A nationwide cut to fire services which saw almost 7,000 firefighters’ jobs axed has come under fire from MPs.

As a region, the North East has experienced the third highest level of cuts, with fire service cuts averaging around 17%. Councils say the cuts were forced by a lack of funding from central government.

The cuts have been vehemently opposed by local people, with 5,000 signing a petition to prevent them, organised by the Fire Brigades Union.

As part of a campaign to prevent the cuts, which include a £500,000 saving by cutting services, several North East MPs including Blaydon MP Dave Anderson met with representatives of the union and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who has pledged to hinder the cuts in the North East and throughout the country.

MP for Blyth Valley, Ronnie Campbell, said: “the government has gone bloody mad.”

Mr Campbell claimed the government is running fire services into the ground in order to privatise them into “one big North East conglomerate.”