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Family demand apology from Brand

Russell Brand Credit: Press Association

Comedian Russell Brand has come under fire for mocking the North East star of a Barclay's television advert in a web video he uploaded criticising the bank.

The advert showed 75-year-old Sam Wright learning about the internet and online banking.

Brand pokes fun at the advert - and Mr Wright - while criticising Barclay's banks links to an Israeli defence firm.

Mr Wright suffered a stroke and died five weeks after the advert first aired on television.

Speaking to the Sun newspaper, Mr Wright's son, Stephen, said: "When I saw Brand's show I felt sick. It was so insensitive.

"I don't think he knows how much hurt he has caused us. When the advert was on TV it coincided with my dad having a stroke. He died five weeks later. He was chosen as he used the scheme. He was just trying to help."

Mr Brand has not commented on the report.

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Referendum reaction: What's next?

Scotland has said no to independence, rejecting the Yes campaign's vision to break away from the UK.

45% of people voted yes but 55% said no. Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond has announced he is resigning. He will step down in November.

But what does the result mean for us, in the North East of England?

David Cameron has already promised more say for the English regions and today there has been a clamour of calls for the North East to have far greater control of its own affairs. We will be looking at that in more detail in a moment.

ITV Political Correspondent Paul Brand looks at the reaction in Westminster, and what happens next:

Referendum reaction from the North East economy

As we take in the political implications of the referendum result, the North East business community is assessing the economic impact on our region.

Overall, firms say the No vote provides much needed stability, but there are still questions to be answered about the road ahead.

Helen Ford examines the reaction of the North East economy:

View from border: Berwick's reaction to the referendum

Aside from the economic and political arguments, nowhere in the North East region has been more aware of the implications of the referendum result than the town of Berwick in the far north of Northumberland.

Kenny Toal has spent the day there, following Scotland's decision to reject independence:

Referendum reaction: The North East economy

Further devolution in Scotland without similar powers for the North East could be bad for business, according to one of the region's leading business figures.

Fergus Trim, Development Director at Quorum Development Partners, said: "If we can mirror what's being offered in Scotland and take more control of the economy here, then that will be positive for us."

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Sturgeon: 'No greater privilege than to seek to lead the Party'

Nicola Sturgeon has said that in the aftermath of Alex Salmond's resignation as First Minister, it would be a "privilege..to seek to lead the Party."

"Alex's announcement today inevitably raises the question of whether I will be a candidate to succeed him as SNP leader.

"I can think of no greater privilege than to seek to lead the Party I joined when I was just 16. However, that decision is not for today.

"My priority this weekend, after a long and hard campaign, is to get some rest and spend time with my family.

"I also want the focus over the next few days to be on the outstanding record and achievements of the finest First Minister Scotland has had.

– Nicola Sturgeon MSP

Salmond resigns after Scotland rejects independence

Alex Salmond driven through a side entrance at Aberdeen Airport. Credit: Newsline Media

Alex Salmond was pictured looking disappointed in the early hours of this morning after results started to point towards a victory for the No campaign.

Scotland's First Minister was shown being driven through a side entrance to a private plane at Aberdeen Airport.

Early results and final polling had indicated that Scottish voters were most likely to have rejected independence in yesterday's vote - perhaps explaining the apparent dejection on Salmond's face.

Alex Salmond today said he would be standing down as Scotland's First Minister and Scottish National Party leader after voters in Scotland rejected independence in an historic referendum.

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Nicola Sturgeon pays emotional tribute to Alex Salmond

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has paid tribute to Alex Salmond, after he announced he would be leaving his post in the wake of the independence referendum rejection.

In a full statement on her website, she praised Salmond's achievements whilst in office as "second to none."

Nicola Sturgeon also said that the personal debt she owed him was "immeasurable."

"Alex Salmond's achievements as SNP leader and Scotland's First Minister are second to none.

"He led the SNP into government and has given our country a renewed self confidence.

"Through policies such as the council tax freeze, free prescriptions and the scrapping of tuition fees, he has made a real difference for hundreds of thousands of Scots.

"And yesterday he inspired 1.6 million of our fellow citizens to vote Yes to independence.

"The personal debt of gratitude I owe Alex is immeasurable. He has been my friend, mentor and colleague for more than 20 years. Quite simply, I would not have been able to do what I have in politics without his constant advice, guidance and support through all these years."

– Nicola Sturgeon MSP

North East leader warns of 'increased resentment across England'

North East leaders have welcomed Scotland’s decision to stay as part of the United Kingdom, but say now is the time to focus on devolving more powers to the North East of the country.

Councillor Nick Forbes, leader of Newcastle City Council, has raised his concerns that the regional cities will be "overlooked in the rush to settle with Scotland".

Speaking to Good Morning Britain, he also says it is "absolutely essential" that we get a new devolved approach to regions because without that change in power, "there will be increased resentment across England".

The leader of Newcastle City Council also says he thinks increased resentment could see the North East played into "dangerous politicians' hands".

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