March For Our Lives: Six key takeaways from the US gun control rallies

It was the biggest gun control protest in a generation. Hundreds of rallies were staged across the US and beyond as marchers filled the streets calling for the implementation of tighter measures following the deadly mass shooting at a Florida school in February.

That incident not only ignited the #NeverAgain movement, but also Saturday’s mass demonstrations, which took place under the banner of March For Our Lives and were led by a rally in Washington DC attended by some 200,000 demonstrators, according to CBS News.

With events not just in the US but as far afield as London, Paris, Mauritius, Tokyo, Stockholm, Sydney, Geneva and Berlin, the day was made up of powerful messages delivered by articulate students and children, most of whom have already in some way experienced gun violence.

  • In pictures: Marches across the US and worldwide

    Here are six key moments from some of the biggest US rallies since the Vietnam War era.

    1. Survivor shows the power of silence

    One of the most emotionally charged moments came when Emma Gonzalez, one of the student survivors of the mass shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, took to the podium in Washington DC.

    Others present at the march in DC included the actor George Clooney, media mogul Oprah Winfrey, director Steven Spielberg, author Stephen King, TV host Ellen DeGeneres, late-night show host Jimmy Fallon and singer Cher.

    Skip Twitter post by @TheEllenShow

    Watching everyone marching and speaking up is so inspiring, and so powerful. Keep going. You're changing the world. #MarchForOurLives

    — Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) March 24, 2018

    Report

    End of Twitter post by @TheEllenShow

    6. Signs that grabbed attention

    Signs carried by protesters included strong messages criticising lawmakers who oppose tougher laws, with many also attacking the National Rifle Association (NRA), the powerful US gun lobby.

    Skip Twitter post by @feministabulous

    #MarchForOurLives pic.twitter.com/nkmzIslZgD

    — Liz Plank (@feministabulous) March 24, 2018

    Report

    End of Twitter post by @feministabulous

    Others included powerful statements that highlighted the need for a rethink on current gun control laws and the sort of devastation that certain types of automatic weapons can inflict.

    Skip Twitter post by @PCC_Car

    #MarchForOurLives Philly One of many signs here. pic.twitter.com/5V9v60KY32

    — Robert Rosenthal (@PCC_Car) March 24, 2018

    Report

    End of Twitter post by @PCC_Car

    There were also signs that carried humour and impact in equal measure.

France gun attack: Trèbes held memorial Mass for victims

A memorial Mass has been celebrated in the southern French town of Trèbes, in honour of four people killed by an Islamist gunman on Friday.

One of them, policeman Lt-Col Arnaud Beltrame, has been hailed as a hero for trading places with a captive during a siege at a supermarket.

The bishop at the church told hundreds of mourners that his actions were comparable to that of a saint.

It is the worst jihadist attack under Emmanuel Macron’s presidency.

The gunman, 25-year-old Redouane Lakdim, had been on an extremist watch list and was known to authorities as a petty criminal, but intelligence services had determined he did not pose a threat. He was shot dead by police.

Lakdim, who pledged allegiance to Islamic State militants, was said to have demanded the release of Salah Abdeslam, the most important surviving suspect in the 13 November 2015 attacks in Paris, which killed 130 people.

  • France approves tough new anti-terror laws
  • Tributes paid for hostage-swap policeman

    In the packed Church of Saint-Etienne in Trèbes, the bishop of Carcassonne and Narbonne compared the police officer’s actions with those of a Polish saint who volunteered to die in the place of a stranger at the World War Two death camp at Auschwitz.

    Mourners, which included members of the local Muslim community, lined the back and front steps of the church.

    “Your presence tells us that the creators of hatred will not win,” Bishop Alain Planet said to the Muslim congregates in his address.

    Outside the 14th-century church, the local imam later said according to the news agency AFP: “The [Muslim] community has been stabbed, Islam itself has been stabbed… by people who use symbols that are dear to our hearts.”

    The chief of French police, Richard Lizurey, attended the service and later told reporters that Col Beltrame was an inspiration to those working in the French security services.

    “It’s an heroic act. In fact an exceptional act, carried out in the heat of action,” the head of the Gendarmerie said. “We are proud. Proud to have counted Arnaud Beltrame among us.”

    The attack has shaken the rural town of 5,000 people, and flowers have been laid in front of the Super U shop where the hostage-taking took place, as well as outside Col Beltrame’s police barracks. A separate national memorial in Paris will also honour the killed officer in the coming days.

