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Live Reporting

Paul Gribben and Alice Evans

All times stated are UK

  1. In summary: What happened today?

    We are at the end of another busy day of the general election campaign.

    Here is a recap of Wednesday’s main events:

  2. Tomorrow's front pages: Polls, leaks, and blogposts

    Front page of the Metro
    Image caption: The Metro leads on the YouGov poll which claims the Conservatives will win a majority of 68 seats in the general election
    Front page of the Times
    Image caption: The Times says Mr Johnson is on course for a comfortable majority as a result of making gains at Labour's expense - based on the YouGov poll
    Front page of the FT
    Image caption: The FT reports a warning from the Resolution Foundation - that a new Conservative or Labour government would be likely to break its budgetary rules.
    The Guardian
    Image caption: The Guardian leads on the story we've been bringing you reaction to all day - a dossier released by the Labour Party which, it claims, is "proof" the Tories want to "sell" the NHS in a US-UK trade deal.
    The Mirror's front page
    Image caption: Although different in style, the Mirror's front page isn't too different from the Guardian's in sentiment
    Front page of the Telegraph
    Image caption: Refraining from a focus on the YouGov poll, the Telegraph's main story is Dominic Cummings' warning that the election is too close to call
  3. What else does the YouGov poll say?

    YouGov said it had interviewed around 100,000 people over the last seven days to research its MRP model.

    If the election were tomorrow it says the Lib Dems would win 13 constituencies (one more than they had before Parliament was dissolved), the SNP would win 43 (a gain of eight), while Plaid Cymru and the Green Party would remain static with four seats and one seat respectively.

    The YouGov model is seen as important by political observers because their last predictions called the hung parliament and got 93% of seats correct.

    While this is impressive, there’s not enough of a track record for us to know whether or not the 2017 result was a one-off success.

  4. Tories on track to win majority of 68, poll suggests

    The Conservatives will win the general election with a majority of 68 seats, according to a YouGov poll.

    Were the election held tomorrow, YouGov projects the Tories would win 359 seats - 42 more than they took in 2017.

    Labour is on track to lose 51 MPs by securing 211 seats, the poll suggests.

    The poll suggests that the Conservatives would pick up seats from the Labour heartlands of the Midlands and the North.

    YouGov's MRP model was hotly anticipated because it is the method that first accurately projected a hung parliament in 2017.

    Remember, there are caveats to this and any prediction should be treated with caution.

    The difference between this model and ordinary polling is that it applies national trends to constituencies, using demographics and previous results. This means it's more specific than national polling but will miss any truly local issues.

    And like other polls, the data can change between now and the election.

  5. In pictures: Day 22 of the election campaign

    Expelled Conservative politician Lord Heseltine speaks to reporters at a Liberal Democrats press conference in central London
    Image caption: Expelled Conservative politician Lord Heseltine speaks to reporters at a Liberal Democrats press conference in central London
    Nicola Sturgeon addresses supporters at her party's manifesto launch
    Image caption: Nicola Sturgeon addresses SNP supporters at her party's manifesto launch in Glasgow
    An NHS worker with a dossier
    Image caption: An NHS worker poses with a dossier on US-UK trade talks. The papers were handed out at Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn's event in London
    Boris Johnson
    Image caption: Big party policies were put to one side for a few minutes when Boris Johnson enjoyed a scone on a tour of Rodda"s Clotted Cream in Redruth, Cornwall
  6. The big election trade-off - what have we learned?

    Faisal Islam

    BBC Economics Editor

    US and UK flags

    The emergence of these lengthy secret accounts of two years of US-UK trade discussions are important for several reasons.

    They are the clearest account of a deal that could be done and dusted in the Parliament that is about to be elected.

    Almost zero detail on the approach to such a deal has been outlined in manifestos.

    The documents show there could be widespread consequences, not just for the economy, but also important trade-offs to be made by the government elected next month.

    Read our full story here.

  7. Cummings hasn't quit, despite rumours...

    Dominic Cumming

    Some people on Twitter have been speculating that a blog published earlier by Dominic Cummings, Boris Johnson’s closest political adviser, had breached the civil service code and that he has since quit his role.

    Pre-election restrictions apply to more than 440,000 civil servants working in the UK- staff who are politically impartial and work for government departments or agencies.

    In this period, they aren't allowed to do any work for "political party purposes".

    In Mr Cummings's 2,200-word posting, he says he has never been a member of a political party - but urges everyone who voted for the UK to leave the EU to support the Conservative Party in the next election.

