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Live Reporting

Andy McFarlane and Dominic Howell

All times stated are UK

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  1. Thursday's recap

    So, as we sign off after another eventful post-election night of politics, here's a quick recap of what Thursday brought:

    • The row at the top of UKIP dominated political headlines throughout the day, concluding with Nigel Farage making clear he intended to remain as leader
    • Elsewhere, Chancellor George Osborne set out plans  to devolve powers over housing, transport, planning and policing to English city areas that agree to elect a mayor
    • Shadow international development secretary Mary Creagh declared her candidacy for the Labour leadership
    • Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron confirmed he will stand in the party's leadership election, saying he believes it "must be saved"

    That's it for tonight folks, our colleagues will be back with you from 06:00 BST tomorrow.

  2. May look like George II

    Buzzfeed politics reporter tweets

  3. Are some Tories 'shamefaced'?

    Coming up on This Week very shortly, journalist and author Lionel Shriver will look at why some Conservative voters are not keen to voice their support. She reckons it "shouldn’t be a sordid little secret".

    In her film, she says: "Conservatives have been made to feel that voting Tory is one of those disgusting habits that you only indulge in the shady privacy of the polling booth."

    Also on the live programme with Andrew Neil - on BBC1 from 23:45 BST: Michael Portillo, Diane Abbott, Miranda Green, Piers Morgan and Andrew Rawnsley.

    Lionel Shriver in This Week film
  4. UKIP's Kassam denies 'aggression'

    The UKIP row is still bubbling on, with one of Nigel Farage's former advisors denying he encouraged the UKIP leader to take an aggressive approach.

    Raheem Kassam, who left UKIP today, said he had "kept the ship steady" and helped win the party nearly four million votes.

    Speaking to the BBC from New York, he accused critics of Nigel Farage's aides of staging a leadership coup. He namechecked economic spokesman Patrick O'Flynn, who had claimed Mr Farage had fallen under the influence of advisors wanting an "aggressive" approach.

    Mr Kassam said: "Nigel Farage is a very intelligent character, he's his own man. He doesn't necessarily take advice from everyone at all times and I think that's why he's so good.

    "So the case that XYZ had undue influence - I think actually what these people are saying is they doubt Nigel Farage's leadership."

    Mr Kassam said there shouldn't be a leadership contest, but called on Patrick O'Flynn and his "allies" to resign.

  5. Another Labour leadership bid

    Labour's Jamie Reed, who is the MP for Copeland, has told BBC Radio 5 live that he is considering standing for the party leadership. Mr Reed held a health brief under Ed Miliband.

  6. Guardian front page

    #bbcpapers #tomorrowspaperstoday

  7. EU referendum exchange

    On Question Time, Nigel Farage points at Conservative Jeremy Hunt and says the forthcoming In/Out EU referendum "has got to be fair".

    He says the sums spent on the "Yes" and "No" campaigns should be equal.

    Mr Hunt quickly replies that Mr Farage is being a "coward". He says the UKIP leader has got the referendum he wanted.

  8. Farage rules out taking 'Short money'

    Earlier in the week UKIP's only MP, Douglas Carswell, resisted pressure from the party to claim £650,000 of taxpayers' money to fund up to 15 additional members of staff.

    Smaller parties are entitled to the cash - known as Short money  - to help run their Parliamentary affairs.

    However, Mr Farage said: "I'm going to recommend we don't take any of it."

    He said the last thing the public want to see is a political party infighting over taxpayers money.

  9. Times front page

    #bbcpapers #tomorrowspaperstoday

  10. 'Personal wars'

    Here's a bit more on Mr Farage's comments on Question Time, due to be aired later tonight 22:45 BST.

    In response to Patrick O'Flynn's article in the Times criticising his leader, Mr Farage said: "I was disappointed that a member of our team said this, but look, [in] general elections you are under a huge amount of pressure it's like a boiler room, pressure cooker."

    Nigel Farage on Question Time
    Quote Message: We maintained discipline as a party extraordinarily well during this general election... the election is over, people are letting off steam, and we've seen one or two people fighting personal wars against each other."
  11. Tristram Hunt for Labour leader?

    Another snippet from Question Time, ahead of the broadcast at 22:45, with shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt telling the audience: "I am interested in the leadership."

    He says he will meet party members tomorrow.

  12. But the Telegraph still sees 'civil war'

    #bbcpapers #tomorrowspaperstoday

  13. Farage rules out stepping down

    While Nigel Farage appeared to cast doubt over his future within UKIP earlier (see 20:35), his performance on the BBC's Question Time seems he might have misheard the question.

    Mr Farage said he had "phenomenal" support from the majority of his party, despite the row that's raged for much of today among the party's senior figures.

    He warned that to go through a leadership contest now, with an EU referendum on the way, would be a "massive, massive mistake" for the party.

    The full programme airs on BBC1 at 22:45, except in Northern Ireland.

  14. More UKIP at 10pm

  15. Petition for northern England to join Scotland

    In case you missed it earlier, BBC Trending reports how thousands of people have signed a petition calling for the north of England to break away from the "London-centric south" and join Scotland.

    The online petition states that the deliberations of Westminster are becoming "irrelevant" to people in the north, who are not understood by "the endless parade of old Etonions lining the frontbenches of the House of Commons". 

