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  1. Updates on Monday 27 June 2016

Live Reporting

By Ana Guerra-Moore

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage throughout the day

Ana Guerra-Moore

BBC News Online

Thank you for joining us today. We'll be back tomorrow at 08:00 with more news, sport, weather and travel updates.

In the meantime, if you'd like to get in touch you can do so via FacebookTwitter or email

On tonight's Look North: Motorists facing disruption because of A1 sinkhole

Tens of thousands of motorists in the North East using the A1 have been warned to expect further major delays - or to avoid the road where possible - after a giant hole appeared on the northbound carriageway.

The sinkhole opened up between Lobley Hill and Coal House on Saturday night. Engineers have spent the past two days working to make the road safe again for traffic.

We'll have the latest on Look North on BBC One at 19:30. 

View more on twitter

Weather: Mostly dry but chilly in rural areas

BBC Weather

Any showers will soon die out this evening, then it should be a dry night across the region with some good clear spells developing. Feeling chilly in some rural parts by dawn.  

Weather graph

'Lethal highs' seized in Newcastle

Police have seized a number of  what they call 'lethal highs' during an operation in Newcastle.

Officers carried out search warrants at addresses in Gosforth and Byker on 23 and 24 June, as part of an operation aimed at identifying people involved in the dealing of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS).

During the search of the Gosforth address officers found and seized 156 packages containing substances labelled as NPS. 

During the Byker property search officers seized 27 individual deals of NPS. A large amount of cash suspected to be linked to the selling of NPS was also seized.

Legal Highs became illegal in the UK in May 2016.

A 49-year-old woman, a 40-year-old man and a 23-year-old man were arrested and  bailed pending further enquiries.

Legal Highs
Northumbria Police

4x4 used in attempted cashpoint robbery in Durham

A stolen 4x4 was used to try and steal a cash machine at the Arnison Centre in Durham in the early hours of this morning, police said.

Two male suspects, described as wearing balaclavas and having local accents, were driving a burgundy Landrover Defender with a white roof when they attempted to steal the ATM.  

Police believe the Landrover, which had been stolen the previous night, was reversed several times into the front of the building in an attempt to steal a cashpoint located inside however the tow bar came off the vehicle and was left at the scene.  

The vehicle was found abandoned in woods near Nettlesworth.

Robbery scene
Durham Police

Travel: Accident on A690 in Durham

BBC Travel

The A690 Leazes Road in Durham is blocked and there is queuing traffic outbound between Leazes Bowl Roundabout and Gilesgate Roundabout, because of an accident.

More traffic information on the BBC Travel website for Tyne & Wear and Teesside.

Watchdog to investigate after man was bitten by Cleveland Police dog

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has begun an investigation after a man was injured by a Cleveland Police dog.

It happened on the evening of 6 June as a policeman was exercising two police dogs in a field near to Ormesby Stables in Eston.

A 28-year-old man was bitten by one of the dogs, a German shepherd, and suffered puncture wounds. The PC was also injured by the dog during the incident. Both required hospital treatment.

IPCC Commissioner Carl Gumsley said: “The independent investigation, which is now under way, is looking at the circumstances of the incident.”

Children from County Durham will travel to France for the Somme centenary

One hundred children from County Durham schools will travel to France for the UK's national commemorations of the centenary of the Battle of the Somme on 1 July.

The 600 pupils will take part in a special commemorative service alongside members of the Royal Family, veterans, military and community representatives and officials from governments around the world.

The five schools taking part are in Bishop Auckland, Chester-le-Street, Consett, Newton Aycliffe and Wolsingham.

Wolsingham School pupils
Durham County Council

A1 Sinkhole: Motorists warned to expect delays in afternoon rush hour

As rush hour approaches, Northumbria Police have tweeted to update commuters about the situation on the A1 after a sinkhole appeared on the nortbound carriageway in Gatejhead over the weekend.

View more on twitter

Fight 'did contribute' to Benji Bolsenbroek death

A coroner has ruled that a fight did contribute to the death of a Middlesbrough man who was out celebrating his son's birth. 

Benji Bolsenbroek, 23, died in hospital after a disturbance at the Park Hotel in October 2013. 

Forensic examinations concluded his death was not linked to the trouble, and no-one was charged in connection with the death, although seven people were later jailed for violent disorder. 

Benji Bolsenbroek
Cleveland Police

An inquest is being held, and coroner Karen Welsh has told it he died as a result of the disorder, combined with the cocaine and alcohol in his system.  

Stadium of Light: A look back

Ana Guerra-Moore

BBC News Online

Only one day to go until Beyonce finally brings her Formation tour to Sunderland. Personally, I can hardly control my excitement.

But Bey isn't the first to perform at the Stadium of Light.

Do you remember when Oasis performed in 2009, with Kasabian as their support act?

Or maybe you were one of the 50,000 people who went to see Take That and Robbie William's reunion tour in 2011.

I was there when Red Hot Chili Peppers performed in 2012, something that is making me even more excited for tomorrow, as the atmosphere was absolutely incredible - different from any other venue I've ever been to. 

