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Council will sell county hall to save money

Northumberland County Council has confirmed its headquarters will be sold. The Labour run council will sell off County Hall in Morpeth in a bid to save £130 million.

They want to move workers to smaller, cheaper buildings in places like Ashington, Berwick and Hexham.

The council says it's selling the land to a housing developer, so it can save leisure centres and libraries, livelihoods and jobs.

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Full Report: North East UKIP in Stephen Lawrence row

by Rachel Bullock

The secretary of the Redcar UKIP branch faces being expelled from the party after she posted derogatory remarks about the media coverage of the racist murder of teenager Stephen Lawrence.

Pamela Preedy wrote in a UKIP online forum last year that the image of the murdered teenager has been "promoted to sainthood".

The party's North East chairman has launched a full investigation into the comments which he says entirely contradict UKIP's policies.

Rachel Bullock reports.

Regional UKIP chairman condemns Stephen Lawrence remarks

Richard Elvin, the regional chairman of the UK Independence Party says a branch secretary may be stripped of her party membership after she made derogatory remarks about the murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence.

Pamela Preedy is secretary of UKIP's Redcar and Cleveland branch. Last year on an online UKIP forum she said: "the image of Stephen Lawrence has been promoted to sainthood " She also accused David Cameron of "worshipping at the shrine of Saint Stephen".

Mr Elvin told ITV Ms Preedy's views absolutely contradict UKIP's policies, he condemns them and has apologised to the Lawrence family.

Redcar UKIP Secretary in Stephen Lawrence row

Stephen Lawrence who was murdered in South London 1993
Stephen Lawrence who was murdered in 1993 Credit: PA

Redcar and Cleveland's UKIP secretary Pamela Preedy is caught up in a racism row over remarks about Stephen Lawrence. Mr Lawrence was murdered in 1993 and his family have fought for justice ever since.

A conversation on a UK Independence Party internal forum around the 20th anniversary of Stephen Lawrence's murder last year, which Pamela Preedy took part in, has been uncovered.

PAMELA PREEDY SAID:

"It is absolutely true that the image of Stephen Lawrence has been promoted to sainthood."

"In Monday's news, there was Cameron and other high politicos worshipping at the shrine of Saint Stephen as they stood before his picture for a minute's silence."

"His death is supposed to have changed Britain, revealing how we are all institutionally racist etc. Please give it a rest! I'm sure that Stephen was an ordinary boy with all the typical virtues and flaws of any teenage human being, not a saint in the making."

"I'm sure that his mother still grieves for him, but it's time she did it privately without setting him up as some kind of media icon. She risks losing any sympathy for her cause (getting the other three killers in jail presumably) and boring us all to tears."

"Poor Stephen; he didn't deserve his awful death and he doesn't deserve his name being endlessly touted around like this either."

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Autumn Statement: What it means for local businesses

As part of his Autumn Statement, Chancellor George Osborne has frozen business rate relief for small businesses.

And that business rate news will be welcome on our High Streets.

Gregg Easteal has been to visit two stores with contrasting takes on whether tills are really starting to ring louder again on our shopping streets.

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