30/09/2014 North West Tonight


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Welcome to North West Tonight with Annabel Tiffin and Roger Johnson.


The wife of hostage Alan Henning speaks publicly for the first time.


She pleads with his captors to let him go.


Alan, we miss you and we are dreadfully


Barbara Henning calls on Islamic State to act


The security guard murdered by a colleage in Iraq the victim's mother


The man who hit moment Europe's winning Ryder Cup shot `


Returning here to Lancashird, where tens of thousands of geese `re


stopping off on their winter pilgrimage south, in larger numbers


than ever before. The wife of Alan Henning has given


her first public interview to make a direct and desperate plea to


his captors to release her husband. The father`of`two was captured


by Islamic State This afternoon as RAF jets hit


their first IS targets in Iraq Barbara Henning spoke of her


hope that Alan would be soon back Some say wrong time, wrong place.


Alan was volunteering with his Muslim friends. He was in the right


place doing the right thing. Muslims across the globe continue to


question Islamic State over the fate of Allan. Their position regarding


his statement is unequivocal. He is innocent. I personally vouch for


Alan Henning. Executing this man is totally wrong. It is impermhssible.


We are at a loss and why those leading Islamic State cannot open


their hearts and minds. I ask again, supported by the voices


across the world, or Islamic State to spear Alan's life. It makes it


all worthwhile to see what hs needed get to where it needs to go. Alan,


we miss you, and we are dre`dfully concerned for your safety. H asked


Islamic State, please release him. We need him back home.


Barbara Henning was speaking in that interview to the


BBC's Ed Thomas ` and he johns us now live from near her home.


What impression did you forl of the way Mrs Henning is coping?


First of all, it was clear that this is one of the most difficult of


moments for Barbara Henning, but she was also adamant that it was hard


decision to talk to date, and she felt this was the right momdnt to


speak out and to try to makd contact with Islamic State. It is worth


remembering that she has lived with this out for more than nine months.


She said that support that she has received from Muslims around the


world saying that it is wrong in terms of Islam to hold Alan Henning


is making a difference to hdr. There was also a second theme emerging


from the interview. Again and again she appealed directly to Islamic


State to communicate with hdr, to talk to her. She wants to t`lk to


them about why they are holding him, and for her to ask them to release


him. So far, Islamic State have ignored her pleas.


The most senior police officer so far to give evidence at the new


Hillsborough inquests has spoken oh his "profound regret" at not asking


Superintendent Roger Marshall was in charge of policing Liverpool


fans outside the Leppings L`ne end of the stadium.


96 Liverpool fans died in a fatal crush at an FA Ctp semi


Mr Marshall denied he was "off loading responsibility" by


describing a minority of Liverpool fans as being drunk and latd.


Superintendent Roger Marshall, here in the blue shirt,


was asked at the inquest in Warrington about which officers


The jury saw several video clips of crowds building up outside


the Leppings Lane turnstiles where Liverpool fans entered


Mr Marshall said he could h`ve requested a delay


and agreed it would have alleviated anxiety and frustration.


He said it is one of the most profound regrets


of my experience at Leppings Lane on April 15th that I did not do so.


"I think it would have been possible for me to seek a delay in khck


off given the number who were besieging turnstiles at 2.40pm.


The jury saw video of Mr Marshall trying to control the crowd outside.


He said he wasn't concerned until two thirty.


But after that it became unmanageable.


Mr Marshall asked for a gatd to be opened to relieve the presstre.


Match commander David Duckinfield made the order.


But no one closed off the tunnel leading to the pens


Mr Marshall said he linked the awful events on the terraces


directly with my opening of the gates and really had to dig deep to


situation. It was put to hil he felt a strong sense of responsibhlity.


During his evidence is he m`de several references to Liverpool fans


and drinking, their lateness, and their behaviour. He was askdd by a


barrister if this was off`loading responsibility. He said, no. He said


disasters don't happen becatse of individuals, but because of several


factors coming together. He will continue giving evidence tolorrow.


A man has died and several others have been injured after


a multi`vehicle crash on thd M5 motorway on the Wirral this morning.


It was the second crash between junctions 3 and 4.


The first involved six vehicles ` one woman was airlifted to hospital.


The later accident ` involvhng nine vehicles`led to the closure


A 60 year old HGV driver from Chester


has been arrested on suspichon of causing death by dangerous driving.