    He also warns readers of a "Corbyn-Sturgeon alliance" in the event that the Tories fail to win a majority.

    However, the BBC has confirmed with the Cabinet Office that he resigned as a special adviser at the start of the campaign - along with all the other special advisers - as a formality.

    Stepping down at that point meant he would be able to campaign without breaking any rules.

  8. Labour volunteer shares postal vote images online


    A Labour Party member in Plymouth has been criticised for sharing images of a postal vote on social media.

    Baz Ahmed tweeted a picture he was sent of a postal vote for Labour election candidate Luke Pollard, that revealed the voter's name and ballot paper number.

    The tweet has since been deleted.

    Plymouth Sutton and Devonport candidate Mr Pollard said on Twitter he advised his team and others "not to share" such pictures.

    Critics on social media said the move may have broken data protection and electoral laws.

    Read our full story here.

  9. Latest headlines

    What has happened so far today?

    Here is a mid-evening catch-up on the main events from today on the campaign trail.

  10. Islamophobic Tories out on first bounce, or bouncing back in?

    Andrew Neil Show

    Wednesdays from 7pm on BBC2

    Robert Buckland

    Moving away from the topic of the NHS, Andrew Neil asks Justice Secretary Robert Buckland about Islamophobia in the Conservative Party.

    Boris Johnson has said anyone guilty of Islamophobia in his party would be "out first bounce".

    But Mr Neil accused Mr Buckland and his colleagues of allowing people to "bounce back in" again.

    Mr Buckland says: "The record shows that we have been taking swift and immediate action to remove and suspend people who clearly have crossed that line into unacceptable, innapropriate and offensive comments."

    But the BBC presenter challenges him, citing a recent example where a local councillor was thrown out of the party for Islamophobic comments made online - before being allowed back in again at a later date.

    The Conservatives have pledged to start an investigation into Islamophobia and other forms of prejudice within the party before the end of the year.

    Critics have said this does not go far enough, and that a review dealing solely with Islamophobia is what is needed.

  11. US-UK meetings were 'discussions of a preliminary nature'

    Andrew Neil Show

    Wednesdays from 7pm on BBC2

    Robert Buckland

    Back to the question of what "on the table" actually means...

    The Conservative manifesto says the NHS will not be on the table in post-Brexit trade talks. Labour says the documents released earlier prove that this isn't the case.

    Mr Buckland says the six meetings were "discussions of a preliminary nature" about drug prices in a future US-UK trade deal.

    But he adds: "That does not mean this is a negotiation based upon specific requirements. It's the sort of scoping discussion that happens in every free trade agreement. There's nothing unusual about this at all."

    Andrew Neil pushes the Tory frontbencher, though, saying: "There is nothing in these documents to say drug prices are not on the table."

  12. Justice secretary: Labour dossier 'noise and scaremongering'

    Andrew Neil Show

    Wednesdays from 7pm on BBC2

    Robert Buckland

    Now it's the turn of Justice Secretary Robert Buckland in the hot seat.

    Presenter Andrew Neil begins by quoting International Trade Secretary Liz Truss when he spoke to her last week - she said the price the NHS pays for drugs was not on the table in US-UK trade talks.

    "That's not true, is it?" Neil says.

    Mr Buckland disputes this.

    He says the papers released by Labour are "a lot of noise and scaremongering about very little at all".

  13. Gardiner: 'Our NHS is under attack'

    Andrew Neil Show

    Wednesdays from 7pm on BBC2

    Labour’s Barry Gardiner quoted an annual extra cost of £26bn for the UK buying US drugs - but Andrew Neil says: “It’s ludicrous and you know that figure is scaremongering.”

    Mr Neil says the current total bill is actually £18bn for drugs from across the world.

    But the Labour man says the point is that the government has said discussions with the US about the NHS are not going on - when the document, he claims, shows that the talks have indeed been happening.

    "You're scaring people on the basis of no evidence in the document," Mr Neil says.

    But Mr Gardiner says that is a "ridiculous thing to say" because references to drugs companies in the papers implicitly link back to the NHS.

    "Our NHS is under attack from big American drug companies," Mr Gardiner adds.

    View more on twitter
  14. Gardiner grilled on Labour release of US-UK trade dossier

    Andrew Neil Show

    Wednesdays from 7pm on BBC2

    Video content

    Video caption: Gardiner on drugs costs and trade deal

    The BBC's Andrew Neil has Robert Buckland and Barry Gardiner on his show tonight.

