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By Lauren Turner, Alex Hunt and Pippa Simm

All times stated are UK

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  1. Salmond urges 'sense' on EU votes

    Newsnight

    Alex Salmond tells the BBC's Newsnight that the House of Lords would be perfectly entitled to try and push for 16- and 17-year-olds to vote in the EU referendum. He suggests that David Cameron might "see sense" and give way on the issue as he would not want to give the impression that 16- and 17-year-olds in England were "less capable" than their counterparts in Scotland - who were able to vote in last year's referendum. The former Scottish first minister says the "age of majority" in Scotland is 16 but Evan Davis reminds Mr Salmond that under-18s are not allowed to buy cigarettes north of the border. 

    Join us tomorrow for more live updates.

  2. Round-up

    Tuesday round-up 

    - The EU referendum bill  was overwhelmingly approved by MPs at second reading in the House of Commons. During a six-hour debate, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond says an "entire generation" has been denied a say on the UK's place in Europe. Labour backs the bill but the SNP says it is a "sop" to Tory MPs. 

    - We've had Boris Johnson weighing in on the issue too. During his Ask Boris radio show, he said it would be "safer and more harmonious" if ministers were allowed free rein in the forthcoming referendum. 

    - When he was asked about prospective candidates to take over as Mayor of London, the Conservative MP said he didn't want to "blight" anyone's chances by endorsing them. Whether or not that had an effect on Zac Goldsmith, who knows, but shortly afterwards he told the Evening Standard he intended to stand. There's one caveat though - he has to win the support of his constituents first. 

    - Candidates for another post, that of Labour leader, have been busy today too, as they addressed GMB union members at their annual conference in Dublin. The five MPs were asked whether they supported the government's plan to lower the annual welfare cap - and if they knew the price of a loaf of bread. It also emerged that three candidates - Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall have the 35 nominations needed to get on the ballot but Mary Creagh and Jeremy Corbyn are still short of the total. 

    - We learned today that MPs are to consider allowing some terminally ill people in England and Wales to end their lives in a new effort to pass assisted dying laws. This comes after Labour MP Rob Marris won a private members' bill ballot.

    - And, proving that perhaps you can't have smoke without fire, people in Wales will be banned from using e-cigarettes in enclosed places under a new public health law . Join us tomorrow for more live updates.

  3. 'Not asking for much'

    UKIP MP tweets...

  4. EU vote 'more important than party politics'

    Conservative MP Graham Brady

    The senior Conservative MP, Graham Brady, has urged the prime minister to decide now to "treat EU membership as a matter of conscience for front and backbenchers".

    Mr Brady, who chairs the influential 1922 Committee of backbench MPs, writes in the Daily Telegraph that it is "right" for members of the government to be bound by collective responsibility during the renegotiation of Britain's relationship with the European Union.

    But he says once the reform package is agreed, "the referendum campaign will effectively begin".

    "At that point, there are three reasons why I would urge the government to treat EU membership as a matter of conscience for front and backbenchers alike," he wrote.

    "First, making it clear now that this freedom will be allowed at the end of the negotiations will act as a pressure release and set the tone for a mature and rational debate.

    "Secondly, while this is an issue that is more important than party politics - which will divide any serious party - it is also right that we should have a view to the need for reconciliation after the referendum.

    "It must be in the interests of the Conservative Party to treat the referendum campaign as a discrete issue, one that needn't divide us on the vast majority of the government's programme for government on which we are entirely united.

    "Thirdly, on such a totemic issue, it is only if it is clear that ministers are free to speak their minds that the public will know that they are genuinely urging a course of action that they believe in - not advancing an argument because it is a condition of their continued ministerial office."

  5. Fox: Don't 'rush referendum'

    Former defence secretary writes...

  6. MacNeil: I didn't vote

    Despite ending up in the wrong lobby, Angus MacNeil has insisted that he did not vote against his own party and for the EU Referendum Bill. The Western Isles MP has admitted his mistake but said he then refused to vote - by exiting the lobby where MPs are counted. The BBC's Tim Reid says the MP is not listed on Hansard - the official record - as voting in either lobby although he did vote for the SNP's wrecking amendment beforehand. Mr MacNeil said: "I was in wrong lobby but refused to vote. Amazing the amount of MPs who have told me they have done the same."

  7. Start of a long debate

    Political correspondent Chris Mason writes...

    Political correspondent Chris Mason

    You don't need a doctorate in mathematics to work out this was a Commons majority of rather a lot.

    With 650 MPs in the House of Commons, persuading 84% of them to vote the same way is quite something.

    In fact, such an achievement that the result was held up because of the length of the queue of those wanting to endorse the idea of an EU referendum.How did it happen?

    Labour campaigned before the general election against the idea of a referendum, saying it would be destabilising.

    But after what amounted, to them, to be a rather destabilising appointment with the electorate, they have changed their mind in defeat.

    For some, this vote is something they have campaigned on for as long as they have been at Westminster: a say for the people on our place inside or outside the European Union.

    For all of us, it is the start of a debate about how we see ourselves, our place in the world and a decision for us each to take, within the next two and a half years.

  8. The wrong Angus

    MPs in the chamber of the House of Commons

    There seems to have been a case of mistaken identity when it comes to which SNP MP ended up in the wrong lobby this evening. It wasn't Angus Robertson but rather his colleague Angus MacNeil. The MP has apparently confessed his error to the Guido Fawkes website. He is quoted as saying:

    Quote Message: Felt I needed a little attention from Daily Mail as they were ignoring the SNP and wanted to make new MPs feel good when experience makes a mistake but mostly was distracted by Labour and Tories pleading for SNP votes for select committees”
  9. Robertson: I voted right way

    Angus Robertson

    This just in from the BBC's Tim Reid. He says Angus Robertson has denied voting the wrong way on the European Union Referendum Bill. Journalists quoting Labour whips had suggested Mr Robertson was "hiding in the toilets" after going into the wrong voting lobby. However, Mr Robertson said: "I voted for SNP amendment and against the 2nd reading of the Bill... as Hansard will show". Hansard is the official record of all debates in the Commons and the Lords. It includes lists showing which way MPs voted.

  10. 'Wrong lobby'

    The BBC's Chris Mason sums up the vote by saying there was "one heck" of a parliamentary majority for the referendum. Interestingly, only 53 MPs voted against the bill at second reading compared with 59 who backed the SNP amendment a little earlier. One explanation for the small discrepancy comes from the Sunday Times journalist James Lyons. He suggests Angus Robertson, who leads the SNP at Westminster, entered the Yes lobby by mistake for the second reading vote and had to hide in the toilets while it was taking place. 

  11. Clarke abstains

    Financial Times political correspondent tweets...

  12. 'Wonderful' moment

    UKIP MP tweets...

  13. Political reaction

    Cabinet Office minister tweets...

  14. 'Defeat or retreat'

    Channel 4

    Former SNP leader Alex Salmond says the bill has only passed its first hurdle and, using a golfing analogy, says there is "many a slip between cup and lip". He suggests the government faces either "defeat or retreat" on two issues. Firstly the timing of the referendum, due to what he says is growing opposition to any attempt to stage it on 5 May 2016, the same day as the Scottish parliamentary elections. He also says ministers are under pressure over any attempt to suspend "purdah rules" which traditionally restrict government announcements and activity in the run-up to elections and other polls. Owen Paterson is also concerned about this, saying long-established rules should not be "ripped up" and the referendum must be a level-playing field. 

