Live updates

  1. National

New Qashqai due from Sunderland Nissan plant

Sunderland workers seen assembling the Qashqai. Credit: PA

A new Nissan model will come off the production line today, which has helped create 500 new jobs at the Japanese car giant's UK plant in the coming months.

The second generation Qashqai will be built in Sunderland, where the workforce is set to increase to over 7,000 for the first time.

Around 286,000 Qashqai cars were built last year, with production numbers expected to be similar in 2014.

The car is Nissan's best-selling model in Europe.

Carmaker to use quayside as showroom

Qashqai car outside the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art Credit: Nissan

Sunderland carmaker Nissan is to showcase its latest creation at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art and along the Gateshead and Newcastle quayside.

The 'Qashqai' will be the subject of films and displays at the art centre starting this Saturday, January 18th, for 4 days.

Visitors will be able to see early designs of the new car and the Qashqai itself before the official vehicle launch on January 22nd.

The Gateshead Millennium Bridge will be illuminated and there will be Nissan staff on hand to answer any questions about all aspects of the company.

Nissan's Vice President for Manufacturing in the UK, Kevin Fitzpatrick says:

"Nissan has created the next generation Crossover by redesigning Qashqai from the ground-up. We think it's fitting to celebrate that design in one of Europe's leading modern art galleries."

"The event will showcase the role of our design and technical centres in developing this innovative new model, as we move into full production at our Sunderland plant."

"At the same time we would like to invite anyone interested in working for Nissan to meet with members of our team, and give customers the chance to buy their next Nissan."

Advertisement

New Nissan 'Car of the Year'

The new generation Qashqai went into production at the Sunderland plant late last year. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees
The Qashqai is the most popular model ever made at the Nissan plant Credit: ITV Tyne Tees
286,000 of the cars were made in Sunderland in 2013 Credit: ITV Tyne Tees
In October the Sunderland plant broke the 50,000 production barrier for the first time Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Sunderland-built Qashqai is Car of the Year

The Nissan Qashqai Credit: PA

The Sunderland-built Nissan Qashqai has been named Car of the Year for 2014 by What Car? The model was also named best small sports utility vehicle. The results were announced at a ceremony in London.

What Car? editor-in-chief Chas Hallett praised Nissan for thinking "of every last detail".

The Qashqai was the sixth best-selling car in the UK in 2013, with sales passing 50,000.

Advertisement

Full report: Secret papers reveal Thatcher's mixed North East legacy

The row over Margaret Thatcher's legacy in the North East was reignited today after it emerged that she had secretly planned to close 75 coal mines, while saying in public that only 20 would go.

The cabinet documents show that the Government intended to close half of all the North East's pits within three years, making tens of thousands of people redundant. The archives also show that she played a pivotal role in bringing 6,000 Nissan jobs to Wearside. Dan Ashby reports.

Labour MP critical of Thatcher after files released

Two key industries of the North East play headline roles in confidential correspondence and cabinet papers that have been made public from Margaret Thatcher's time in office.

The records show that the then-Prime Minister guaranteed tax breaks for Nissan in return for their investment. However, the papers also reveal a plan to shut 75 coal mines over three years in the 1980s. At the time, the Government and the National Coal Board said they only wanted to close 20.

Ian Lavery, the Labour MP for Wansbeck, gave his reaction to ITV News Tyne Tees.

  1. Calendar

Thatcher considered calling in troops during miners' strike

Thatcher secretly considered calling in the troops during the miners' strike Credit: Press Association

Margaret Thatcher secretly considered calling out the troops at the height of the miners' strike amid fears union action could destroy her Conservative government, according to newly released files.

Government papers from 1984, released by the National Archives, show ministers were so concerned at the outbreak of a national docks strike while the miners were still out, they considered declaring a state of emergency.

Plans were drawn up for thousands of service personnel to commandeer trucks to move vital supplies of food and coal around the country.

It was probably the closest Mrs Thatcher came to defeat in her battle with the miners but the scheme was never implemented after the dockers' action petered out after less than two weeks.

The epic, 12-month confrontation between the Conservative government and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and its left-wing president Arthur Scargill was one of the defining episodes of the Thatcher era.

It saw some of the worst industrial violence the country had witnessed, with hundreds injured in brutal picket line clashes between police and miners, and ended in crushing defeat for the NUM.

  1. National

Thatcher considered deploying troops in miners' strike

Margaret Thatcher considered calling on troops at the height of the miners' strike amid fears union action could destroy her government, according to newly-declassified files.

A Kent picketer clasps hands with a miner outside Cortonwood Colliery in Yorkshire. Credit: PA Archive

Government papers from 1984, released by the National Archives, show ministers were so concerned at the outbreak of a national docks strike while the miners were still out, they considered declaring a state of emergency.

Plans were drawn up for thousands of service personnel to commandeer trucks to move vital supplies of food and coal around the country.

It is thought to be the closest Mrs Thatcher came to defeat in her battle with the miners but the scheme was never implements after the dockers' action petered out after less than two weeks.

Load more updates