Tag Archives: Liverpool

Newcastle United takeover: Financial firm tables formal bid in region of £300m

Mike Ashley took over the running of Newcastle United in 2007

A financial firm headed by British businesswoman Amanda Staveley has tabled a formal takeover bid in the region of £300m for Newcastle United.

PCP Capital Partners has been in talks with the Premier League club’s owner Mike Ashley for about a month, and a source close to the deal said an offer has now been made.

Ashley said on 16 October he wanted to sell after 10 years in charge.

Staveley watched Newcastle’s 1-1 home draw against Liverpool on 1 October.

The 44-year-old helped broker the purchase of Manchester City by Sheikh Mansour bin-Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in 2009, and it was reported she led Dubai International Capital’s £400m bid for Liverpool in 2008.

Ashley, 53, has been a divisive figure at St James’ Park since taking over in 2007, with some supporters regularly protesting about the way the businessman has run the club.

He bought Newcastle for £134.4m in 2007. Their latest accounts – up to 30 June 2016 and before the club’s relegation to the Championship – showed a profit of £900,000 and turnover of £126m in 2015-16.

The Magpies have been relegated twice from the Premier League during Ashley’s reign.

After winning promotion last season, Rafael Benitez’s side are 11th in the Premier League after 12 matches.


Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson reported over ‘fishwife’ remark

Joe AndersonImage copyright Magnum Photos
Image caption Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson said fishwife simply meant “someone who shouts a lot”

The Mayor of Liverpool is to be reported for sexism for calling a female councillor a “fishwife” during a council meeting.

Joe Anderson admitted directing the comment at Liberal Democrat councillor Mirna Juarez in a debate on austerity on Wednesday evening.

Liverpool Lib Dems has called for the mayor to apologise for the “appalling” and “sexist” comment.

Mr Anderson said fishwife simply meant “someone who shouts a lot”.

The definition of fishwife in the English Oxford Living Dictionaries is a “coarse-mannered woman who is prone to shouting”.

Mr Anderson’s comment followed a heated debate after he claimed the Ms Juarez, the councillor for Allerton and Hunts Cross, said the people of Liverpool should “get over” government cuts, which she refuted.

Image copyright Liverpool Liberal Democrats
Image caption Mirna Juarez is the councillor for Allerton and Hunts Cross

The mayor said slurs previously directed at him in public by Ms Juarez were “much worse” than his remark.

“I made the reference to a fishwife as someone who shouts a lot,” he added.

“I stand by my belief that Mirna Juarez does not think before shouting abuse out loud at people and the city.”

Ms Juarez has been approached by the BBC but is yet to comment.

Leader of the Liverpool Lib Dems Richard Kemp said the “sexist and rude” comment would be reported to the council‘s standards body “later today”.

He said the remark was compounded by the mayor’s refusal to apologise.

Mr Kemp said the Labour-run council has a policy which opposes sexism and racism and all political leaders should be “more aware”.

“We don’t mind being criticised but descending to sexism is beyond the pale. It is a step too far.”

Liver test to aid paracetamol overdose treatment


People who overdose on paracetamol could be helped by a blood test that shows immediately if they are going to suffer liver damage.

Researchers in Edinburgh and Liverpool said the test would help doctors identify which patients arriving in hospital need more intensive treatment.

The blood test detects levels of specific molecules in blood associated with liver damage.

The three different molecules are called miR-122, HMGB1 and FL-K18.

Previous studies have shown that levels of these markers are elevated in patients with liver damage long before current tests can detect a problem.

Free up beds

A team led by the Universities of Edinburgh and Liverpool measured levels of the three markers in more than 1,000 patients across the UK who needed hospital treatment for paracetamol overdose.

They found the test could accurately predict which patients are going to develop liver problems, and who may need to be treated for longer before they are discharged.

The test could also help identify patients who could be safely discharged after treatment, freeing up hospital beds.