    Created by "Stu Dent" who gives his location as Sheffield, the petition is aiming to reach 25,000 signatures. 

    Numbers swelled on the day that Chancellor George Osborne used a speech in Manchester to promise a "revolution" in the way England is governed, with elected mayors presiding over far greater powers in major cities to help them rival London. 

  16. 'Common sense' on UKIP Short money

  17. Teacher crisis 'greatest challenge'

    Away from the UKIP row, the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) has warned that a crisis in teacher recruitment is Education Secretary Nicky Morgan’s greatest challenge in the new government.

    "These are difficult times for education," writes ATL general secretary Mary Bousted. 

    "Our children and young people are under increasing pressure, caused primarily by intensive testing, and yet neither employers nor universities are convinced that this is preparing them for life after school. We are seeing the results of this pressure on children's mental health and well-being," 

  18. 'Big time' loss of faith

    On arrival at BBC's Question Time Nigel Farage is asked by an ITN reporter: "Have you lost the confidence of your party?" 

    Nigel Farage: "Big time" 

  19. O'Flynn hits back

    UKIP MEP Patrick O'Flynn has hit back after Nigel Farage's former chief of staff Raheem Kassam said that he should "consider his position".

    In response Mr O'Flynn said: "I may well have burnt my bridges but it had to be said. 

    "I'm not in politics to pursue personal seniority but to persuade the British public that we are good enough to govern ourselves away from the EU. 

    "There are a couple of advisers who are pushing Nigel in the wrong direction both in terms of policy and style of leadership." 

  20. Creagh targets Mail readers

    Mary Creagh said she opted to launch her campaign in the Daily Mail because "that's exactly the sort of reader Labour have lost". 

    She confirmed she did not yet have the 35 nominations from fellow MPs necessary to get on the ballot paper. The Wakefield MP added: "It's very early stages in what is going to be a long race."

  21. O'Flynn 'should consider position'

    Sky News

    Nigel Farage's former chief of staff Raheem Kassam tells Sky News that MEP Patrick O'Flynn should consider his position as UKIP economic spokesman, after criticising the party leader in a Times article.

    "It seems to me an elected MEP should not go on behaving like that," says Mr Kassam, who has denied he was sacked, insisting his contract with the party was due to end.

    Quote Message: You cannot go to a national newspaper and air internal party grievances... It is wholly unprofessional and I think Patrick should absolutely consider his position."
  22. 'Comfort zones'

    Independent on Sunday political editor tweets

  23. Talking 'shy Tories' on This Week

    Author and journalist Lionel Shriver will present a film on the phenomenon of "shy Tories" - saying she is among their number - as she looks back at the election result on This Week.

    There will also be a film from Andrew Rawnsley, while ex-Britain's Got Talent host Piers Morgan and Lib Dem commentator Miranda Green will talk about rejection.

    Andrew Neil brings on his panel live on BBC1 from 23:45 BST (later in N Ireland). Read more about the programme.

    Lionel Shriver filming for This Week
    Andrew Rawnsley filming for This Week
  24. MEPs 'forced to sign' letter backing Farage

    Norman Smith

    Assistant political editor

    Supporters of Nigel Farage have been accused of forcing the party's 22 MEPs to sign a letter backing the UKIP leader.

    However, it's understood considerable pressure was placed on the MEPs to sign the letter, which is due to be published shortly.

    One said they were left in no doubt that if they did not sign, their careers would suffer.

    "Our arms were twisted so far up our backs we were left little option but to sign," said one.

    However, it's claimed some of the MEPs were deeply reluctant. One said he was not opposed to Mr Farage previously but - because of the "strong arm tactics" - now felt he should resign.

  25. Express owner's '101%' Farage support

    Richard Desmond, the owner of Express Newspapers who donated £1m to UKIP during the campaign, said: "Nigel has my support 101%."

  26. Creagh's bid after 'thumping defeat'

    Announcing her leadership bid, Labour's Mary Creagh describes in the Daily Mail the moment she realised "Labour lost middle England".

    She writes: "On election morning I received an email from a small business owner in Hove. 'If your lot do win today, please don't annihilate the private sector and economy'."

    Mary Creagh with Ed Miliband
    Quote Message: I was horrified, but I got a premonition of what was about to happen. It was his voice, the voice of middle England, that spoke on May 7 and delivered our thumping defeat."
  27. Murphy should 'just leave'

    Emily Maitlis

    Newsnight Presenter

    The Unite union's general secretary, Len McCluskey, has blamed Scottish Labour for the party's failure to win last week's election and called for leader Jim Murphy to resign.

    "Not only have they lost Scotland but I think they've been responsible for making certain that the Tories were back in power in Westminster,” he tells Newsnight's Emily Maitlis.

    He says the party must tell the Scottish people "we’re sorry for letting you down, for making you feel abandoned", he says, adding: "Jim and his colleagues should just leave the scene.”

    He went on to tell me his thoughts on the prospective Labour leaders. And I asked him whether an endorsement from Unite could spell the kiss of death for any one of them.

    You can see the full interview - including his thoughts on prospective Labour leaders and whether an endorsement from Unite represented the "kiss of death" for them - on BBC2 from 22:30GMT.

