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Final IoM draft abortion reform Bill to be presented in January

Dr Alex Allinson MHK for Ramsey proposed changes for an abortion reform Bill. Credit: Isle of Man Government

A final draft abortion reform Bill will be brought before the Isle of Man's House of Keys in January 2018.

Ramsey MHK Dr Alex Allinson has spent 11 months working on proposals, including allowing women a termination up to 14 weeks into pregnancy.

Results from a public consultation showed people largely support the Bill, with the results published on the Manx government website last month.

Labour says MP faces investigation

Bury South Labour MP Ivan Lewis Credit: pa

Labour former minister and Bury South MP Ivan Lewis is facing an investigation following a complaint about his conduct, the party has said. A party spokesman refused to discuss details of the allegation but said any complaint of sexual harassment was treated extremely seriously.

"The Labour Party takes all allegations of sexual harassment extremely seriously and all complaints are investigated in line with our robust procedures," the spokesman said. "Ivan Lewis is currently under investigation following the receipt of a complaint."

Bolton Council leader to step down after decade in charge

The leader of Bolton Council, Cliff Morris, is stepping down after over a decade in charge.

Cliff Morris is to step down as leader of Bolton Council after 11 years Credit: ITV News

The Labour councillor came under fire earlier this year after he gave £300,000 of public money to Asons Solicitors, a private company in the town. At a scrutiny meeting, Morris told councillors he believed he had done nothing wrong.

On Wednesday, the 75-year-old said he will retire at the end of the year. His deputy, Councillor Linda Thomas, will take over the running of the council in January 2018.


WATCH: We catch up with Steve Rotheram after six months in office

May seems like an awful long time ago. But you might remember at the time voters in the North West made political history by choosing two metro mayors.

In Greater Manchester it was Andy Burnham. Meanwhile the former Labour MP Steve Rotheram gave up his party's safest seat to take up the role in the new Liverpool city region.

And what's happened since? Well, even by Steve Rotheram's own admission...not a lot.

But as our political correspondent Dan Hewitt found, the new mayor got a bit of a shock when he took office six months ago:

  1. Daniel Hewitt

EXCLUSIVE: Rochdale council leader personally apologises for the first time to abuse victims

By Daniel Hewitt, Political Correspondent

The leader of Rochdale Council has, for the first time, personally apologised for the abuse suffered by boys at school in Rochdale.

Speaking exclusively to Granada Reports, Richard Farnell said he "deeply regretted" what happened at Knowl View when he was council leader, saying "I personally apologise to what happened to those boys at Knowl View."

WATCH: Richard Farnell is asked eight times whether or not he would personally apologise to victims of abuse at a care home while he was council leader.

The leader of Rochdale Council has dismissed claims he knew about allegations of child sexual abuse in the early 1990s. Mr Farnell, who regained the position of Labour council leader in 2014 after a gap of 22 years, told the inquiry he was never informed of the scandal during his first stint in office between 1986 and 1992.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse is examining how the late MP Cyril Smith and others were able to target youngsters at institutions in the town over several decades.

It has heard how serious allegations of sexual abuse involving children at Knowl View School were known about by senior officials within the council.

The inquiry has heard how evidence about abuse at Knowl View mounted from September 1990, when a paedophile had been let in and sexually abused at least one boy.

Mr Farnell said he "was not informed of events at Knowl View during my time as leader" and would not take any personal responsibility for the suffering of boys at a school for which his council had responsibility, blaming council officers for failing to tell him.

The director of social services, director of education, the chief executive, Labour education chair and Conservative health authority chair all knew about allegations when Mr Farrel was leader at the time they first surfaced, but Mr Farnell says they never informed him.

He told the inquiry that "the council should accept responsibility for failings that happened in Knowl View, and individuals must take responsibilities for their own actions," he said.

"I bitterly regret that the senior officers of the council never once approached me to brief me about these matters."

But today, when asked eight times by ITV political correspondent Daniel Hewitt, Mr Farnell said he was "personally sorry", having starting the interview by insisting he had nothing to apologise for.

The barrister acting on behalf of the victims told the national inquiry on Friday that it was "implausible" that Mr Farnell was not aware of the allegations and accused him of "an extraordinary dereliction of duty".

Laura Hoyano said if he was not aware of the allegations, he was guilty of "wilful blindness" and hinted at ‘a cover up at the level of the leadership of the borough council’.

Mr Farnell however told Granada Reports he would stay on as council leader, after the lawyer representing the victims Richard Scorer called for him to resign, and warned against "pre-empting the findings of the independent inquiry."

Knowl View school closed in 1995. Pupils have spoke of the horrendous abuse they endured during the 1980s and 1990s.

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