Immigration minister Mark Harper quits over cleaner's visa

Mark Harper: "It was right for me to resign from my position"

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Immigration minister Mark Harper has resigned from the government after it emerged his cleaner did not have permission to work in the UK.

Mr Harper notified Prime Minister David Cameron, who accepted his resignation "with regret", Number 10 said.

It added there was "no suggestion" the 43-year-old Conservative MP for the Forest of Dean had "knowingly employed an illegal immigrant".

Fellow Tory James Brokenshire has been appointed the new immigration minister.

In his letter to the PM, Mr Harper said he would continue in his role as MP.

Mark Harper's CV

Educated in Swindon and studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE) at Oxford

Qualified as chartered accountant with KPMG in 1995 and later established own business

Elected MP for Forest of Dean in 2005 and appointed shadow defence minister

Became shadow minister for disabled people in 2007

Appointed minister for political and constitutional reform in coalition government in 2010

Made immigration minister in September 2012, resigned in February 2014

He explained he had made checks when he first employed the cleaner at his London flat in April 2007, taking a copy of her passport and a Home Office letter which stated she had the right to work in the UK.

Mr Harper said he considered the issue again when appointed a minister in the Cabinet Office in May 2010 and immigration minister in September 2012 but concluded "no further check was necessary".

A year later, he said, he talked a lot about employers and landlords carrying out "reasonable checks" on workers.

Given this focus, he said, he thought it "prudent to check that all my documents were in order for my cleaner".

'Honourable decision'

Last month, after being unable to locate the documents, he asked his cleaner for further copies but when his private office checked the details with immigration officials, it was found she did not have indefinite leave to stay in the UK.

He was told this on Thursday and said in his letter that he immediately told Home Secretary Theresa May.

Start Quote

If the immigration minister cannot check his own cleaner is here legally, how does he expect hard-pressed NHS staff to check patients?”

End Quote National Health Action Party (NHA)

The matter was now with immigration enforcement, he added.

"Although I complied with the law at all times, I consider that as immigration minister, who is taking legislation through Parliament which will toughen up our immigration laws, I should hold myself to a higher standard than expected of others," he said.

In his reply, Mr Cameron said Mr Harper had "taken an honourable decision" and he hoped to see him return to the frontbench "before too long".

Nicky Morgan MP: Mark Harper "has applied a higher standard to himself as immigration minister"

"I understand your view that, although you carried out checks on your cleaner, you feel that you should hold yourself to an especially high standard as immigration minister," Mr Cameron wrote.

The home secretary said: "Mark has been an excellent minister and he can be proud of the role he has played in sharply reducing immigration to Britain."

The Home Affairs Committee chairman, Labour MP Keith Vaz, said Mr Harper left an "impressive legacy".

"The immigration portfolio is one of the toughest in government but he carried out his role with effectiveness and good humour," he added.

Shami Chakrabarti, director of civil liberties campaign group Liberty, said it was the "nasty immigration politics", not the politician, that should go.

"The vile Immigration Bill would turn landlords and vicars into border police, checking people's status before offering them shelter or marriage services," she said.

Government van featuring advert urging illegal immigrants to "go home" Government vans carrying a "go home" warning to illegal immigrants were launched under Mr Harper's time as minister

Referring to legislation that would impose charges on migrants needing NHS accident and emergency treatment, the National Health Action Party said: "If the immigration minister cannot check his own cleaner is here legally, how does he expect hard-pressed NHS staff to check patients?"

Analysis

In a letter to MPs last year, Mark Harper declared "it is too easy for people to live and work in the UK illegally".

Part of his solution: new laws forcing employers and landlords to take responsibility for checking the immigration status of their workers and tenants.

Labour has been urging the Home Office to trial the scheme, warning that the plethora of visas and documents make it difficult to tell who is in the UK legally.

Mr Harper's personal case underlines the concerns.

The government maintains the Immigration Bill will proceed unaltered and those who make "reasonable checks" have nothing to fear from the new rules.

Mr Harper may find the penalty he has paid to be short-lived - even his opponents in politics have praised his decency and effectiveness.

The Prime Minister shared that assessment and said he hoped Mr Harper would be on the front bench again "before too long".

BBC home affairs correspondent Danny Shaw tweeted: "Mark Harper will probably be best remembered for the 'go home' ad vans & measures to clamp down on benefit claims from EU immigrants."

The vans referred to by our correspondent were launched under Mr Harper's time as a minister and driven around parts of London carrying a message for illegal immigrants to "Go home or face arrest".

The Home Office initiative resulted in few calls to the helpline number provided.

