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Conservatives deny Ken Dodd is to run as an MP

The Conservative Party has rubbished rumours that comedian Ken Dodd is in the running to stand as a Tory candidate in the General Election.

The Conservative party has denied Comedian Ken Dodd is to run as an MP. Credit: PA

Addressing reports that the 86-year-old was standing to replace Cannock Chase MP Aidan Burley, who stepped down after organising a Nazi-themed stag party, the seat's Conservative Party chairman Paul Snape said the rumour was "a joke" started by the Labour party.

Mr Snape said the veteran comedian is eligible to apply, but added: “I think I would prefer someone who is a bit younger and who has more of an affiliation with Cannock,” the Wolverhampton Express and Star reported.

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Father of cattery owner: "I'd like to say how sorry we are"

Patrick Johnson the father of the cattery owner spoke outside the devastated site this afternoon saying "on behalf of my daughter I'd like to say how sorry we are, we all love our animals".

He went on to describe the moment they woke to find the cattery, which was housing around 20 cats, on fire.

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Cattery owners "devastated" by blaze

Over 25 firefighters tackled the blaze that devastated the cattery Credit: ITV Central

There were over 20 cats inside the Staffordshire cattery when it caught fire, 4 of which belonged to the cattery owners.

Patrick Johnson the father of the cattery owner said they are all "devastated" he added "on behalf of my daughter who runs the cattery we would like to say how sorry we are, we all love our animals."

The fire broke out at around 5.30am this morning at Pine Trees Cattery in Pottal Pool.

The owners of the cattery are trying to determine how many perished in the fire and how many escaped Credit: ITV Central

It is believed some of the cats managed to escape the wooden building and are now in the Cannock Chase area. Firefighters believe an electrical fault inside the cattery is to blame for the fire.

The owners of the cattery are now working to determine the number of cats that were killed in the fire.

Electrical fault believed to be cause of cattery fire

Firefighters arrived and found the building well alight. The cattery owners stated that there had been over 20 cats in the cattery, however some are believed to have escaped from the building after the fire broke out.

The building has been destroyed as it was predominately a wooden structure and we've been unable to confirm so far how many cats have died in the fire.

A fire investigation was carried out to establish how the fire started and we believe an electrical fault within one of the pens is to blame.

– Dermot Hogan, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Station manager

Two cats die and 18 unaccounted for after cattery blaze

Two cats have been confirmed dead and at least 18 are still unaccounted for after a blaze ripped through a cattery.

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue service battled the blaze at the cattery in Stafford Road, Cannock, at 5.30am.

A spokesman confirmed the brigade was not treating the fire as suspicious and said several of the missing cats might have escaped unharmed.

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Over 20 cats in cattery at time of blaze

It has been confirmed that there were over 20 cats inside the Staffordshire cattery when it caught fire.

The fire broke out at around 5.30am this morning at Pine Trees Cattery in Pottal Pool.

It is believed some of the cats managed to escape the wooden building as over 25 firefighters tackled the blaze.

"The building has been destroyed as it was predominantly a wooden structure and we've been unable to confirm so far how many cats have died in the fire.

"A fire investigation was carried out to establish how the fire started and we believe an electrical fault within one of the pens is to blame."

– Staffordshire Fire Station Manager, Dermot Hogan

Firefighters left the scene at 10.45am this morning, the cattery owners continue to assess how many cats died in the fire.

Cats being treated following Staffordshire cattery blaze

Cats are being treated by vets as firefighters continue to battle a blaze at a cattery.

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service said two cats were taken away by vets after a fire broke out in one of the site's buildings in Cannock, Staffordshire, at about 5.30am today.

The fire brigade has six crews on the scene including a water carrier and a high volume pumping unit. The fire is ongoing.