  28. Mary Creagh 'to declare Labour candidacy'

    Robin Brant

    Political Correspondent

    Mary Creagh will declare her candidacy in the contest to be the next labour leader tonight. The shadow international development secretary is expected to announce she's standing in an article for the Daily Mail. The Wakefield MP and married mother-of-two is the fifth candidate to replace Ed Miliband.

  29. Another ex-leader on Farage

    Lord Pearson of Rannoch, who led UKIP into the 2010 general election and heads the party in the Lords, says: "Nigel fought a brilliant election campaign and what an achievement it was to get nearly four million votes. Nigel has my full support as leader."​

  30. 'Let off steam'

    One of Nigel Farage's predecessors at the UKIP helm, Roger Knapman, tells BBC Radio 4's PM that it's "time for the party to have an opportunity to express a view" on its leadership.

    Asked whether Mr Farage should stand again, he responds that it's "entirely a matter for him".

    "If there are people who are unhappy with the situation then I do think they need a chance to let off steam," he says.

    Roger Knapman

    Mr Knapman adds that UKIP should "certainly not" accept the £650,000 in "Short money" available to opposition parties to help cover parliamentary costs. Its sole MP Douglas Carswell has so far resisted pressure from the party to claim the sum to fund up to 15 additional members of staff.

    Because UKIP secured almost 3.9 million votes, but only one Commons seat, Mr Carswell is entitled to far more Short money than any other MP.

  31. 'Contract expired'

    Farage's ex-chief of staff tweets

  32. UKIP has 'outgrown' Farage

    Former UKIP deputy leader David Campbell Bannerman - now a Conservative MEP - tells the BBC News Channel that his former party has "outgrown" its leader.

    He says Nigel Farage should step down to focus on campaigning during the In/Out referendum on membership of the European Union promised by the PM.

    "Nigel Farage should work on the referendum and not be fighting this great battle within the United Kingdom Independence Party," he says.

    Suggesting that Conservatives' referendum pledge won votes from UKIP's right-leaning supporters, Mr Bannerman adds: "UKIP will have to go left if it's to stay in existence."

  33. Full-blown crisis?

    Norman Smith

    Assistant political editor

    The departures from UKIP of Raheem Kassam and Matthew Richardson are significant in that they were both identified by critics as architects of the party's failure to secure more seats, says the BBC's Norman Smith.

    They were blamed for the approach - dubbed "shock and awful" - adopted by Nigel Farage during TV debates, which saw him attack immigrants over HIV treatment and criticise the BBC's audience selection process.

    But our assistant political editor says the situation has gone beyond a row over the two characters involved.

    Quote Message: This has evolved into a full-blown leadership crisis, with figures calling for Mr Farage to go."
  34. 'Looks like a sacking'

    BBC political correspondent tweets

  35. Kassam 'no longer at ukip'

    Robin Brant

    Political Correspondent

    Raheem Kassam, formerly Nigel Farage's chief of staff, no longer works for UKIP, according to our political correspondent Robin Brant.

    He's one of the aides who was attacked as "inexperienced and aggressive" by the party's economic spokesman Patrick O'Flynn.

  36. Where's Nigel?

    We don't know is the answer. He might still be at lunch we're honestly not sure. But he'll be on Question Time tonight so that should be entertaining, right? 

  37. Afternoon recap

    So, Aiden and Matt have left the building and you're stuck with Dominic and Andy for the rest of the evening. Here's a quick recap of the day's main stories:

    A row has erupted between senior UKIP figures, after its economic spokesman said leader Nigel Farage had become a "snarling, thin-skinned, aggressive" man

    However, Patrick O'Flynn has since clarified that he wants Mr Farage to remain leader and that his criticism was aimed at "aggressive" aides

    Other senior figures are calling for Mr Farage to go but the UKIP leader says he was asked to stay in the job by the party's National Executive Committee

    Chancellor George Osborne has been promising powers over transport, policing, housing and planning to English cities that accept regional mayors

    Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper has called for a "more ambitious and optimistic" message from Labour, as she launched her leadership bid

  38. 'Best communicator in British politics'

    A statement from UKIP deputy leader Paul Nuttall on the Nigel Farage situation:

    Quote Message: The general election was a great success delivering four million votes in the bag. The 2020 vision is on course. UKIP have the best communicator in British politics leading this party and who will play a vital role during the referendum campaign."
  39. 'Better if you were no longer the leader'

    BBC News Channel

    Stuart Wheeler says he hasn't managed to speak to Nigel Farage directly.

    Quote Message: I have left a message saying 'I think it would be better if you were no longer the leader'. I'm not going to repeatedly push him or anything, he knows that. He probably doesn't particularly want to hear from me now.
  40. Wheeler on Short money row

    BBC News Channel

    Former UKIP party treasurer Stuart Wheeler says he believes the row between Douglas Carswell and UKIP officials over Short money has been sorted out.

    "I think they've sorted it out to some extent but I'm not close enough to it. I stopped being treasurer about a year ago so I'm not on the inside track now," he tells the BBC News channel.

    He says the money "has to be spent for Parliamentary business purposes".

    Quote Message: The idea that UKIP could use it, as it badly needs to, for other purposes to boost its chances and so forth, isn't right. What's meant by Parliamentary business is obviously a little bit vague, but it couldn't use it all in a way that it would like to.

