I am unable to delete empty layouts - when I choose delete, nothing happens, also when I duplicate a layout and try to save it the screen goes blank without saving anything and afterward I can't delete it to start again.
Sounds like the file is damaged. See what happens if you perform a recover on the file.
Best practice is not to use a recovered file, but to replace it with an undamaged back up copy if you possibly can. You may need to import the data from your recovered copy into a clone of your back up file.