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The Nifty 250: news of the day in so many words

<b>Friday Feb 5:</b> Berger my arse, says Ricky Tomlinson; no change in tunnel tolls, Mps to pay back money and more

Published on February 5th 2010.

The Nifty 250: news of the day in so many words

MERSEY TUNNEL TOLLS FREEZED FOR A YEAR, keeping the rate at £1.40 until at least April, 2011. Despite a bid by three Conservative councillors to reduce the toll further, it was outvoted by Labour and Lib Dems. Under the Tunnel Act, Merserytravel could have increased tolls to £1.60 for cars to keep in line with inflation, but members voted to freeze them at the current levels.

A ROYLE FAMILY STAR IS READY TO STAND AS WAVERTREE MP after he was “incensed” by the selection of Londoner Luciana Berger, 28, by Labour to contest the seat.

Ricky Tomlinson is considering standing for the Arthur Scargill-led Socialist Labour Party, of which he is a member. Calling Parliament “abhorrent” after the expenses scandal, the actor said if he does stand, his campaign slogan might be, “Berger? My arse.” Apparently.

REGION’S MPS TOLD TO PAY BACK £45,000 that was wrongly claimed. Sir Thomas Legg’s long-awaited audit ordered 16 MPs in Merseyside, Cheshire and West Lancashire to refund the taxpayer, with the biggest bill of £12,639.28 owed by Weaver Vale’s Mike Hall. Sir Legg’s report condemned the "culture of deference" in the Commons fees office that meant officials failed to challenge claims under the £24,000-a-year “second home” allowance.

DUKE STREET’S DERELICT HOUSES ARE ALLEGEDLY TO BE CONVERTED INTO A HOTEL AND TWO HOMES after Liverpool Council approved the plans. Duke Street Developments, which is behind the 100-bedroom hotel, which backs onto Parr Street, said it was hoping to start work on the Rope Walks area as soon as possible.

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