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Ukip leader Paul Nuttall's office defaced

Paul Nuttall's office in Stoke-On-Trent. Credit: ITV News Central

Paul Nuttall's office in Hanley, Stoke-On-Trent, appears to be defaced with red graffiti.

The Ukip leader and Stoke-On-Trent Central by-election candidate lost out to Labour candidate Gareth Snell by 2,620 votes on Friday.

ITV News Political Correspondent Carl Dinnen said Ukip would be "very disappointed" with the defeat.

"They thought they would run Labour much, much closer. It was a reasonably substantial loss", he added.

The vandalism comes days after Mr Nuttall apologised after he faced a storm of criticism over website posts that wrongly claimed he lost "close personal friends" at the Hillsborough disaster.


Special book to help dementia sufferers

Many of us will know that living with, or caring for someone with Dementia can be hard.

But now a scheme, pioneered in Oldham, is going some way to make life easier for those with Dementia and their carers as well.

Life Stories is a way of enabling people to see and understand the needs of those with Dementia.

Tim Scott reports.

Blind man tasered by armed police in Greater Manchester

Armed police were called to Levenshulme Station last night Credit: MEN

An investigations been launched after a blind man was Tasered by armed police at Levenshulme Station after his walking stick was mistaken for a gun.

The man, 43, was hit by the stun gun after officers responded to reports that a man with a gun was on the station. In fact, the ‘gun’ was the blind’s man’s cane which was folded up as the man waited on the platform for a train.

When the he failed to respond to a challenge one officer fired a Taser stun gun, which carries a 50,000 volt charge and he was detained.

The incident has now been referred to Greater Manchester Police's Professional Standards Branch to investigate.

Officers were called shortly after 6.40pm on Thursday February 23, 2017 to reports of a man with a gun on Albert Road, Levenshulme. Armed response officers attended and a Taser was deployed. A 43-year-old man was detained. Officers later discovered the man was in possession of a folding cane and he was subsequently released.

– GMP spokesman

Officers responded quickly to the incident to ensure the safety of the community of Levenshulme. It has been established that there was no threat and enquiries are ongoing to fully understand the circumstances of the incident. In line with standard procedure on occasions such as this, a referral has been made to GMP’s Professional Standards Branch. I

– Superintendent Steve Howard , Greater Manchester Police’

Confirmation that remains found on Crete are missing Cheshire man

Steven Cook Credit: GTV

Cheshire Police have confirmed that remains found in a well on Crete are those of a man from Sandbach who went missing on the island 12 years ago.

Steven Cook who was 20, was last seen after a night out on his first holiday away with friends.

A human skeleton was discovered near Malia earlier this month by workmen who were clearing the well near where Steven was last seen, along with a disposable camera.

Forensic tests have now confirmed that it was Mr. Cook

Having a loved one go missing is a vacuum full of pain.

If they are no longer with us then the idle mind imagines horrors of 'what ifs' in order to account for them being alive and not in touch.

The 'not knowing' hurts but not as much as the thoughts that your imagination conjures in the dark hours whilst also having to try and quench the flames of 'what ifs', rumours and gossip that becomes accepted as fact.

Knowing that Steve is now coming home is an end to all of that and the fog can lift at last.

Our memories of him finally released without being accompanied by the horrific mental images, feelings and type of thoughts that can easily destroy you.

In getting Steve home then we have truly found him again, and he will now continue to live through the shared memories of all that knew him.

– Cook family statement

Steven’s family have been kept fully updated on the developments and are currently being supported by Cheshire officers. They have been provided with support since Steven first went missing and this will continue over the coming weeks.

This is understandably an extremely upsetting and distressing time for the Cook family. Steven’s relatives are very appreciative of all the support the media and the public have given them over the years in their quest to find him but they have asked for their privacy to be respected at this time as they are trying to come to terms with the news.

It is important to remember that the discovery of Steven’s body is being managed by the Greek authorities, who have had primacy for this case since Steven was first reported missing, and they will continue to liaise with us moving forward.