    Douglas Carswell was approached by UKIP's party secretary on Monday and asked to recruit 15 extra staff for his Parliamentary office, but the Clacton MP rejected the proposal.

  41. UKIP 'needs softer approach'

    BBC News Channel

    Stuart Wheeler

    Stuart Wheeler - who has been one of UKIP's main financial backers - tells the BBC News channel that he is "still a great supporter of the party" but he thinks Nigel Farage should stand down.

    Quote Message: I don't believe he should be the leader now. He's been a terrific leader, but the great thing now is to win the in-out of Europe referendum. And I think we now need a softer approach - there are 3.8 million people who voted for us in the election, almost all of them will naturally vote out. So we are not trying to get them - we are now trying to get the block of undecided people who haven't made up their mind - and I think they need a rather softer approach.
  42. Osborne: we'll deliver devolution

    Manchester Town Hall

    "We'll deliver the devolution to Scotland and to Wales that we promised," says George Osborne, but the Queen's Speech will feature a bill to deliver "a radical new model of city government" in England.

    Powers over local transport, housing, skills, healthcare and the economy would be devolved, provided cities agree to have elected mayors to be responsible for administering them.

    London has a mayor and Manchester has agreed to have one, he adds.

    Quote Message: I will not impose a mayor on anyone but nor will I settle for less. My door is open to any other major city that wants to take this bold step into the future.
  43. Why Manchester?

    George Osborne defends his decision to initially favour Greater Manchester for more powers.

    "If I had tried to deliver simultaneously new devolution settlements in every major city at the same time, and tried to get every city authority to accept new elected mayors, it simply would not have happened."

    He adds:

    Quote Message: If I could work with you to to achieve this new model of civic leadership and local power here in Greater Manchester, I could hold it up to the rest of the country as an example of what was possible."
  44. Norman, 'nuff said, init

    Dappy, yeah y'know, Dappy. Dappy? That famous Lib Dem? Well, apparently he is backing Norman Lamb in the so far two horse race to lead the Liberal Democrats. (It's probably just going to be the two of them, as that is already a quarter of the parliamentary party.) The other contender is Tim Farron, who confirmed today that he is running.

  45. Should union strike laws be toughened up?

    The Daily Politics

    As the government prepares to toughen up strike laws ahead of union members going on strike, Andrew Neil spoke to Trades Union Congress (TUC) general secretary Frances O'Grady.She said: “I think a lot of people do smell a rat here. This is double standards. What about the 15% turnout on police commissioners? What about the EU referendum? Are we going have a 40% ‘yes’ threshold for that one? I think most people will see it as one rule for politicians and other for working people.”

    Watch the debate

    Frances O'Grady
  46. Osborne: close wealth gap

    Back to the serious stuff.

    "To really close that long-term wealth gap, we need to take further radical action," Chancellor George Osborne tells his Manchester audience.

    He set out his vision for a "northern powerhouse" at the city's Museum of Science and Industry last year.

    Quote Message: It was a vision based on the solid economic theory that while the individual cities and towns of the north are strong, if we enable them to pool their strengths, they could be stronger than the sum of their parts.
  47. Twitter reacts to UKIP row

    Looks like a few people are having some fun over UKIP's "civil war".

  48. Osborne: Decline of the north not inevitable

    George Osborne

    George Osborne is speaking in Manchester about his plans to give more power to English cities.

    "We should not accept that, relative to the rest of the country, the decline of the north of England is inevitable," he says.

    Quote Message: Our economy has become unbalanced and our capital city has begun to dominate more and more. The answer is not to pull London down. It's to all of our benefit that we have one of the great global capital cities in these isles. What we need to do is build up the rest of our country."
  49. What will the new Parliament look like?

    Mark D'Arcy, BBC parliamentary correspondent

    Houses of Parliament

    It will seem very strange.

    David Cameron will deliver a Queen's Speech. Harriet Harman, as acting Leader of the Labour Party, will respond for the opposition. In due course the leader of the third party will rise - not a Lib Dem, but the SNP's Angus Robertson.

    It will be a sight as jarring as the appearance of Lib Dems on the government front bench in 2010. And somewhere in a corner, pushed out of their previous front-bench perch, the remaining Liberal Democrats will gather.

    Read more from Mark.

  50. 'We've got to win back those votes'

    Yvette Cooper

    Yvette Cooper speaks to BBC News in Birmingham, where she is launching her campaign for the Labour leadership.

    Ms Cooper acknowledges that Labour has lost ground to other parties.

    Quote Message: We've got to win back those votes and I think that is about making sure that people have the confidence that we can match their ambitions for the future, in order to drown out the Tory and UKIP voices of fear."

    She adds: "In the end the only way to do that is to be listening to people's concerns about the country, not just looking inward at the Labour Party and certainly not looking back to the old remedies of the past, be it Tony Blair or Gordon Brown or any of the remedies of the past." 

    Andy Burnham, Chuka Umunna and Liz Kendall are also in the race.  

  51. MSPs - new powers 'need extensive redrafting'

    Committee report

    Away from the UKIP row, the Scottish Parliament's published its report on plans for new powers for Scotland.

    Following the "No" vote in last September's independence referendum, the then Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition government appointed Lord Smith of Kelvin to look into devolving more powers to Holyrood.

