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Emotional tributes paid to Tony Morris, the man whose ‘smile lit up the North West’

Such sad news.

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ITV

Tony Morris, the face of North West News for Granada Reports, sadly died at the age of 57 last weekend.

Tributes have been paid across many news outlets this morning, including from Kate Garraway and Ben Shephard on this morning’s Good Morning Britain. 

Speaking on Tony’s death over a montage of his best moments from the 17 years he worked at Granada Reports, Kate described him as ‘warm and brilliant’.

He died on Saturday at Bury Hospital with daughters Natalia and Rebecca at his side, after being diagnosed with kidney cancer last year.

His daughters released a statement that read: “You all know him as ‘the guy off the news’ – but we know him as our dad. He was always so proud to be an adopted northerner.”

They added: “What you saw on TV every evening was exactly who he was – authentic and honest in everything he did, relentlessly funny, ferociously intelligent, endlessly kind – he lit up every room he walked into.

“We know there will be a lot of people in the North West who are going to miss him – so we know we are not going through this alone.”

During last nights Granada Reports, Tony’s presenting partner Lucy Meacock spoke to viewers about her loss. 

She said: “Tony was one of the most, one of the kindest, funniest people that you could ever meet – he was always interested in other people, he was interested in our guests who would come into the studio, he had a genuine interest.”

“And it was a very special bond that we had, we knew each other very well and I think it was a great partnership,” she added, tearing up as a picture appeared on screen of Tony. 

She said: “He was without doubt one of the most humble, kind and funny people I have ever met, and he would often make me laugh until my sides ached.

“A smile from Tony Morris always brightened everyone’s day and certainly brightened up the whole of the North West for 17 years.”

Lucy continued: “I am so very, very sad and my heart goes out to his daughters Nat and Becky.”

Many viewers, who have watched Tony almost every night for nearly two decades, shared their condolences and thoughts on Twitter after the sad news. 

One said: “Will miss his humour, he was the reason to watch local news. RIP Tony.”

Another wrote:  “Awful news. Regional presenters do have such an important part in so many peoples’ lives – many people will have had their tea with Lucy and Tony for years. Will be much missed by those who knew him and those who didn’t. RIP Tony.”

One viewer added they hope he will meet Dianne Oxberry saying: “He will be sorely missed and I hope he meets up with Dianne Oxberry. Two special Manc people. RIP.”

His friend and sports reporter Chris Hall shared a touching poem on social media. It reads: “TM had his trademarks. The smile. The scowl. The sparks in his quick remarks making us howl with laughter. His mic now faded forever. Nothing comes after. Not even the weather.

“Our Tone used his own to marvel us, move us and manoeuvre us around our armchairs.

“Hairs on end as we sat on the edge for the heavier stuff. Then quirky and off-the-cuff candour cajoled us back into cushions.

“He always knew how to push our buttons. Always ‘on it’. No stumbles.

“So much he taught us – not always aloud – and that knowledge lives on through his daughters who make him so proud.”

ITV

Annabel Tiffin from BBC North West Tonight’s sent her love and sympathy to Natalia Morris saying: “I am so sorry to hear about Tony.

“We may have been on opposite channels but I always had the utmost respect for him, and we would always have a wee chat whenever we crossed paths on a story.

“Sending you much love and sympathy.”

Sophie Raworth added: “He was always lovely and always smiling. I was delighted to see him again in February this year at the RTS Awards.

“Had no idea he was ill. So so sad to find out he has gone.”

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Boris Johnson reveals plan to offer all adults booster jabs by the end of January

NEWS JUST IN

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The government plans on offering all adults booster vaccines by the end of January, Boris Johnson has revealed today.

The Prime Minister spoke at a Downing Street conference this afternoon where he announced the planned booster rollout will take place across 1,500 pharmacy sites across England in age order. 

Over 400 military personnel will help with the rollout, Johnson added.

Noting that it’s ‘time for another Great British vaccination effort’, Johnson said: “The target we’ve set ourselves is to offer a booster to everyone eligible by the end of January.

“As with the first jabs, we’ll be working through people by age group going down in five year bands, because it’s vital that the older and more clinically vulnerable get that added protection first.”

The Prime Minister stressed that even those who had their second jab over three months ago should wait until the NHS contacts them about a booster appointment.

This announcement comes as face masks are made compulsory once again in all shops and on public transport.