  15. A 'great day'

    Channel 4

    Reacting to the vote, former Cabinet minister Owen Paterson says this is a "great day" and a "real result" for the country. He tells Channel 4 News it is premature to speculate on who may lead the No campaign, saying the prime minister deserves time to conduct his renegotiations and praising him for the "canny hand" he is playing. 

  16. Further votes

    MPs have also approved the programme motion for the bill, an instrument which facilitates the scheduling of legislation, without a formal vote. They have also nodded through what is known as a money resolution. This allows MPs to consider any increase in public spending which might result from measures included in the bill. 

  17. Bill backed at Second Reading

    Eventually we have a result. MPs back the EU Referendum Bill at second reading by 544 to 53 votes. That is an overwhelming result. The outcome is greeted by loud cheers from the Conservative benches. 

  18. 'Road to Damascus'

    As we are waiting for the result, Conservative MP Bernard Jenkin jokes that there is a delay because there are so many MPs seeking to vote in favour of the bill. "The road to Damascus has never been so congested", he suggests in an echo of comments once made by Lady Thatcher. Of course, you could construe his remarks as a gentle dig at Labour.  

  19. Second vote

    Deputy Speaker Eleanor Laing ticks off MPs for making too much noise. She then proceeds to call a second vote on a government motion on the bill. Again, we expect this to be approved comfortably. 

  20. SNP amendment defeated

    MPs announce the outcome of the vote on the SNP amendment

    The SNP's attempt to wreck the EU referendum bill at an early stage has failed. Its amendment has been defeated by 338 votes to 59. 

  21. Vote on SNP amendment

    Mr Lidington concludes his remarks and the deputy speaker Eleanor Laing calls the first vote. This vote will be on the SNP amendment - which calls for the bill to be denied a second reading. If it was passed, which will not happen, it would the mean the bill effectively being kiboshed. 

  22. 'Strong opinions'

    Former SNP leader Alex Salmond challenges David Lidington to rule out holding the referendum on 5 May 2016 - the same day as elections to the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly. The minister does not do that but he insists that the government will consult on the timing of the referendum when the moment comes. On the issue of whether 16- and 17-year-olds should be allowed to vote, he accepts that there are "strongly held opinions" on either side and the matter will be considered in detail at committee stage. However, he says there should not be "a one-off" exception for the EU referendum and there needs to be consistency across all UK-wide elections and votes. 

  23. 'Open and engaged'

    Pat McFadden says Labour will argue for the UK to remain an "open, engaged and confident" member of the European Union. His Conservative counterpart, Europe minister David Lidington, is now summing up for the government. He starts by praising the 12 new MPs who have made their maiden speeches during the debate and contrasts their contributions with the interventions from older and more experienced members, many of which he jokes had a "ring of familiarity" about them. 

  24. Summing up

    In the Commons, backbenchers have finished having their say for the time being on the EU Referendum Bill and we are onto the closing arguments from the opposition and the government. Shadow Europe minister Pat McFadden is currently summing up for Labour. We are expecting the Second Reading vote at about 1900 BST. 

  25. Three horse race?

    BBC Newsnight chief correspondent tweets...

  26. More on nominations

    You can see the list of nominations the Labour leadership candidates - and deputy leadership candidates - have received so far on the Labour party website  here.

  27. Labour leadership nominations

    BBC Newsnight chief correspondent tweets...

  28. 'Killing two unions'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Glasgow South MP Stewart McDonald, of the SNP, says he is a European citizen and Scotland is "an outward-looking European nation", as he makes the case for the UK's continued membership. He also advocates voting rights for 16 and 17-year-olds in the referendum.

    He warns that attempts by Conservatives to "kill one union" might result in them "killing two".

    Quote Message: If Scotland is to be dragged out of the EU against its wishes and on the back of votes from voters in England, then that may be the result they do not see coming."
  29. 'Not harmless fun'

    House of Lords

    Parliament

    Laws to crack down on the sale of so-called legal highs will protect the public from the potentially fatal consequences of the drugs and help end a "reckless trade", Home Office minister Lord Bates has said.

    Opening the debate on the Psychoactive Substances Bill, which is being debated in Parliament for the first time, he said: "New psychoactive substances are not merely a bit of harmless fun providing an instant buzz. 

    "These substances are untested and unknown with clear evidence of short-term harms and potential long-term adverse consequences."

  30. Tidal lagoon green light

    Newsnight policy editor tweets...

  31. Debate recap

    House of Commons

    The House of Commons is some hours in to its debate on the EU Referendum Bill, with a vote to be taken on second reading at about 19.30 BST.

    Opening the discussion, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said "for too long" powers had been ceded to the EU and it was time to give people a say on the UK's future relationship with the 28-member bloc.    

    So-far the majority of speakers have welcomed the planned referendum on Britain's membership of the EU, with the exception of the SNP which wants to block the bill from progressing further.

    However, several of the opposition parties - including Labour, the Lib Dems, and the Greens - have indicated that they will seek to amend the bill, to give 16 and 17-year-olds and EU nationals a vote in the referendum – something the government has rejected.

    There has also been cross-party criticism of plans to scrap the purdah period in the run-up to the poll, with disquiet also emanating from David Cameron’s own backbenchers, including ex-ministers Damian Green and Crispin Blunt; perhaps signifying the rocky road that may lie ahead for the PM on the Europe question.

  32. Green view

    Keith Taylor, Green MEP for South East England, says staying in the EU "would guarantee a better future for the UK". 

    Speaking before this afternoon's second reading of the EU referendum bill, he said: "The EU is far from perfect - however, vitally important workplace protections and environmental legislation would be under threat if we decided to exit."

    The Green party also wants to see 16 and 17-year-olds given the chance to vote in the referendum.

  33. 'Go for maximum reform'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Conservative MP Tim Loughton offers the prime minister some words of advice in his EU reform negotiations.

    Quote Message: We've made a great start; go for maximum reform, take it to the wire all the way to 2017. It'll be a long hard slog, you will find many detractors on the way, you'll also find many allies. But fundamentally the major players in Europe who will shape the future of Europe, like Germany, desperately need the UK to be part of it, shaping it along with them. We will achieve some things we want and other things we had not expected, that's how negotiations work. We will inevitably have to compromise."
  34. EU poll 'shows MPs matter'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Conservative MP Peter Bone, a well-known Eurosceptic, says its remarkable that the EU referendum is to come to fruition and says it shows how can MPs can affect change.

    Quote Message: "People say this House doesn't matter, that MPs don't matter because it's all done by government... but that's just not true."

    The Wellingborough MP expresses concern about the timetabling of the bill's committee stage, which will receive two days of scrutiny. He wants more time to be set aside.