At the start of this year, when work restrictions for Bulgarians and Romanians were lifted, Mr Harper insisted the benefits system had been "tightened up" so people coming to the UK did so to work, not claim benefits.

Duped

Mr Harper was appointed immigration minster in September 2012. He has also held the post of minister for political and constitutional reform and shadow minister roles for defence and disabled people.

Before becoming an MP in 2005, Oxford University-graduate Mr Harper established his own chartered accountancy business in the Forest of Dean, in Gloucestershire.

Labour peer Baroness Scotland, the then-Attorney General, had similar difficulties with her housekeeper's immigration status in 2009, but did not resign over the matter.

She was fined £5,000 for illegally employing an illegal immigrant, but a year later a jury found her housekeeper had duped the baroness into hiring her.

James Brokenshire James Brokenshire takes over as immigration minister

Junior Home Office minister James Brokenshire, MP for Old Bexley and Sidcup, has been promoted to the immigration brief.

Mr Brokenshire said in a tweet: "Honoured to have been asked to take on the role of immigration minister and to continue reducing net migration to sustainable levels."

In a minor reshuffle, Conservative MP Karen Bradley will take up Mr Brokenshire's former post; fellow Tory John Penrose will become a government whip in the House of Commons; and Harriet Baldwin, also a Tory MP, becomes assistant whip in the Commons.

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  4.  
    15:39: Frances Bingham

    emails: This must be one of my earliest memories. My parents lived in Morpeth Terrace, beside Westminster Cathedral, so the funeral procession passed quite close and we walked from home to join the people watching. I have a very vivid visual memory of seeing the gun carriage pass, which is the only image I recall, but I didn't understand what it was, or that there was a coffin under the union jack. I was lifted up to see it pass slowly by, and sensed the solemn atmosphere in the crowd. The importance of the occasion must also have been explained to me; my grandfather Cedric Worsdell was one of Churchill's election agents in the 1950s and admired him very much.

     
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  6.  
    15:22: John Davies, Marietta Georgia

    emails: I remember it well, I was apprenticed at a printer in London, one of my first jobs there was to work on a magazine supplement for the funeral. My job was to put the pictures and type together to make the cylinders to print the magazine.

     
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  8.  
    15:09: Steve Gove-Humphries, Birmingham

    emails: I was just 11 years old at the time of the funeral. We were told about Churchill by the Head Master and were all very excited at the prospect of a day off school for the funeral. We watched the funeral on a TV in the library I recall. The huge TV was wheeled in & we sat in almost complete silence as the service went on.

    It has been fascinating to hear the BBC back stories on the ceremony. The evocation of the past and our history is something that still I find moving. We will not see its like again I think.

     
  9.  
    15:05: Kay-Lesley Hallam Black, Belper

    emails: I am 68 and have been glued to my TV since 9am this morning, watching black & white film of Churchill's State funeral as I watched 50 years ago with my beloved father sitting quietly weeping as he acknowledged this great but flawed man as his saviour and the Lion who gave the roar & inspired the nation in the war years!

    On the 30th of January 1965 he watched and wept in gratitude at the passing not just of this great Briton and inspirational leader of the nation. He thanked God for Churchill's 90 years and at that time his 50 - and I too have kept faith with that again today thanks to your extensive and comprehensive coverage! Only we British can put on a ceremony with such superlative solemnity and dignity!

     
  10.  
    @TweetUKElection 14:56: UK Elections

    tweets: This shows the number of votes cast for each party at By-Elections from 2005-2010.

     
  11.  
    14:41: Adrian Chojnacki

    @ChojnackiAdrian tweets: Now Churchill and Bevan. That was a Great War coalition. Pity the current coalition is but a mere shadow of that example #Churchill2015

     
  12.  
    14:37: Childhood memory
    Sir Winston Churchill funeral barge

    Martyn Best tells us: "I was there as a nine year old with a camera given to me by my father who was a professional photographer. A family friend was an architect working for Taylor Woodrow who were constructing a new building next to the Tower of London. We stood on an open floor of the incomplete structure and I took the attached picture. I had also attended the lying-in-state and remember having to get up at about 5am to get the train up to London from Hertfordshire, walking past the coffin in Westminster Hall and then getting back home in time for school. It is all a very clear childhood memory."

     
  13.  
    14:30: 'Gave the roar to the British lion' BBC News Channel

    Historian Warren Dockter says Churchill's state funeral was a "major and global event" and it is important to commemorate it today. He singles out the wartime leader's "remarkable will". "It's famously said he gave the roar to the British lion and that's definitely true," he says.

