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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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Newcastle traffic is getting worse, says new survey

Traffic in Newcastle is getting worse, according to a survey by a satellite navigation company.

In the worst-congested cities evening rush-hour journeys are taking more than 70% longer than they would in free-flowing traffic, the poll by traffic information company TomTom found.

London was the next-worst city for hold-ups with average journeys taking 37% longer than in free-flowing traffic and 67% in the evening peak.

Overall, average journeys in the cities in 2014 took 29% longer than they would in free-flowing traffic - compared with a figure of 27% longer in 2013.

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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.

Five arrested on suspicion of human trafficking

Police have arrested five people on suspicion of human trafficking offences.

A man and a woman, both of Slovakian nationality, attended a police station in Newcastle early in the morning of March 29th. They informed police that they had been subject to human trafficking and that they were being exploited for work.

Enquiries were carried out and later that day officers arrested two men aged 22 and 38, and three women aged 24, 18 and 37, on suspicion of trafficking people into the UK for exploitation. They have been bailed pending further enquiries.

Northumbria Police said enquiries were ongoing and asked for people with information to contact them.

The Salvation Army human trafficking helpline can also be contacted in order to report instances of human trafficking on 0300 303 8151.

NUFC: profit goal achieved for fourth year

Newcastle United has made profit for the fourth successive year. This cements Newcastle's position, in financial terms, as one of the most successful clubs in the top flight.

The club's debt remained static at £129million in the form of an interest-free loan from owner Mike Ashley - none of the debt has been repaid.

"I am pleased to report a positive set of results which confirms the healthy financial position the club now finds itself in and is a reflection of the prudent and measured manner in which we operate.

"The club benefits from a supportive owner and is financially stable. This gives us a strong platform from which to grow, both on and off the pitch, a result of which means, as we move forward, we are able to net spend on the playing squad and invest in other areas of the business.

"The most pleasing aspect in this set of accounts has been the growth in our commercial revenue and it has been our strongest year yet in that respect."

– Newcastle managing director Lee Charnley
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