About 50,000 people are admitted to hospital each year in the UK due to paracetamol overdose.

Many people unknowingly consume too much by taking paracetamol at the same time as cold and flu medications that also contain the drug.

Liver injuries are a common complication of drug overdoses. In some cases the damage can be so severe the patient needs a transplant and, in rare instances, can be fatal.

Patients with a life-threatening level of paracetamol in their blood can be treated with an antidote called acetylcysteine, given by intravenous drip.

The treatment is associated with side effects so doctors do not treat patients longer than necessary.

Large workload

The researchers said the test could help to pinpoint patients who are unlikely to benefit from treatment.

The study, published in the Lancet Gastroenterology and Hepatology, was funded by the Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation and the Medical Research Council.

Dr James Dear, of the University of Edinburgh, said: “Paracetamol overdose is very common and presents a large workload for already over-stretched emergency departments.

“These new blood tests can identify who will develop liver injury as soon as they first arrive at hospital. This could transform the care of this large, neglected, patient group.”

National conference hears impact of welfare reforms

“POWERFUL” stories of families in Bradford struggling with benefit changes could help organisers of a national conference make a difference to welfare reform.

The conference, held at Bradford City Hall on Monday, November 13, saw discussions around large families, poverty and welfare reform.

Organised by Bradford District Anti-Poverty Group, The University of Liverpool and The Children’s Society, those attending heard from people directly affected by the Government’s recent changes to the benefits system.

Parents and activists from across the city who form the Hope Rising Action Group were among the keynote speakers at the day-long conference.

One parent, Louise spoke of how the benefits cap, which limits the amount of welfare families can receive to £20,000 a year, meant regular difficult decisions between electricity or food, food or shoes, clothes or rent.

Another, Marie, told how she lives day-to-day and that everything is hand-to-mouth. As a single parent, she regularly goes without food in order to feed her children and her health is affected through malnutrition.

The only way she manages to eat is by going three days a week to a ‘pay as you feel’ cafe and using a food bank, she said.

One of the conference organisers, Dr Ruth Patrick of the University of Liverpool, told the Telegraph & Argus: “Part of the motivation for the conference is about saying we need to listen to those powerful stories more.

“Their stories are valuable, but they also have an understanding of how the policies are impacting on them that could help us make a difference.”

She added that large families are “particularly adversely affected” by some of the benefit changes.

“At the moment we’ve got the benefit cap and the two child limit coming to the fore.

“We are trying to find out what is happening for large families in poverty in Bradford and nationally.

“How can we support them?

“Is there this mismatch between how policy makers are representing it and how the lived experiences are on the ground?”

As well as hearing from people directly affected by welfare reform there was also a chance to hear from organisations working to support families with direct experience of poverty, and policy makers tasked with trying to address the poverty that individuals face.

There were also a number of workshops on subjects, such as supporting large families in Bradford, learning from the experts of experience on poverty and welfare reform, and what can be learned from the child-led inquiry into child poverty in Doncaster.

Councillor Abdul Jabar, Bradford Council’s chairman of the Anti-Poverty Co-ordination Group, said the conference would “give everyone involved the chance to hear first-hand the impact that poverty and welfare reform is having on families, and particularly families in Bradford”.

He added that it was a “privilege to host the conference in Bradford and welcome parents, activists, service providers, policy makers and academics”.

Why Othello will be played by a woman at the Liverpool Everyman

Golda RosheuvelImage copyright Dan Wooller/REX/Shutterstock
Image caption Golda Rosheuvel will play the title character in Othello

Othello is one of Shakespeare’s greatest roles – and next year, there will be a female Othello for the first time in a major modern British theatre.

Golda Rosheuvel will play the jealous Venetian army general at the Liverpool Everyman from April to July.

The production will tackle themes of gender and homophobia – with Othello in a gay relationship with Desdemona – as well as jealousy, race and power.

