NEWCASTLE – Newcastle put itself in the headlines today when it declared itself the ‘capital of the North’. The north-eastern city commended itself for its great shopping and vibrant nightlife, putting itself ahead of Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds as the ‘London of the North’. “This is a wonderful honour for Newcastle,” said Newcastle city council chief executive Barry Rowland at a celebration in the city centre. “We’ve always believed there was something special about Newcastle. This puts it beyond doubt.” Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds were unavailable to attend the ceremony, as all were busy with capital of the North celebrations of their own.