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Builder from Wigan crowned new winner of World Pie Eating Championships

Well done Ian!

Jamie Roberts

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Harry's Bar Wigan / Facebook

As you may or may not be aware, the 27th World Pie Eating Championships recently played out in Wigan – I mean, where else would it be?

The event saw some stiff competition, with a new winner taking the pie-crust crown home.

Harry’s Bar in the centre of the town saw dozens of athletes in peak condition step up to the challenge, with local Wigan lad Ian Gerrard taking the coveted top spot.

Harry’s Bar Wigan / Facebook

The builder managed to beat five-time champion Martin Appleton Clare to win the competition, in what was billed as a ‘heavyweight score-settler’, Wigan Today reports.

It was a close call, with only one second between the two challengers – 24 stone 4lbs Gerard managing to put away a meat and potato pie in 35.4 seconds.

This comes as he almost managed to beat 20 stone 5lbs Appleton-Clare last year, with Gerrard coming within milliseconds of toppling him in 2018 (Appleton-Clare scoffed a chicken and veg pie in just 19.58 seconds that time round).

Harry’s Bar Wigan / Facebook

Gerrard told Wigan Today: “I’m made up. I was close last year and this year I’ve won it. The trophy will be a pride of place in my local club on the top of the bar. I’ve had no training for this, it’s just natural.

“My favourite pie is meat and potato which I had today. Now I’ve won, first of all, I’ll go back to work and then I might do some training tomorrow. To celebrate winning, I might have a pint or two, but I’m not sure about a pie or two.”

He also had some strong words for anyone who thinks it’s not a true sport with proper athletes, saying: “It’s a bit of fun and a proper sport with proper athletes and it’s good for Wigan. I’ll be back next year and we’re 1-1 now, so I’ll try and beat Martin again.”

Harry’s Bar Wigan / Facebook

This time round the format changed a bit, with weigh-ins taking place first, followed by the general competition, before the heavyweight clash to finish things off.

An official World Pie Eating Championships pie comes in with a diameter of 12cm and depth of 3.5cm – reckon you could take one on in a quicker time?

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Legal battles against Tier 3 restrictions in Greater Manchester begin

A judicial review started last night.

Alex Watson

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David Dixon/Geograph

Sacha Lord has announced he has commenced a judicial review into the legality of imposing Tier 3 restrictions on Greater Manchester.

It appears the legal battles that both Sacha Lord and mayor Andy Burnham warned against have begun.

Co-founder of The Warehouse Project and Parklife and the region’s night-time economy advisor, Sacha Lord said the government’s handling of negotiations and the outcomes were not what the sector hoped for.

He tweeted to confirm a Judicial Review began last night to look into the legality of implementing emergency restrictions on Greater Manchester’s hospitality sector, without scientific evidence.

He added: “We understand the public health need but fair financial support is crucial for those most severely affected and at risk of poverty and I am acutely aware of the disappointment felt both from our leaders and across the city region with the Government’s decision yesterday,”

“I am heartbroken that pubs and bars across Greater Manchester will now be forced to close without any evidence that this will bring transmissions down.”

He added that the sector had worked ‘tirelessly’ to abide by the rules and the new restrictions would ripple up the supply chain.

“They have accepted quick-fire lockdowns and spent thousands implementing the government’s own recommended Covid-secure measures,” he said.

“This recent move will not only cause severe mental anguish and devastate the livelihoods of the operators themselves, but will severely affect the wider night time ecology.

“Taxi drivers, suppliers, performers, musicians and countless freelancers will all now face terrible hardship without any rationale, as will restaurants who will see trade drop off extensively.”

He added: “Despite our calls, we have not been shown any clear, tangible scientific evidence to merit these closures. 

“In fact, the only evidence we have seen is from Public Health England, whose own data has shown hospitality venues attributed to just three per cent of Covid transmissions in the past week.

“It is my belief that this new lockdown will recklessly destroy our night-time economy.”

The legal challenges will be held by Sam Karim QC, Sarah Clover and Leo Charalambides of Kings Chambers, instructed by Oliver Wright of JMW, reports the MEN

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick claims the talks with Greater Manchester mayor broke down because he ‘insisted on preferential treatment of the region’.

Speaking on BBC’s Radio 4 Today programme he said: “The mayor of Greater Manchester was never willing to draw this to a conclusion. The public health situation was deteriorating,”

“It would have frankly been irresponsible of the government to allow this to continue for many more days without bringing it to a conclusion.

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The UK’s first vegan butcher is opening next week

Bring home the baycon….

Alex Watson

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rudysdvd/Instagram

A permanent vegan butcher is opening up in the UK next week serving up plenty of vegan delights.

Opening in London on the 1st of November to celebrate World Vegan Day is the UK’s first permanent vegan butcher.

The guys behind the new venture are the same team behind Rudys Vegan Diner in Camden. Promising plant-based versions of meat products such as bacon, black pudding, turkey and burger patties.

The new shop Rudys Vegan Butcher, which will be located in Islington and looks a lot like your typical traditional butcher’s.