     
  14.  
    14:23: Georgette McCready

    @GeorgeTMcCready tweets: @FleurHitchcock #Churchill funeral is my first memory of watching television. Black, white and grainy. My parents stood - out of respect?

     
  15.  
    14:21: Funeral flotilla recreated

    Missed the funeral flotilla recreated for the 50th anniversary of Sir Winston Churchill's state funeral? Watch the Havengore make the trip from the Tower of London to the Palace of Westminster where a special service took place.

    The Havengore - which carried Winston Churchill's coffin, returns to the the Thames
     
  16.  
    14:16: John Drake

    emails: I was living in Middleburg in Holland on the day of Churchill's funeral. It seemed to me on that day that Holland came to a standstill to honour the great man.

     
  17.  
    14:10: Robin Pyman

    emails: I was at school in Oxford. A large number of us went down to the railway line that ran alongside the Oxford canal at the bottom of our playing fields and stood alongside the track, bowing our heads as the great man's train passed by, taking him to his final resting place. We were all in awe. He was our hero.

     
  18.  
    13:56: Ina Holmen

    emails: My entire elementary school in Canada was brought into the gymnasium where the funeral procession was viewed on an elevated television placed near the stage. I remember it being similar to Remembrance Day with speeches, flags, and dignitaries from veterans groups present.

     
  19.  
    Tweet @BBC_HaveYourSay 13:53: Jan Shoesmith

    @4TBookworm tweets: Amazing to think Churchill's funeral was 50 yrs ago today. it's the first news item I ever remember I was 5 & had measles #Churchill

     
  20.  
    13:44: Westminster Abbey

    Westminster Abbey will host a ceremony from 18:00 GMT, with flowers laid at the green marble stone placed there in memorial to Churchill.

     
  21.  
    13:43: Havengore on the move

    The Havengore is back on the move again.

     
  22.  
    Email talkingpoint@bbc.co.uk 13:35: Send us your comments

    Rosemary Pettit emails: On the day of his funeral I was a know-it-all undergraduate with arrogant ideas, determined not to pay homage to an imperialistic war leader. So I ignored the whole thing but couldn't resist turning on the radio for the occasion. Sharing the top floor of a flat high in Hampstead I was quite unprepared for the fly-past which, like a thunder-clap, roared straight over my head. Suddenly, the superciliousness evaporated, the tension fell away and I felt united with all the good people who had lived and breathed during the war, and were even now gathered by St Pauls and the Thames, round their televisions and all over the world. Thank you RAF for bringing me to my senses.

     
  23.  
    13:24: Havengore comes to rest
    The Havengore outside the Houses of Parliament

    The Havengore comes to rest near the Houses of Parliament, where Churchill served as an MP for 60 years, and a brief service is now being held on board.

     
  24.  
    13:15: John Phillips

    emails: As I watch the re-run of Sir Winston Churchill's funeral I can remember the events quite clearly... Winston Churchill was my 'hero'. My mother, who came from Forest Gate, had endured the Blitz and had always maintained huge respect for "Mr Churchill", had told me countless stories of the war and how he had inspired the nation to victory.... To our disappointment when we got to London, the queues were enormous. However that fact in itself made me realise just how much loved Churchill was and we comforted ourselves with the thought that this had made the enterprise worthwhile.

    We got back around 2 am and the next day, morning school was cancelled so that we could all watch the funeral of the 'Greatest Briton' as Mo Mowlam later called him.

     
  25.  
    13:11: "Sombre and quiet"
    Barry Barnes recalling Churchill's funeral

    Barry Barnes, who witnessed the flotilla in person in 1965 and captured some of the day's images on film, recalls that the mood on the day matched the weather. "It was fairly sombre and very quiet", he tells the BBC.

     
  26.  
    13:07: Watching from the Millennium Bridge
    The Havengore passes under the Millennium Bridge in London

    The crowds may not be of quite the same size as in 1965 but there are new vantage points that weren't available 50 years ago.

     
  27.  
    13:04: Watching the funeral

    Brian Giles emails: Churchill's funeral will always be remembered by me, as on the Thursday before the funeral we had bought our first television from Radio Rentals, it was black and white and I watched the funeral on it with my parents.

     
  28.  
    13:03: Churchill's hearse

    Christopher Meeking emails: My grandfather, Charles Meeking, drove the hearse that took Winston Churchill's casket from the Festival Hall Pier to Waterloo Station as he was the senior driver for Kenyon's Funeral Services in London. My father had a picture from a broadsheet newspaper of the hearse and my grandfather clearly visible through the windscreen - it may well still be in the loft at my mother's house.

