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Issue:- 13 March 2014

Local MEPs clash - Nuttall branded "chicken"

LOCAL UKIP MEP Paul Nuttall has been called:- "chicken" after he refused a challenge from his Liberal Democrat opponent to take part in a series of election debates this spring.  The gauntlet was thrown down by MEP Chris Davies, who called for the head to head exchanges between politicians whose views on Europe were diametrically opposed.  He said the contests could inject more interest into the campaign for the European Parliament elections on 22 May 2014, and he urged local business and voluntary groups to take a lead in organising the events.  Nuttall has now formally declined, saying that his schedule "is already packed" but that he would debate with Davies and other candidates at hustings.  The Liberal Democrats have questioned how packed Nuttall's schedule can be given that he has an attendance rate of only 44.53% at the European Parliament compared to 85.29% for Davies.  His response has drawn scorn from the Liberal Democrat MEP, who said that hustings were no replacement for head to head debates in the North West similar to the national 'Nick versus Nigel' debates scheduled to be held between Nigel Farage and Nick Clegg. The national debates will be held on 26 March on LBC Radio and 2 April on BBC2.  Davies said:- "I am disappointed but not surprised that Paul Nuttall has declined my challenge. He gets away too often with talking nonsense about the EU and I am one of the few people able to expose him.  UKIP's policies present a threat to jobs in the North West of England, and will lose Britain influence in the world. They will damage our economy and leave us weak.  The contrast between the views of Liberal Democrats and UKIP could scarcely be greater and people in the region we both represent should have the chance to hear Paul Nuttall and I go head to head. Instead the UKIP man has turned chicken."

Town Hall to welcome Rwandan Torch

LIVERPOOL will welcome the Rwandan torch this week as it tours the nation to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 1994 genocide.   The Kwibuka flame will be received on Friday, 14 March 2014, ahead of the annual commemoration service which will take place at the Town Hall on Wednesday, 24 April 2014 .

Liverpool's Lord Mayor, Councillor Gary Millar said:- "I am honoured to be welcoming the Kwibuka Flame to the City of Liverpool.  This is an opportunity to honour all of those who have suffered at the hands of extremists and ensure that their memories live on.  It is vitally important that we never forget the 1 million people who died in just 100 days and the impact that had on their families and the great nation of Rwanda. We must also never forget all victims of genocide and other atrocities elsewhere in the world. I believe it is our collective responsibility to educate both the young and older to ensure that such hateful crimes do not take place in the future."

Local MP for West Derby Stephen Twigg, said:- "Remembering honours and dignifies the memory those innocent lives lost in the genocide. We are honoured to be involved in the 20th anniversary commemorations of this significant date in history, I hope this serves as a reminder that such injustice will not be tolerated or forgotten."

The "Kwibuka Flame" of remembrance was lit in January in Kigali before beginning a countrywide lap of honour in the run-up to 7 April 2014, the beginning of the national mourning period. The event to light the flame marked the beginning of preparations for the 20th commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

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