Director Gemma Bodinetz said that would make it “more alive” for modern crowds.


Othello, who’s known as The Moor, secretly marries a senator’s daughter and is the victim of a scheming revenge plot by Iago, a white soldier.

“I’m trying to get to the root of the electricity that the original audience would have felt about the dare of this play,” Bodinetz said.

“It began to feel quite electric for me that this woman was going to be in charge of so many men and so much testosterone.”

Image copyright PA
Image caption Gemma Bodinetz was a winner at the UK Theatre Awards

In her interpretation, Bodinetz said the “stress and strain and neurosis” of being a female general in a male-dominated army would have been playing on Othello for some time.

“The stress of being as good as a man felt very alive at the moment, actually,” the director said. “And sometimes I’ve felt it myself as a woman in a position of some authority.

“Not quite an army. There are always times I want to make sure nobody’s ever finding me wanting because of my gender, let alone my race – I don’t have to fight that particular battle.

“For me, it was really [about] cranking up the stakes for Othello and the neurotic environment in which she operates, in the most masculine of all worlds.”

Rosheuvel is an accomplished Shakespearean performer and no stranger to playing male parts – earlier this year, she was Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet at Shakespeare’s Globe. She was also Agnes in the 2016 film Lady Macbeth.

Award-winning company

There have been no major productions with female Othellos in recent times, but they were not unknown in the 19th Century.

At the Queen’s Theatre in London in 1833, a Mrs Selby “enacted the part of the valiant Moor to the satisfaction of a numerous audience”, according to the London Courier and Evening Gazette.

And in 1856, Miss Percy Knowles “won golden opinions from all sorts of people” for her performance in the title role at the Royal Soho Theatre, The Times reported.

The new Liverpool production will be one of four shows in the second season of the Everyman’s revived repertory company.

Bodinetz was named best director at the UK Theatre Awards for successfully relaunching the rep company earlier this year.

The other productions in the 2018 season will be A Clockwork Orange, Paint Your Wagon and The Big I Am, a reworking of Peer Gynt by Liverpool playwright Robert Farquhar.

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Bradford man arrested after fatal Liverpool crash

A BRADFORD man has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving after a fatal crash in Liverpool.

The 33-year-old is the second person to be arrested in connection with last Friday’s crash and he has been conditionally bailed to appear at a date in December.

The 24-year-old victim was killed when he was hit by a grey-coloured BMW near the popular Albert Dock spot in the city.

It is believed he had been visiting the city with friends and had been enjoying a night out on the evening of the crash.

The driver of the car left the scene and a BMW 330 series car, suspected to be the vehicle involved, was recovered in a residential area close by and underwent forensic examination.

A 22-year-old man arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving has also been conditionally bailed to a date next month.

Parents from Bradford speak out against welfare cuts

PARENTS from Bradford are to speak at a national conference in the city, to challenge welfare cuts they say are making poverty worse for many people.

Hope Rising Action Group is a group of parents and activists from across the city who have first-hand experience of poverty and the effect of recent welfare changes.

Members will give a keynote address at City Hall on Monday at the Large Families, Poverty and Welfare Reform conference, organised by Bradford District Anti-Poverty Co-ordination Group, The Children’s Society and The University of Liverpool.

The benefits cap limits the amount of welfare families can receive, to a maximum of £20,000 a year outside London. Families with more than two children have been particularly affected, and High Court Judge Mr Justice Collins warned in June that it was unlawful and was causing “real damage” to single-parent families. The Government launched its appeal against that ruling two weeks ago.

Local speakers at next Monday’s event will include Louise, a mother of four children.

She said: “My partner was on ESA then was failed in his assessment, and we lost £200 a fortnight. I am on Jobseeker’s Allowance but we have had no money for five weeks so we’ve been relying on foodbanks and borrowing from family and friends.

“Politicians need to understand that we are not lazy people. I would love to go to work, but I cannot because who would then look after my partner?