     
  29.  
    13:00: Havengore from above
    Havengore passing underneath Blackfriars Bridge

    An aerial shot of the Havengore passing under Blackfriars Bridge.

     
  30.  
    12:56: John Emmerson

    emails: My Dad took me to see the funeral procession, I was 10 years old and we travelled from Warrington down to London on a coach. I fell asleep on the way back and woke up in Wigan!

     
  31.  
    12:54: Michael Smith, Ottawa

    emails: As a 17 year old I had gone to the abbey to pay my respects to Churchill the night prior to the funeral. After a five hour or longer slow walk with what seemed like thousands of other mourners that crossed the Thames twice I finally passed the great man lying in state. To this day I respect Winston Churchill as the greatest Englishman ever and we were lucky to have had him.

     
  32.  
    12:54: The Havengore passes HMS Belfast

    The Havengore passes HMS Belfast, a major military landmark on the Thames. Tourists on board the famous warship wave as the smaller vessel passes by, the BBC's Duncan Kennedy says.

     
  33.  
    12:51: Paul Sayles, Misawa, Japan

    emails: I was living in Dunoon, Scotland at the time and watched the entire event on TV. I think all of my family was moved by the rendering of honours by the crane operators as Sir Winston passed the docks on his way home. I still remember the feeling 50 years on as if it was that day.

     
  34.  
    12:49: On its way
    Havengore

    The Havengore makes its way down the Thames, with those on board including pipers and volunteers reprising the role of pallbearers.

     
  35.  
    12:45: Tower Bridge opens
    Tower Bridge

    Tower Bridge is opening its gate as a mark of respect as the Havengore makes its way down the Thames.

     
  36.  
    12:44:

    emails: I was seven at the time of the funeral, and we had not long had a television. It was switched on for the early part of the ceremony, but, unfortunately, we were in the middle of moving from Cheshire to Shropshire, and had to go house-hunting on that day, it being a Saturday. Consequently, much as I wanted to stay at home and watch the funeral, I couldn't. I've regretted this for fifty years - I am looking forward to seeing the recording later!

     
  37.  
    12:43: 'Lovingly restored' BBC News Channel

    The BBC's Ben Brown says the Havengore has been "loving restored" by its current owner from a stage when "grass had been growing through the deck" a few years ago.

     
  38.  
    12:42: 'Fitting tribute' BBC News Channel
    The Havengore recreating Winston Churchill's funeral cortege

    The BBC's Duncan Kennedy, on board a boat on the Thames, says it was a "fitting tribute" that Churchill's coffin was placed on the front of the Havengore boat and carried down the river because of his role as naval secretary.

     
  39.  
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  40.  
    12:29: 'Proud day' Daily Politics Live on BBC Two

    Asked if it is a "sad day" for his family, Rupert Soames says it quite the contrary. "It is a proud day. It is a triumph he is still remembered," he tells the Daily Politics. "What could be better."

     
  41.  
    12:24: 'In gratitude'
    Message on wreath reading: 'From the nation of today, and the youth of tomorrow - in gratitude'

    Relatives and politicians left messages on wreaths during the service at the Houses of Parliament earlier.

     
  42.  
    12:22: Peter

    emails: I remember, age 11, seeing his funeral on TV. My mum had turned it on. Even then, I knew he was special, but the scale of his funeral made that clear. Now, having read his books, and others, I realise he was a complex and fallible man, who became an extraordinary leader when put under extreme pressure.

     
  43.  
    12:18: 'A great Briton'
    David Cameron at Churchill ceremony

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  44.  
    12:17: 'Great reforming home secretary'

    Rupert Soames, one of Churchill's grandsons, says he was one of the few people in the country who was "cross" on the day of the funeral because, as a five-year old, he was deemed too young to attend. Mr Soames, who remembers sitting on his grandfather's knee during weekends in the country, tells the BBC's Daily Politics that Churchill should be remembered as more than a wartime prime minister - adding that he commissioned the Beveridge Report in the 1940s and was "one of the great reforming home secretaries" before World War One.

     
  45.  
    12:15: Tony Guise

    emails: Although I lived in Aston, Birmingham, I so clearly remember the monochrome coverage from the BBC, as my parents and other family members gathered around our tiny television. I was seven-years old and shall never forget the sense of an historic moment. Never thought that memory would still be with me 50 years later!

