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North East doctors ask all parties not to use the NHS as a 'political football'

Doctors in the North East have released an open letter asking all political parties not to use the NHS as a political football during the General Election campaign.

The message is being backed by GPs and hospital consultants from the British Medical Association, who have also launched a campaign called "No More Games".

Tyne Tees Weather - Wednesday

Disappearing Gun on Trow Point, South Shields Credit: CRAIG MORGAN

Bright or sunny spells but with further scattered showers, especially across the hills where they will again be wintry at times during the morning.

Cloudier skies in the west, brighter spells will hold on in the east as we head into the afternoon.

Winds slowly easing during the day, showers becoming less wintry.

Highs 8 °C.

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Medomsley abuse investigation: Former staff arrested

Two former members of staff at Medomsley Detention Centre have been arrested over allegations of sexual and physical abuse against hundreds of inmates at a former County Durham detention centre.

The alleged victims were all in their 'teens when they were sent to Medomsley, often for minor offences, from the 1960's until the centre closed in 1988.

In August 2013 Durham Police announced that the force was opening a new investigation – named ‘Operation Seabrook’ - into allegations from ex-inmates of Medomsley Detention Centre, near Consett.

Previous police investigations in 2003 and 2005 led to the conviction and jailing of Neville Husband and Leslie Johnson, former members of staff at the centre who have since died.

  • Since August 2013, a total of 1,123 men have contacted the Operation Seabrook team to report that they were victims of either sexual or physical assaults. Of these, approximately one-third have reported they were sexually assaulted by either Husband or Johnson.
  • In November 2014 police began the process of interviewing ex- members of staff who worked at Medomsley during the 1970’s and 1980’s.

While several have died in the intervening years, 16 who are still alive have been identified in this initial phase. All have now been spoken to, the majority as voluntary attenders at local police stations.

However, two of the 16 – now aged 69 and 58 – were arrested and questioned before being released on police bail. Both were detained on suspicion of physical and sexual assaults on Medomsley inmates.

A police spokesman says efforts are now being made to trace and interview at least a dozen more former members of staff.

Five things you need to know today:

Here's a summary on Monday's headlines in the Tyne Tees region.

Parliament has officially been dissolved after the Prime Minister David Cameron met with the Queen at Buckingham Palace earlier today. The North East now has no MPs. The region's 37 incumbents are now all candidates.

The club's debt remains at £129m in the form of an interest-free loan from owner Mike Ashley.

Two people, both of Slovakian nationality, attended a police station in Newcastle and told police they had been the alleged victims of human trafficking and were being exploited for work.

Kenneth Nessworthy, 57, originally from Whitley Bay, has been jailed for eight months for making and possessing indecent images of children.

Officers found 1,335 videos containing indecent images of children at a property in Cramlington.,

The RNLI is looking for people who are interested in becoming summer lifeguards on the North Yorkshire coast.

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