Labour peer and former Gateshead MP Baroness Quin says Lord Howell's comments show his 'ignorance' about the North. She'll write to the Tory peer, who's also Chancellor George Osborne's father-in-law, asking him to clarify what he meant by 'uninhabited and desolate' parts of the North East.
More top news
Police in Gateshead are linking this morning's incidents in the Allerdene and Birtley areas.
Ernest Goult denies racially-aggravated disorder and using threatening or abusive words or behaviour.
Tanvir Hussain was segregated at HMP Frankland for six months in 2010.