     
  46.  
    12:14: Colour-coordinated wreaths
    Leaders of UK political parties with wreaths at Houses of Parliament

    Labour leader Ed Miliband, Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg and Prime Minister David Cameron laid appropriately-coloured wreaths during the service at the Houses of Parliament.

     
  47.  
    12:08: John Simpson on Churchill

    The BBC's world affairs editor John Simpson examines how an all-too-human politician became a great wartime prime minister.

    Winston Churchill giving V-for-victory sign
     
  48.  
    12:01: Tories 'rule out post-election deal with UKIP'

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  49.  
    11:59: Philip Keevill

    emails: 50 years ago today I was in London, paying my respects to Sir Winston Churchill. I'd seen something on the BBC News the evening before and told my Mum I'd like to go. We were living 30 miles from Preston at the time. My Mum didn't hesitate. We went to Preston station, bought tickets for the overnight sleeper train, and headed south. When we came out of Westminster Abbey, the press pounced on us. Apparently we were the last people to be admitted, and we were in that evening's papers!

     
  50.  
    11:57: Wreath leaves Tower of London
    Wreath carried from Tower of London to Havengore

    A wreath is being carried from the Tower of London to the Havengore boat, which will then carry it along the Thames to Westminster.

     
  51.  
    11:52: Sense of destiny
    Celia Sandys

    Churchill's grandaughter Celia Sandys says her grandfather had a "huge sense of his destiny" and was the "man Britain needed at that time".

     
  52.  
    @BBCArchive 11:51: BBC Archive
    Churchill

    tweets: Would Churchill's depression have prevented him becoming PM today? http://bbc.in/1DmUaec #BBCChurchill

     
  53.  
    11:50: Rob Thornton, Bines Green

    emails: Churchill's funeral was one of the few things I remember vividly from my childhood... I was a 13-year old schoolboy at the time... My parents, who had both been involved in the war - my father serving in the Army - watched in silence on TV and I clearly remember the cranes on the river dipping in salute. Their reverence was a very salutary lesson in what being a truly great man really meant and I have never forgotten that.

     
  54.  
    11:48: Professor David Durling

    emails: I grew up in London in the shadow of World War Two, and had a keen sense of gratitude to Churchill. As an 18-year old, I found a place among the wharves near Blackfriars Bridge, and paid my respects as the Havengore sailed past. I found myself entirely alone, and it was a moment never to be forgotten.

     
  55.  
    11:47: Gift of the gab
    Winston Churchill giving a speech in Walthamstow in 1945

    Winston Churchill is known as one of history's greatest orators, and he attributed his legendary speech-making skills to an Irish-born politician who taught him the gift of the gab as a young man, says the BBC's Greg McKevitt.

     
  56.  
    11:44: Commons 'man through and through'

    Commons Speaker John Bercow has been paying tribute to Churchill as a parliamentarian. Speaking at a special commemoration service in Parliament, Mr Bercow said the wartime leader was a House of Commons "man through and through" and had resisted blandishments to join the House of Lords. Churchill, he said, believed that the "cut and thrust of debate and the searing searchlight of scrutiny were vital".

     
  57.  
    11:42: Barbara Lancaster MBE, Leeds

    emails: I still remember my father, who was a staunch Labour man, saying there will never ever be another politician like him in your lifetime.

     
  58.  
    11:37: Boat ceremony BBC News Channel

    The BBC's Ben Brown, at the Tower of London, says in about 30 minutes a wreath made by Royal British Legion - at the poppy factory in Richmond - will be carried to the Havengore, the boat which carried the wartime prime minister's coffin along the Thames 50 years ago. The boat will then set off on the same journey again from the Tower of London to Westminster, and Tower Bridge will be raised at 12:45 GMT as a mark of respect. Once it reaches the waters opposite the Palace of Westminster, there will be special service and wreath laying in the waters.

     
  59.  
    11:33: Havengore in 2015
    The Havengore docked in London

    And here it is in 2015, being prepared ahead of the anniversary events.

     
  60.  
    11:31: Havengore 50 years ago
    Winston Churchill's coffin on a boat - the Havengore - on the Thames on the day of his funeral

    Here's the Havengore 50 years ago.

     
  61.  
    11:29: Stephen O'Sullivan

    emails: I watched the funeral on the BBC, I was five-years old and it is the first television memory I have, something I've always remembered to this day. I knew it must have been important because things were quiet and everybody knew that it was happening. I remember the procession, the train, the boat journey past the dipped cranes on the Thames. I asked my mother whether everybody got a funeral like this and she replied "oh no, this is different, he was an important man". Older now, I appreciate how important.

