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Live Reporting

By Dominic Howell and Brian Wheeler

All times stated are UK

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  1. Recap

    Here is a recap of the big political stories of the day:

     + David Cameron condemned "sickening" terror  attacks in FranceTunisia  and  Kuwait , which left more than 50 people dead. The PM promised Britain would do "all we can to help" in the aftermath of the attacks.  

    + Mr Cameron's "firm aim" is to ensure the UK remains in the EU and he will warn of the risks of exit in a future referendum, according to a note leaked to  The Guardian . The paper said his intentions were revealed in an account of a meeting with another EU leader.

    + The government insists it only learnt recently that promised rail upgrades would have to be delayed, amid Labour claims voters were "betrayed". Labour said it was clear multi-billion pound plans to electrify Midlands and Pennine lines were in "serious difficulty" before May's election.

    + EU leaders holding late-night talks in Brussels  agreed to relocate tens of thousands of migrants who have arrived in Italy and Greece. Summit chairman Donald Tusk said 40,000 would be relocated to other EU states over the next two years.

  2. Tim Farron: 'God's overall plan is good'

    Tim Farron

    In an interview with the Guardian prospective Lib Dem leader Tim Farron has spoken about his Christian faith.

    Asked if he consulted God when considering whether to stand for the party leadership. He replied: “Of course you do, of course you do. Obviously you ask for His guidance...” 

    “I think He has a plan for everybody...” 

    "Well, God is sovereign. Dreadful things happen in this world, but that reminds us that we need a saviour. 

    "I don’t go round fixating that God has some major plan for me. Maybe his plan is for me to lose a bunch of elections and be humbled. God’s plan could be that some pretty brutal things happen to you. But the one thing I fall back on is that God’s overall plan is good.”

  3. Miliband's mistaken identity moment

    Ed Miliband

    Yesterday, former Labour leader Ed Miliband caused much hilarity on Twitter when he revealed he had been mistaken for Nick Clegg by a member of the public.

    His pithy message ("hmmm not exactly") was re-tweeted more than 12,000 times, making it one of Mr Miliband's most widely shared social media messages.

    "That's life... that's my new life anyway," the Doncaster North MP told the BBC.

    "But people are generally very nice to me. It's a form of flattery." 

  4. What is the BBC for?

    The House of Lords is to conduct a review to ascertain the core purposes of the BBC. The corporation's Royal Charter is set to expire at the end of 2016.

    Leading the review is committee chairman Lord Best, who said: "The public purposes of the BBC cut right to the heart of what the organisation is for. 

    "They were introduced ten years ago during the last charter negotiations and the Committee feel that, in the light of industry, cultural and technological developments, it is the right time to review them.

    “Much excellent work has already been done on the BBC’s future, but we want to delve further into two issues that we believe to be strongly connected: what exactly are the fundamental purposes of the BBC; and is there a better way of setting the licence fee whilst also ensuring the BBC’s independence?"

  5. Government response to Network Rail claims

    A spokesman for the Department for Transport has said the full extent of problems with Network Rail projects only came to light after the election.

    In a statement the department said Network Rail provided a detailed assessment after polling day and only now have the full scale of their problems become clear.

    It said: "In recent months the government told Network Rail it needed a more accurate assessment of its cost and delivery schedule. 

    "Network Rail provided that detailed assessment after the election and, as a result, the scale of Network Rail's problems have only now become clear. 

    "The secretary of state came to the House of Commons this week because of his concerns and to reiterate his commitment to the electrification programme."

  6. Archbishop says attacks designed to divide

    Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby

    The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has commented on the terror attacks in Tunisia, France and Kuwait today.

    He said: "All of us must be full of grief at the attacks in Tunisia, France and Kuwait. 

    "They are intended not only to destroy but to divide, not only to terrify but to take from us our own commitment to each other in our societies." 

    Quote Message: "Let us together mourn for the victims, weep with the bereaved, support the injured and pray for them all to the God who in Jesus Christ went to the Cross and died rather than bearing a sword. from Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby
    Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby
  7. Benn: Cameron is not clear on EU

    Hilary Benn

    Shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn has suggested David Cameron has not been clear about whether there will be actual treaty change ahead of an EU referendum.

    He said: “The prime minister spent a lot of time saying 'yeah we’ve got to have treaty change' and finally yesterday he let it be known that perhaps there won’t be treaty change immediately as a result of these negotiations."

    Quote Message: "So not for the first time he leads everybody up the hill then has to say 'turn around we’re going down the other side'. Look, you’ve got to win friends, you’ve got to influence people, you’ve got to persuade other member states to make the changes. I want to see reform in Europe but you’ve got to do that in an atmosphere of calm negotiation.” from Hilary Benn
    Hilary Benn
  8. Queen visits concentration camp


    As part of her state visit to Germany which finishes today the Queen has made her first visit to a World War Two concentration camp, Bergen-Belsen.