The new Catholic Bishop of Salford has been announced.


Bishop John Arnold, who will be the eleventh Bishop


of Salford, replaces Bishop Terence Brain, who was appointed in 199 .


The Pope made the announcemdnt in Rome with a simultaneous


A security guard, murdered by a colleague frol


Rochdale while working in Iraq, had described his killer as a "dodgy


Danny Fitzsimons is serving a twenty year prison sentence


in Baghdad for the murder of Paul McQuigan and Darren Hall.


An inquest into Mr McQuigans death has been told that shortly `fter


meeting Fitzsimons he descrhbed him to his fiance as "weird".


He was dead within twenty four hours.


Stuart Flinders has been at the inquest in Stockport.


Paul McGuigan, originally from Scotland, was living in Tyndside,


and working as a security gtard in Iraq. His fiancee told the court of


a conversation the night he died in 2009. He had met somebody who was,


he said, we are, a bit dodgx. It was Danny Fitzsimons. R is later, he was


dead, shot by Fitzsimons after a night of heavy drinking. Patl


McGuigan had been looking forward to the birth of his daughter, born on


the day he should have returned from Iraq. He had been a Royal M`rines


and had worked as a bodyguard to George Harrison. Today, his mother


described his lovely, caring, gentle nature. He was a lovely, gentle boy.


Caring, loving, fantastic f`ther. Absolutely fantastic father. He


cared about everybody, everxthing. It `` he didn't deserve what


happened. Danny the timid's parents were at the inquest hearing today.


He is serving a sentence in Iraq for the killing. Since then, barristers


have considered whether he was fit enough to be employed in thd first


place. Today, the coroner s`id it was not the job of the inqudst to


question his murder convicthon, but it would be looking into thd


behaviour of Greater Manchester Police and the probation service and


that the employment all is dase of G4S. `` the employment policies


A pensioner from Liverpool says she owes her life to three teen`gers who


Sylvia Flynn was watching TV in her lounge, unaware that chip pan


Luckily the 15`year`olds spotted the flames as they passed


and pulled Sylvia and her beloved dog to safety.


Sylvia loves her dog Rollo, but she nearly lost him


There was banging on my front door and I didn't know therd was


Three passing teenagers had spotted flames in Sylvia's kitchen


We just knocked on the door and then...


She didn't believe us at first when we were knocking.


And the smoke just come out and hit us.


Determined to fetch Rollo, Sylvia went in, but the girls dragged both


The Fire Brigade, when they had been in, they said, another four or five


minutes, if you had not opened the door to the girls, it would


have started coming under the door, and I wouldn't have stood a chance.


Sylvia and Rollo are having chips for tea again tonight,


but this time she has promised she will not be cooking them.


Naomi Cornwall, BBC North Wdst Tonight in Liverpool.


Staff have managed to pull ` locomotive, with help from ` trained


body`builder, who also then pulled the train himself. It is all to


raise ?250,000 for a pre`rahlway projects. That looks like a really


difficult way of doing it, doesn't it? Along like that, on your


backside. He knows what he hs doing, I'm sure. I hope he doesn't have any


splinters. Still to come: Blackwood airport `` Blackpool Airport is on


the brink of closure. 36,000 wintering geese stop off


in Lancashire on It's been another day of confusion


and concern for passengers and staff at Blackpool Airport


after yesterday's announcemdnt that Owners Balfour Beatty say commercial


flights will end unless a btyer can It's left passengers who've booked


flights from the airport in limbo, It is a worrying time for those who


have booked to travel from Blackpool Airport. Alistair was supposed to


fly to Majorca later this month When you heard about the problem


is, what were your thoughts? Don't really know. We are just hoping that


they can honour the flights going out, and they will somehow get us


back. After recording losses for several years, the owners of the


airport say that unless a btyer is found by October the 7th, it is


likely that airport operations will close. Travel agents say thdy are as


much in the dark as the customers. We know that tour operators like jet


to have got contingency plans in place in case it does close, and we


are working with them to make sure that all of our customers do get


away on holiday. If the big commercial flights do end, the


terminal's check in desk evdry may well become defunct, but th`t might


not mean the complete end of aviation at this site. Brian has run


a flying school there for over 0 years. He believes some avi`tion


will remain. It may have sole problems in the short`term, but I


would say, within a few weeks, general aviation will be catered


for. Offshore helicopter opdrator Bond says it is working with the


airport to ensure continuitx of services. The Northwest ambtlance ``


inner Ambulance Service says it will not be affected. `` error and


The North West will be one of the most fiercely contested regions


Today the battle for your vote continued at the Conservative Party


And our Political Editor Arhf Ansari is there for us.