     
  62.  
    11:21:

    If you have any pictures of Churchill's state funeral 50 years ago, or other relevant pictures you'd like to share, please send them to yourpics@bbc.co.uk.

     
  63.  
    11:20: US/UK special relationship 'alive' BBC News Channel
    Winston Churchill with US President Franklin Roosevelt in 1943

    The US ambassador to the UK, Matthew Barzun, tells the BBC he is "inspired every day" by Sir Winston Churchill. He says the wartime leader was the first person to be made an honorary citizen of the United States and the special relationship between the US and the UK is still "alive" as the countries stand "shoulder to shoulder" in the fight against Ebola in Africa and ISIS in Iraq.

     
  64.  
    11:17: Boris on 'extremist losers'

    Boris Johnson, who recently published a biography of Churchill, has been making a few headlines of his own this morning. In an interview with The Sun, he has described men who join religious extremist groups such as Islamic State as "losers" who are likely to be users of pornography. Such individuals often turn to violence to boost their own-self esteem, he has suggested.

     
  65.  
    11:12: 'Spellbinding orator' BBC News Channel
    Winston Churchill making a speech during the 1945 election campaign

    Historian Sir David Cannadine pays tribute to Churchill, describing him as a "spellbinding orator" and "at times a marvellous determiner of military strategy" who was regarded as a saviour of the country. "Even though he was a controversial figure, I think that verdict has stood the test of time," he says.

     
  66.  
    @BBCArchive 11:05: Archive footage

    are live tweeting archive footage from Churchill's funeral, replicating the BBC coverage of that day as it unfolded in 1965. Go to https://twitter.com/BBCArchive to follow the coverage.

     
  67.  
    11:01: Warship aspirations

    Not all senior politicians are in the Commons for the Churchill commemoration, with politics continuing elsewhere. On a visit to Portsmouth, Chancellor George Osborne says the UK should aspire to build a new warship every two years and to make the Royal Navy the "most modern" fleet in the world.

     
  68.  
    10:52: Cameron lays wreath
    David Cameron lays a wreath at Churchill ceremony

    Prime Minister David Cameron lays a wreath at the Churchill commemoration ceremony at the Houses of Parliament.

     
  69.  
    10:51: Migrant election vote BBC News Channel

    The BBC's Louise Stewart tells the BBC News Channel this election is the first time where migrants will swing the vote in certain constituencies - most of them in London and the Midlands. "They don't vote as a blob - so many seats are tightly fought - but they could make a real difference, and they are of course more likely to support parties in favour of immigration."

     
  70.  
    10:46: Havengore ceremony BBC News Channel
    BBC's Ben Brown

    The BBC's Ben Brown is on board HMS Belfast on the Thames, where the Havengore, the boat which carried the wartime prime minister's coffin along the river from Tower of London to Westminster 50 years ago, will make the journey again later. Tower Bridge will be raised at 12:45 GMT for the ceremony.

     
  71.  
    10:39: Migrant election vote

    Let's break away from events 50 years ago for a moment. Migrant voters could have a "decisive" impact in a range of key marginal seats in the forthcoming general election, a new study has found. Almost four million foreign-born voters in England and Wales will be eligible to cast a vote on 7 May, according to a report by academics at the University of Manchester and the Migrants' Rights Network.

     
  72.  
    10:34: A million mourners
    People standing on roofs to see Churchill's funeral

    Crowded streets forced people to use every vantage point to see the funeral procession 50 years ago. A million mourners lined the route in London, while 25 million people in the UK - just under half the entire population of the country - saw it on television. About 350 million viewers, a tenth of the world's population, watched around the globe.

     
  73.  
    @PhilippaBBC 10:28: Live ceremony Philippa Thomas BBC News

    tweets: We'll have live ceremony coverage @BBCWorld 1245 #GMT MT @BBCArchive: Churchill's political career #BBCChurchill

     
  74.  
    10:26: 'Fitting tribute'

    Churchill's grandson, MP Sir Nicholas Soames, says the Westminster events were a "fitting tribute" to his grandfather and a "strong reminder of all he did for his country". Emma Soames, Churchill's granddaughter, adds: "To me growing up he was a grandfather, but I came to realise at his death that he was so much more than that."

     
  75.  
    @bbcArchive 10:24: Share your memories BBC Archive

    tweets: Do you remember the day of Churchill's funeral? Share your memories with us #BBCChurchill pic.twitter.com/5gzSwuWKsP

    BBC graphic
     
  76.  
    10:23: Churchill in numbers
    Winston Churchill doing a radio interview in 1928

    Churchill's career in the House of Commons began in 1900 and spanned 64 years, the longest in the 20th Century. While he was a member of the Commons, Churchill sat for two parties, represented five constituencies and contested 21 elections. He held numerous ministerial positions and served as prime minister twice.