  35. Labour's 'change of heart' welcomed

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Kelvin Hopkins

    Kelvin Hopkins, the Labour MP for Luton North, joins many previous speakers in welcoming the planned referendum on the UK's EU membership. He says he welcomes his party leadership has had "a change of heart" and now supports holding a vote.

    Mr Hopkins notes that former Labour PM Harold Wilson allowed ministers free rein during the 1975 EU referendum and hoped all parties would follow that "wise example" to allow a "free"debate. "We should be free to vote with our consciences," he adds.

  36. Blast from the past for Goldsmith

    Zac Goldsmith

    And here is the Huffington Post article from 2013, in which Zac Goldsmith - who has now said he would like to stand as Conservative candidate for Mayor of London - says that to do so would be a "suicide mission". 

    At the time, he added: "The odds of my succeeding in the mayoral contest, I think people have had enough of white male Etonians, 

    "I'm not sure my chances would be very high." He added when pressed: "It's simply not going to happen. I'm not going to stand as a candidate for mayor of London."

  37. 'Not going to happen'

    Huffington Post political reporter tweets...

  38. 'Issue of conscience'

    Robin Brant

    Political Correspondent

    The prime minister's official spokesman said David Cameron's view "has not changed" on the matter of assisted dying, adding that he thought it was an "issue of individual conscience for parliament to decide".

    Mr Cameron's personal opinion is that "he is not convinced that further steps need to be taken" and he is "concerned that legislation may push people into things they do not actually want for themselves'". 

    Labour MP Rob Marris is expected to unveil a new private member's bill later this month which will attempt to legalise assisted dying. It is likely to be considered in detail by MPs in September.

  39. 'No government time'

    We have a story about Rob Marris' assisted dying bill, which was announced earlier. Now we've learned what the PM's view of the matter is:

  40. 'Right approach'

    The prime minister's official spokesman said he wanted to "talk each (EU) leader through why he thinks this is the right approach", says BBC political correspondent Robin Brant. 

    He will meet the president of Cyprus, the leaders of Belgium, Spain and Finland, plus the president of Romania on Thursday. 

  41. 'I am a sinner'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Steve Baker, the Conservative MP for Wycombe, confesses: "I am a sinner who has repented. For many years I annoyed my wife most sincerely by being in favour of European integration."

    But he adds that when he realised it meant "surrendering our democracy" he changed his tune. Welcoming the EU Referendum Bill he says it is "a very happy day indeed".

  42. More meetings for Cameron

    BBC political correspondent tweets...

  43. Another maiden over

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Drew Hendry

    Drew Hendry, the new SNP MP for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey (possibly the longest constituency name in Parliament), follows Mr Scully to deliver a maiden speech of his own.

    He criticises cuts to the Scottish budget and says the SNP wants to "banish" austerity policies from Scotland.

  44. Burnham backs manifesto

    Labour leadership hustings

    North West and Irish delegate Kevin Flanagan asked the candidates if they had been in the toilet when Labour's election manifesto was drawn up. 

    Andy Burnham admitted he had not been as involved as he would have liked. 

    But he won applause when he rejected the suggestion that the party's manifesto had been "too left wing".

    "I would say that it is the best manifesto that I have stood on in the four general elections I've stood for Parliament for Labour," he said. "I pay tribute and give credit to Ed Miliband. I believe he did something important in re-focusing our party on inequality."   

  45. 'Major investment' needed

    Labour leadership hustings

    Mary Creagh stressed the need for major investment in the transport infrastructure. 

    She said: "We had a huge row about High Speed 2. I want High Speed 3, 4 and 5. I want Crossrail 2, 3 and 4. 

    "Physical mobility is key to social mobility."

    She was the only one of the five candidates who said that she would be prepared to share a platform with David Cameron to campaign for a "yes" vote in the EU referendum, saying to do so was "in Britain's interests".

  46. It's a hat-trick

    Paul Scull

    Paul Scully, the Conservative MP for Sutton and Cheam, becomes the third of the new intake to make his maiden speech today.

    On the EU, he says the referendum is about "retaining sovereignty", and accountability and transparency.

    Just before he got to his feet the new deputy chair of the Commons, Natascha Engel, announced that the time limit for backbench speeches has been cut further, to six minutes now.

  47. Who said it first?

    The Spectator assistant editor tweets...

  48. 'Rebuilding takes time'

    Labour leadership hustings

    The five candidates said they did not believe the party's election manifesto was too left wing, with Mr Burnham praising former leader Ed Miliband for his policies.

    They were asked how Labour could win back votes in Scotland. Ms Cooper said: "We have to rebuild - but it will take us time." 

    Mr Burnham was applauded when he said Labour made a mistake by sharing platforms with the Conservatives during the Scotland independence campaign, while Ms Creagh said Labour had to earn back the trust of voters by rebuilding from the grass roots.

  49. Redwood: EU thoroughly undemocratic

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    John Redwood

    John Redwood says it should be for the UK Parliament to take decisions on its welfare system and border controls - not the EU as he says is currently the case. He also insists that UK jobs and trade are "not at risk" in the event of a 'Brexit'.

    The Eurosceptic MP concludes by saying the European Union is "thoroughly undemocratic" and "above all, it is the past and is holding us back". It's also "a myth" that the union keeps the peace, he adds.

  50. 'Puppet parliaments'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Conservative Eurosceptic John Redwood declares the referendum as a "great opportunity" for the British public to "restore their precious but damaged democracy". For too long they’ve had to watch as important powers have been given up to Brussels, he adds.

    The Wokingham MP says Britain "fortunately still has a fairly powerful parliament" as it stayed out of the euro - but those that didn't have been reduced to "puppet parliaments".

  51. Lib Dems back referendum

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Tom Brake

    Tom Brake - one of the few Lib Dem MPs to hold on to their seats at the general election - says the party has changed its position, as it was "clear" from the election result that people wanted an in/out referendum.

    "Now therefore the focus should be on ensuring we win that referendum," the Carshalton and Wallington MP adds (which for the Lib Dems means securing a vote to stay in the union).

  52. 'Tolerance and decency'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Objecting to EU aims for "ever closer union", Mr Fox warns that the logical endpoint of this "is union, and I do not want to lose our status as an independent sovereign nation".

    Turning to his party, he urges colleagues to take care with how they conduct themselves over the EU referendum, saying this will be of fundamental importance in "our ability to pull ourselves back as a united party" after the vote.

    Quote Message: We may do it passionately but we should do it with tolerance and decency and how we treat one another will be a judgement that the country will make upon us all."
  53. 'Real life round'

    Labour leadership hopefuls are now being asked if they know the price of common items - such as an NHS prescription, a loaf of bread and a TV licence - by Mirror journalist Kevin Maguire, who is chairing the session. 

    Paul Waugh from Hufifngton Post has these updates: 

  54. 'Complicated question'

    Mr Burnham continued: "I am not setting my face against changes to the benefit system but it depends how they do it and I am not going to give you an answer like that to a question that complicated." 

    Ms Cooper said: "I understand that everybody wants a yes or no, but we need to reform the legislation. 

    "As it stands, I think it is unfair. It is our job in the Labour Party to try and argue for change and to try and make changes, whether that is in Parliament or anywhere else and that is what we are going to have to do."    