Yes, that battle will be fotght overwhelmingly in the marginal


constituencies, the places were existing MPs have small majorities.


The Tories are discussing hdre how to win seats from Labour,


But their priority is to hold seats they already have.


And nowhere is more vulnerable than Lancaster and Fleetwood where the


Tories have a majority of jtst over 300, and it's Labour's top target.


You can smell the history at Jay Atkinson's.


They have been roasting coffee here at Lancasters since 1837.


The current owners have been enjoying business success and say


Although you see empty shops on the high street, that is well bdlow the


national average for vacant units on a main thoroughfare, and basically


The Conservative MP here, Eric Ollerenshaw, says that is p`rtly


down to the government supporting major infrastructure projects such


as the Heesham road link, but how well does Mr Ollerenshaw go


I have voted Green at the l`st several elections, because H am not


very keen on any of the major parties, but I must say that the two


or three times I have had anything to do with Eric, he has been tops.


I feel disenfranchised with all of the three parties, reallx.


I see the Conservatives moving towards


the privatisation of the NHS, which inevitably doesn't look good.


This is Labour's number one target in the region, and the woman who


wants to become the next MP is not convinced the economy is improving.


Well, the Tories would like to say the economy is doing well, but. .


I speak to people and people approach me


on a regular basis and say, I don't feel it up here, because


wages are not increasing, and yet the cost of living is incre`sing.


The Tories will fight hard to hold Lancaster and Fleetwood.


If they succeed, Labour will have done very badly indeed.


let's put some of that to the current MP who joins me now. Pat


Smith says that people are struggling, and that you voted for


every government cut going. How do you respond? In terms of Lancaster


and Fleetwood, I don't think everybody is struggling. We have one


of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, and it has been coming


down. Yes, there have been difficult decisions, and I have been prepared


to back them. Unless we havd a government that gets the deficit


down and gets their finances in order, everybody knows that all the


rest is just hot air. And you know that government targets are way off


the mark? Well, there is more to come. At least we would talk about


it. At least we have announced further figures are getting the


deficit down, and we haven't forgotten it like one Mr Miller


band. `` one Ed Miliband. The employment figures in Lancaster and


Fleetwood argued. The emploxment is going up every month, and now use


and implement is dropping. Why are you cutting unemployment benefit? We


are freezing welfare benefits, because wages are not going up, so


why should benefits go up if wages do not go up? People who ard in work


will also see their benefits cut. We have all been struggling through


this recession. The governmdnt has, and hard`working people and people


who have got businesses in Lancaster and Fleetwood have been strtggling,


and we are not out of it yet, we all acknowledge that. It is a tough time


and tough measures are needdd, but we are seeing some of the bdnefits


of that. Thank you very much for your time.


Sport now and it's Manchestdr City's first home game


They face Roma at the Etihad Stadium this evening.


Stuart Pollitt is there for us and Stuart talk already that this is


That is right. Because they lost their first match away, the pressure


is on this evening. Every ydar, they say that city have a tough draw and


it is no different this timd around. Two former England team`matds on


opposing sides tonight agred that the pressure is on.


A disappointing start, but we are fully aware that it is the


Champions League and we will need to build on that especially at home.


I think there is a lot of pressure on City.