“The cap has really affected us. We get 50p a week housing benefit so need to find £98.96 a week in rent, from nowhere.”

Another parent, who declined to be named, said: “I lost about £50 to £60 a week through the benefit cap, plus £13 a week in bedroom tax. During the day, I have got used to not eating and not putting the heating on if I can avoid it. I just do it for the kids to make sure the kids have heat and are eating.

“The cap is such a big thing. I think national politicians need to come down and spend some time with us and really understand our lives.”

Local councillor Bev Mullaney said: “Never in my 30 years of working within my community have I seen such deprivation among the poorest people in our society. I am witnessing on a daily basis children going hungry.”

Hope Rising launched in February and meets each Thursday in the Lower Grange Community Centre in Allerton. The group is keen to hear from more Bradford people who are experiencing poverty as a result of welfare changes. People can phone 07783 946300.

One of the organisers, Dr Ruth Patrick from the University of Liverpool, said: “It is so important to hear firsthand the impacts of poverty and welfare reform on parents and their families. Hope Rising Action Group are doing incredibly powerful and important work in raising awareness of the consequences of punitive welfare reforms, and we are privileged to have them as keynote speakers at the conference.”

Monday’s conference will also include contributions from people with first-hand experience of poverty in Leeds, London and Salford, as well as researchers.

Ex-Big Issue seller wins ‘dream’ Cambridge University place

Geoff EdwardsImage copyright Cambridge Regional College
Image caption Geoff Edwards is now a student in the city where he once sold The Big Issue

A former Big Issue seller has said he is “still getting used to the idea” he has fulfilled his “dream” of going to Cambridge University.

Geoff Edwards, 52, spent most of his adult life homeless in Cambridge after work as a field labourer dried up.

He said selling copies of The Big Issue “gave me back a bit of self-respect”.

After gaining distinctions in an Access to Higher Education course at Cambridge Regional College, he is now studying English Literature at Hughes Hall.

As first reported in the Cambridge News, Mr Edwards, who left school with two O-levels, said: “Going to Cambridge University was a dream of mine.

“This is what I have always wanted to do, but no-one in my family had been to university, so I didn’t consider it.”

He came to Cambridge from Liverpool in search of work as a farm hand but after years of being homeless “was isolated and getting anxious”.

His life was turned around when he became a Big Issue seller in the city.

Image copyright John Sutton/Geograph
Image caption Hughes Hall was founded as a graduate college for women in 1885 and was the first all-women college to admit men

However, Mr Edwards realised he was “in a rut” and after deciding a return to education was the way forward he attended an open day at Cambridge Regional College.

“I only had Maths and English O-levels, so I needed to do a [pre-access] gateway course” he said.

“It prepared me well for the access course, which gave me the qualifications to get to Cambridge.”

He said winning a place is “the first thing I am proud of in my life”.

The access course is aimed at adults who want to return to education or need extra qualifications to go to university.

Hughes Hall only accepts mature undergraduates or graduate students.

Its president Anthony Freeling said it is “committed to ensuring the gates of Cambridge University are open to all with the potential to succeed”.

Desert Island Discs: Hillsborough activist Phil Scraton ‘had death threats’

Phil ScratonImage copyright Getty Images
Image caption Phil Scraton has carried out research into the disaster, which led to the deaths of 96 fans

A leading Hillsborough campaigner has told BBC Radio 4’s Desert Islands Discs programme he had death threats during his struggle for justice over the 1989 football stadium disaster.

Prof Phil Scraton helped uncover the truth after the deaths of 96 fans following a crush at an FA Cup game.

He said he was also told to “think less” about his work on the disaster by institutions he previously worked for.

In 2016, new inquests into the disaster found the fans were unlawfully killed.

The FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forrest, held at Sheffield Wednesday’s stadium, was stopped after six minutes following a crush on the terraces.