  55. 'Let's celebrate this moment'

    Liam Fox

    "Most people feel deep down that too many of our laws are made abroad", says Liam Fox, as he argues that "we cannot continue with this European model that is failing".

    He says MPs should "celebrate" this moment as it is "a triumph of democracy" that the British public are finally to be given a say on the UK's future in Europe.

  56. Jeers for candidates

    Andy Burnham and Yvette Cooper did not give a yes or no answer when asked if they backed Tory plans to reduce the household benefits cap to £23,000 a year - and were jeered by trade unionists as a result. 

    Liz Kendall and Mary Creagh said they supported the change but warned it could cause localised problems. 

    Jeremy Corbyn was the only candidate to say he was opposed to the cap.

    While Mr Burnham said he backed the principle of the cap, he insisted it was "unfair" to expect a direct answer.  

  57. 'Voters left behind'

    Yvette Cooper

     Yvette Cooper said Labour's election campaign was too "narrow", adding that the party should reach out to win back voters "left behind".       

  58. EU 'increasingly diminished'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Welcoming the referendum, former Conservative Defence Secretary Liam Fox says no-one under the age of 58 in the UK has been able to have a say on the country's membership of the European Union.

    He says the 28-member bloc finds itself "increasingly diminished, politically and economically" and asks whether people would still have voted to remain in the EU in 1975 if they knew what it would become today.

  59. Human Rights Act v British Bill of Rights

    The Daily Politics

    Winston Churchill

    There has been a lot of talk about the Human Rights Act, a possible British Bill of Rights, the European Convention on Human Rights, and the European Court of Human Rights.

    In a Daily Politics film. Giles Dilnot looks into the archive and explains the inevitable confusion.

  60. 'Their future at stake'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Wes Streeting

    Wes Streeting becomes the second of the 2015 intake to make their maiden speech in the Commons today. The new Labour MP for Ilford North says UK should be leading, not leaving, Europe.

    He also endorses his party's call for 16 and 17-year-olds to be allowed to vote in the upcoming referendum, telling MPs: "It's their future as much as our which is at stake."

  61. 'Not a sensible approach'

    Damian Green

    Damian Green says that if the UK backs a British EU exit, the government can expect to spend "at least 10 years trying to renegotiate ourself back into a position where we have any kind of reasonable access to our largest export market".

    "This is not a sensible approach for any British government to adopt," he adds, warning there would be "long-term harm" to the UK's economic interests. 

  62. 'I am a fighter'

    Mary Creagh

    Mary Creagh said Labour was trusted to run the NHS, councils and schools, but parts of the electorate did not trust it to run the economy. 

    "Labour needs a fighter - and I am a fighter," she said. 

  63. Bold move?

    BBC political correspondent tweets...

  64. 'Party people can relate to'

    Labour leadership hustings

    Andy Burnham

    Andy Burnham tells the GMB hustings Labour had lost touch with many supporters and was seen as a "Westminster elite", talking in "political code". 

    "I will take Labour out of the Westminster bubble and will lead a party that people can relate to," he said. 

  65. Benefit cap 'unfair'

    Labour leadership hustings

    Jeremy Corbyn

    Mr Corbyn, the most left-wing of the candidates, was cheered when he said it was unfair to have a £23,000 benefit cap. 

    He told delegates his purpose in standing was to raise issues about how to face austerity and the way the Government will treat people over the next five years. 

  66. 'All-consuming passion'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Damian Green

    Conservative Damian Green, a former immigration minister, says that it is in the UK's interests to remain a member of the EU, particularly, he says, once David Cameron's reforms to the bloc are achieved.

    The Ashford MP remarks that Europe is a "curious" subject in British politics as for some "it is an all-consuming passion" but for the "vast majority" of  British people it "rarely features" in the list of  things they really want government to get to grips with.

  67. Get Involved

  68. 'Change or face irrelevance'

    Liz Kendall

    Some more from the Labour leadership contenders. 

    Liz Kendall says the party is under "mortal threat", adding: "The scale of the defeat means we must change or face irrelevance."  

  69. Opening statements - Labour leader hopefuls

    BBC political correspondent tweets...

    Andy Burnham says Labour has lost its emotional attachment with millions of people and that he will take the party out of the "Westminster bubble", while Mary Creagh says she is a GMB member - and also pro-business. 

    Yvette Cooper repeats that candidates should not swallow the Conservative manifesto - and that they will only win on Labour values.

  70. MP's first Commons speech

    Time for a maiden speech - from Justin Madders, the new Labour MP for Ellesmere Port and Neston. It is customary for such speeches to be uncontroversial and fairly short, with a tribute to the previous MP in the seat.

  71. Labour leadership hustings

    Labour leadership contenders are addressing GMB members at the union's annual conference in Dublin. 

    During the hustings, the five MPs have spoken about the task of rebuilding the party - and made it clear how much work needs to be done. 

    Jeremy Corbyn, Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper, Liz Kendall and Mary Creagh are facing questions from trade union activists.

  72. New Labour's old team

    Daily Telegraph assistant comment editor tweets...

  73. 'Change or leave'

    Sir Bill Cash

    "If we do not achieve fundamental change we will have to leave the European Union," says Sir Bill.

    He warns that to simply remove the term "ever-closer union" from EU treaties - which Mr Cameron reportedly wants to do - "will not solve the problem", as it "doesn't change the legal obligations" of the various treaties.

    "The rolling back of these treaties is imperative and in our national interest," he adds.

  74. 'Funny smells'

    GMB leader Paul Kenny said former New Labour ministers – whom he didn’t name - were the reason working people had stopped voting for Labour:

    Quote Message: From their long gravel drives, from their big-paid directorships after being ministers in a Labour government, and from the funny smells that emanate along the corridors of the House. They show their real hand about who they want to lead the Labour party,” said Mr Kenny."
  75. 'Old has-beens'

    The leader of the GMB union has railed against what he called “old has-beens in the Labour Party” complaining that the party’s manifesto at the last election was too left-wing. 

    Speaking at the union’s congress in Dublin, Paul Kenny said: 

    Quote Message: I’ve been absolutely sickened by the sights and sounds of old has-beens in the Labour Party lecturing the Labour Party and us about how the Labour Party manifesto was too left in political terms, and suggesting the election was lost because the British people wanted a return to New Labour. While you’re about it, why not throw in a few attacks on trade unions just for good measure?”
  76. Cameron 'listened'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Veteran Conservative MP and Eurosceptic Bill Cash warmly welcomes the planned referendum, which he says is a culmination of more than 20 years of campaigning.

    He congratulates David Cameron for carrying out his commitment to hold an in/out vote, saying it has come about because he "listened" to backbench opinion. The Stone MP urges him to "listen again now" to ensure the poll is "fair".

  77. 'Real and tangible' EU change needed

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Nigel Dodds

    Nigel Dodds, the DUP's leader at Westminster, says the prime minister must deliver "real and tangible" changes to the EU project and address concerns about "ever-closer union".

    But the Belfast North MP objects to the idea of the the vote being held on the same day as elections in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The SNP's Alex Salmond raised similar concerns earlier.

