MP raises “deep concern” over US leaks in the wake of Manchester Arena bomb

wp-1478947269179.jpegWythenshawe MP Mike Kane has signed a joint letter to parliament’s intelligence and security watchdog expressing grave concern about the leaking by US officials of the identity of the Manchester Arena bomber while police were still investigating the atrocity.

Salman Abedi, detonated the bomb, at the Ariana Grande concert, which killed 22 people in May. It was the deadliest attack in Britain since the 7/7 bombings in London.

The New York Times, named the suspected killer as Salman Abedi, and shared pictures of the crime scene hours before Manchester police revealed Abedi’s identity, after the details were leaked by US officials. Non-U.S. media followed, again citing U.S. sources.

It was feared at the time the leaks had compromised the fast-moving investigation by Greater Manchester Police.

Mr Kane signed the letter, along with other Greater Manchester MPs, the Leader of Manchester City Council, Richard Leese and Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham to the chairman of the parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee.

And this week the Wythenshawe MP raised the issue with Home Secretary, Amber Rudd during a debate following the release of a report into terror attacks.

Mr Kane said: “Every Greater Manchester MP, Mayor Andy Burnham  and Richard Leese, the leader of the city council, have signed a joint letter to the Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee expressing  our concern that Salman Abedi’s name was shared with our colleagues in America and subsequently leaked, placing Chief Constable Ian Hopkins and the investigation in an intolerable situation. Does the Home Secretary share our deep concern about that?”

The Home Secretary replied: “Many of us—not least my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister—raised that issue with our opposite numbers, and such leaks are completely unwelcome and inappropriate.

“However, we must not underestimate our incredibly important close relationship with the US on intelligence sharing and support, and we must be cautious of any eventuality that might endanger that relationship. That sort of close intelligence sharing saves lives in this country.”

Shortly after the leak in May Mrs Rudd told the BBC police had been very clear that they wanted to control the flow of information in order to protect operational integrity, the element of surprise and said the leak was  “irritating”.

 

 

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REVIEW: Evita @ The Palace, Manchester

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Madalena Alberto as Evita

It was stunning performances by a strong cast that made this production of Evita, a show worth watching.

But seeing for the first time the Rice and Lloyd-Webber take on the woman who battled to escape the obscurity and poverty of her life as a struggling actress to become the spiritual leader of the nation – it simply confirmed my prejudice that the musical theatre legends are really not all their cracked up to be. Read More…

REVIEW: A Christmas Carol @ The Bolton Octagon

Marc Small       Pic: The Other Richard

A Christmas Carol is a timeless classic tale of of redemption which is familiar to almost everyone. It has been done so many times that it is a brave person indeed who decides to attempt to bring it to the stage and make it fresh.

But it is mission accomplished for the Bolton Octagon team who have managed to pull off something quite remarkable for their Christmas production this year.

Bolton writer, Neil Duffield, who adapted the Charles Dickens masterpiece for the stage, is no stranger to children’s productions – and it shows. There is the perfect blend of Dickens’ dark message, playful humour and festive spectacle which makes this just right for children of all ages.

The structure of the story brings a freshness which delight the audience. Dickens’ words come spinning at us through the decades and are remarkably apt. If I’m not mistaken Duffield adds some themes of his own about Scrooge’s cruel observations about the homeless “choosing to sleep” in shop doorways.

The staging is wonderful with some marvellous effects which don’t go over the top and Ben Occhipinti’s direction brings a pace to the the story which has you glancing your watch when we reach the interval, thinking “is it that time already”

Marc Small is excellent as the dour despicable miser, Ebenezer Scrooge, haunted by four ghosts whose task it is to make him see the error of his ways.

We are so familiar with the story we know the outcome, but it is what we encounter on the journey which makes this show such a joy. Special mention has to go to Sue Davaney whose portrayals as the Spirit of Christmas Present, the Charity Lady and Mrs Fezziwig are forces of nature.

A real treat to get you in the festive mood.

Runs till January 13.

Dave Toomer

REVIEW: Cilla the Musical @ The Palace Theatre, Manchester

downloadThe incredible story of the rise to stardom of the nation’s favourite, Cilla Black is brought to the stage at the Palace Theatre in Manchester this week.

And the show is the perfect tribute to one of Liverpool’s finest daughters who made it to the big time from humble beginnings on “Scotty Road”. Read More…

Bus drivers due to strike after “1p an hour pay rise” offer

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Pic: Micolo J Thanx 4 cc

Bus drivers at Arriva’s Wythenshawe depot will walk out on Monday (Nov 20) after pay talks with unions collapsed on Friday.

No Arriva buses will be running in Manchester after the company’s final pay offer, was rejected as an insult by trade unions, Unite and the GMB.

The unions, which will stage nine days of strike action in the run up to Christmas, said the pay rise offered by Arriva bosses amounts to 1p an hour for drivers. Read More…

REVIEW: A Judgement in Stone @ The Opera House, Manchester

A-Judgement-In-StoneI’m quite a fan of the odd murder mystery – Poirot, Sherlock Holmes and Jonathan Creek are always sure to entertain.

Sadly this stage adaptation of Ruth  Rendell’s A Judgement in Stone does not fit into that category.

This was a tired production with a very limp script.  Adopted from the novel written in the early 70s, the tale of the events leading up to the murder of a posh couple and their two grown up children told through flashbacks, does not stand the test of time. Read More…

Manchester United legend Irwin launches new pitch at Health Academy

_DSC6776Young sports stars of the future rubbed shoulders with  Manchester United legend Denis Irwin when he officially opened Manchester Health Academy’s new all-weather pitch.

The veteran former Reds defender, who won 20 major honours in his 12-year stay with United, watched students playing on the pitch before taking part in a Q&A session and officially unveiling the new facility in Wythenshawe.

He said: “Unveiling this new pitch was a pleasure for me, especially seeing so many youngsters out enjoying their football. It’s a wonderful facility and will no doubt become a magnet for people to visit and enjoy playing sport at. Read More…

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