    The Devolution (Further Powers) Committee said the UK government's draft legislation did not meet the "spirit or substance" of the Smith commission proposals, adding that parts of the plan required "extensive redrafting".

    A spokesman for the UK government's Scotland Office responded by saying there would be a full parliamentary discussion to follow.

  52. Lunch with Nigel remembered... just

    Contributing editor of the Spectator tweets:

  53. Farage 'error of judgement'

    UKIP MEP Patrick O'Flynn has told the BBC it was an "error of judgement" for Nigel Farage to say he would quit as party leader if he failed to win in South Thanet. He also criticised the "aggressive", American-style briefing he claimed was going on against individuals in the party.  He said he would like to see Mr Farage take advice from a "wider circle" of senior advisers, so that "we can get back to seeing the best of Nigel".

  54. 'Livid' at 'ill-disciplined' UKIP

  55. Who's who in the UKIP drama

    Just in case you're wondering what all the UKIP fuss is about here's a helpful and hopefully quick guide.

    Patrick O'Flynn is a former political editor of the Daily Express who joined UKIP a couple of years ago. He is the party's MEP for the East of England and their economics spokesman.

    Matt Richardson has been UKIP's party secretary and a member of the National Executive Committee for about a year or so. A barrister by trade he was brought in, according to the Daily Telegraph  to stop "all the bad stuff" that was happening in UKIP getting out to the media. (Well done Matt). 

    Rahem Kassam is the UKIP leader's election strategist.

    A fan of trolling left wingers on social media with a penchant for guns according the the Daily Mail , he has worked for a host of think-tanks and blogs in recent years – from The Henry Jackson Society and The TaxPayers’ Alliance to The Commentator. 

    Mr O'Flynn told The Times today that Mr Farage had come under a “Tea Party, ultra-aggressive American influence”. His remarks, the newspaper said were "unmistakably a broadside against a team of relatively new advisers that include Raheem Kassam, a former staffer at the right-wing American website Breitbart, and Matthew Richardson, a barrister who has spoken at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington." 

  56. One more bottle to go

  57. UKIP's 'back bench rebellion'

  58. UKIP row analysis

    Robin Brant

    Political Correspondent

    Nigel Farage and Patrick O'Flynn

    There is now a very clear divide at the top of UKIP. On one side there is Patrick O'Flynn, Douglas Carswell and another senior official who was prominent during the election campaign.

    On the other side is Nigel Farage, a tight circle of senior aides and the millionaire donor Arron Banks.

    The key moment that led to this was the leader's decision to stay on.

    Mr Farage said he was "persuaded" by "overwhelming" evidence from UKIP members that they wanted him at the top.

    It surprised some, including the party's only MP Mr Carswell. It's what lies behind Mr O'Flynn's claims that UKIP could be seen as an "absolute monarchy".

    The dispute is now very public and very nasty. Close allies of Mr Farage have used unprintable four and five letter words in texts to me to describe Mr O'Flynn and Mr Carswell.

    All this just days after the party amassed a massive four million votes in the general election and installed itself as the challenger to Labour in the north of England.

  59. UKIP chief of staff Raheem Kassam 'not quitting'

    BBC political correspondent tweets:

  60. Farage 'exhausted and in pain'

    BBC assistant political editor tweets:

  61. BreakingUKIP Richardson resignation confirmed

    We've had it confirmed. UKIP party secretary Matt Richardson has resigned the party has told the BBC. his resignation will now be considered by UKIP's NEC.

    NIgel Farage's election strategist Rahem Kassam is staying on however. 

  62. UKIP source on Richardson resignation

    The Press Association joins Guido Fawkes in reporting that UKIP party secretary Matthew Richardson, one of the aides reported to be the target of Patrick O'Flynn's attack, has offered to quit.

    "I understand that he has offered his resignation," a UKIP source said.

  63. Opik: Lib Dems face a huge task

    The Daily Politics

    Lembit Opik

    "We're not actually extinct yet. So maybe that's a bit premature I think," former Lib Dem MP Lembit Opik tells the Daily Politics, when confronted with a new mock party logo that features a dodo.

    He thinks the Liberal Democrats can get back "into the teens at the next time" - he's talking about the number of seats - and then the twenties. But it will take two elections to get back to that point, he says and the new leader is going to have to work very hard from the ground up to get them there.

    It's worth pointing out that at 20-odd MPs, the LIb Dems would still have less than half the number of seats they had before last Thursday's bloodbath. That's where we thought they would be now, not by 2025!

    Lib Dem mock logo
  64. UKIP's Richardson offers resignation

    Guido Fawkes

    Blogger Guido Fawkes reports Matt Richardson, believed to be one of the UKIP party officials attacked in Patrick O’Flynn's Times article this morning has offered his resignation. 

  65. Wheeler: Farage should stand down

    UKIP donor Stewart Wheeler has told the BBC he would like Nigel Farage to step down, at least for the moment. 

    He adds:"If wants to put himself up in an election then he has every right to do so though I personally would prefer someone else now."

  66. Carswell 'absolutely not' leaving UKIP

    UKIP's only MP Douglas Carswell has said rumours he is about to quit the party are "absolutely" not true as the leadership crisis at the top of the party continues to unfold.

