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Shadow attorney general Catherine McKinnell resigns

Catherine McKinnell has returned to the backbenches. Credit: PA

Shadow attorney general Catherine McKinnell has resigned from Labour's front bench, citing "concerns about the direction and internal conflict" within the party.

Ms McKinnell said she had shared leader Jeremy Corbyn's desire for a "new kind of politics".

But she told him: "As events have unfolded over recent weeks, my concerns about the direction and internal conflict within the Labour Party have only grown, and I fear this is taking us down an increasingly negative path."

She also cited the inability to speak up on matters important to her Newcastle North constituency and "the logistics of managing family life" following the birth of her third child as reasons behind her decision.

North East MPs named in Corbyn's shadow cabinet

Jeremy Corbyn has announced six further appointments to Labour's shadow cabinet, including Darlington MP Jenny Chapman and Middlesbrough MP Andy McDonald.

These are:

  • Defence: Kate Hollern MP
  • Education: Jenny Chapman MP
  • Justice: Jo Stevens MP
  • Transport: Andy McDonald MP
  • Work and Pensions: Angela Rayner MP
  • Foreign: Fabian Hamilton MP

Rise in council tax for severely disabled Newcastle residents

Newcastle Civic Centre and council offices Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Severely disabled residents in Newcastle will have to pay council tax from April 1st. The change was passed by 44 votes to 21 at Newcastle City Council's meeting last night.

Those effected will be:

  • living in a band A property
  • pay approximately £3 a week in taxes
  • one of around 6000 effected by the change

At present Newcastle City Council provides 100% relief for people registered as severely disabled.

The council say this is a consequence of an £8m cut in the government’s local council tax reduction scheme.

North East MP resigns as shadow defence minister

Kevan Jones, the Labour MP for North Durham, is standing down as shadow defence minister.

In a statement he said he strongly disagreed with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn on scrapping the Trident nuclear defence programme.

Kavan Jones MP Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Archive/PA Images

Kevan Jones has been MP for North Durham since 2001.

In October 2008 he was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and Minister for Veterans at the Ministry of Defence.

In 2011, he was a member of the special Select Committee set up to scrutinise the Bill that became the Armed Forces Act 2011.

He was also a member of the Public Bill Committee for the Defence Reform Act 2014.

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