The government made the decision as part of its response to the new Omicron variant, which is said to be ‘more transmissible and have more mutations which could weaken the effect of vaccines and natural immunity.’ 

The change in rules was announced by the Prime Minister after cases of the new variant were detected at several locations across the UK. 

The Health Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed yesterday that all adults will be offered a COVID-19 booster vaccine as part of a reaching expansion of the jabs programme to deal with the potential impact of the new variant.

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Child abusers could face mandatory life sentences under government-backed law

Child abusers are sentenced to a maximum of ten years behind bars under the current law

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People who abuse children could be handed mandatory life sentences under new plans backed by the government. 

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill is currently going through parliament, and could see an increase in maximum punishments for several child cruelty offences.

Tougher planned sentences could also mean that anyone who causes or allows the death of a child or vulnerable adult in their care will face a maximum sentence of life imprisonment – as it stands, child abusers can only face a maximum of ten years behind bars.

The changes, known as Tony’s Law, follow a campaign by MP Tom Tugendhat and the adoptive family of seven-year-old Tony Hudgell, who had to have both his legs amputated in 2017 as a result of abuse suffered at the hands of his birth parents.

Tony was attacked as a baby and was left with broken fingers and toes, plus torn ligaments in his legs. He was left untreated and in agony for ten days, and eventually had to have both legs amputated.

His birth parents were sentenced to the current maximum jail term of 10 years. 

In a statement, Tony’s adoptive mother Paula Hudgell said: “We are delighted that Tony’s Law is being backed by the Government. It’s been our hope since those who abused our son were jailed in 2018 that more could be done to protect other children, the most vulnerable members of our society.

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“I can’t thank the public enough for the support they have shown through this nearly four-year campaign, but especially thanks to Tom Tugendhat who has worked tirelessly with me, also my friend Julia Roberts, a court reporter and my friends and family.

“It was definitely a team effort.”

Deputy Prime Minister, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Dominic Raab said the changes were needed because ‘the law must provide maximum protection to the most vulnerable and no-one is more vulnerable than a young child’. 

He added: “I pay tribute to the courage of young Tony Hudgell and his adoptive parents, Paula and Mark.”

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New Covid-19 Rules: Everything you need to know as masks become compulsory in shops and on transport

The new rules will come into place tomorrow at 4

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From tomorrow, November 30th, the use of face masks and coverings will once again be compulsory in shops and on public transport.

The government made the decision as part of its response to the new Omicron variant, which is said to be ‘more transmissible and have more mutations which could weaken the effect of vaccines and natural immunity.’ 

The change in rules was announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson after cases of the new variant were detected at several locations across the UK. The Health Secretary Sajid Javid gave more detail yesterday, November 28th, saying the masks rule would apply from 4am on Tuesday

Here’s everything you need to know:

Where will face masks be compulsory after November 30th? 

Face masks and coverings will be mandatory in all shops and on all forms of public transport.

A statement from the Government says: “From 4am Tuesday November 30th, face coverings will be compulsory in shops and other settings such as banks, post offices and hairdressers, as well as on public transport unless individuals are exempt from doing so.”

However, all hospitality will be exempt from the rule change, with the Prime Minister saying further details would be outlined by the Health Secretary ‘in the course of the next day or so’. 

Will face masks be compulsory in schools?

While staff and secondary school students are being ‘strongly advised’ to wear face masks in communal areas from Monday, the rule won’t be mandatory in schools

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi recommends that staff, visitors and pupils in Year 7 and above should wear masks in communal areas in schools, colleges and universities such as corridors, canteens and halls.

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What other measures are being brought in?

Passengers arriving into the UK from Tuesday will have to take a PCR test and self-isolate until they receive a negative result. PCR tests must be purchased from private providers as free NHS tests are not valid for this purpose.

All close contacts of anyone who has tested positive for the Omicron variant must also self-isolate for ten days regardless of their vaccination status.

England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty also said during Saturday’s press conference that the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation will consider extending boosters from the over-40s to the over-18s.

Will more restrictions be brought in?

The Health Secretary said during Saturday’s press conference that it was ‘nowhere near’ the time to reintroduce social distancing rules and work-from-home guidance, and was hopeful the mask mandate would be removed ‘within weeks’.

Also speaking on Saturday, Boris Johnson added that the measures are simply a ‘precaution’ and are in place to ‘buy time for scientists’ while more is learned about the Omicron variant.

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