  67. Mulholland backs Farron for Lib Dem leader

    He's out of the race folks (Was he ever really in? We know there are only eight of them now but). Having hinted earlier this week he was considering running for the Lib Dem leadership Greg Mulholland has thrown his weight behind Tim Farron.

    That's Mr Farron's nomination sorted then. Now, how's he going to win over Nick Clegg?

  68. Stanbury: It is for O'Flynn to consider his position

    The Daily Politics

    Steven Stanbury

    "I certainly don't agree with anybody's attack on anybody, I certainly don't agree with anybody's attack on Nigel Farage, Mr Stanbury tells the Daily Politics regarding today's fall out over Patrick O'Flynn's article inThe Times.

    He adds he thinks personal attacks are beneath Mr O'Flynn and beneath the party.

    He says "it is for others to consider their position" when asked whether Patrick O'Flynn should quit the party.

  69. Farage: Leadership row not my fault

    Nigel Farage
    Quote Message: If the NEC [Naitonal Executive Committee] unanimously back me that's not my fault is it?
  70. Stanbury: UKIP attacks 'self-indulgent'

    The Daily Politics

    Steven Stanbury

    Steven Stanbury, UKIP''s parliamentary candidate for Forest of Dean tells the Daily Politics that UKIP voters should expect a "more professional approach" from the party "and not the selfish self-indulgent attacks that we are seeing". 

    He adds UKIPs election strategy proved to be very successful. 

    He points out UKIP won several council seats on the night of the general election. He adds all the other parties were squeezed by the Scottish National Party (SNP) "fear factor".

    Many people, he claims, told him on the doorstep that they were going to vote UKIP locally but not nationally because of the fear of a Labour-SNP coalition government.

  71. O'Flynn: Farage should continue to lead

    Sky News

    Patrick O'Flynn tells Sky News Nigel Farage should recapture the optimistic "cheeky and daring" persona that served UKIP so well in the local elections last year and lead UKIPs campaign ahead of the In/Out referendum on Europe. 

    But he attacks the advisers around Mr Farage. Equally some of those advisers have attacked Mr O'Flynn saying he is a "scribbler with a single tier education" among a number of insults.

    Mr O'Flynn tells Sky News "there are poisonous influences [within UKIP] that need to be removed."

  72. Cameron to meet Sturgeon on Friday

    David Cameron and Nicola Sturgeon

    David Cameron will visit Scotland on Friday and is expected to meet First Minister Nicola Sturgeon for their first face-to-face talks since the general election, Downing Steet says.

    Mr Cameron and Ms Sturgeon spoke by phone within hours of the election results coming in on 8 May, when the prime minister restated his commitment to "governing with respect and implementing devolution" along the lines of the cross-party Smith commission agreement.

    Following the brief call, Ms Sturgeon said she "made it clear" to Mr Cameron that "it cannot be business as usual".

    She later described the Smith Commission template as "a strong starting point" which "does not go far enough".

  73. On the Daily Politics from noon

    The Daily Politics

    Andrew Neil and Jo Coburn are joined by Conservative peer Lord Finklestein to discuss the latest Westminster news.

    UKIP’s director Steve Stanbury will look at party campaign chief Patrick O'Flynn’s comments about Nigel Farage, the Guardian’s Rafael Behr will talk about the Labour leadership contest and TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady will be asked about strike laws.

    Also coming up are commentator Iain Martin on the Tory modernisation plan and former Lib Dem MP Lembit Opik on his party’s leadership contest.

    The Daily Politics is live on BBC2 from 12:00 BST, with viewers in Scotland joining from 12:30 after First Minister's Questions. Desktop readers can watch on the Live Coverage tab above.

    Lembit Opik
  74. Farage source: O'Flynn has 'personal problems'

    Spectator assistant editor

  75. Labour rejects Hodges story

    A firm rejection of the Spectator story by Dan Hodges, which painted a bleak picture of Labour's election campaign.

  76. Labour on city powers

    BBC News Channel

    Chris Leslie

    Mr Leslie adds:

    Quote Message: Labour supports genuine devolution to all parts of England, as well as to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. But communities have heard promises before and they will be no clearer today about looming decisions on funding. Devolution needs to be part of a UK-wide plan, not a series of one-off deals done by the chancellor. The government's piecemeal approach threatens to leave many areas behind. In the last Parliament, the most deprived communities were hit the hardest and the North had bigger reductions to local government budgets than in the rest of the country."
  77. Leslie: 'Everybody supports genuine devolution'

    BBC News Channel

    Labour's new shadow chancellor, Chris Leslie, tells the BBC News Channel that his party would welcome the Conservatives' proposals for devolution if they are "genuine".

    But he says we've been here before over the last five years and that the country needs a "proper well thought through" plan.

    Chris Leslie
    Quote Message: Everybody supports genuine devolution as long as it is genuine - but there are a lot of local authorities across all sorts of political parties who are wondering what really is the chancellor's agenda here. Are we hearing the sound of the axe being sharpened what exactly is coming down the track? And I think its that's the sort of information that we now need from the chancellor."
  78. Whither the Edstone?

    BBC Radio 5 Live

    Ed Miliband

    The Edstone has been discovered! Possibly.

    Remember how Labour leader Ed Miliband carved six election pledges in stone a week before the election? Well apparently the last time it was seen was in a car park in Maidstone, BBC Radio 5 Live reporter, Stephen Chittenden says.

    He adds that Patrick Wintour of the Guardian suggested on Twitter last night it is in a garage in south London. But it appears the search continues for the 8ft limestone monolith.

    Perhaps whoever finds the Edstone should become the next Labour leader, a bit like the Arthurian Excalibur legend? A novel idea admittedly but maybe not as bonkers as it might sound. The Daily Mail, meanwhile, is apparently offering a case of champagne to the person that finds the two tonne piece of rock.

  79. 'Heading for a leadership contest'

    Victoria Derbyshire

    Norman Smith says the row between UKIP officials and MP Douglas Carswell over public money paid to MPs "underlines the tension, the civil war brewing within the party".

    Nigel Farage's people thought it wasn't up to Mr Carswell to decide to reject the money, he adds.

    Quote Message: I suspect, one way or another, we are heading for a leadership contest, whether with the acquiescence of Nigel Farage or whether it is forced on him." from Norman Smith
    Norman Smith
  80. Carswell 'should step forward now'

    Victoria Derbyshire

    Former UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom says Douglas Carswell "should step forward now" and run for leader.

    "For the good of the party they should unite behind him," he tells Victoria Derbyshire.

    "But I don't think he wants it. It's a poisoned chalice."

    And Mr Bloom has some strong words about the way UKIP has been run under its current leader.

    Quote Message: Any criticism of Nigel is seen as disloyalty to the cause. We saw that before, did we not, in the 1930s."
  81. Norman Smith, BBC assistant political editor


    Sounds painful

  82. Prodi: Europe under a German umbrella

    BBC Radio 5 Live

    Britain has already lost a lot of power in Brussels, Romano Prodi says, and claims all European countries now operate under a Germany umbrella.

    Mr Prodi says the announcement of an in/out referendum so early was also a bad idea. He says that because of the delay by the time the referendum is carried out, Britain will have lost further policy levers in Brussels.

    He  warns that Europe is very divided at the moment and says the result is that the UK may struggle to reach agreement with the other EU members.

    Mr Prodi says Europe is paralysed, making treaty changes almost impossible. He adds that member states have long memories and feel the UK already has achieved much in the way of concessions, such as the rebate.

  83. Tim Farron press release

    Tim Farron

    Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron has put out a press release, setting out his stall in the party's leadership contest and claiming the backing of some senior Lib Dem figures.

    "On Monday the leaders of the Welsh and Scottish Liberal Democrats, Kirsty Williams AM and Willie Rennie MSP, urged Tim to stand, describing him as 'a committed liberal, a brilliant communicator, an outstanding campaigner and an inspirational leader'," it reads.

    "Tim has also gained pubic support from former party leader David Steel, Mark Williams MP, John Pugh MP, Greg Mulholland MP, Lord Taylor of Goss Moor and [former MP] Duncan Hames."

    Fellow Lib Dem MP Norman Lamb has also announced a bid for the leadership.

  84. Farage 'had no intention of going'

    Victoria Derbyshire

    Norman Smith

    Norman Smith says he has been told that the previously reported version of Nigel Farage's "unresignation" was "not what happened".

    It was reported that Mr Farage was to remain as UKIP leader after the party rejected his resignation.

    However, Norman says he has been told that UKIP MEP Suzanne Evans was asked to "sign a bit of paper" to say she would become an interim leader "to keep the leadership seat warm over the summer" until Farage could come back.

    She refused to sign this but Mr Farage then "intimidated" UKIP's national executive, who then decided to back him, Norman adds.

    Staying on was always Mr Farage's "gameplan", he says.

    Quote Message: He had no intention of going."
  85. Bloom: 'Farage should move over'

    Victoria Derbyshire

    Godfrey Bloom, the former UKIP MEP for Yorkshire and Humber who left the party, has told the Victoria Derbyshire programme it's time for Nigel Farage to move over as leader. He said Mr Farage was "tired and stressed".

    Godfrey Blloom
    Image caption: Godfrey Bloom
  86. Prodi: Europe must unite or dissolve

    BBC Radio 5 Live

    Brussels flag

    Mr Prodi says the EU hasn't become too big following expansion and says that he believes Europe will have a unified armed forces and single foreign policy in 20 years' time.

    He says that has to be the direction in which Europe is headed.

    He warns Europe is losing influence in the world partly as a result of the financial crisis but also because of the failure to move ahead with ever closer union.

    "We are physically losing day by day weight in the world," Mr Prodi says. "Either we dissolve Europe or we press ahead."

  87. 'Great Powers must solve problems in Libya'

    BBC Radio 5 Live

    Romano Prodi, former Italian prime minister and president of the European Commission, tells BBC Radio 5 Live: "The current migration problem cannot be regulated without regulating Libya. It will require an international effort from the West and Russia." He suggests the various sides need to be "obliged to negotiate” by “a specific effort of the Great Powers”.

  88. Devolution plans fall short say MSPs


    Existing plans to hand more powers to Scotland do not meet "the spirit or the substance" of the cross-party agreement on devolution, according to MSPs from all the main political parties in Scotland.

