam - Independent

Jane Brophy - Liberal Democrat

Marcus Farmer - Independent

Stephen Morris - English Democrats

Shneur Odze - UKIP

Will Patterson - Green Party

Local authorities included in the mayoral region: Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan