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Keir Starmer visits Sunderland charity

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Credit: Foundation of Light Twitter

Labour leader Starmer visited the Beacon of Light charity in Sunderland this Valentines Day.

As part of the Labour party’s ‘Security Prosperity and Respect’ tour, Starmer went to see how the charity is helping reduce youth crime.

The Foundation of Light Charity uses the “power of football” to improve lives.

Since it began in 2001, the official charity of Sunderland A.F.C delivers inclusive sport, health and education programmes.

The charity was “delighted” to welcome the politician to the Beacon of Light so he could discover more about their work with Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness.

Whilst visiting, Starmer joined in with some cooking, had a look in the engineering zone and spoke to their Women’s Football and Education scholars.

Credit: Foundation of Light Twitter

Starmer announced the new “contract with the British people” based on “security,” “prosperity” and “respect” at the beginning of the year.

He hopes the contract will be for a government “worthy of the fine nation in which we live.”

In a speech in Birmingham, he discussed how Labour is a “national party,” not a “nationalist party.”

He said: “I don’t think you cease to be a patriot because you notice your country has flaws. On the contrary, the reason we in this party want to correct those flaws is precisely because we are patriotic.”

The Labour leader wants to “create a new Britain in the 21st century,” taking after the party’s former leaders Clement Attlee, Harold Wilson and Tony Blair.

He said: “What a record we have! These three chapters of change – Attlee, Wilson and Blair – made Britain a better country. We must be the people who write the fourth chapter.”

In his speech, Starmer hit out at Johnson for acting as if politics is “a brand of the entertainment industry.”

He compared this to his own attitude of it being a “serious business of getting things done.”

 

 

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Man denies 1992 murder of Sunderland schoolgirl Nikki Allan

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A man accused of the murder of a schoolgirl who was stabbed to death 30 years ago has denied the charge.

Seven-year-old Nikki Allan vanished on Wednesday, October 7, 1992 after leaving her grandparents’ flat in Wear Garth, Sunderland.

The next morning, Nikki’s school shoes were found a few hundred yards away outside of the Old Exchange building. Her body was discovered lying in a pool of blood inside the derelict building by a neighbour who was helping the police with their search for the missing youngster. She had been stabbed 37 times.

David Boyd, of Chesterton Court, Norton, Stockton-on-Tees, appeared at Newcastle Crown Court on the morning of Monday, June 20, where he faced a charge of murder.

The 54-year-old appeared via video link where he pleaded not guilty to the offence during the short, 25-minute hearing.

A trial had originally been listed to start on January 11 next year but the court heard it may now be put back until April 19. Any trial could last up to six weeks.

Boyd was remanded in custody in the meantime.

Judge Paul Sloan QC informed the court that a further pre-trial hearing will now take place on Monday, November 7.

The judge told Boyd: “I am adjourning your case to trial. The precise trial date will be confirmed, hopefully in the next few days.

“There will be at least one further pre-trial hearing before the trial date.

“In due course you will be required to provide a defence statement, setting out in detail your defence to the charge you face.”

Nikki’s mother Sharon Henderson sat in the public gallery for the hearing. She burst into tears when the charge was read out, was consoled by supporters and the court usher gave her a tissue.

After Boyd was charged, Northumbria Police Assistant Chief Constable David Felton said: “This is an extremely tragic case and our thoughts very much continue to be with the family and friends of Nikki Allan.

“A significant investigation has been ongoing ever since Nikki’s death 30 years ago.

“As with any unsolved cases of this nature, they are never closed. Our dedicated teams constantly review the evidence and follow any new investigative leads that may come to light.”

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Northumberland man accused of murdering his terminally ill wife faces trial in Cyprus

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North East Updates

Sky News reports that David Hunter, a 75-year-old man originally from Northumberland, will appear in a Cypriot court on Thursday accused of murdering his terminally ill wife last December.

 

Mr Hunter allegedly suffocated Janice, his wife of 56 years, before attempting to end his own life by taking an overdose. The former miner faces a life sentence if found guilty, after his request for the alternative charge of “assisted suicide” was rejected.

 

Lesley Cawthorne, the couple’s daughter, told Sky News of how her father is “haunted” by memories of her mother “screaming in pain” during her battle with terminal blood cancer, and is asking the Cypriot judges to show compassion.

 

“My mum made her wishes clear and my dad helped her.

 

“She just wanted it to end. She didn’t want to fight. She didn’t want treatment.

 

“She didn’t want a long, protracted death. She’d had enough and she just wanted to go.”

 

The trial will be heard by three judges on Thursday and Friday with further hearings expected over the coming weeks, and will be the first euthanasia case heard in Cyprus.

 

Follow our page for updates.

 

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Met Office hints at a North East heatwave with temperatures set to soar this week

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Newcastle Gateshead Sunny

Temperatures in the North East are set to reach up to 24°C by Friday, with temperatures gradually increasing throughout the week.

So, after a gloomy start to June, it looks like summer is finally about to kick in across England this week. Meteorologists are hinting at a possible turning point with a mini-heatwave on its way, hailing increasing Mercury levels.

Stephen Dixon, Met Office Spokesperson, said that “temperatures in the southeast could reach around 33°C on Friday, with temperatures in the northeast likely to be in the mid-to-high 20s for many”.

Some isolated spots in the northeast could even enjoy temperatures up to 29°C for some time on Friday.

“Although areas further south will see the highest temperatures, figures in the northeast of England will still be very warm for the time of year when they peak on Friday”, Dixon added.

These unprecedented temperatures are a result of a persistent area of high pressure over much of the UK and warm air from the continent nudging temperatures up well beyond their average for this time of the year.

However, those wanting to enjoy the sun are advised to make the most out of this week. A cold front is moving in from the north from Saturday, bringing with it uncertainty and a risk of showers. This will see the temperatures drop back to around 18°C.

How will you be making the most of the heatwave this weekend? Let us know!

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