UK news

The Cranberries lead singer Dolores O'Riordan has died suddenly at the age of 46, her publicist has confirmed.

The Irish musician, originally from Limerick, led the band to international success in the 90s with singles including Linger and Zombie.

A statement from her publicist said: "The lead singer with the Irish band The Cranberries was in London for a short recording session.

"No further details are available at this time."

A Metropolitan Police spokesperson said the police were called to a hotel in Park Lane at 09:05 GMT on Monday, where "a woman in her mid-40s" was pronounced dead at the scene.

The death is, at this stage, unexplained.

Her current band mates in The Cranberries - Noel Hogan, Fergal Lawler, and Mike Hogan - paid tribute to the lead singer on social media.

The message said: "She was an extraordinary talent and we feel very privileged to been part of her life from 1989."

Her publicist added: "Family members are devastated to hear the news and have requested privacy at this very difficult time."

The Cranberries shot to international fame with their 1993 debut album Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We? and went on to sell over 40 million records worldwide.

In 2017 The Cranberries announced a tour including dates in Europe, the UK, and the US.

However, in May - shortly into the European tour - the group had to cancel the remainder of the European dates as a result of O'Riordan's health issues.

The official Cranberries website cited "medical reasons associated with a back problem" preventing singer Dolores O'Riordan from performing.

But just before Christmas O'Riordan had posted on Facebook saying she was "feeling good" and had done her "first bit of gigging in months", leading fans to believe she would soon be performing again.

O'Riordan tweeted a picture of herself with her cat to fans in early January saying she was "off to Ireland".

O'Riordan split from her husband of 20 years, Don Burton in 2014. She and Burton, who is the former tour manager of Duran Duran, have three children together.

The singer was arrested over an alleged air rage incident in 2014 but was released without charge, after a stewardess was reportedly attacked on a flight from New York to Shannon, County Clare.

O'Riordan was taken to hospital in Limerick after being questioned by police and later discharged.

Two years later, O'Riordan was ordered to pay 6,000 euros (£5,300) to charity for headbutting a police officer after an alleged air rage incident.

She was later diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2015, which she said explained why she was in a "manic" state on the plane.

In an interview in 2013 she said that she had been abused as a child, which led to her developing an eating disorder, and eventually she suffered a breakdown.

She described her family, especially her children, as her "salvation".

Irish president Michael D Higgins called her death "a big loss", and added O'Riordan's work with The Cranberries "had an immense influence on rock and pop music in Ireland and internationally".

Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar said she was probably "Limerick's greatest ever rock star", and that her band "captured all of the angst that came with your teenage years".

'Unforgettable voice'
The Kinks guitarist and singer Dave Davies paid tribute to O'Riordan, saying he was "shocked" and that he had seen her "a couple weeks before Christmas".

He added "she seemed happy and well".

Irish rock band Kodaline were among the first to pay tribute on social media.

Duran Duran's official Twitter feed posted a message saying the band was "crushed" to hear of the singer's death.

Others to pay tribute include The Late, Late Show presenter, James Corden, who said meeting her when he was 15 years old "made his day".

Jim Corr from Irish band The Corrs tweeted offering his "deepest sympathies" to O'Riordan's family.

A book of condolence will be opened in her home town of Limerick on Tuesday, at the city council's headquarters.

O'Riordan, the youngest of seven children, had written her own songs since she was 12.

She joined the band while still in her teens, after spotting an advert for a female singer for rock band The Cranberry Saw Us.

Later changed to The Cranberries, the band's most successful tracks include Linger (1993), Zombie (1994) - a protest song about bombings that took place in relation to the conflict in Northern Ireland - as well as No Need To Argue (1994) and To the Faithful Departed (1996).

O'Riordan briefly pursued a solo career after the band split in 2003, before The Cranberries reunited in 2009.

Toddler Poppi Worthington was sexually assaulted by her father before she died, a coroner has ruled, finding her death was caused by asphyxia.