    Khadija, a 52-year-old restaurant owner, said she was shocked by what had occurred. “We thought this only happened in big towns,” she told AFP.

    Who were the victims?

    Jean Mazières

    Before the hostage-taking in Trèbes, Lakdim hijacked a car in nearby Carcassonne, shooting the Portuguese driver and killing passenger Jean Mazières, a retired winemaker in his sixties.

    He organised villages fetes and was described as “very jolly” by Marc Rofes, the mayor of Villedubert, where his family lives.

    “He loved life, he loved parties… we have lost someone who was liked by everybody,” he said of Mr Mazières, who was married and had one child.

    The driver of the car remains in a critical condition.

    Christian Medvès

    After opening fire on a group of police officers out jogging, wounding one, the gunman drove to the Super U in Trèbes, where he killed the shop’s chief butcher, Christian Medvès.

    An amateur runner and one-time local political candidate, Mr Medvès, 50, was described as having the “joy of life”.

    “We do not know yet what happened, but knowing Christian, I imagine he would have wanted to intervene,” his friend Franck Alberti told local paper La Dépêche du Midi.

    He was married with two daughters.

    Hervé Sosna

    Retired builder Hervé Sosna, 65, was at the butcher’s counter when Lakdim mounted his assault.

    The Trèbes resident “had a huge intellectual capacity” and was a capacious reader, especially of poetry, his half-brother told La Dépêche du Midi.

    “He never asked for anything, and he was killed, just like that.”

    Arnaud Beltrame

    The brave police officer has emerged as the human face of this attack, and his actions are being seen as a defiant response to the country’s would-be attackers – a reminder of the best of France, says BBC Paris correspondent Lucy Williamson.

    Although police managed to free hostages from the supermarket, Lakdim had held one woman back as a human shield, and Col Beltrame volunteered to swap himself for her.

    As he did so, he left his mobile phone on a table with an open line so that police outside could monitor the situation.

    When police heard gunshots, a tactical team stormed the supermarket. The gunman was killed and Col Beltrame, who was 44, was mortally wounded.

    He and his wife, Marielle, had been married in a civil ceremony but were planning a church wedding in June. The Catholic priest who was meant to officiate at the ceremony visited Col Beltrame in hospital, where Marielle was keeping vigil, before he died.

    World leaders, including UK PM Theresa May, have paid tribute to the officer, who was a highly-regarded member of the Gendarmerie Nationale and was described by President Macron on Saturday as someone who “fought until the end and never gave up”.

    “He gave his life for strangers. He must have known that he didn’t really have a chance. If that doesn’t make him a hero, I don’t know what would,” Col Beltrame’s brother, Cedric, told a French radio station on Saturday.

    Speaking to the BBC, Col Arnaud’s cousin Florence Nicolic described the officer as a person who was “so good at his job”.

    “Even though we were surprised and shocked when we heard what happened we were not surprised in the sense that that’s the thing he would do without hesitation,” Ms Nicolic said.

    Col Beltrame was deployed to Iraq in 2005 and was later awarded the Cross for Military Valour for his peacekeeping work. On his return to France, Col Beltrame joined the country’s Republican Guard and was tasked with protecting the presidential palace.

    In 2017, he was named deputy chief of the Gendarmerie Nationale in the French region of Aude.

Carles Puigdemont, former Catalan president, detained in Germany

Catalonia’s ex-leader Carles Puigdemont has been detained by German police acting on a European arrest warrant.

Mr Puigdemont, who is wanted in Spain for sedition and rebellion, was held crossing from Denmark on the way to Belgium, his lawyer said.

Mr Puigdemont had been on a visit to Finland since Thursday.

He has been living in self-imposed exile in Belgium since Catalonia’s parliament unilaterally declared independence from Spain in October.

The charges of rebellion and sedition that Mr Puigdemont faces in Spain could result in 30 years in prison.

He slipped out of Finland on Friday before authorities could arrest him.

  • The man who wants to break up Spain
  • Catalan crisis in 300 words

    “The president was going to Belgium to put himself, as always, at the disposal of Belgian justice,” his spokesman Joan Maria Pique said.

    German police said that Mr Puigdemont was detained by a highway patrol in the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein, which borders Denmark.

