A1 Southbound lane blocked on exit slip road, slow traffic due to broken down vehicle at A167 Durham Road / A6127 Newcastle Bank / B1296 Long Bank (Bowes Incline Angel Of The North).
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The officer was blasted twice by gunman Raoul Moat who had declared war on police minutes before.
Labour's Anna Turley said ministers should have stepped in to stop the "hard closure" from going ahead.
His Excellency Mr Ranjan Mathai visited the 197-year old HMS Trincomalee, which celebrates its bicentenary in 2017.