Coroner David Roberts said Paul Worthington assaulted his daughter in his bed, laid a cover over her and went to sleep.

He said she died because her ability to breathe was compromised as a result of "an unsafe sleeping environment."

Mr Roberts said her father's account of events did not "stand up to scrutiny".

During the three-week inquest at Kendal Coroner's Court, Poppi's father declined to answer 252 questions relating to the circumstances surrounding her death on 12 December 2012.

However, Mr Worthington did tell the hearing he had gone to get Poppi a fresh nappy and a few minutes later he reached over and found her limp.

He said he rushed downstairs and Poppi's mother, who was asleep there, called an ambulance.

The 13-month-old was pronounced dead at Furness General Hospital shortly after.

Having heard contradictory evidence from expert medical witnesses, Mr Roberts said he believed Mr Worthington sexually assaulted Poppi, probably with a finger, and the assault stopped when the youngster cried out in pain.

He said a conclusion of unlawful killing was not available to him as he was not satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Poppi died from an act of murder or manslaughter.

He said: "Although I have found, on the balance of probabilities, that Poppi was anally penetrated prior to her death, I have also found that she did not die in the course of or immediately following the penetration and the penetration did not cause her death."

Mr Roberts added Poppi was suffering from an upper respiratory tract infection which, along with being placed in her father's bed, compromised her ability to breathe.

A "short-form accidental death" verdict was also considered but ruled out as inappropriate as he did not conclude the death had resulted from an "unintended act or omission or is the unintended consequence of a deliberate act or omission".

Lawyers acting for Mr Worthington, 50, said he was "considering his options".

In January 2016 - as part of family court proceedings - a judge revealed in his findings that Mr Worthington "probably" sexually assaulted his daughter shortly before her death.

Mr Worthington has denied any wrongdoing and has not been charged with any offence, with the Crown Prosecution Service saying there is insufficient evidence.

During the inquest Mr Worthington declined to answer more than 250 questions, citing his right under rule 22 of the Coroners and Justice Act not to incriminate himself.

His sister, Tracey Worthington, said she "didn't blame" him for refusing to answer.

She said: "He's gone through all this process over the last four years, five years. And everything that's been dumped on him. No, go with the solicitor's advice.

"I don't have to be convinced he's done nothing. I know."

In a statement read by her solicitors, Poppi's mother, who cannot be named for legal reasons, described the five years since the youngster's death as a "complete nightmare".

She added she was "disappointed" Mr Worthington refused to give evidence and "considers he should have given the coroner the crucial evidence on Poppi's last few hours".

The inquest was told an investigation by Cumbria Police was so botched vital evidence was lost and Jerry Graham, Chief Constable of the force, apologised for "deficiencies" in its handling of the case.

He said: "It is clear the initial investigation into Poppi's death launched in 2012 has done little to assist the coroner in coming to a conclusion on how Poppi died. I greatly regret this."

Mr Graham said he would speak to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to "determine possible courses of action".

However, a CPS spokesman said there were "no plans" to review charging decisions in relation to the case but "we would of course consider any referral from the coroner".

Calling on the Home Secretary to launch a public inquiry, Labour MP for Barrow John Woodcock, said: "That little girl will probably never get justice because of grotesque failings into the police investigation into her death.

"But we owe it to her to campaign for a public inquiry that can expose all that is rotten in the system that has led us to this terrible day."

Lead detective on the inquiry Det Insp Amanda Sadler was subjected to a disciplinary hearing last year where gross incompetency was proven and she was demoted in rank.

She has since retired along with her boss, former Det Ch Insp Mike Forrester. No further action was taken against either.

In 2015, the Independent Police Complaints Commission concluded both Mrs Sadler and Mr Forrester had cases to answer for gross misconduct.

The inquest was the second hearing into Poppi's death.

The first, in 2014 with a different coroner, lasted less than eight minutes and concluded the cause of her death was "unascertained".



Cabinet ministers have concluded a crisis meeting about keeping vital public services going after the collapse of contractor Carillion.

