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Nick Clegg refuses to make HS2 a red line

The first part of the High Speed Two line, between London and Birmingham, is due to open in 2026. Credit: HS2

Nick Clegg has refused to make high-speed rail between the north and south a red line in any coalition deal after the election.

In an interview with our Political Correspondent Paul Brand, the Liberal Democrat leader said he supports High Speed Two but would not add it to his list of non-negotiable conditions before entering another government.

Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives all support HS2 but Nick Clegg accused Labour of "ambivalence" over the project. UKIP does not support HS2.

Clarke Carlisle: 'No shame' at suicide bid

The former York City footballer, Clarke Carlisle has today said he felt "no shame" about his recent suicide attempt as he joined the Deputy Prime Minister at the launch of a project to tackle mental health discrimination in sport.

The 35-year-old former chair of the Professional Footballers' Association spent six weeks in a psychiatric unit after attempted suicide by throwing himself in front of a lorry in North Yorkshire in December.

Speaking at the Oval Cricket Ground in London during the launch of the Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation, Carlisle said:

People are very delicate stepping around it - there's no shame invested in it for me. I tried to commit suicide because I was incredibly unwell, but it's changed my life. I stand here today with a very different perspective of what it means to be alive in this world.

A large proportion of society will look at a sports star and say: 'You're doing the job of you're dreams, you're getting paid fantastic amounts of money, you're getting adulation and playing in front of crowds, what have you got to be unhappy about?'

Depression, anxiety, all the plethora of strands of mental health, they've got nothing to do with happiness or sadness. It's an illness. It's not a choice, it's not an option, it needs treating in the right manner.

– Clarke Carlisle

Major sporting bodies including the Rugby Football Union, English Cricket Board and the Football Association, have all committed to sign the charter committing to removing the stigma and prejudice around mental health from the world of sport.

The Sport and Recreation Alliance and Professional Players Federation have brought together around 20 organisations, including leading mental health charity Mind.


Clegg: "It is crucial that we invest properly in education"

The Government has announced that 16 North East schools will benefit from a £140 million grant under the Flagship Priority School Building Programme.

Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg said:

?It is crucial that we invest properly in education, so that every child has a fair start in life.

Thousands of pupils will benefit from better, brighter, warmer classrooms thanks to this ?funding.

Children can't learn and teachers can't teach in schools that are cold and have leaking roofs.

To create a stronger economy we have to invest in a fairer society so that our young people can be successful in the future.

– Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister

North East schools to get £140m facelift

Dinnington First School in Newcastle is one of 16 North East schools to benefit from the Flagship Priority School Building Programme Credit: Dinnington First School

Sixteen schools across the North East will see their buildings either rebuilt or refurbished under a new government scheme.

The schools, which include Vane Road Primary School in Durham and Dinnington First School in Newcastle, will benefit from a £140 million grant as part of the Flagship Priority School Building Programme.

North East to receive least from government regional growth funds

The North East is set to receive the least from the latest round investments in the form of regional growth funds.

The government has announced today our region is to get over £40 million between 2016 and 2021, which is the smallest sum of any of the English regions.

The Deputy Prime Minister says its down to which local companies bid for the funds:

In total the government is investing £1 billion in local economies across England as an expansion of their regional growth funds deal.

There aim is to pass funding from the central government into the hands of local authorities, businesses and universities, who they believe can invest with inside knowledge of what is needed in their area.


£300m investment for North East companies

Nick Clegg announces major investment for the North East economy

The Deputy Prime Minister has announced £300m of investment for companies in the North East.

The money comes from the Regional Growth Fund, and businesses in the region are being invited to bid for a share.

Nick Clegg made the announcement today (Friday) during a visit to DUCO Ltd in Walker, Newcastle.

The offshore manufacturing company successfully bid for £3.6m in a previous round, enabling the firm to create 168 jobs.

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