    Holyrood's Devolution Committee, which includes Conservative and Lib Dem MSPs, has unanimously decided that the draft Scotland Bill falls short of the Smith Commission's ambitions.

    The Scotland Office, now led by Tory David Mundell following Lib Dem Alistair Carmichael's ejection from government in the election, has pledged to hold a full parliamentary discussion "where differing views can be heard".

  89. Kendall lacks gravitas

  90. Vicki Young

    BBC political correspondent tweets:

  91. UKIP 'civil war erupting'

    Victoria Derbyshire

    "A civil war is erupting in UKIP around the leadership of Nigel Farage," says BBC assistant political editor Norman Smith.

    He tells Victoria Derbyshire he has spoken to "a very senior figure in UKIP" who believes Mr Farage could not remain leader without a contest, given the party's election performance.

    Quote Message: It would be the equivalent of the Liberal Democrats saying: look, let's keep Nick Clegg."
  92. Fall in productivity

  93. Labour 'preaching to the converted'

    Today Programme

    BBC Radio 4

    Today asked earlier whether Labour's social media presence was one of the reasons why the party lost. Did the party activists convince themselves they were winning on Twitter and Facebook, in contrast to the reality on the ground?

    Professor Helen Margetts of the Oxford Internet Institute said Labour "tried to reach out to a mass of people on social media" but did not do as well at this as the Conservatives or the SNP.

    Quote Message: They had more boots on the real ground than the other parties and they tried to do the same on social media, but they didn't really have the presence on social media that, for example, the SNP had before the election campaign started. So they tended to be preaching to the converted. It was more difficult for them to reach out to people."

    The Conservatives, meanwhile, had a "silent campaign" targeting advertising on Facebook, she added.

  94. Daily Politics


  95. SNP mandate?

  96. Patrick O'Flynn, UKIP MEP and economics spokesman


    Just in case anyone (ie, journalists) wanted to know. Seems keen to chat.

  97. Holyrood concern over Smith commission draft legislation

    Glenn Campbell, political correspondent, BBC Scotland

    Smith commission report

    A Scottish Parliament committee is expected to raise serious concerns about the UK government's draft legislation to deliver further devolution, reports BBC Scotland's Glenn Campbell.

    The Smith Commission was set up to consider more powers after the independence referendum. The last UK government promised to deliver its recommendations and the new government is committed to legislation.

    The cross-party committee report is expected to find that these proposals do not live up to the spirit of the Smith agreement and require revision.

    Yesterday, SNP leader and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon made a statement in the Scottish Parliament on the outcome of the UK election, saying that her party's position was that the Smith Commission's proposals did not go far enough.

    A Scotland Office spokesman said: "The UK government is committed to delivering more devolved powers through the package outlined by the cross-party Smith Commission."

  98. How was the election for you?

    For the BBC it was a record breaker, particularly when it comes to people reading about the election on their mobile phones (12.8m) and tablet computers (4.9m).

    Steve Herrmann, BBC Digital executive editor, says the figures show the changes in the ways we're all consuming news. There's more here.

    BBC statistics
  99. Faisal Islam, political editor, Sky News


  100. Alex Smith

    former editor of LabourList tweets:

  101. Cameron on extremism law

    David Cameron

    Just a reminder - this is what David Cameron said yesterday, which is the subject of a Telegraph editorial today.

    Quote Message: For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens: as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone. It’s often meant we have stood neutral between different values. And that’s helped foster a narrative of extremism and grievance.
  102. Carney on EU referendum

    Today Programme

    BBC Radio 4

    Bank of England governor Mark Carney strikes a diplomatic note when asked whether a likely referendum on the UK's membership of the EU is causing uncertainty for business.

    "There has been an awareness of some of this political uncertainty" within businesses caused by both the election and a possible referendum, he says.

    However, he claims "they have not yet acted on that uncertainty" and have continued to invest.

    Quote Message: I think that it's in the interest of everybody that there is clarity about the process and the question and the decision.
  103. Cameron warned over security laws

    The Daily Telegraph

    David Cameron has been warned over his plans to tackle extremism - following his remarks on Wednesday on radicalisation - from what might be considered an unlikely source: the Daily Telegraph.

    Its editorial it warns David Cameron that, in trying to protect democracy, "the government should be careful not to water down further our most precious value: freedom of expression".

  104. English Parliament

  105. Productivity fall

    Today Programme

    BBC Radio 4

    If the word "productivity" doesn't set your pulse racing, it probably should. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) says it is the main determinant of national living standards.

    The Bank of England;'s inflation report said on Wednesday that, for every hour the nation works, we are producing less than we were seven years ago.

    "It has been worse than we expected. In fact, it's been worse than we expected for the last seven years," Bank governor Mark Carney tells Today.

    He says this "sharp fall" in productivity is "one of the great costs of the financial crisis".

  106. 'New constitutional settlement' for England

    Today Programme

    BBC Radio 4

    Sir Richard Leese

    Sir Richard Leese, the leader of Manchester City council, speaks to Today about government plans to give English cities more powers - including allowing Greater Manchester to elect a mayor.

    "It's probably going to take us some years to evolve a proper system of fiscal devolution but it's got to happen," he says.

    He calls for "a new constitutional settlement for local government in England" in the wake of the Scottish independence referendum.