    Justice Secretary Robert Buckland is the Conservative candidate for South Swindon while Mr Gardiner, the shadow international trade secretary, is the Labour candidate for Brent North.

    Mr Neil presses Mr Gardiner straight away - asking him about Labour's release of government documents which it claims prove the NHS would be at risk in a US-UK trade deal.

    Mr Gardiner recalls Boris Johnson telling a TV audience there were no US-UK talks about drug price negotiations.

    The Labour frontbencher says there had been six meetings between officials about wording for a future trade deal.

    But the BBC presenter asks him for evidence Britain had agreed to give the US access to UK markets.

    The frontbencher said: “If ministers are allowing civil servants to go off and negotiate this, either they are in control of it, in which [case] they know what is going on, or they are not in control of it."

  15. Independent election candidate dies

    Anthony Watchorn
    Image caption: Anthony Watchorn was running as an independent parliamentary candidate for Rutland and Melton

    Some sad news from the constituency of Rutland and Melton today.

    Whissendine farmer Anthony Watchorn, who was running as an independent candidate, has died aged 69 after being taken to hospital yesterday.

    He had been campaigning in the area and was due to attend a hustings on Monday with the other five candidates.

    Read the full story here.

  16. NHS news under wraps until after polling day

    Hugh Pym

    BBC News Health Editor


    There have been calls for politicians to dial down the rhetoric in the health debate and to avoid "weaponising" the NHS.

    The subject has been prominent in the election campaign and there is a widespread interest in understanding what is actually happening across the health service.

    Political claims, counter-claims and rows over statistics don't always help that understanding. Some voters might feel they would like to hear from clinicians and other frontline staff.

    But that won't be possible until after polling day because of a Cabinet Office policy known as "purdah".

    Read our full story here.

  17. Cummings tweaks blog after contradictions spotted

    Tom Barton

    Political correspondent in Westminster

    Blog graphic

    Earlier we brought you news that Tory political adviser Dominic Cummings had published a blogpost for the first time since he entered Downing Street.

    He has since changed his blog after journalists highlighted the fact that it contradicted Tory attack lines on Labour.

    Mr Cummings originally wrote that if Jeremy Corbyn became prime minister, with the support of the SNP he would “waste 2021 on another Scottish referendum”.

    But the Conservatives have repeatedly warned of a “weak coalition government led by Corbyn’s Labour and two chaotic referendums next year" - that is, 2020.

    Journalists, including BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg, highlighted the discrepancy – and a later version of the blog changed the wording to suggest that “there’ll be another Scottish referendum".

  18. Facebook encouraged '335k voting sign-ups in five days'

    BBC digital elections reporter tweets...

    View more on twitter

    Younger people were much less likely to vote in the last two general elections compared to older people.

    So unsurprisingly, most voter registration adverts on Facebook were targeted at this under-35 age group.

    Read more here.

  19. PM adviser Cummings: I'm not a member of any party

    Tom Barton

    BBC political correspondent

    Dominic Cummings

    Boris Johnson's closest political adviser, Dominic Cummings, has published a 2,200-word essay on his personal website - the first time he's blogged since entering Downing Street.

    In the post he admits that despite serving under a Conservative prime minister, he is not a member of the Tory party.

    "I have never been a member of any party", he writes, adding that under David Cameron and Theresa May "there were some big decisions about priorities that were wrong".

    He also claims Boris Johnson promised him, and other members of the No 10 team, that he was "determined to change the Conservative Party".

    Mr Cummings writes that three days before becoming PM, Mr Johnson asked him to "gather as many of the old Vote Leave team as possible and bring them to Downing Street to help deliver Brexit".

    In an article which sees Mr Cummings warn about the dangers of voters not delivering a parliamentary majority for Mr Johnson, he also attacks some of the PM's political opponents - accusing "powerful insiders" of doing "absolutely anything to keep their grip on power and money."

  20. SNP: If we win in Scotland PM can't say no to referendum

    Radio 4 PM

    With the SNP launching its manifesto today, it's Radio 4 PM's turn to chew over the issues - with the party's Stewart Hosie.

    Mr Hosie insists Brexit has "triggered the mandate" to hold a second independence referendum, not least - he says - because of the way Scotland has been "treated" in the Brexit process with the SNP's arguments being "dismissed".

    He goes on to say that if the SNP wins a majority of seats in Scotland in the election, it would represent a further mandate to hold a referendum.

    In those circumstances, he doesn't think it's "sustainable" for any UK prime minister to say no to a referendum.