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Rail staff walkout on strike for third time this week

The strike has reduced services across the North West Credit: PA

Rail passengers across the North West are facing their third day of disruption in a week because of strike action by staff.

RMT Union members on Merseyrail and Northern Rail are walking out for the 13th time in a long-running dispute over the role of guards on trains.

Merseyrail insists it wants to talk to the union. Northern says it is aiming to maintain services today.

Weather warning: thick fog across the North West

Journey times could take longer than expected. Credit: Met Office

Drivers are being warned to take care this morning after the Met Office issued a weather warning for fog.

Fog patches are likely to become more widespread into this morning, with the visibility falling below 100 metres in places.

Although it will thin throughout Thursday, the Met Office says some patches may persist into the afternoon in the west of the warning area.

It could mean journey times are longer than expected.


Tatton MP lands top job at Department for Work and Pensions

Tatton MP Esther McVey heading for the top job at DWP Credit: PA

The former television presenter Esther McVey has landed the top job at the Department for Work and Pensions.

The job was first offered to Justine Greening but she turned it down and has resigned from the cabinet. Click here for more.

Ms McVey is a popular figure on the right of the Conservative Party who is sometimes talked about as a future leader. She's from Liverpool and used to work as a presenter at GMTV.

She made her first steps towards a political career in 2005 when she unsuccessfully fought the Wirral West seat which she then went on to narrowly win five years later.

Ms McVey was quickly identified as a rising star and helped oversee benefit reform in former party leader Iain Duncan Smith’s department.

In the 2015 election Ms McVey lost her seat after a bitter local campaign.

However, she made a return to Parliament in 2017 when she won George Osborne’s old seat Tatton in Cheshire.

Esther McVey offered DWP after it was turned down by Justine Greening who's resigned from the cabinet Credit: PA
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