What are you memories of the SoL? Tell us on Twitter.

Artists performing at the Stadium of Light
Sunderland Football Club

Tour de Yorkshire boosts economy by £60 million

The Tour de Yorkshire 2016 boosted the economy by nearly £60m, independent research suggests.

The race weekend, from 29 April to 1 May, saw more than two million spectators line the route, and spend 20% more than last year – smashing targets.

The race was televised in 178 countries and watched by 11.4 million global TV viewers - which is double the amount in 2015.    

Stage three of the tour saw cyclists sprint through North East towns and villages such as Middlesbrough, Great Ayton and Stokesley.

Cyclists taking part in the tour
Getty Images

Appeal over missing Stockton woman

Police are appealing to trace missing 54 year old Gillian Sandra Bailey.

She was last seen at an address on Battersby Green in Carlton, Stockton, on Friday afternoon.

She is described as 5ft 11ins, of very slim build and with grey collar length hair.

Gillian Bailey
Cleveland Police

Durham University could discover origins of black holes

Scientists believe they have found a way of discovering the origins of super massive black holes formed about 13 billion years ago. 

Durham University's Institute for Computational Cosmology have been running huge simulations of the universe that can be used to predict how these black holes were first formed. 

Jaime Salcido, PhD student in Durham University's Institute for Computational Cosmology, said:  "Discovering how they came to be where they are is one of the unsolved problems of cosmology and astronomy... Our research has shown how space based detectors will provide new insights into the nature of supermassive black holes." 

Man suffers serious head injury after assault

A man was assaulted and left with serious injuries after asking a group of youths to be quiet.

It is believed the victim, a 44-year-old man, had left his home to approach the youths about ongoing noise when he was attacked by one or more of the group in Dalton Way, Newton Aycliffe (pictured) late on Saturday night.

The suspects, who are described as teenage boys and girls, left the area on foot following the incident.

The victim was taken to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough with a serious head injury. His condition is now described as stable.

Police are appealing for witnesses.

Dalton Way in Newton Aycliffe

'Vectra Distroyer' cleaver seized by Darlington police

A cleaver inscribed with the words 'Vectra Distroyer' has been seized by police from the back seat of a car.

Special constables in Darlington discovered the weapon among workmen's tools in an insecure vehicle, Durham Police said.

It was stopped while being driven in the Grange Road area and was also uninsured, a force spokeswoman said.

The cleaver

Your pictures: Storm clouds over County Durham

Tracey Laing's stunning image of storm clouds over Medomsley in County Durham has been chosen as Engand's big picture today.

She took the photo on her way home from work on 24 June.

Storm clouds over Medomsley
Tracey Laing

Trapped calf rescued from water drainage tunnel

Stockton North MP posts resignation letter

Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham resigned from his position as shadow minister for the Natural Environment earlier this morning.

He has since posted a copy of the resignation letter he sent to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn on Twitter:

View more on twitter

Man left with broken leg following assault

A man suffered a broken leg after being assaulted outside The Red Lion Pub in Middlesbrough.

It is believed the suspect was being threatening towards the victim inside the pub and stole his reading glasses before running outside late on Saturday night.

Once the victim, 58, was outside he was attacked leaving his leg broken in three places and his lip swollen and cut.

Police are appealing for witnesses.

Middlesbrough MP stands up for Jeremy Corbyn

Freshly minted shadow transport secretary and Middlesbrough MP Andy McDonald says it's "disappointing" that some colleagues "feel they can no longer play a part" in Labour's shadow cabinet.

He says some MPs who were never fans of Jeremy Corbyn "seized" on the opportunity of the referendum to attempt to get rid of him.

"We've got an awful lot of work to do. We've got to connect with our people," he goes on, but feels Mr Corbyn "has the proper responses" to the feeling of discontent felt by many in Labour's heartlands.

Mr McDonald adds: "Absolutely he should stay. He has a mandate to stay... it's the members who overwhelmingly embraced Jeremy's narrative and some of my colleagues need to recognise that."

You can follow dedicated updates on Brexit and the Corbyn crisis here.

Andy McDonald

Analysis: How North East MPs are faring after the EU Referendum result

Fergus Hewison

BBC Newcastle political reporter


Other appointments may follow from loyalists, including here in the North East. 

However, it also looks like others may depart, among them City of Durham MP Roberta Blackman-Woods who has now announced her resignation from the frontbench having warned earlier she would do so if Mr Corbyn did not - and Darlington MP Jennry Chapman as shadow education minister - joining the ranks of those deserting the Labour leader. 

All that said, removing Mr Corbyn under the current leadership rules may be almost impossible. Whatever the parliamentary party says, as he and his supporters point out, his mandate comes from rank and file members who backed him as leader last year. 

But his critics still appear determined to force the issue - so expect a bruising few days as Labour's internal battles intensify.

Roberta Blackman-Woods

Analysis: How North East MPs are faring after the EU Referendum result

Fergus Hewison

BBC Newcastle political reporter

The charge: Jeremy Corbyn didn't pull his weight during the referendum campaign, failing to persuade many Labour voters in places like Sunderland and Hartlepool that they should follow the party line and vote to stay in the EU. 