    Tensions in Catalonia are very high and its separatist leaders abandoned plans to name a new president following the arrest of the latest candidate, Jordi Turull, on Friday.

    Crowds of protesters had clashed with police in Barcelona on Friday night after Spain’s Supreme Court ruled 25 Catalan leaders should be tried for rebellion, embezzlement or disobeying the state. Mr Turull was among five people taken into custody in fresh arrests.

    The rulings were considered the most serious challenge to date to the Catalan independence movement. Almost the entire leadership now faces a major legal fight.

    Following the referendum, the central government in Madrid sacked the Catalan regional government, imposed direct rule and called new elections but pro-independence parties returned with a slim majority.

    International warrants for Mr Puigdemont and other Catalan leaders were withdrawn in December by a Spanish judge, who said they had shown a willingness to return to the country.

    The warrants were reactivated on Friday, surprising Mr Puigdemont, who had been in Finland to give a university lecture.

    Among those wanted is Catalonia’s former education minister, Clara Ponsati. She is in Scotland, where she has a position at the University of St Andrews.

    Who is Carles Puigdemont?

    Carles Puigdemont, 55, is a former journalist who worked for pro-independence media in Catalonia and headed the Catalan News Agency.

    After moving to politics, he became an MP and later mayor of Girona, north-east of Barcelona.

    In 2016, he became leader of Catalonia and led the region to the referendum the following year.

    During his self-imposed exile following the resulting crisis, Mr Puigdemont told Belgian TV he was not hiding from “real justice” but from the “clearly politicised” Spanish legal system.

    How we got here

    1 October 2017: The independence referendum takes place in Catalonia

    27 October: Catalonia’s leaders declare independence, which leads to the Spanish government imposing direct rule on the region and dissolving its parliament

    30 October: Charges of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds are brought against various sacked members of the Catalan government, including Mr Puigdemont

    2 November: Several former Catalan ministers are taken into custody in Spain

    3 November: European Arrest Warrants are issued against Mr Puigdemont and four of his allies, who have all fled to Belgium

    5 December: A Spanish judge withdraws the European arrest warrants but says the group still face possible charges for sedition and rebellion

    21 December: Carles Puigdemont is re-elected to parliament during Catalan’s regional elections – which Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy had called to “restore democracy”

    1 March 2018: Mr Puigdemont says he is stepping aside to allow detained activist Jordi Sanchez to run as Catalonia’s president

    21 March: Mr Sanchez drops his leadership bid and instead the candidacy is passed to Jordi Turull

    23 March: Mr Turull and various others are arrested in Spain, and the European arrest warrants are reactivated

David Davis has sick bucket on hand during BBC interview

When David Davis was being grilled on the Andrew Marr Show about negotiations with the EU, something else was spotted by sharp-eyed Sunday morning viewers.

On the floor beside the under-the-weather Brexit secretary was a strategically-placed bin, acting as a makeshift sick bucket.

Thankfully he managed to navigate the interview without resorting to it.

Introducing him, Marr said Mr Davis had “struggled here despite feeling most unwell this morning”.

“If the camera suddenly switches to you, the audience will know what’s happened,” Mr Davis replied.

The Sun’s Tom Newton Dunn, who was due to appear on the BBC’s Sunday Politics, offered more details, saying the Brexit secretary was suffering from “extreme food poisoning”.

Skip Twitter post by @tnewtondunn

Tales of extreme heroics from the #Marr and #bbcsp green room about @DavidDavisMP. Suffering from severe food poisoning, threw up before and after his interview, hence the sick bucket on set.

— Tom Newton Dunn (@tnewtondunn) March 25, 2018

Report

End of Twitter post by @tnewtondunn

And it certainly didn’t escape the attention of eagle-eyed viewers.

Skip Twitter post by @KateEMcCann

Is that … has someone placed a strategic sick bin behind DD on #Marr?! I know they just said he’d been unwell this morning but he looks green!

