Ashton-under-Lyne MP to stand down

The MP for Ashton-under-Lyne is to stand down at the next General Election due to bad health. David Heyes has been the Labour MP since 2001.

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Happy Mondays star Bez to stand for election as MP for Salford

Bez is best known as the dancer with the Happy Mondays
Bez is best known as the dancer with the Happy Mondays Credit: PA Wire

The Happy Mondays star Bez has announced he will run for MP of Salford at next year's General Election.

The 2005 Celebrity Big Brother winner plans to stand on a platform of ending war, cancer and evil.

Bez said he wanted to "stir things up" in the battle to succeed former Labour Cabinet minister Hazel Blears but his manifesto is not finished yet.

“I’m in the midst of writing it up," he said. “I’ve got lots of meetings with different people next week.”


PM urged to help British ex-soldiers jailed in India

Families of six British soldiers who were jailed in India while working for an American private maritime company will deliver a 100,000-strong petition to Downing Street to urge the Government to intervene.

Downing Street
According to relatives, an Indian adviser said if the British government were to provide assurances, the men would most likely be released. Credit: PA

Billy Irving, from Scotland; Nick Dunn, from Northumberland; Ray Tindall from Chester; Paul Towers, from Yorkshire; John Armstrong from Cumbria; and Nicholas Simpson, from North Yorkshire, were arrested on October 12 and have been in prison in India since October 24.

Supporters of the men are urging the Prime Minister to step in and get their loved ones released.

According to the men, Indian authorities claim the vessel entered Indian waters illegally with weapons on board, despite their employers AdvanFort's insistence the ship had the correct papers.

They were granted bail in December but after objections from Indian officials, are yet to be released.


Row over Beatles memorabilia

The Fab Four Credit: PA

The Mayor of Liverpool's demanded an apology from Conservative MP Brandon Lewis, who accused the City Council of spending £2m on Beatles memorabilia. Joe Anderson claims the allegation is 'blatantly' untrue and says he wants a personal apology in Parliament.

Joe Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool Credit: PA

Mayor Anderson said: “Once again, this Government is making scurrilous allegations about me and about the city of Liverpool which are blatantly untrue. This is appalling behaviour."


Streep set for political return in first film in Parliament

Meryl Streep, who won an Oscar for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher, will be part of the first major film to be shot in Parliament.

Commercial film-makers have always been denied entry, forcing producers to build replicas of the home of British politics.

After her turn as Margaret Thatcher, Meryl Streep is expected to play feminist icon Emmeline Pankhurst in Suffragette. Credit: Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment

But MPs have allowed Suffragette, which follows the struggle for women to get the vote, to be shot in the historic chambers over the Easter recess in a bid to raise revenue.

Streep, who played Lady Thatcher in biopic The Iron Lady, will reportedly play another dominant figure in 20th Century politics, feminist trailblazer Emmeline Pankhurst.

The Houses of Parliament have never allowed commercial film-makers into the historic chambers before. Credit: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire

British stars Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter and Ben Whishaw also have leading roles.

Read: Streep features in historic Oscars selfie


Government warns business over Minimum Wage

The government has warned employers which fail to pay the minimum wage that they face higher fines after naming and shaming two in the region. HM Revenue & Customs say Peter Oakes of Peter Oakes Ltd, Macclesfield, and Lisa Maria Cathcart of Salon Sienna, Manchester, underpaid workers.

“Paying less than the minimum wage is illegal. If employers break the law they need to know that they will face tough consequences. We know that people are put off using a business’ service if it is found guilty of not paying its workers the minimum wage. This is a clear warning to employers: you will damage your reputation and face a stiff penalty, if you don’t pay the minimum wage. Any worker who is entitled to the minimum wage should receive it. It’s not only fair, it’s the law. ”

– Business Secretary Vince Cable

Government names and shames businesses which fail to pay minimum wage

Business Secretary Vince Cable warns businesses they face stiffer penalties Credit: PA

The government has named and shamed two businesses in the region which failed to pay the minimum wage. HM Revenue & Customs say Peter Oakes of Peter Oakes Ltd, Macclesfield, and Lisa Maria Cathcart of Salon Sienna, Manchester, underpaid workers. Higher fines are being introduced next month.

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