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New Health Minister appointed for IoM

New Health Minister David Ashford pictured with Chief Minister Howard Quayle (left) and Lieutenant Governor Sir Richard Gozney. Credit: IOM Government

The Isle of Man Government has announced David Ashford MHK as the new Health and Social Care minister.

He replaces Kate Beecroft who resigned last week.

His Ministerial Warrant of Appointment was given by the Lieutenant Governor His Excellency Sir Richard Gozney.

"I will work to set out a clear direction for the future, building on the foundations of the existing five-year strategy.

"The funding of health and social care services is a massive issue for countries around the world and I will work with my ministerial colleagues to serve the best interests of the people of the Isle of Man."

– David Ashford MHK, Minister for Health and Social Care

IoM Health Minister resigns

Kate Beecroft was Health and Social Care Minister for just over a year. Credit: gov.im

The Isle of Man's Health and Social Care Minister Kate Beecroft has resigned.

She met with Chief Minister Howard Quayle MHK yesterday to discuss matters, following two resignations from Lib Vannin members last month.

A new Health minister will be appointed soon to work as part of the Council of Ministers and follow the Programme for Government.

Mrs Beecroft was appointed to head the Department in October 2016 and is leader of the Liberal Vannin party.

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Morecambe MP questions poverty claims by local schools as our investigation sparks huge community response

Morecambe MP David Morris has accused primary schools and a GP's surgery in his constituency of being "politically motivated" after they told ITV Granada of extreme levels of poverty in their community.

The Conservative MP claimed West End Primary and Morecambe Bay Primary were linked to the left-wing political group Momentum, and said the claims made in our reports "always seem to emanate from the same schools and Ash Tree Surgery in Carnforth."

In the investigation by our Political Correspondent Daniel Hewitt, Headteachers showed how they were washing their pupils’ uniforms and charging parents' phones because families were unable afford their electricity bills. They also handed out shoes and coats to pupils and their parents.

Ash Tree Surgery spoke of how children were being treated for rickets.

Meanwhile both primary schools have been showing Granada Reports the "overwhelming" response since the reports aired this week, with viewers donated thousands of presents, items of clothing, food and money to help.

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Council leader resigns to prevent 'disunity' ahead of no confidence vote

Richard Farnell apologised to sexual abuse Credit: ITV Granada

Richard Farnell has stood down as the Leader of Rochdale Council.

He's faced calls to quit since recent evidence he gave to the national public inquiry into allegations of child abuse at Knowl View School.

Councillor Farnell has always denied knowing about it. He'd been due to face vote of no confidence at a council meeting on Wednesday.

He emailed fellow councillors claiming he stepped down to prevent causing 'disunity.'

"Following the evidence to the child abuse inquiry there's been a persistent campaign from a small minority of members in the party calling for my suspension in an attempt to undermine my leadership and cause disunity in the party and group,"

– Richard Farnell who's stepped down as council leader

Cllr Farnell had made a personal apology to survivors of historical sexual abuse two months ago.

It's the first time a politician has said sorry for what happened at institutions in the town over several decades.

The council's two deputy leaders will take over until his replacement has been chosen.

WATCHL Our exclusive report when Richard Farnell apologised to sexual abuse survivors in October.

Report calling for more 'people centred' Powerhouse to be launched

The report will be launched at the House of Lords Credit: Dan Kitwood/PA Wire/PA Images

A new report calling for a more 'people centred' emphasis for the Northern Powerhouse is to be launched later at the House of Lords.

The report 'Putting the People in the Powerhouse' sets out five main aims

  1. A more inclusive North where our diverse voices and strengths are represented

  2. A good economy that works for more people

  3. Devolution that genuinely includes local people

  4. A focus on the value of all our places

  5. More collaboration, sharing and learning together

I think with the People's Powerhouse event in Doncaster earlier this year and now the publication of this report we are really starting to change the conversation around the Northern Powerhouse. We're not saying transport and infrastructure aren't important. But we are saying that economic growth doesn't always trickle down and benefit everyone. We need a Powerhouse for all the North - not just the big cities, and one that improves life chances for people furthest from the labour market. As Andy Burnham said at our Doncaster event - it's time to open the doors to the Powerhouse and let the people in.

– Tracy Fishwick, Project Director 'People's Powerhouse'

IoM pro-choice 'Handmaidens' hold demonstration

Protesters dress in Handmaiden costumes outside of Tynwald, Douglas. Credit: Helen McKenna, ITV

A protest has been held on the Isle of Man by pro-choice group Handmaids IOM.

It follows a presentation from UK anti-abortion group LIFE, who were invited to speak to Tynwald members this morning by David Anderson MHK.

The Handmaids said via their Facebook page: "We’re getting there but the race hasn’t been won yet. We won’t stop until women of the Isle of Man are able to have safe and legal abortions here on the Island."

A new draft Bill has been proposed by Dr Alex Allinson, which is being reviewed in 2018.

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