— Kate McCann (@KateEMcCann) March 25, 2018

Report

End of Twitter post by @KateEMcCann

Skip Twitter post by @PaulBrandITV

There is a large bucket and some tissues next to David Davis on Marr 🤔🤢 pic.twitter.com/bgG4mQpUXg

— Paul Brand (@PaulBrandITV) March 25, 2018

Report

End of Twitter post by @PaulBrandITV

Skip Twitter post by @Millar2Becky

Has David Davis' sick bucket got it's own Twitter account yet? #sickmanofeurope

— Becky Millar (@Millar2Becky) March 25, 2018

Report

End of Twitter post by @Millar2Becky

Skip Twitter post by @davidcdavies2

Good of the BBC to provide David Davis with a sick bin and tissue with him on #marr today

— David (@davidcdavies2) March 25, 2018

Report

End of Twitter post by @davidcdavies2

During the interview, Mr Davis said it was “incredibly probable” that the UK would reach a deal with the EU and compared contingency planning for a stalemate to having home insurance in case your house burns down.

Suffolk MP Daniel Poulter cleared in misconduct probe

The Suffolk MP Daniel Poulter has been cleared over allegations of inappropriate behaviour towards female colleagues.

Mr Poulter was referred to an internal disciplinary committee following claims made to the Sunday Times in November.

In a statement, the Conservative Party said a panel found there was “insufficient evidence to support the complaint made against him”.

Mr Poulter said he was “pleased”, but “entirely unsurprised” at the findings.

The MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich was placed under investigation after fellow Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen alleged that women had complained about being treated inappropriately by him.

Mr Poulter had been on sick leave but returned to the Commons in January to hear a bill reading.

He said: “I am pleased although entirely unsurprised that, after five months, I have finally been exonerated of any misconduct or inappropriate behaviour.

“I appreciate that the committee left no stone unturned in investigating these unsubstantiated complaints against me.”

He revealed legal action was under way against the Sunday newspaper.

‘Toll on health’

Mr Poulter added: “The allegations brought against me were false and scurrilous. I have no idea why a fellow Conservative MP should have irresponsibly sought publicity by attaching his name to these claims in a newspaper article.

“The past five months have been incredibly difficult for me and have at times taken a considerable toll on my health.

“Nevertheless, I have continued to represent the people of Central Suffolk and North Ipswich and I fully intend to continue doing so.”

A Conservative Party spokesman said: “A thorough and impartial investigation of a complaint took place and a panel chaired by an independent QC found there was insufficient evidence to support the complaint.”

The full findings of the panel will be published in the coming days.

Tom Watson apologises over ‘anti-Semitic’ mural row

Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson says Jeremy Corbyn was right to express regret for sending an apparently supportive message to the creator of an allegedly anti-Semitic mural.

Jeremy Corbyn faced criticism over his initial response to a Facebook post by street artist Mear One in 2012.

He later called the mural “deeply disturbing” and backed its removal.

Mr Watson also apologised personally for any hurt that had been caused by his leader’s comments.

  • Corbyn ‘regret’ over anti-Semitic mural row

    What caused the row?

    In October 2012, Mear One posted a picture of his mural in east London called “Freedom of Humanity” on Facebook, with the words: “Tomorrow they want to buff my mural. Freedom of expression. London calling. Public Art.”

    Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Mr Watson was shown the mural and asked for his reaction to it.

    “My reaction is that is a horrible anti-Semitic mural that was rightly taken down,” he said.

    But he defended his leader – who said he regretted he “did not look more closely at the image” before commenting online – adding: “You are showing it to me on a 32-inch screen on national television and I have seen it about 100 times on social media.

    “It’s very different from seeing it on Facebook when you are on the move.”

    ‘Expressed regret’

    Mr Watson said Mr Corbyn had made his comment in regards to freedom of expression, but apologised for any offence caused.

    “I am very, very sorry that people feel hurt by this and that is why I think it is right that Jeremy has expressed regret for it,” said Mr Watson.

    The deputy leader added that it was time Labour said “enough is enough” and they would “work harder to stamp out anti-Semitism” in the party.

    Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer said the mural was “grotesque and disgusting” but Mr Corbyn had given his explanation for his online comment.

    He told ITV’s Peston on Sunday: “The most important thing here is that the Labour Party keeps on saying that anti-semitism has no place in our party, in our communities, or in our society.

    “We’ve got to have zero tolerance, and zero tolerance has got to be more than two words. It’s got to dictate everything the Labour Party does in relation to anti-Semitism.”

    Shadow transport secretary Andy McDonald told Sky News that Mr Corbyn “hasn’t got an anti-Semitic bone in his body” and that the row had “misinterpreted the intentions of a really good and decent man”.

    But Ms Berger called Mr Corbyn’s response “wholly inadequate”.

