Live updates

North East unemployment falls by 11,000

Unemployment has fallen by 11,000 in the North East Credit: PA

Unemployment in the North East has fallen by 11,000, official figures have revealed.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), 100,000 people were unemployed in the region between December and February.

The unemployment rate for the North East remains the highest in the UK, at 7.7%

School tribute to teacher killed by car on holiday

Alix Bussey was hit by a car while on holiday in Mexico

“Staff and students are all deeply saddened by Alix’s death and our thoughts are with her family and partner.

“Alix was an excellent teacher, enthusiastic and committed to all of the children she taught. She will be very much missed by everyone within the school community and we will be offering support and counselling to pupils at this very sad time.”

– Christine Ormerod, headteacher, Bowburn Infants


Devastated Durham family pay tribute to daughter

Alix Bussey

A family from Durham have spoken of their ‘devastation’ after the sudden death of their daughter in a car accident while she was on holiday in Mexico.

The tragedy happened as 23-year-old Alix Bussey was coming towards the end of her ten-night break in the resort of Riviera Maya with her boyfriend, Jonathan Boyle, also 23.

Although few details of the incident have been confirmed, it appears Alix was struck by a vehicle as she and Jonathan made their way back to their hotel after a night out on Thursday last week (April 9. They had been due to fly back to the UK on Saturday.

Alix was a teacher at Bowburn Infant School, while Jonathan works in IT for the NHS.

Today Alix’s parents, Colin and Penny and her younger sister, 21-year-old Leigh spoke of their shock at being informed of the tragic news on Friday night.

We’re absolutely devastated by what has happened and waiting to be given more information by the Foreign Office.

Alix adored being a teacher, it was all she wanted to do from the age of seven and she was devoted to the education and welfare of the children she taught.

She lived life to the full, loved to party and she and Jonathan were besotted with each other. Although they had been away on several occasions this was their first holiday abroad and they had been having a great experience. Only the night before she had texted Leigh to say she was having ‘the bestest time ever’.

– Penny Bussey

Alix had a wide circle of friends and the support we have had from them, and members of both families has been unbelievable.

All of our thoughts are with Jonathan and his family as they are going through this with us.

– Colin Bussey

A former Durham Johnston student, Alix Bussey studied primary education at Northumbria University before securing her first teaching job, at Bowburn Infants in September 2012.

Her work with the school saw her visit India last year as part of an exchange programme.

She lived with her parents and sister at the family home in Meadowfield.

Alix, along with her dad and sister was a season ticket holder at Newcastle United and all three used to watch the games at St James’ Park together.

A family liaison officer (FLO) from Durham Constabulary has been appointed and is working with Alix’s family to assist in the enquiries needed for a coroner’s inquest in due course.


Hearing of three North East men detained in India adjourned

The hearing of three men from this region fighting to get home from India has been adjourned by the country's Supreme Court.

Nick Dunn from Ashington, Paul Towers from York and Nicholas Simpson from Catterick are three of six Britons accused of illegally possessing weapons.

The men, all naval security workers, have always insisted they were carrying weapons on board their ship with the proper licensing for their work protecting vessels from pirate attacks.

Nick Dunn has been held in India since 2013.

The charges were dropped in July 2014, but an attempt by police to have them reinstated has blocked their return to the UK.

It was hoped a hearing in Delhi this morning would clear the way for them to finally come home, but the hearing has now been adjourned until April 22.

'They are desperately missed still': Newcastle University lead tributes to students killed in Borneo

Tributes have been paid to the two Newcastle University medical students who were murdered in Borneo last year.

Neil Dalton and Aidan Brunger, both 22, were stabbed to death in a bar in Kuching in the state of Sarawak.

Neil Dalton (left) and Aidan Brunger (right).

Aidan and Neil's families have welcomed the verdict and Newcastle University Professor Jane Calvert has led tributes to the young men:

Zulkipli Abdullah, 24, has been sentenced to death by a Malaysian court after being convicted of killing the students.

Load more updates