The construction giant, which provides services for schools, prisons and hospitals, has gone into liquidation.

Cabinet Office minister David Lidington said the two-hour Cobra committee talks enabled ministers to air any concerns.

Meanwhile, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn attacked government policies and called Carillion a "watershed moment".

In a video released on social media, he said: "In the wake of the collapse of the contractor Carillion, it is time to put an end to the rip-off privatisation policies that have done serious damage to our public services and fleeced the public of billions of pounds."

Carillion ran into trouble after losing money on big public sector contracts and running up huge debts of around £1.5bn.

The government is stepping in to pay employees and small businesses working on Carillion's public contracts and assess the distribution of contracts among other companies.

After the Cobra meeting, Mr Lidington said that day one had gone "pretty well" as "people were turning up to work [and] we have not had any reports of serious interruption to service delivery."

He said that accountancy firm PWC, which will help sell off Carillion's assets, took ministers through the advice it is giving to employees and contractors at the meeting.

It was also an "opportunity for ministers to test what sort of concerns are being expressed and decide how we should best address them and provide the reassurance that people want", Mr Lidington added.


"The action we have taken is designed to keep vital public services running rather than to provide a bailout on the failure of a commercial company," Mr Lidington told parliament.

Carillion, the UK's second biggest construction firm, was also involved in major projects such as the HS2 high-speed rail line.

The firm has 450 government contracts, including maintenance for prisons and hospitals, as well as dinners and cleaning for hundreds of schools.

It is also the second biggest supplier of maintenance services to Network Rail, and it maintains 50,000 homes for the Ministry of Defence.

The government has disclosed that it awarded eight contracts to the company after it issued profit warnings - six of which were joint ventures with other firms.

In his video message, Mr Corbyn linked the crisis to the outsourcing of public services to private companies.

"Across the public sector, the outsource-first dogma has wreaked havoc," the Labour leader said.

"Often it is the same companies that have gone from service to service, creaming off profits and failing to deliver the quality of service our people deserve."

Carillion has 43,000 staff worldwide, including 20,000 in the UK.

There are also thousands of small firms that carry out work on Carillion's behalf - many of those have contacted the BBC with concerns about whether they will be paid.

One company, which provided services for Carillion's prisons contract, told the BBC that it might fail if it is not paid the £80,000 owed to it.

A worker on the new Midland Metropolitan Hospital building, who wanted to only be identified as Philip, told the BBC: "Everyone on the site got told: 'That's it, go home.' My company said, 'You've been laid off.'

"They've literally locked the gate. They've told us we can get our personal tools off the site if they're small, but that's it."



What happens next depends on the actions of a court-appointed official receiver. With the help of a team of experts from accountants PwC, the receiver will review Carillion's business - a process which could take months.

The government could take some public services in-house, while other firms may take on some of Carillion's other contracts.

Pension impact
Thousands of current and former staff have money in Carillion pension funds, which have a total deficit of almost £600m.

Those funds will now be managed by the Pension Protection Fund (PPF).

The PPF said: "We want to reassure members of Carillion's defined benefit pension schemes that their benefits are protected by the PPF."

Carillion might not be a household name, but over the years it has absorbed better-known businesses, including Mowlem and Alfred McAlpine.

It also has a big international business, including a huge construction project in Qatar related to the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

In addition it is a big supplier of construction services to the Canadian government.

Its biggest problems were cost overruns on three UK public sector construction projects:

The £350m Midland Metropolitan Hospital in Sandwell: opening delayed to 2019 due to construction problems
The £335m Royal Liverpool Hospital: completion date repeatedly pushed back amid reports of cracks in the building
The £745m Aberdeen bypass: delayed because of slow progress in completing initial earthworks
Bernard Jenkin, the Conservative chairman of the House of Commons Public Administration Committee, said Carillion's collapse "really shakes public confidence in the ability of the private sector to deliver public services and infrastructure".

His committee is launching an inquiry into government outsourcing following the demise of Carillion.

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