Not so much on us I don't think but they are big players


and great players and I know a few of them are definitelx hungry


The owners you know that thdy really want to have progress in Europe s


premier competition. The best they have done is 16th in the last


seasons. At least they have European football here. Over at Old Trafford


there isn't any this season, which is why Manchester United boss Matt


managing director has said that the club is considering playing


lucrative midweek friendlies to compensate for the lack of Duropean


football at all travel `` Old Trafford, which has cost thdm many


millions this is alone. Over the weekend, sport was all about the


Ryder Cup. He was the hero who hit the winning shot up in Scotland


Last night, he got back homd, and I went round to spend a bit of time


with him. From Ryder Cup winning


golfer to daddy goalkeeper. I haven't really seen the footage


of it or anything yet, so it is literally just back home,


back to normal life, like bdfore, you are just chasing


the kids around all the timd. He may not have seen it, but Jamie


knows that what he has done has made Whatever happens,


to be a part of the winning Ryder Cup team is one of those thhngs that


you can cherish forever. At 38,


Jimmy credits the arrival of Max and I didn't win a tournament until I


had my first child, when we had Max, and then three in three years


and then obviously this little event, the Ryder Cup, so I think you


are back home and you are b`ck to changing nappies,


so it's a massive feet back I was so excited to get


back home and see them. A week is a long time to be a part,


but it was a good week. Did Max know at all


what was going on? He knew that we had gone to


the Ryder Cup. Not quite sure he knew what


the Ryder Cup meant. As he gets older, he will ldarn


what's going on, but after playing in that Ryder Cup, it is solething


that you don't want to miss. You want to strive to play


the next one and the next one For now,


his children are more interdsted in They will soon get


the chance to learn that daddy As the band cranks up here, just one


more bit of news. The retirdment of Andrew Sheridan, who spent ten years


at the top, has retired to date due to a neck injury will stop he will


now pursue a career in the wine trade. There you go. Back to you.


Thank you. They've been visiting


our region every year for ddcades. And this year there's more


of them than ever before. And, as tradition dictates,


they're stopping over at thd Martin Mere wetlands centre


in Lancashire en route to w`rmer Dust is falling, so you probably


don't believe me that there are any these but I promise there are many


thousands. They are flying tp there. So how do we know that therd are


more pink footed geese than ever before? I have been speaking to the


man whose job it is to count them, and he said the best time to come


and these geese was at the crack of Dawn, so I took him at his word


It is a dawn chorus that wotld stir even the soundest of sleepers.


Fortunately, the Martin Mere Wetland Centre has


few near neighbours, becausd it s latest visitors are a noisy bunch.


You can see it on every bit of water across the site,


The pink`footed goose popul`tion now is at a record high of


around 300,000 or so compared to what it was hn 1 50,


The pink`footed geese began a long journey in Iceland.


And, as in so many years past, as the urge to fly south for


the winter took hold of thel, they somehow knew that they would have to


Normally they would expect around 20,000 pink`footed gdese


This year, they have got more than double that number.


No one is entirely sure why but it could be something to do with


We have had a particularly dry September,


And how do we know for sure how many there are?


Well, Tom has the job of counting them all.


So I don't lose count, because I tend to have to use all


my fingers and toes, we use a clicker, so we just click


on every hundred, and then we can go through quite accurately wh`t


I also use different featurds in the landscape, so especi`lly


on water bodies, any islands, I will use those islands to try to


The record that I got last night was 45,800 birds.


How long does it take you to count 45,000 birds?


It takes about an hour or so to go over the flock.


But for the geese, this is only a stopover.


Soon they will be continuing their journey south for the winter.


A few want to see them, you have got to the end of October. Fant`stic.


Thank you very much. If long day for him. He was there a very early this


morning. The day has been another beautiful one. My summer drdsses


back on. It has been very pleasant,


temperatures are at 20 Celshus and 21 Celsius. For tomorrow, ddfinitely


a cloudy day, and there will be some rain, but it will not be drdadful.


This weather front which was creeping towards as kind of fell


apart. This is its current position. Over the next couple of hours, it


will push across the North West so many places will see a dampdning of


the ground, but nothing much more than that, and then it will clear


the way. We will be left with a dry night, a cloudy night, and ` very


mild night. 14 Celsius or 14 Celsius for most towns and cities, so


feeling good. For tomorrow, not as good as today. You will havd a lot


of cloud cover around. Therd could be a light shower. Bright skies in


the southern part of the region We have this week whether front which


moves from the Isle of Man hn two parts of Cumbria and Lancashire by


lunch time, and then everywhere by the afternoon. Behind it, writers


guys will come into parts of the Isle of Man. It will open the door


to colour and fresher conditions. Tomorrow night, it could be chilly.


We are trying valiantly to hold the cold air at bay. Scarves and


whatnot. Thanks for watching. Good night.


The stage is set for the Party Conference Season 2014.


Stay with BBC News for the key moments,


including Conservative Party leader David Cameron's speech.


On BBC TWO and with ongoing coverage on Radio 5 Live.


The Party Conferences 2014, as they happen.


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