SHADOW health minister Jonathan Ashworth has visited a district hospital which campaigners say is being threatened by cuts.

Mr Ashworth was accompanied on his visit to Brotton hospital, in East Cleveland by Lauren Dingsdale, Labour’s recently selected prospective parliamentary candidate for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland.

She said: "I’m particularly concerned about cuts to NHS funding locally – at Brotton Hospital this has resulted in a mothballed ward and the threatened closure of its post A&E outpatient clinic."

Earlier, Ms Dingsdale, a solicitor, had joined Middlesbrough MP Andy McDonald and dozens of other people outside Middlesbrough's James Cook University Hospital to mark the NHS's 70th birthday.

Those taking part waved placards and balloons and encouraged passing drivers to 'beep' to show their support for the health service.

Mr McDonald said the aim was to show support for NHS workers and pride in the health service system.

Linda Innes, from east Cleveland, who attended the event, said: "It was really emotional to see the support and shows that people do care."