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Local MP clinches Dog of the Year title

Jonathan Reynolds MP with Labradoodles Clinton and Kennedy Credit: Geoff Caddick/PA Wire

Labour MPs have taken heart from a rare victory - in the Westminster Dog Of The Year awards.

Labradoodles Clinton and Kennedy picked up the top gong for Stalybridge and Hyde MP Jonathan Reynolds.

The eight-year-old bitches beat off competition from a dog named after a Pokemon and a host of other MPs' hounds to be crowned only the second Labour winners in nine years.

Mr Reynolds won the judges' award after the 18 entrants showed off their dogs' skills on an obstacle course featuring hurdles and a tunnel, which Tory MP Craig Mackinlay felt obliged to crawl into to offer some tips to his Labrador Libby.

I speak for everyone in the Labour Party when I say it's about time we won something, so we might as well accept this. I'm very happy indeed.

– Jonny Reynolds MP

Watch: Ricky Tomlinson challenges government over prosecutions

The well known Liverpool actor Ricky Tomlinson has written to the Prime Minister demanding the release of secret papers he believes would clear his name.

Tomlinson, best known for his role in the Royle Family, was among a group of men jailed after going on strike when he worked in the building trade.

He believes those two-dozen workers were victims of a politically motivated prosecution, designed to scare other unions.

He now claims to have proof of a cover-up.

Ashley Derricott reports.

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Rochdale MP: 'We should have some sympathy for Vaz'

Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk has spoken in support of Labour MP Keith Vaz, who is facing allegations he paid for the services of male escorts.

More: 'Escorts scandal' Vaz to face Home Affairs committee MPs

He told Good Morning Britain he believes there is a public interest in the story surrounding the Leicester East MP but says there should be "some sympathy for Keith" in the way he's been treated in the media.

The Rochdale MP also said Vaz makes a "positive contribution" to British politics and serves his constituency well.

Danczuk is currently suspended by the Labour party as MP for Rochdale following allegations he sent sexually explicit messages to a 17-year-old girl.

Mayoral candidates call for HS2 investment promise

Artistst's impression of HS2 Credit: pa

The Labour mayoral candidates for Greater Manchester and Liverpool are calling for the prime minister to honour pledges to invest in high speed rail services.

Andy Burnham and Steve Rotheram challenged Theresa May to follow through with plans for HS2, a fast route between London, the Midlands and the North and HS3, a fast route between Manchester and Leeds.

Andy Bonner reports:

Watch: Merseyside Police firearms unit face looming crisis, union claims

There are calls on Merseyside for more firearms officers after the force missed out on a slice of millions of pounds of extra funding for counter terrorism.

Since 2009 Merseyside Police say they have lost around 30 firearms specialists.

Unions and the Police claim they're losing officers from their already depleted ranks, to Greater Manchester.

Matt O'Donoghue has the details:

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Preston MP calls on the government to intervene in Chorley A&E crisis

The Preston MP Mark Hendrick has called on the government to intervene in the closure of Chorley's Accident and Emergency department.

Chorley A&E closed in April due to a lack of doctors. Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Trust says it won't re-open until April 2017 as it would be unsafe to do otherwise without the correct number of staff.

The latest figures from the North West Ambulance Service show the number of patients waiting over an hour to be handed over from an ambulance to hospital staff at the Royal Preston trebled in May from 43 to 141, the month after Chorley's closure. The number waiting over 30 minutes went from 166 to 313.

The Trust says Chorley is not the main factor for the increase. Year-on-year there are 40 more patients attending the Royal Preston each day, 13 of those are from the Chorley area. The Trust instead says it is facing greater demand from the local population, an issue facing hospitals across the UK.

Mark Hendrick says the government needs to 'get a grip' of Chorley's staffing problem, as well as the wider 'national problem'.

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