     
  77.  
    10:00: 'Unprecedented funeral'

    Former BBC correspondent Martin Bell tells the BBC News Channel that Churchill's state funeral was "unprecedented - we will not see the likes of it again". He says the nation was "absolutely riveted" by the funeral. "It was very quiet, dignified, almost devotional - it's hard to imagine anyone drawing that kind of emotion, it was the passing of a great man," he says.

     
  78.  
    @BenBrownBBC 09:51: Ben Brown, BBC News Presenter

    tweets: On board HMS Belfast for BBC news channel coverage of 50th anniversary of Sir Winston's state funeral #Churchill2015

     
  79.  
    09:45: 'Inspired a nation'

    Prime Minister David Cameron, who is attending a remembrance service for Sir Winston Churchill at the Houses of Parliament, says the wartime leader's legacy "continues to inspire not only the nation whose liberty he saved, but the entire world". He adds: "2015 is a year to remember Winston Churchill's extraordinary life of achievement, to admire and to celebrate it anew, and to give thanks for his service not only to the country he loved, but to humanity as a whole."

     
  80.  
    09:34: 'Touched nation's heart'

    Churchill had "touched the nation's heart", his great-grandson said. "The story of how he first entered politics, he fought 19 general elections, and he was not always right on the issues, but people so admired what he managed to do in 1940 to inspire a nation and lead them through his great speeches and oratory. So he retains a very warm place in the nation's heart and the family have been bowled over by all the coverage."

     
  81.  
    09:33: 'Proud day'
    Randolph Churchill lays a wreath at the statue of his great-grandfather Sir Winston Churchill in Parliament Square

    The great-grandson of Sir Winston Churchill says the wartime leader would be "surprised but thrilled" at the commemorations of the 50th anniversary of his state funeral. Randolph Churchill, who was accompanied by Churchill's grandaughter Celia Sandys, says it is a "proud day" after he laid a wreath at the statue of the leader in Parliament Square.

     
  82.  
    09:12: Churchill anniversary

    A reminder that BBC Parliament is re-broadcasting the state funeral of the UK's wartime leader Sir Winston Churchill in about five minutes.

    Crowds lining a London street as the coffin of Sir Winston Churchill passes along
     
  83.  
    08:54: 'Different election' BBC Radio 4

    Back to contemporary politics for a moment. Former Labour minister Peter Hain says he believes more and more people will "swing behind" Ed Miliband as the election approaches. He rejects claims by his former colleague Alan Milburn that the election could be a repeat of 1992 - which Labour narrowly lost. "I don't recognise 1992 at all and I went through that election," he tells Today. "This is a very different election."

     
  84.  
    08:48: 'Britain at a standstill'

    "It was the day Britain came to a standstill, the world watched and an era passed" - BBC South of England Correspondent Duncan Kennedy looks back at the day of Winston Churchill's funeral - 30 January 1965.

     
  85.  
    08:40: Controversial Churchill

    For some, Sir Winston Churchill remains an intensely controversial figure. The BBC's Tom Heyden writes about the 10 greatest controversies of Churchill's career.

    Churchill statue, Westerham
     
  86.  
    08:31: Churchill's place in history BBC Radio 4

    Historians Simon Heffer and Andrew Roberts have been discussing Sir Winston Churchill's place in history on Today and considering how he would have adapted to contemporary politics. They agree it is "completely impossible" to compare him with today's leaders as they face lesser challenges and "you need the crisis to create the statesman". Simon Heffer says Churchill would have struggled with modern media scrutiny given his fondness for whisky first thing in the morning and his "dictatorial" style. But Andrew Roberts says Churchill never over-ruled his generals and the "granite" he showed in 1940 and 1941 undisputedly make him the greatest occupant of No 10.

     
  87.  
    08:15: NHS row BBC Radio 5 live

    Labour's shadow health minister Liz Kendall tells BBC 5 live Breakfast that former Labour health minister Lord Darzi is "wrong" for thinking that using the private sector is the way to make "the big changes we need" to public services like the NHS. "I just don't think that that's the case," she says. It comes after Lord Darzi told the BBC the NHS should prefer providers who deliver the highest quality care - whether they are "public, private or not-for-profit".