That's a charge he rejects - though many Leave voters who might have backed Labour in the past do feel it has deserted them on issues like immigration. 

Whatever the case, it seems some MPs in our region might profit from the mass resignations from the shadow cabinet. 

Mr Corbyn is reinforcing his position by promoting those who have stood by him, including North West Durham MP Pat Glass (pictured). That's controversial because during the referendum campaign, as the party's Europe spokeswoman, she branded one voter a "horrible racist". She's now shadow education minister.

Middlesbrough's Andy McDonald becomes shadow transport minister, and Blaydon's Dave Anderson goes to the Northern Ireland brief: he was a whip. 

More to follow.

Pat Glass
Labour Party/PA Wire

Darlington Labour MP resigns from shadow education team

The Labour MP for Darlington Jenny Chapman has announced her resignation from her position on the shadow education team.

In an email sent to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, she said: "My constituents in Darlington have made it clear to me that they cannot support the Labour Party under your leadership. 

"If we can't win in Darlington, we can't win the country. This matters more than anybody's political position."

Durham City MP resigns from Labour frontbench

Roberta Blackman-Woods, the Labour MP for the City of Durham, has resigned as Shadow Minister for Housing and Planning.

She had told BBC Newcastle earlier this morning that would be her position if the party's leader Jeremy Corbyn did not stand down.

Here's the letter she has written to him.

View more on twitter

Down to the Woods music festival cancelled over finances

A new music festival which was set to feature Primal Scream and Chase and Status has been cancelled.

Organisers of Down to the Woods Festival blamed the "present financial climate and current ticket sales".

The festival was due to be held at Hardwick Hall in Sedgefield, County Durham, on 13 and 14 August with an adult weekend ticket costing £99.

Festival poster

Travel: Recap of measures in place after A1 sinkhole opened up

Motorists are being affected by delays on the A1 after a sinkhole opened up in the northbound carriageway in Gateshead on Sunday.

The road will be closed between junctions 67 and 68 until Wednesday while repairs are carried out.

Engineers have set up a contraflow on the southbound carriageway so there is one lane of traffic in either direction. A diversion has also been set up - see all the details here.

Highways England is warning motorists will face long delays and urged them to plan their journeys and monitor travel bulletins and travel updates online.

Durham Miners Association backs Jeremy Corbyn

Sunderland Echo


Durham miners have thrown themselves behind Jeremy Corbyn as Labour MPs attempt to destabilize the Labour leader.

Jeremy Corbyn
Sunderland Echo

Stockton North MP resigns as shadow minister

Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham has announced his resignation as shadow minister for the Natural Environment.

View more on twitter

Fishermen rescued from sinking boat off Sunderland

Eight fishermen have been rescued after their boat started sinking off the coast of Sunderland.

The crew on the 7m (23ft) long fishing boat issued a distress signal on Sunday afternoon stating their boat was rapidly taking on water.

No-one was hurt and the fishing boat was towed to Sunderland.  

Fishermen being rescued

Weather: Dry but breezy

BBC Weather

A dry and bright start to the day with sunny spells. Cloud will tend to build a little by the afternoon, with a few showers developing, although may places will remain dry. Remaining rather breezy.  

weather graph

A1 Sinkhole: Toll free Tyne Tunnel to relieve pressure

To relieve pressure on the A1, following the appearance of a sinkhole between junctions 67 and 68 near Gateshead, motorists will be able to travel toll-free through the Tyne Tunnels from today until repair works have concluded, which is currently expected to be 06:00 on Wednesday.

The 5m (16ft) wide, 3m (10ft) deep crater appeared on Saturday night under the northbound carriageway near the Gateshead MetroCentre.  

It is thought to relate to former mine workings.

Three North East MPs promoted to Shadow Cabinet

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has announced a reshaped cabinet following a wave of resignations in protest at his leadership.

As part of this change, three MPs from the North East have been promoted to Shadow Cabinet members.

North West Durham MP Pat Glass has become shadow education secretary.

Middlesbrough MP Andy McDonald is now the shadow transport secretary.

Finally, Blaydon MP Dave Anderson has been appointed shadow Northern Ireland secretary.

Jeremy Corbyn
Getty Images

Durham City MP considers resignation

BBC Newcastle

City of Durham Labour MP Roberta Blackman-Woods told us this morning that she will resign if Jeremy Corbyn doesn't stand down as Labour leader.

She said that she hopes Jeremy Corbyn listens to what the voices around him are saying, otherwise she will quit as Shadow Minister for Housing and Planning.

She added: "I want him to go... It is time for another leader, and a leadership election."

Meanwhile, Chi Onwurah, Labour MP for Newcastle Central, appeared on BBC One's Sunday Politics yesterday.

She said she will listen to Jeremy Corbyn later today

She said: "I'm going to listen to what he has to say, but right now I support the leadership of our party... Our leadership is accountable to the members and to the country and to the people we look to serve..."