  78. 'Recalibrate' relationship

    Cheryl Gillan

    Conservative Cheryl Gillan says she agrees with "almost every single word" Kate Hoey said. 

    She says she welcomes the bill, adding: "Almost my entire adult life, Europe seems to have dominated the debate."

    The relationship with the EU should be "recalibrated", says the Chesham and Amersham MP.

    Quote Message: At a time when we're tightening the purse strings to pay off the country's overdraft, we should be looking at the money we pay for subscription to this expensive club, which is around £9.8bn at the last examination."
  79. Call for select committee reform

    The Institute for Government is calling for reforms to the ways that select committees operate.  In a report,  it says there were major advances in the scrutiny role of select committees in the last Parliament. But it says more needs to be done to build on that progress.

    It makes several recommendations, including for committees to spend more time "cultivating their ‘softer’ sources of influence, such as expertise and relationships, and be less quick to resort to their formal status and powers". It also says the system needs to be better equipped to identify successes and learn from failures.

  80. 'Anti EU, not anti Europe'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Labour MP Kate Hoey also says she wants to make an important distinction - between the EU and Europe. 

    "I'm not anti Europe," she says. "I'm anti an unelected, absolute dictatorship that we have from the European Union."

    While we're on semantics, she uses her "last 30 seconds" (time has now been cut back to eight minutes per speaker) to urge the prime minister to refer to a UK referendum rather than a British referendum. 

    "Britain excludes Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom - they will have a hugely important say in the referendum," she adds.

  81. 'Overshadowing agenda'

    Guardian political correspondent tweets...

  82. 'Public in favour of law change'

    Rob Marris

    A fresh '"right to die" bill is to be introduced in the House of Commons by Labour MP Rob Marris. 

    The Wolverhampton South West MP won a private member's bill ballot last week guaranteeing time in the chamber for backbench legislation.

    He said: "The public are clearly in favour of a change in the law and it is right that Parliament now debates this issue.

    "Alongside the vast majority of the public, I am in favour of terminally-ill people who are of sound mind having choice at the end of life."

    More details here.

  83. Stadium sewage stench suggestion

    Ruth Cadbury

    Labour MP Ruth Cadbury is warning that England faces national embarrassment - because of the smell of sewage pervading Twickenham Stadium, says BBC political reporter Matt Cole. 

    She fears spectators attending the Rugby World Cup's key venue will be subject to smells coming from Mogden sewage works next door.

    Speaking in the Commons, the MP called for ministerial intervention, claiming that storm tanks need covering and that dilute sewage keeps discharging into the nearby Thames.

    Environment Minister Rory Stewart initially said a new sewage super storm drain further down the Thames would help, before being corrected by the Brentford and Isleworth MP who said that project was nowhere near the problem site and would not help.

  84. Hoey welcomes referendum

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Kate Hoey

    Labour Eurosceptic MP Kate Hoey tells MPs she's feeling "great" today "as I'm going be with the majority of my party" (which is supporting the bill). The Vauxhall MP has long said Labour should back a referendum.

    Where she is at odds with her front bench though, is on votes for 16 and 17-year-olds, saying she doesn't think this should be brought in quickly for the poll. Ms Hoey also adds her voice to concerns about the scrapping of purdah.

  85. Treaty change

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Ken Clarke concedes that EU reform is needed - but he sounds a warning about going too far.

    Noting that there are 2.2. million British people living elsewhere in the union, he says: "If we're going to demand treaty change to discriminate against EU foreign nationals... well are they going to forego from the same thing against British residents in other countries?"

  86. Clarke's 'splendid isolation' warning

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Ken Clarke

    Former Conservative Chancellor and pro-European MP Ken Clarke reveals that he won't be voting in favour of the EU Referendum Bill tonight, but says he won't do anything to stop it going ahead "In principle".

    The Rushcliffe MP cautions that less interest will be taken in British views by other powers "if we go into splendid isolation".

    Quote Message: The idea that we somehow advance our future propserity by withdrawing from the biggest, organised trading bloc in the world, at the same time the Conservative Party being an advocate of free trade wherever can be obtained, will be an absurdity."
  87. SNP amendment

    BBC Democracy Live tweets...

  88. 'Nonsense and contradiction'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    "This bill is based on a nonsense and a contradiction" as the prime minister doesn't want to leave the European Union, Alex Salmond claims.

    He says David Cameron has agreed to hold it as "a political tactic", adding: "That is why there is so much suspicion already... and that is why it should not get its second reading tonight."

  89. Harman for leader?

    BBC Newsnight chief correspondent tweets...

  90. Not the party line

    A Conservative MP tweets...

  91. Salmond: respect the nations

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Alex Salmond

    Outlining the SNP's opposition to the bill, Alex Salmond contests that EU citizens and 16 and 17-year-olds should be allowed to vote. "We take a broad view," he says, adding that if someone lives, works and pays tax in a country then they should be entitled to vote on its future.

    The SNP's biggest grievance is that there is no "double majority" provision in the bill, to ensure that Britain could not exit the EU unless all parts of the UK agreed. The four nations should all be "treated with respect", he says.

  92. Head to head

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Labour's Dudley North MP Ian Austin and Alex Salmond are involved a bit of a ding-dong after the ex-SNP leader appeared to suggest Mr Austin had changed his position on an EU referendum. 

    He said the MP had campaigned at the election against holding one but was now for it. Mr Austin says he is wrong and asks the Speaker if it's in order, to which John Bercow concludes Mr Salmond probably wasn't "attending closely to election literature in Dudley", drawing laughs from MPs.

  93. 'Braveheart to Slaveheart'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Alex Salmond accepts an intervention in his speech from Conservative MP Bernard Jenkin, who describes the former SNP leader as "Braveheart in Scotland but Slaveheart in Brussels". Mr Salmond wonders how long it took the MP to come up with that.

  94. Salmond swipe at Tories

    Alex Salmond speaking in the Commons

    Former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond is on his feet. He begins by mocking David Cameron and the Conservatives, as he congratulates the PM for his "great achievement" of keeping the party united on Europe for all of "31 days".

  95. Illegitimacy fears

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    "You have to ask why, why is this power... being arbitrarily lifted?" says ex-environment secretary Owen Paterson of the scrapping of purdah.

    The government "must take on board" that if the public sense the vote "is being rigged against them" it will go down "extremely badly".

    He says he's worried that this "extraordinary" moment could become "illegitimate" - and urges the government to reconsider.

  96. Backbench speeches

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    That's it for front bench speeches for the time being. The floor has opened up to backbench MPs now, of which there are many wishing to speech in the debate. Consequently, there is a 10 minute time limit on speeches - but this is likely to be reduced as the afternoon wears on.

    First up, Conservative MP for North Shropshire Owen Paterson. He says he was dismayed to learn that the purdah rules will be scrapped. There appear to be MPs from across the political divide unhappy with this proposal.

  97. 'Outrageous partiality'

    UKIP leader tweets...

  98. Brexit has 'economic cost'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Hilary Benn

    Acknowledging the volume of MPs wishing to speak in the debate, Hilary Benn starts to sum up his speech. He tells MPs: "This bill is important because it will give the British people the chance to have their say," But he notes that it is just the mechanism for the vote, adding that the most important thing is the decision the UK makes.