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📣 THE COUNTOWN IS ON: RUDY'S VEGAN BUTCHER OPENS ITS DOORS IN ISLINGTON ON 1 NOV📣 🥓🥓 In just two weeks on World Vegan Day, Rudy's Vegan Diner is bringing the first permanent vegan BUTCHER to London town 😱 We will be giving away 💯 pounds of FREE baycon to celebrate. That's more than 5000 slices! Each customer gets a half pound each until it lasts so🏃‍♂️🏃‍♀️ 🥓🥓 Imagine stocking your fridge with Chef @matthew.j.foster's homemade pastrami, dirty burger patties, cheeze sauce & chilli-non-carne. Take them home with you & get creative in the kitchen! You can even recreate your own Rudy's specials and fill your basket with a rack of jack, lobstah salad, meatballs, chick'n lover pate, shredded BBQ pulled porc and even roast turk'y! LOOK 👀 ➡️ 🥓🥓 Oh WAIT, keep reading. There's more exciting news 👏 🥓🥓 If you can't make it to London, don't worry! You can order Rudy's Vegan Butcher goodies ONLINE & we deliver nationwide 🇬🇧 All online orders made on World Vegan Day include a FREE pack of baycon. Remember to pile your online basket high with homemade scramble v-egg, soysage patties & bloody delicious black puddin' to go with that free baycon. 🥓🥓 Looking for something new? Try out our new charcuterie selection: smoked ham, salami de provence, pepperoni, oh and of course that pastrami y’all keep talking about! Oh, what to do with it all 🤔 🥓🥓 That's all happening in just TWO weeks on 1 November. Stop by our new vegan butcher on Upper St in Islington or order online and check it out. Who can say no to FREE baycon?

A post shared by Rudy's Dirty Vegan Diner (@rudysdvd) on

The huge counters will display all the vegan products including all the staples for a BBQ or Sunday morning fry-up.  

Along with a huge meat-free charcuterie selection which includes smoked ham, salami de Provence, pepperoni and pastrami – perfect for vegan cheese and wine night!

To celebrate the launch on the 1st of November, Rudy’s is also giving away 100lbs of free baycon to the first 200 customers that come through the door, that’s 5000 slices! 

You can order Rudy’s Vegan Butcher goodies online and they deliver nation-wide – meaning you can get your hands on some vegan grub right here in Manchester.

All online orders made on world vegan day include a FREE pack of baycon (the vegan stuff of course).

Keep up to date with all things vegan on their Instagram

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Six Greater Manchester Tory MPs accuse Burnham of putting his ‘ego’ above ‘responsibility’

Just in…

Alex Watson

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ITV News/YouTube

Six of Greater Manchester’s Tory MPs have written to Mayor Andy Burnham accusing him of putting his ‘ego’ above ‘responsibility’ for the area.

Boris Johnson announced the news yesterday that Greater Manchester would be put in the highest level of coronavirus restrictions after negotiations between ministers and local leaders broke down.

Burnham explained that leaders of Greater Manchester had requested £90m ‘to cover the cost of 80% furlough wages and self-employed scheme’ in the region.

However ministers offered £60m in return after the negotiations. 

Boris Johnson confirmed £22m in the press conference last night with Health Secretary Matt Hancock later informing the House of commons that the £60m offer ‘remains on the table’.

Chris Clarkson, conservative MP for Heywood and Middleton tweeted last night: “Greater Manchester MPs wrote to Andy Burnham today to express our concern about his failure to come to an agreement with the Government. The Mayor now needs to let Local MPs and council leaders have a go at getting a sensible settlement.”

Andy responded: ” You haven’t got this quite right Chris. We asked for £90m – which is the cost of an 80% furlough & self-employed scheme.

“We were offered £60m – 66% of our ask, the same that pub staff in Heywood & Middleton are deemed to be worth.

“You can vote to change that today. Will you?”

Bury Conservative Group leader, Nick Jones tweeted: “Andy Burnham has completely failed in his duty for the people of Greater Manchester. Time for him to step aside and let local Leaders and MPs work with the government to reach a settlement.”

Not all Tory MPs in the region are supporting the letter. Conservative MP Chris Green from Bolton West said Bolton had ‘been through a far tougher lockdown than tier 3 and it didn’t work’.

He added: “The government believes that three weeks of closing pubs and soft play centres will make a dramatic difference. It hasn’t and it won’t.”

Following the announcements last night, Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said the PM was ‘punishing the people of Greater Manchester’.

Adding: “This isn’t a game, it’s about people’s lives, people need proper financial support,”

“This is a national crisis and we won’t defeat this virus on the cheap.”

Liverpool mayor Steve Rotherham took to Twitter last night to emphasise ‘solidarity’ with Andy Burnham and ‘everyone in Greater Manchester’.

Adding: “We’re in the middle of a health crisis yet the Government is playing divide and rule.”

Sacha Lord tweeted last night: “Angry. Disappointed. Speechless.”

Adding: “I will make my feelings on this shambolic Government decision clear tomorrow. The fight will go on.”

Details of the restrictions are set to be announced today.

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