At the original inquests in 1991, the deaths were ruled accidental but those verdicts were quashed following the 2012 Hillsborough Independent Panel (HIP) report, and new hearings were ordered.

Speaking to presenter Kirsty Young, Prof Scraton, who led the HIP research team, said he “broke down” when jurors concluded – after a 27-year campaign for justice – that Liverpool supporters were not responsible.

Image caption The match at the Hillsborough ground had to be stopped after six minutes

Prof Scraton said: “To be honest, in 2000, I felt I had let the families down: I had written two reports, I had written the first edition of [his book] Hillsborough – The Truth and nothing came of it and they had not been vindicated in the public eye.”

The criminologist, who works at Queen’s University in Belfast, told the programme: “I had death threats to my home phone number, which was ex-directory, and have had a whole series of checks or attempted checks put on by my institutions – not the one I am working with now.

“But previously one famous memo [said] perhaps I should think less about being involved in Hillsborough and more about getting on with the rest of my academic work.”

Phil Scraton’s Desert Island choices

  • Christy Moore – On the Bridge
  • Bruce Springsteen – Chimes of Freedom
  • Billie Holiday – Strange Fruit
  • Labi Siffre – (Something Inside) So Strong
  • Barry Kerr – The Leaving Song
  • Joan Baez – Biko
  • Joan Armatrading – Love And Affection
  • Gerry & The Pacemakers – You’ll Never Walk Alone
  • Luxury – one of his guitars
  • Book – The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell

You can listen to Prof Scraton’s Desert Island Discs on BBC iPlayer Radio

Prof Scraton added the initial response to the disaster led to trust in investigations being “damaged” and said the inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire, which led to the deaths of more than 80 people, should be “fully independent”.

“The most important thing about the Hillsborough Independent Panel was the word ‘independent’ and although we were serviced by the government departments, the panel was in the driving seat.”

He chose Gerry & The Pacemakers’s version of You’ll Never Walk Alone as his favourite song, labelling it a “Merseyside hymn”.

The track, from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel, has been recorded by a number of artists and has been sung at every Hillsborough memorial service, becoming an anthem for Liverpool FC fans.

Earlier this year, five men, including ex-South Yorkshire Police Ch Insp Sir Norman Bettison, were charged over the Hillsborough disaster and its aftermath.

Former Ch Supt David Duckenfield also faces 95 charges of manslaughter.

Grayson Perry’s dresses really are works of art in new exhibition

Grayson Perry and dressImage copyright Gareth Jones/Hat Trick Productions
Image caption This dress was designed for his alter-ego Claire’s “coming out ceremony” in 2000

Grayson Perry is famous for his dress sense as well as his art. Now his flamboyant dresses are being exhibited as works of art in their own right.

The artist wears the multi-coloured, highly detailed outfits when stepping out as his alter-ego Claire.

Twelve of them, including the Bo Peep dress he wore to collect the Turner Prize in 2003, are going on show at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool.

It is the first exhibition of Perry’s dresses in the UK.

Image copyright Gareth Jones

Perry stages an annual contest for students at Central Saint Martins art college to design an outfit for him. The psychedelic dress above is one of these, created by Angus Lai in 2014.

Image copyright Gareth Jones

The dress he wore when he picked up the Turner Prize is embroidered with the name Claire and the word “sissy”.

Image copyright Gareth Jones

The dress above left, by Central Saint Martins student Sarah Hall, puts baying wolves next to embroidered sheep. Perry himself designed the dress and matching bonnet, centre, in 2008. The eyes on Artist’s Robe (right) are a reference to how Perry sees the world.

Image copyright Gareth Jones

Perry made his name with pottery and tapestry. The Walker’s curator Pauline Rushton said: “Costumes are just another aspect of what he does.”

Image copyright Gareth Jones

The exhibition – Making Himself Claire: Grayson Perry’s Dresses – runs at the Walker Art Gallery from 4 November to 4 February 2018.

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