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North East MPs given front bench roles in Corbyn’s new opposition

Credit: PA

Jeremy Corbyn has finalised the details of his front bench team almost a week after being elected Labour leader.

North East MPs dominate Jeremy Corbyn’s new look opposition with six MPs from the region taking on key roles.

  • Chi Onwurah MP, Newcastle Central, joins the Business,Innovation & Skills and Culture, Media & Sport teams
  • Anna Turley MP, Redcar, joins the Cabinet Office team
  • Ian Lavery MP, Wansbeck, joins the Cabinet Office team
  • Sharon Hodgson MP, Washington and Sunderland West, joins the Education team
  • Alan Campbell MP, Tynemouth, joins the Whips team as Deputy Chief Whip
  • Roberta Blackman-Woods MP, City of Durham, joins the Housing team

You can see the full list here.


Thieves target taxi takings

Police in Newcastle are urging taxi drivers in the city to protect their vehicles and belongings after a number of thefts in the Blakelaw, Cowgate and Kenton areas.

Officers believe thieves are targeting taxis for the takings possibly inside.

The thefts are taking seconds to carry out with offenders often smashing the taxi window, searching the vehicle and making off with valuables.

Credit: PA

"Despite all of this activity officers are still getting reports where, sometimes large, amounts of money of are being stolen from taxis. It really is easy pickings for thieves when money and valuables have been left in the inside of taxis. We are doing all we can but we need taxi drivers to help us by taking really simple crime prevention steps and removing money from inside their taxis overnight."

– Newcastle Neighbourhood Inspector Julie Rana


Woman sentenced for abandoning her 'secret baby'

Leigh-Anne Varley outside court

A court has heard how a woman gave birth in the bathroom of her home before leaving the baby on a neighbour's doorstep.

Leigh-Anne Varley, 36 from Horden in County Durham, went into labour on May 28. Her son, 6, was asleep in the house and her husband and teenage daughter were out.

She wrapped the baby in dressing gowns. She had intended to take the baby to a walk-in centre but couldn't leave her other son asleep alone, so she left it on a neighbour's doorstep.

She left it with a note saying "please take care of my baby boy, please do not go public..."

The court heard she believed the baby was the result of an affair, and that she was too far along to terminate the pregnancy. She had concealed the pregnancy from her family saying the bloating was due to ovarian cysts.

The court heard also how she feared breaking up the family unit and that she was concerned about the impact on her daughter who was sitting her GCSEs at the time.

She pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and was given a 14 week suspended sentence for neglect and abandonment of a child at Peterlee Magistrates court.

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