    He restates Labour's case for wanting the UK to remain within the European Union. Of course Britain could manage outside, he says, "but it would come at an economic cost", because the UK's partnership with the union creates jobs, growth and investment.

  99. Carswell wants purdah period

    Douglas Carswell

    UKIP MP Douglas Carswell disagrees with the idea of not having a purdah period before the EU referendum, saying that it is a good way of ensuring neutrality in the civil service. As we've already reported Labour and the Conservatives seem to be agreed on the idea of not having the traditional pre-election period where governments avoid announcing anything that might influence voters' choices.

  100. Lone wolf?

    BBC political reporter tweets...

  101. Benn: Let younger people vote

    Hilary Benn sets out Labour's argument as to why 16 and 17-year-olds should be given the right to vote in the EU referendum - and all elections. "It's an issue of principle," he says - before taking us through a 200-year history of attempts to extend the franchise and the "forces of conservatism" that sought to block it.

    Labour also thinks the referendum should be held on a separate day to other elections - something the SNP and some of the smaller parties have also said.

  102. The 'hokey cokey'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Hilary Benn is having a pop at David Cameron after the confusion over his comments as to whether ministers would have to quit if they campaigned against for a British exit from the EU against his recommendation.

    Quote Message: "In out, in out, it's the EU Tory hokey cokey. A complete mess."
  103. Toxic issue?

    BBC South East political editor tweets...

  104. Benn on purdah axe

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Hilary Benn

    Asked for this thoughts on the scrapping of the purdah period in the run-up to the election, Hilary Benn agrees with the government's stance, saying "it would not be sensible" for ministers to be "constrained" from explaining what the government's view is to the British public.

  105. Back to the future?

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Labour MP Diane Abbott recalls the state of the Conservative Party under John Major, saying it "fell apart" under the pressure over rows over Europe "and we look forward cheerfully to it doing so again".

    Mr Benn claims the Conservatives have called the referendum to try to deal with splits that exist within the party.

  106. Labour to support bill

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Hilary Benn

    Hilary Benn begins by telling the House that Labour supports the bill and its passage through Parliament "but we also support Britain remaining a member of the EU". The same cannot be said of all Conservative MPs, he adds.

    But he says the 28-member bloc does need to recognise that there is "a growing demand" across Europe for greater devolution of power. "We need to co-operate and to devolve - and the EU's task is to reconcile these two forces," he adds.

  107. 'We have a mandate to deliver'

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    The debate will be "hard fought" by both sides of the argument, Mr Hammond says, but he adds that all should  be able to agree "on the single principle" that the decision on the UK's membership should be taken by the British public.

    Quote Message: The decision must be for the common sense of the British people. That is what we pledged and that is what we have a mandate to deliver."

    For too long, he says, Britons have been denied their say while powers were ceded to Brussels. "This bill puts that right".

  108. Purdah period scrapped

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Philip Hammond explains why the government thinks there should be no purdah period (a period of weeks when the government avoids announcing anything that might influence a vote) in the lead up to the EU referendum, saying it would be "unworkable".

    Tory backbencher and Eurosceptic Peter Bone intervenes to raise concerns that the government could use "the apparatus of state to push a case". Mr Hammond assures MPs the government has "no intention" of doing so.

  109. Par for the course?

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    On the subject of whether EU nationals should be allowed to vote in the referendum, Conservative MP Richard Graham asks whether, in other European countries, British citizens or other non-nationals are able to vote in referendums? Philip Hammond says as far as he's aware, no.

  110. 'Change London for the better'

    Sadiq Khan

    Ken Livingstone says Sadiq Khan can "change London for the better". 

    He writes in the New Statesman: "He is absolutely committed to giving Londoners the same opportunities he had when he was growing up - the opportunities that allowed him to go from his council estate to being a successful lawyer and sitting at the cabinet table."

  111. Ken backs Khan

    Ken Livingstone

    Ken Livingstone says he is backing Sadiq Khan to become Mayor of London. 

    Mr Livingstone, who held the position before Boris Johnson, writes in the New Statesman:

    Quote Message: I know better than most that running a city is all about choices - choices you make based on your values. And there are few more important choices facing the next Mayor of London than whether to increase or reduce the cost of commuting. I believe that Londoners desperately need fares to be more affordable - and that's why I'm backing Sadiq Khan to be the next Mayor of London.
  112. Falconer 'delighted' by choice of bill

    The Daily Politics

    Lord Falconer says he is "absolutely delighted" that Labour's Rob Marris has chosen to introduce an assisted dying bill, after coming top of the Private Members Bill ballot .

    In the last session of Parliament, Lord Falconer's own Assisted Dying Bill got further than any previous attempt to change the law in England and Wales - but ran out of time before the general election.

    He added he had intended to reintroduce the bill in the Lords himself, but it came 21st out of 42 in the House of Lords' own ballot. 

  113. 'Another think coming'

    The Daily Politics

    You can see our correspondent Ross Hawkins here discussing the Labour leadership battle. 

     "Anyone who thinks they can call this one has got another think coming," he adds. 

  114. Eagle flying high?

    The Daily Politics

    Angela Eagle

    Angela Eagle says that it is time to "step up to the plate" and for party members to "put our shoulders to the wheel" and to "do everything we can" to win in 2020. 

    And what did Labour do wrong? "People didn't feel they could trust us," she replies, echoing comments made by Lord Falconer on the same programme. 

    Voters were also put off by the idea of a minority government formed of Labour and the SNP - "but the real problem they should have been worrying about was a majority Tory government", she says. 

  115. Clarke disputes 1975 issues

    Ken Clarke

    The first intervention the foreign secretary faces is from noted pro-European Ken Clarke. 

    He says he was active during the 1975 referendum and, contrary to Mr Hammond's comments, the issue of pooling of sovereignty was one of the key points of debate while "ever closing union was in the treaty" to which the UK was signing up.

    Mr Hammond prompts laughter with his response:

    Quote Message: Mr Speaker, call me negligent, but as an 18-year-old voter in that election I didn't actually read the treaty before I cast my vote."
  116. 'Millions were failed'

    The Daily Politics

    Angela Eagle adds that she doesn't "want ever to feel again like I felt on the night of  7 May when that exit poll came out" - pointing to a Conservative victory. 

    She says she felt she had failed the "millions of people" she had come into politics in order to represent. 

  117. 'Unity candidate'

    The Daily Politics

    Angela Eagle, who is standing as deputy Labour leader, says she wants to be seen as a "unity candidate", adding that she can bring the party together because she is not a member of any faction. 

    She won't say who she favours as leader - pointing out she would have to work with whoever wins that position. 

    Asked about the hustings, she says they have been a "friendly affair". 

  118. 'Wafer thin' support

    Philip Hammond

    Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond opens the debate by saying that the way the EU had changed since the 1975 referendum had "eroded the democratic mandate for our membership to the point where it is wafer thin and demands to be renewed".

  119. High demand to speak

    John Bercow

    Speaker John Bercow says "some dozens" of MPs want to speak in the debate on the EU Referendum Bill and that a time limit will have to be brought in for backbenchers, to ensure as many as possible get a chance to have their say.