    She tweeted: “It fails to understand on any level the hurt and anguish felt about Anti-Semitism.

    “I will be raising this further.”

    Skip Twitter post by @LucyMPowell

    People have no idea the level and nature of the anti-Semitic abuse that @lucianaberger and others receive. We owe it to her and others to be really clear about how unacceptable it is.

    — Lucy Powell MP (@LucyMPowell) March 23, 2018

    Report

    End of Twitter post by @LucyMPowell

    On Friday, Labour MP Angela Smith joined other members in supporting Ms Berger and sent a statement to the Leader’s Office, calling for Mr Corbyn to appear before MPs to explain himself.

    It read: “It is horrifying that anyone in our party – never mind the leader – should be able to condone anti-Semitism without facing consequences. And rather than facing up, Jeremy Corbyn has chosen to dissemble to defend himself.

    “It is simply not credible to suggest that a man with his knowledge of foreign affairs did not recognise those images for what they were.

    “Many of us would call for a formal disciplinary process, but the sad truth is that our party has been so badly undermined that no one would believe it would be meaningful.”

    Skip Twitter post by @YvetteCooperMP

    Strongly agree with @LucianaBerger – am really troubled by the mural, the comments & the way this was handled today. @lisanandy is right – fighting antisemitism is strong part of our tradition & values, and Labour must be better than this https://t.co/INmnUk0K0P

    — Yvette Cooper (@YvetteCooperMP) March 23, 2018

    Report

    End of Twitter post by @YvetteCooperMP

David Davis says a deal with EU is ‘incredibly probable’

It is “incredibly probable” that the UK will reach a final deal with the EU, the Brexit secretary says.

David Davis defended planning for a stalemate, saying it was like having home insurance when “you don’t expect your house to burn down”.

He also hit back at Tory Eurosceptic concerns about what has been agreed so far.

Last week prominent backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg accused the government of giving away “almost everything”.

  • Owen Smith ‘stood by principles’ on Brexit
  • EU agrees guidelines ‘in seconds’
  • Protesters throw fish in Thames in Brexit protest

    But speaking on BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show, Mr Davis said the UK had succeeded in getting a transition deal for the period after March 2019 and moving talks onto trade, adding: “So I don’t think Jacob’s got a point.”

    He insisted a solution could be found to avoid introducing physical border checks on the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, saying a “whole lot of technology” was available to achieve this.

    And challenged on the EU’s controversial “backstop” proposal of Northern Ireland effectively remaining in the customs union, he said the “overwhelmingly likely option” was a free trade and customs agreement which would make finding a solution to the border question “much, much easier”.

    Mr Davis said the progress made in talks with Brussels meant it was now “incredibly probable, very, very highly probable” that there would be a final deal.

    But he said “you can never stop making arrangements” for a potential no-deal scenario, “because that’s one of the things that guarantees the deal”.

    “You don’t expect your house to burn down, it’s less than a one in 100,000 chance, but you have house insurance anyway,” he said.

    ‘Under our control’

    Mr Davis predicted the deal would be nothing like the current arrangements between the EU and Norway. Theresa May has already ruled out this model, which gives Norway access to the single market while accepting EU laws and free movement and making annual financial commitments to Brussels.

    “This will not really look like any other deal as it stands at the moment,” Mr Davis said, predicting “the most comprehensive trade deal ever”.

    He also sought to reassure worries about fishing rights, saying that after the end of the transition period in 2021: “We will negotiate with our surrounding states so that we have access to their waters and theirs to ours, and markets and so on, but it will be under our control.”

    Mr Rees-Mogg, meanwhile, is urging the UK to be prepared to walk out on talks and warning that rowing back on Brexit would be “the most almighty smash to the national psyche” akin to the Suez crisis, when Britain and France attempted to regain control of the Suez Canal from Egypt in 1956.

    “It would be an admission of abject failure, a view of our politicians, of our leaders, of our establishment that we were not fit, that we were too craven, that we were too weak to be able to govern ourselves and that therefore we had to go crawling back to the mighty bastion of power that is Brussels,” he will say in a speech on Tuesday.

    “As with the disaster of Suez it would end up being a national humiliation based on lies.”

Girl seriously hurt after car drives into group of children in Glasgow

A teenage girl was seriously hurt when a car was driven deliberately into a group of children in Glasgow.

The children, aged between 12 and 14, were standing on the pavement near shops in Castlemilk at about 15:30 on Saturday afternoon.

