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Tony Blair: "I'll miss him very much"

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair is among the mourners today at the funeral of his former parish Priest and long-time friend Father John Caden.

Father John Caden baptised all four of Mr Blair's children.

The funeral service took place at St. Edmunds Church in Sedgefield, in the former Prime Minister's constituency.

Mr Blair told ITV News that Father Caden was a great mentor.


Rare look at work of International Fire Training Centre

Firefighters at the training centre, near Sedgefield Credit: ITV

The largest fire training ground in Europe has opened its doors and allowed cameras behind the scenes today.

The International Fire Training Centre, near Sedgfield, is now the main training provider for Libyan and Nigerian oil and gas fire fighters.

Simulating a fire on a plane Credit: ITV

It's recently been approved by the French Civil Aviation Authority, making it the only organisation outside of France to deliver fire training to their airports.

Funeral of one of County Durham's best-loved characters

Father John Caden Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

The funeral is taking place today of a long-serving priest who baptised all four of Tony Blair's children. Father John Caden, who was known as Father Jack, died last month at the age of 90. He had been a Priest for 65 years.

Father Caden counted many stars among his friends even buying President George Bush a drink when he visited Sedgefield in 2003.

Pictures of close friends Tony and Cherie Blair adorned Father John Caden's walls Credit: ITV

Tony Blair: my father "was a remarkable man"

Tony Blair cancelled his engagements in Newcastle today, November 15, to be at his father's side. Credit: Press Association Images

Tony Blair's father Leo has died today, at the age of 89 - he was taken seriously ill yesterday, November 15.

Tony Blair, the former MP for Sedgefield, cancelled his engagements in Newcastle today, to be at his side.

The former Prime Minister has praised his father's extraordinary spirit and says he was privileged to have him as a Dad.

Tony Blair, the former MP for Sedgefield, named his youngest son Leo after his father. Credit: Press Association Images


Foundation's Olympic event to go ahead as planned

Although their patron cannot be in the North East today, an event held by the Tony Blair Sports Foundation to celebrate its fifth anniversary and the success of the 2012 games will still go ahead as planned.

The event at Copthorne Hotel will be hosted by partners and members of the Tony Blair Sports Foundation - including board member Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and former Olympian Steve Cram.

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson is a board member of the Tony Blair Sports Foundation Credit: ITV News

The Foundation's 'Pass It On' campaign will officially be launched today to carry on the olympic legacy in the region.

The other events that Mr Blair had been planning to attend at Walker Technology College, Newcastle Cricket Centre and Rutherford Football Club have been cancelled.

Tony Blair cancels visit to region after father falls ill

Tony Blair was set to return to the North East to mark the anniversary of his foundation Credit: ITV

The Tony Blair Sports Foundation is celebrating its fifth anniversary and its patron, former Prime Minister Tony Blair, has had to cancel his proposed visit to the region after his father fell ill last night.

As part of the anniversary celebrations Mr Blair was planning to launch the Foundation's Pass It On campaign, which will continue building on the post-Olympics legacy in the North East. It is hoped that this will continue to inspire people to take part in sport and keep active.

Tony Blair had also been set to be officially launch the partnership between his foundation and Walker Technology College in Newcastle. Through the partnership, the foundation will help provide tennis coaching for primary school pupils, including for the visually impaired.

Teenager killed in car crash is named

Teenager dies in car crash on Wednesday morning Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

A 19-year-old man, who died in a car crash this morning (Wednesday) in Sedgefield, has been named as Dominic James Osbourne Scarre from Finchale, Durham.

The 27-year-old driver of a Ford Transit was arrested on suspicion of causing death by careless driving and has released on bail.

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