  120. Migrants rescued

    Speaking during Foreign Office Questions, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has said HMS Bulwark has rescued more than 2,000 migrants from the Mediterranean since it was deployed.

  121. 'Brutal business'

    The Daily Politics

    From now on, at 12.30pm and 5.30pm every day, the latest positions of Labour leadership hopefuls will be posted on the party's website, says BBC political correspondent Ross Hawkins. 

    He also tells the Daily Politics he spotted former Labour leader Ed Miliband alone earlier - with no aides around him, pointing out politics is a "brutal, brutal business". 

  122. EU Referendum Bill

    The first Commons debate on the EU Referendum Bill is getting under way. We'll be bringing you all the key bits in text, and you can watch it as it happens via the 'live coverage' tab on this page. 

  123. Assisted dying to be discussed

    Executive editor, politics, at Huffington Post tweets...

  124. 'History repeats itself'

    The Daily Politics

    Philip Davies

    And now back to the issue of the day - a free vote in the EU referendum. 

    "It does not really apply to me, I will never be in a position where I need to abide by collective responsibility," says Philip Davies, Conservative MP for Shipley. 

    He adds: "Inevitably, ministers will be able to campaign on both sides. It's perfectly reasonable to have views on both sides."

    But how will David Cameron fare with regard to renegotiations? 

    Mr Davies said he believes he will get "next to nothing" - but that it will be "dressed up as a great triumph". It is similar to what happened to Harold Wilson in 1975 he adds, saying: "History repeats itself."

  125. One foot out of the door?

    The Daily Politics

    "I'm completely sure Britain is much better in the EU rather than out of it", says Lord Falconer. 

    "If you're in a relationship you intend to continue, you don't have one foot out of the door" when you're in discussions about it, he adds. 

  126. 'Impressive' Miliband

    The Daily Politics

    Lord Falconer praised former Labour leader Ed Miliband, saying he was "incredibly impressive" in the run up to the election and had given all he had to the campaign. 

    He said the party should, however, have addressed "much earlier" people's opinion of the party "in relation to the economy" - and also "defended other aspects" of Labour's record when they were in power from 1997 to 2010. 

  127. Voters 'not willing to trust Labour'

    The Daily Politics

    Lord Falconer

    Labour peer Lord Falconer - who would have been in charge of his party's negotiations to form a new government in the event of a hung parliament - says the general election result shows that the public was "not willing to trust Labour". 

    "They wanted a more secure position," he adds - a more secure position than either Labour, or a coalition government, could offer.

  128. GCSE reform?

    The shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt told Today earlier that Labour should be prepared to carry out a radical overhaul of the secondary school system and possibly to drop GCSEs:

    Quote Message: In a decade's time, if we have still got GCSEs in England, in Britain, we will be completely out of kilter with other European countries and not giving young people what they need. I think we need both academic and vocational baccalaureates so young people begin to choose about their pathways - whether those are technical, vocational pathways or academic pathways - at the age of 14."
  129. Yes Minister..?

    BBC political correspondent tweets...

  130. 'Consistent Cameron'

    Philip Hammond

    Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has been taking part in Foreign Office questions in the House of Commons.  

    Asked by the SNP's Alex Salmond about yesterday's row on a free vote in the EU referendum, Mr Hammond said the prime minister feels he was "misinterpreted" and that he has "always been consistent". 

  131. PM's position 'absolutely clear'

    Theresa Villiers has been asked what she understood the prime minister's position to be on whether or not to allow ministers a free vote in the EU referendum.

    The Northern Ireland secretary replied: "I think the position is absolutely clear.

    "The prime minister is determined to reform our relationship with Europe and to give the people of the United Kingdom the chance to vote on that in a referendum. It's a policy I absolutely support."

  132. Coming up from noon on BBC2

    The Daily Politics

    Ducks in potholes

    Labour’s Lord Falconer will join Jo Coburn throughout Tuesday’s Daily Politics, and he will debate assisted dying with Agnes Fletcher, the director of Living and Dying Well.

    Conservative Philip Davies and the SNP’s Patrick Grady will talk about the EU referendum bill being debated in the Commons today. 

    Deputy Labour Leader contender Angela Eagle will explain why she thinks she should get the job. Cheltenham MP Alex Chalk will talk about the potholes in his area after this film from his town is shown on air.  

    And we’ll hear which foreign leader was compared with Nicola Sturgeon when she appeared on US TV’s Daily Show.

  133. Another political sibling replies...

  134. Sisterly support

  135. 'Frustration' for alleged victims

    Victoria Derbyshire

    Police in Scotland are understood to be investigating allegations that Lord Janner abused a boy while on a trip there in the 1970s. 

    This leads to the possibility he could be charged in Scotland - while he has been deemed unfit to stand trial in England. 

    One of the lawyers representing alleged victims in England, Peter Garsden, told the Victoria Derbyshire programme: 

    Quote Message: Some of them having taken part in a two-year investigation, only to be told that Lord Janner is not going to be prosecuted. Now they hear that the police in Scotland are also going to be investigating. It will trigger them into memories of their own abuse and it will frustrate them that maybe the victims in Scotland will have some justice when they clearly haven't had any."
  136. Paving way for referendum

    The Foreign Office tweets...

  137. EU referendum Q&A

    MPs are to debate the EU referendum bill later, which is expected to pass comfortably at its second reading. 

    But what is the planned referendum all about? Read our guide here .

  138. Audition time

    BBC parliamentary correspondent tweets...

  139. A June fools' joke?

    Sunday Times political editor tweets...

  140. 'History to be made'

    The prime minister tweets...

  141. Backers 'from across spectrum'

    Zac Goldsmith

    Zac Goldsmith says people from "across the political spectrum" had urged him to run for Mayor when Boris Johnson steps down. Our story on this is here.

  142. Freedom for ministers?

    Boris Johnson

    And while we're on the subject of Boris Johnson, here's the full story of his comments about backing EU referendum freedom for ministers. 

  143. 'No endorsement'

    Boris Johnson had been asked on his LBC phone-in show if Zac Goldsmith would be his choice to succeed him. 

    He'd replied that it would be "totally wrong" to "blight anybody's candidacy by offering any kind of endorsement". 

  144. Mayor should 'stand up to government'

    In the letter being sent to constituents (complete with a postage-paid voting paper) Mr Goldsmith says he intends to improve transport and high streets and create a healthier environment. The deadline for them to respond is 22 June. 

    He also  tells the Evening Standard that he intends to stop a third runway being built at Heathrow if he takes over from Boris Johnson. 

    Quote Message: London needs a Mayor who can work with government to get the resources that London needs to deal with massive pressures on housing, transport and policing but is also strong enough to stand up to the government when it gets things wrong.”
  145. Bookies' choice?

    There had been speculation that Zac Goldsmith would throw his hat in the ring. 

    This article in the Spectator set out just why the MP is the choice of many senior Conservatives.

    And even before announced his intentions today, he was declared by bookies William Hill to be the favourite to secure the Conservative candidacy. 

