Bishop Auckland

England, United Kingdom

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First region declares: Labour and Brexit Party win in North East

Arrests centre on alleged abuse and neglect

The 10 people arrested as part of the Whorlton Hall investigation are being questioned about offences relating to abuse and neglect, Durham Police say.

Undercover filming for the BBC's Panorama showed staff at the privately-run NHS-funded unit intimidating, mocking and restraining vulnerable patients.

The 17-bed hospital is one of scores of such units in England that provide care for just below 2,300 adults with learning disabilities and autism.

Earlier this week, Cygnet, the firm which runs the unit, said it was "shocked and deeply saddened".

Arrests made across County Durham and Teesside

More now on the news we brought you a few minutes ago that 10 workers have been arrested over the alleged abuse of patients at Whorlton Hall hospital following a BBC Panorama investigation.

Seven men and three women were arrested in Barnard Castle, Bishop Auckland, Darlington and Stockton.

Undercover filming showed adults with learning disabilities and autism being mocked, intimidated and restrained.

The site had at least 100 visits by official agencies in the year before the abuse was discovered.

Further details will follow shortly.

Whorlton Hall

Hospital staff 'abused' vulnerable patients

Nick Triggle

Health Correspondent

In case you missed it last night, the abuse and mistreatment of vulnerable adults at a specialist hospital has been uncovered by the BBC's Panorama programme.

Undercover BBC filming shows staff intimidating, mocking and restraining patients with learning disabilities and autism at Whorlton Hall, County Durham.

A police investigation has been launched and 16 staff suspended.

Cygnet, the firm which runs the unit, said it was "shocked and deeply saddened".

Hospital staff 'abused' vulnerable patients in Durham, BBC's Panorama reveals
Hospital staff 'abused' vulnerable patients in Durham, BBC's Panorama reveals
Undercover BBC filming shows staff swearing, mocking and taunting patients with learning disabilities.

Sinkhole causes A689 closure

Drivers on a route between County Durham and Cumbria are facing diversions this morning, after a sinkhole closed the main road through upper Weardale.

It appeared in the A689 at Wearhead, between St John's Chapel and Nenthead, yesterday, and is thought to be the result of a collapsed culvert from old mine workings.

A shorter local diversion is in place within Wearhead for residents and emergency services, but this is not suitable for HGVs or coaches.

However, pedestrians, and dismounted cyclists are able to pass the subsidence.

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Sinkhole closes road in Weardale

An emergency road closure is in place in Upper Weardale after a sinkhole emerged.

Durham County Council has closed the A689 at Wearhead in the interests of safety.

Road Closed on A689
Durham County Council

Temporary diversions will be in place tomorrow morning to allow for further investigations and repairs.

The footpath remains open for pedestrians, while cyclists can pass through by dismounting and proceeding on foot.

Durham County Council

Residents worry about being trapped by cycling event

James Harrison

Local Democracy Reporter

Ten-hour road closures for a mayor cycle event are leaving families and business worried they might end up trapped.

People living and working along the route of the 100-mile Vélo North are to meet organisers and Durham County Council.

Road closures for the event on Sunday 1 September are due to be in place in phases from midnight the night before until 19:00 on the day, from Fishburn in the east to Forest-in-Teesdale to the west.

There is particular concern about sections that encompass tourist attractions like High Force waterfall or which affect farmers in rural areas.

HIgh Force
Getty Images

Council strategic traffic manager Dave Wafer said the event "offers riders of all abilities the chance to cycle on closed roads".

“Unlike professional races where riders are grouped close together, rolling road closures are not possible for a mass participation event like Vélo North," he said.

“However, the closures will be implemented in stages to minimise disruption.”

May duty for County Durham gritting teams

We may be well into spring, but the weather seems to be stuck in winter mode, with frost reported overnight.

However, Durham County Council's gritting team was ready to makes sure roads were clear for early-morning travellers.

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Brothers wanted over £1m organised crime spree

Two "dangerous" men are wanted by police over thefts and burglaries across northern England after six others, believed to be members of an organised crime gang, were arrested.

Brian Thexton, 43 and Ronald Thexton, 35,
Lancashire Police

Brothers Brian and Ronald Thexton, 43 and 35, fled in a silver Mercedes during raids in Bishop Auckland, County Durham.

Police believe the gang has stolen more than £1m by taking cash machines and a high value industrial vehicle.

The pair should not be approached, Lancashire Police warned.

Steph Houghton named in England squad

Durham's very own Steph Houghton has been named in the England squad for the World Cup in France.

She's already played more than 100 times for the Lionesses.

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Results reflect national picture, as big two lose out

Laura Kuenssberg

BBC political editor

It's not over - it's far, far from over.

Many hundreds of seats are yet to declare. Many individual political stories yet to be told. So be very aware - the final shape of wins and losses for the government and the main opposition is unclear.

But at this stage of the morning, there is one message to both of the main parties at Westminster from this enormous set of elections - it's not us, it's both of you.

Polling station in country

Local elections are about different issues in our villages, towns and cities. But at count after count, Tory and Labour candidates have been paying the price for Westminster's failure so far to settle the Brexit question. Council leaders from both parties saying openly that voters can't trust them any more because of how they have dealt with the issue - whether that is a sentiment among Leave voters in Sunderland who don't trust that we'll ever leave, or Remain voters in Bath who are furious that we likely will.

Or more simply maybe, now we are nearly three years on from the referendum itself, this is a verdict on the competence of Westminster's biggest parties, on the mess of handling Brexit.

The beneficiaries? A Lib Dem recovery of sorts, a marked pick-up for the Greens, and independent councillors gobbling up seats in different pockets of the country. By traditional measures at this early stage, Labour is far from making the strides of a party marching towards Number 10. The Tories have so far escaped the worst. But their divisions over Brexit have cost them both - and neither of them have an obvious way out.

But as I say, many more results are yet to come in, and you can keep up with them here throughout the day.

'Please mend my broken heart'

BBC Newcastle

A County Durham woman is appealing to the NHS to fund a vital operation.

Jessica Sadler was born with a hole in her heart, which was only found when she collapsed with a stroke on her 24th birthday.

Jessica, of Sedgefield, says she's been told NHS England won't pay for her operation even though it's available in other parts of the UK. Without it, there's a risk she could have another stroke.

The organisation says it's consulting on whether there's enough evidence to offer this type of operation in the future.

Local elections: What are they all about?

The local elections are taking place on 2 May.

We'll get to choose who decides on things like where houses get built, who runs the buses and which pubs get late licences.

But last year only one in three people went to the polls. So what is the vote all about?

Reporter Jennifer Meierhans explains

Local elections: What are they all about?

Man charged after MP's office windows smashed

A man has been charged after two windows of the constituency office of Labour MP Helen Goodman were smashed.

The incident happened on Cockton Hill Road, Bishop Auckland, in the evening of Saturday 6 April.

Colin Dodds, 44, of Douthwaite Road, Bishop Auckland, has been charged with criminal damage and public order.

A second man, aged 50, was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and public order.

Mr Dodds will appear at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court, on Thursday 2 May.

helen Goodman's constituency office on Cockton Hill Road in Bishop Auckland