     
  88.  
    08:02: 'Million-strong crowd' BBC Breakfast

    The BBC's Duncan Kennedy, outside St. Paul's Cathedral in central London, tells BBC Breakfast a million-strong crowd gathered between the cathedral and Westminster Abbey for Sir Winston Churchill's funeral 50 years ago. "In many places it was 20-people deep as many regarded him as the greatest Englishman who ever lived... he's one of those rare leaders that is remembered in life and in death, however history ultimately judges him," he says.

     
  89.  
    07:51: Churchill's funeral BBC Radio 4

    Broadcaster Jonathan Dimbleby tells Today he will be watching the replay of Sir Winston Churchill's funeral on BBC Parliament this morning. It will be poignant for him, he says, since his father Richard - whose commentary on the event has lived so long in the memory - also died 50 years ago.

     
  90.  
    @BBCBenThompson 07:41: Housing shortage

    BBC business correspondent Ben Thompson tweets: 150,000 new homes built across UK last year but is it enough if demand still outstripping supply? @CountrysideProp boss - 0750 @BBCBreakfast

     
  91.  
    07:37: Behind the scenes at Westminster

    Parliament is not sitting today due to events marking the 50th anniversary of Sir Winston Churchill's funeral. But those wanting a different insight into how the famous institution works might like to read about a new BBC documentary - Inside the Commons - to be broadcast next week. Michael Cockerell and his team have been behind the scenes at Westminster and not all MPs have been happy about it.

    Documentary-maker Michael Cockerell
     
  92.  
    @BBCr4today 07:28: Medical training BBC Radio 4

    tweets: Plan to reduce length of medical training will lead to "lower standard of expertise" @thomasdolphin, @TheBMA #r4today

     
  93.  
    07:20: 'Dirtiest campaign' The Independent

    Ukip leader Nigel Farage says this general election could be the "dirtiest" campaign in British history. Writing in the Independent, he accused the Conservatives and Labour of employing "attack-campaign" election strategists and "hurling hundreds of thousands of pounds at Facebook and twitter".

     
  94.  
    07:07: Funeral film BBC Radio 4

    The TV pictures of Sir Winston Churchill's funeral remain "compelling viewing" 50 years on, James Rowland from BBC Archive says. There was a "little bit of damage" on the original film and dirt that had to be cleaned off, he tells Radio 4's Today, prior to its rebroadcast on BBC Parliament today. He reflects on the fairly rudimentary camerawork used in 1965, compared to today's standards, remarking that the pictures seem "slightly twitchy".

     
  95.  
    07:06: Churchill event timings

    Here are some of the 50th anniversary timings if you want to plan your day:

    • The Houses of Parliament will host a remembrance service and wreath-laying ceremony at 09:00 GMT
    • BBC Parliament is re-broadcasting the state funeral, which runs for a little over four hours, at 09:15 GMT.
    • Tower Bridge will be raised at 12:45 GMT as the Havengore repeats its 1965 journey from the Tower of London to Westminster
    • Westminster Abbey will host a ceremony from 18:00 GMT, with flowers laid at the green marble stone placed there in memorial to Churchill.
     
  96.  
    06:58: Churchill anniversary
    The Havengore carrying Sir Winston Churchill's coffiin along the Thames

    A bit more about what's happening in London later to mark the 50th anniversary of the state funeral of Sir Winston Churchill. The Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey will both host remembrance services, and there'll be a ceremony recreating the flotilla which carried Churchill's coffin along the Thames from the Tower of London to Westminster Pier. Members of Churchill's family will travel along the Thames on the Havengore, which carried his coffin 50 years ago.

     
  97.  
    06:51: 'Three parent baby law'

    And the Daily Telegraph's lead is on concern from the Church of England that legislation is being rushed through to allow children to be born with three genetic "parents". The technique - mitrochondrial DNA transfer - is being promoted as a way to combat a series of inherited medical conditions.

     
  98.  
    06:45: 'Religious slaughter of animals'

    Meanwhile, the Times leads on a big rise in the number of food animals slaughtered without stunning. The British Veterinary Association - which wants the practice banned from Britain - says the number of animals killed in this way has risen by 60%. The paper says this is because of campaigning by Muslims for traditional slaughter methods.

     
  99.  
    06:41: 'Migrant voting power'

    Migration is the focus of the i newspaper. It says immigrants could decide the result in 70 marginal seats, and Conservatives fear "migrant voting power" could cost them the election.

     
  100.  
    06:36: 'Gas bill rip-off'

    It's a "gas bill rip-off" for the Daily Express, which says figures show the big six energy suppliers are enjoying bumper profits, as temperatures plummet. The paper says the big firms will pocket an extra £114 per household in the coming year.

     

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