  146. Constituents 'have a right to say no'

    Zac Goldsmith

    The Richmond Park MP says he is going to give his constituents a say in whether or not he runs before making his final decision. 

    Speaking about that move - estimated to be costing tens of thousands of pounds - he told the Evening Standard: 

    Quote Message: I have just been re-elected as MP and it’s important to know whether or not my constituents are happy for me to run for Mayor. They must have the right to say no and it is now up to them to decide without interference.”
  147. BreakingZac Goldsmith announces mayoral bid

    Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith has told the Evening Standard he wants to stand for nomination to become Mayor of London. 

  148. 'Anatomy of a U-turn'

    The Spectator

    David Cameron

    How did David Cameron get into such a mess on Europe so quickly, asks Isabel Hardman in the Spectator. 

    She has produced a guide - "for those whose heads are still spinning" - on the "anatomy of David Cameron's European U-turn". 

  149. 'Tough decisions' for HSBC

    Boris Johnson also spoke about HSBC's plans to cut 8,000 UK jobs .

    "It's one of the reasons why I urge people not to get into senseless banker bashing and not to attack financial services and imagine they're the root of all evil," he says. 

    "They are big employers in our city and I hope very much that people will recognise that and London will always be a great global centre of commerce."

    HSBC has "got to make some tough decisions, like all banks", he adds.

  150. Post update

    Evening Standard City Hall editor tweets...

  151. Post update

    Newsnight chief correspondent tweets...

  152. 'Energy and love for the job'

    LBC

    Boris Johnson on LBC

    What are the top three qualities a Mayor of London needs to have? 

    "A lot of energy," says Boris Johnson. Also a keen eye for the value of money, and "you've got to love the job". 

  153. Mayoral hopefuls

    LBC

    What about the possible candidates to take over from Boris Johnson as Mayor of London. 

    Upon being asked about the chances of former England footballer Sol Campbell, the Uxbridge MP says there should be the "widest and strongest possible field". 

    "Obviously, Sol Campbell would be a great addition to that line up and we'll have to see if he catches the selectors' eye," he says. 

    Asked if Zac Goldsmith was his choice to become mayor, Mr Johnson says: "I've read all sorts of names in this context and I think it would be totally wrong of me to blight anybody's candidacy by offering any kind of endorsement." 

  154. Treaty changes

    LBC

    Boris Johnson on LBC

    Boris Johnson says the government should recommend a no vote in the EU referendum unless David Cameron can negotiate a treaty change that means foreigners must wait four years before claiming benefits in Britain.

    "Unless we can get treaty change to prevent migrant workers from being able to access benefits before they've been here for four years obviously there would be no alternative but to recommend a no," he says. 

    Mr Johnson also said national parliaments should be able to "hold up the yellow card" and stop unnecessary legislation and regulation and called for reform of the single market. 

  155. Free vote 'safer and more harmonious'

    LBC

    And what does the London Mayor think about the subject of a free vote on the EU referendum for ministers?

    Boris Johnson says, admitting this is "on the spur of the moment", that it would be "safer and more harmonious to say, 'okay, make your minds up'."

    "Do you really need to bind everyone in? There will be different views," he ponders.   

    He had initially said it was a "matter for the prime minister and the government to decide" when asked about the free vote issue but then added: "I don't see why not myself, but we seem to have been around the houses a bit on this." 

  156. Referendum is 'huge opportunity' - Johnson

    LBC

    Boris Johnson has moved on to the hot topic of the EU referendum. 

    He says there is "no point going into a negotiation like this unless you're prepared to walk away". 

    If Prime Minister David Cameron did not get what he wanted, and what he had given the UK public an undertaking to achieve, then there would be a recommendation for a no vote, he says. 

    Mr Johnson describes the referendum as a "huge opportunity" for Britain. 

  157. Boris on policing and cycling

    LBC

    Boris Johnson

    The Mayor of London is taking part in his weekly Ask Boris show on LBC. 

    Boris Johnson has been talking about the city's policing, saying there have been "considerable" falls in crime, and that officers "have every reason to be incredibly proud of what they're achieving in London". 

    He was asked why he isn't doing more to fund and support the capital's police - but says there should be a high number of police on the streets and that they should be visible, and that his party has achieved that and will continue to achieve it. 

    Mr Johnson also says he is sorry for the impact of the cycling superhighway on drivers but says the city needs it. He won't say if they will be forced to use it but that they would be "mad" not to. 

    He claims that cycling in London is "safer than it ever has been before". 

  158. Charles Kennedy funeral details

    Charles Kennedy

    The funeral of former Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy will take place on Friday, his family has said.

    A Mass will be celebrated at noon at St John's Roman Catholic Church in Caol, near his Fort William home.

    There is also to be a memorial service at the University of Glasgow on 18 June and another in London at a later date.

    Mr Kennedy died a week ago at the age of 55 after suffering a major haemorrhage as a result of a long battle with alcoholism.

    You can read more here.

  159. E-cigs 'could be banned in Welsh public spaces'

    E-cigarette

    A new law could see the use of e-cigarettes banned in enclosed places - such as restaurants, pubs and at work - in Wales.  

    The plan, likely to come into force in 2017 and the first in the UK, has already divided opinion among health and medical groups, including some anti-smoking campaigners.

    But ministers say it is a "balance of risk" and will stop children smoking.

    Read the story here - and BBC health editor Hugh Pym has written more here.

  160. Scotland Bill passes first hurdle

    David Mundell
    Image caption: Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell said the bill delivered the Smith Commission recommendations

    In case you missed it last night, the bill which proposes further powers for Scotland has passed its first parliamentary hurdle without a vote.

    The Scotland Bill was given its second reading in the Commons with no need for a division.

    The proposals now move on to the committee stage, when MPs will be able to propose and debate amendments. 

    There is more on the story here.

  161. Janner claims investigated

    Lord Janner

    Police in Scotland are understood to be investigating claims Labour peer Lord Janner abused a boy there in the 1970s. Det Ch Supt Lesley Boal said Police Scotland officers were investigating a historical complaint - but did not confirm a name.

    Lord Janner was accused of abuse allegations during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s - but was deemed unfit to stand trial in England because of dementia. The former MP has consistently denied all allegations against him.

    Read more here.

  162. Shapps' selfie

    Conservative minister tweets...

  163. Hunt's education 'vision'

    Today Programme

    BBC Radio 4

    Tristram Hunt

    Education needs to be "front and centre" for the next Labour leader, says Tristram Hunt. 

    The shadow education secretary said education offers a "vision into the soul of a political party and its much broader vision for the country", he told the Today programme. 

    There should be a focus on early years, and "we've got to really rethink the curriculum", he adds.

  164. The Sturgeon Show

    Nicola Sturgeon on the Daily Show

    Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has appeared as a guest on American chat show The Daily Show. 

    Ms Sturgeon, on her first official visit to the US, began by questioning her billing on the show's website as a "comedian".

    She told host Jon Stewart: "You billed me on your website as a comedian - so you've raised all these expectations that I'm going to be funny."

    He replied: "You need not worry. They thought I was going to be funny for 17 years."

    Read the full story here.

  165. 'Get over it - and get on with it'

    Angela Eagle