Our priority is to ensure that Steven is flown home to the UK as soon as possible. The remains will then be subject to the Cheshire Coronial process.

Steven was 20 at the time of his disappearance. Over the years Cheshire Constabulary has remained committed to finding him. A file on Steven’s disappearance has been maintained by the force and we always said that it will not be closed until information is received which confirms what has happened to him.

Officers involved in Steven’s case will continue to liaise with the Greek authorities, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Steven’s family moving forward.

– Detective Inspector Gary McIntyre, Cheshire Police


Rare tortoises unveiled at Chester Zoo

Ploughshare tortoises are amongst the most endangered species in the world Credit: Chester Zoo

Four extremely rare tortoises have gone on display at Chester Zoo.

The ploughshare tortoises, regarded by many conservationists as the world’s most threatened species of tortoise, were handed to the zoo in 2012 after being confiscated by customs officials in Hong Kong in 2009.

They were part of a shipment of 13 being smuggled from their native Madagascar. They will now form part of the European Breeding Programme for the species, which is being run with Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists Ploughshare tortoises as critically endangered by having been poached to the point of extinction. They are highly prized for their distinctive gold and black shells and fetch exceptionally high prices on the international black market.

The ploughshare tortoise is iconic because of its beautiful shell but the species is under huge pressure for its survival. There’s a very real possibility the species could be lost forever due to illegal trafficking for the exotic pet trade. Most of these illegally exported tortoises are sold in markets in South East Asia.

The United Nations estimates the illegal trade is worth billions of pounds each year and, despite efforts to crack down on it, it continues to grow. These tortoises are seen as the jewel in the crown of the reptile world. It’s very possible that, within the next two years, there will be none left in the wild because of this trade.

Conservation has never been more critical. We can’t sit back and watch this important species simply disappear and our long-term ambition is to maintain a safety net population at the zoo.

– Dr Gerardo Garcia, Chester Zoo
The four tortoises were rescued from smugglers Credit: Chester Zoo

Premier of 'Cilla' musical announced

The new musical will open in September Credit: Liverpool Empire

The premier has been announced of a new musical based on the ITV mini series about Cilla Black.

'Cilla The Musical' will open at the Liverpool Empire on September 7th, running until 16th September before it goes on a nationwide tour. Cilla's son, Robert Willis will be the Executive Producer.

Written by BAFTA winning playwright Jeff Pope it traces the singer's early life from her roots in Liverpool and will feature many of her hits.

Open auditions are to be held for the star role which could see the stage 'Cilla' plucked from obscurity just like the real life singer.

Lifeline thrown to Vauxhall workers in Ellesmere Port

Vauxhall in Ellesmere Port has agreements to build the Astra until 2021 Credit: PA

The leader of the UNITE Union says that the boss of Peugeot has given assurances that Britain's Vauxhall plants will see out their existing production runs, but also raised the issue of Brexit uncertainty.

Len McCluskey, Unite's general secretary, said he came away from a meeting with PSA Group chief executive Carlos Tavares without his "optimism being dented" and said their discussion had been "open and relatively positive". Mr McCluskey also said that Mr Tavares was "very pro-union" and talked about "not being here to shut plants".

Ellesmere Port has agreements in place to build the Vauxhall Astra until 2021, while the Luton plant is under contract to manufacture the Vauxhall Vivaro van until 2025.

However, The PSA boss is said to have raised the issue of uncertainty surrounding Britain's future outside the European Union during talks over PSA's proposed takeover of General Motor's loss-making European arm.

The news comes after Mr Tavares said on Thursday that the deal could result in "speedy" cost savings and as the car industry braces for the potential impact of life outside the single market.

Len McCluskey says he's that the early signs are positive.

I had a constructive meeting with the chief executive in which I made the case for how important Vauxhall is to the UK, the excellence of its plants and operations across the UK and how successful they have been.

The meeting was reassuring. We discussed how PSA's approach is to increase market share and expand production, rather than close plants. I was assured that the commitments to the plants would be honoured.

There was also recognition that members of the Vauxhall pension fund will be no worse off.

– Greg Clark, Business Secretary
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