A man drove his silver Vauxhall Astra at the group, hitting five of the children before driving off.

A 14-year-old girl is in a serious but stable condition. Police are treating the incident as attempted murder.

Four of the others – two girls aged 12 and 14 and two boys aged 12 and 13, – were treated for minor injuries either at the scene, or at local hospitals and have since been released.

The incident happened at Stravanan Road and the man drove off towards Birgidale Road. There was a passenger, another man, in the car at the time.

There was no suggestion that the incident was terrorism-related.

Det Insp Peter Sharp said: “This vehicle was deliberately driven at this group of children and as such we are treating this incident at attempted murder.

“Extensive police inquiries are continuing to trace the man driving the car, his male passenger and also the vehicle involved. Officers are following a number of lines of enquiry.

“At this time I would appeal to any witnesses to this incident, or anyone with information that may assist this investigation, including anyone who may have details of the silver coloured Vauxhall Astra involved to contact police as a matter of urgency.”

Extra police patrols will be made in the area to reassure the local community.

‘Beast of Wombwell’ Peter Pickering found dead

A convicted child killer dubbed the “Beast of Wombwell” has died in a psychiatric hospital.

Peter Pickering, 80, stabbed and strangled 14-year-old Shirley Boldy in Wombwell, near Barnsley, in 1972 and was suspected of murdering Wakefield schoolgirl Elsie Frost in 1965.

On Tuesday he was convicted of raping a woman weeks before he killed Shirley and was waiting to be sentenced.

He had been detained under a hospital order since admitting killing Shirley.

West Yorkshire Police said Pickering died on Saturday night after falling ill in a secure psychiatric accommodation in Berkshire and his death was not being treated as suspicious.

Det Sup Nick Wallen said: “We can now formally confirm that Peter Pickering was the man we arrested and interviewed over the last two years as part of the renewed investigation into the murder of 14-year-old schoolgirl Elsie Frost in Wakefield in 1965.

“We strongly suspected that Peter Pickering was responsible for her murder. We had been liaising with the Crown Prosecution Service and it was our expectation that Pickering would be charged in due course.

“His unexpected death clearly means that will no longer happen.”

Detectives said the rape Pickering was convicted of this week only came to light while they were investigating the murder of Elsie, who was stabbed in the back and head while walking through a railway tunnel, just off a canal towpath.

The woman he raped, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told his trial she did not think she would have been believed if she had reported the attack in the 1970s.

She was then persuaded by police to co-operate in 2016.

‘A monster’

During the rape trial, Leeds Crown Court heard Pickering had lured his victim into his van before driving to a secluded spot in 1972.

He then subjected her to an ordeal that involved handcuffing her and burning her breasts with cigarettes.

The woman told the jury: “I remain of the fervent belief that whether he has a mental illness or not, the man is a monster and wherever he is now that’s the right place for him to be.”

Weeks after the rape, he abducted, raped, strangled and stabbed 14-year-old Shirley Boldy to death on her way home from school in Wombwell.

He later admitted manslaughter by diminished responsibility the same year and has been in secure psychiatric hospitals, including Broadmoor.

Most recently he had been detained at Thornford Park Hospital in Berkshire.

In 1965 a major murder inquiry was launched in 1965 after Elsie’s body was found at the bottom of a flight of steps by a dog walker.

In 2015 police launched a fresh appeal to find her killer.

It coincided with the BBC Radio 4 podcast series Who Killed Elsie Frost? which followed her brother Colin Frost and sister Anne Cleave as they sought justice for the schoolgirl.

Large fire breaks out at Rochdale mill

Firefighters have been tackling a large fire at a derelict mill, which has partially collapsed due to the blaze.

Twelve properties were evacuated when Proofings Mill in Littleborough, Rochdale, caught fire, said Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue (GMFRS).

Crews were called to the mill in Hare Hill Road at 16:30 GMT on Saturday and spent all night tackling the flames, which are not fully extinguished.

David Roach from GMFRS said crews were “struggling to reach” pockets of fire.

“Due to the instability of the building, we are unable to enter and are fighting the fire from outside of the mill,” he said.

He advised people to avoid the area and keep windows and doors shut because “the incident is still ongoing” and “there is still light smoke coming from the fire”.

Residents have now been let back into their homes.

Crews are likely to be at the scene for most of the day.