    The camp, where teenage diarist Anne Frank was among thousands to die, was liberated by British soldiers in 1945.

    The UK monarch, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, laid a wreath at a memorial there on the final day of her four-day state visit to Germany.

    The Queen viewed Berlin's Brandenburg Gate before travelling to the site of the camp near Hanover.

    About 50,000 prisoners from all over Europe were killed at Bergen-Belsen or died later as a result of their treatment in the camp.

    Full story and pictures here.

  9. Cameron sickened by Kuwait attack

    Yet another terror attack has taken place today, this time in Kuwait, officials have confirmed, with at least 16 people dead.

    Islamic State (IS) have claimed responsibility for the explosion at the Shiite Imam Sadiq Mosque in in al-Sawaber, a busy area to the east of Kuwait City after Friday prayers. 

    David Cameron said: "I am sickened by the attacks in Tunisia, France and Kuwait. Our countries stand together in combating the horrors of terrorism." 

    Click here for the full story.

  10. Cameron on Treaty change 'delay'

    David Cameron, says it was "never going to be the case" that Britain's new relationship with Europe would be enshrined in treaties before the referendum.

    The BBC revealed yesterday that Mr Cameron had accepted in talks with other EU leaders that there would only be a "legally binding" promise of treaty change before the referendum, which must take place by the end of 2017.

    Speaking in Brussels, the prime minister said: "What is being discussed here is a substantial package of changes including treaty change that need to be agreed before there's a British referendum. It's the agreement of the package - including treaty change - that must happen.

    "But it was never going to be the case that you would get all 27 other parliaments to pass treaty change before you have your referendum.

    "But this isn't in anyway strange...

    "What matters is getting the substantial agreement and then taking that to the British people in a referendum."

  11. EU negotiations work on 'mutual respect'

    David Cameron

    Asked if he should have started laying the groundwork for his reform negotiations five years earlier - a frequent criticism of the PM - Mr Cameron said he did a lot of diplomacy when he first became prime minister.

    Mr Cameron said there had been "some very thorough and thoughtful arguments" put forward and the conversations worked on the basis of "mutual respect".

    "I'm not saying that everyone has immediately put up their hand and said 'yes David you can have whatever you want'," he added.

  12. David Cameron EU press conference

    Prime Minister David Cameron speaking now at a press conference in Brussels said he believed that his negotiations with several European leaders had "gone well" but he acknowledged that there was still "a lot of work to do".

    "I think people can see that Britain has got a legitimate set of questions and a legitimate set of asks," he said. 

  13. UK will do 'all we can to help' after attacks

    David Cameron

    The Prime Minister David Cameron says the UK will do "all we can to help" in the aftermath of the "appalling events" in France and Tunisia.

    Speaking in Brussels, Mr Cameron said "our hearts go out to the victims" of the terrorist attacks in the two countries.

    He said he had offered his "sympathy and solidarity" to the French President and would speak to Tunisia's leaders later today.

    Mr Cameron said the terrorist threat "faces all of us" and "can happen to all of us" and the UK would co-operate on counter-terrorism, including "dealing with the threat at source".

    He said it was also important to "deal with this poisonous radical narrative that is turning so many young minds", including in the UK.

  14. Cameron's EU campaign strategy

    Prime Minister David Cameron is planning to focus his EU referendum campaign on the "risky" consequences of British exit, according to a leaked document detailing the prime minister's negotiations. 

    The note, obtained by The Guardian , is reported to be an account of a private meeting between Mr Cameron and one of his 27 EU counterparts during a round of meetings ahead of this week's European Council summit.

    The note says Mr Cameron has set himself the "firm aim" of keeping the UK in the EU, according to the Guardian.

    The note also says: "He [Mr Cameron] believes that people will ultimately vote for the status quo if the alternatives can be made to appear risky.”

    The document also suggests that Mr Cameron would like to hold the referendum next year ahead of the December 2017 deadline.

  15. Emergency Cobra meeting after attacks

    The government's emergency Cobra committee will meet this afternoon following terror attacks in France and Tunisia, David Cameron said as he offered "our solidarity in fighting this evil of terrorism".

  16. Tunisia attack

    More tragic news is now being reported from Tunisia where a terror attack on two hotels in a tourist resort is thought to have killed several people.

    Click here for rolling coverage on this story.

    Daniel Sandford the BBC's home affairs correspondent tweeted below:

    View more on twitter
  17. Ministers 'didn't know about rail delay'

    Ross Hawkins

    Political correspondent

    A Department for Transport source firmly denies any suggestion they knew before the election that electrification would have to be paused but chose not to tell anyone.

    The source said information only came to light "in the last week or so" revealing they would be forced to call a halt to work on the Transpennine and Midland Mainline routes.

    The government and regulator have both made public statements making clear there were major problems.

    In March the transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin himself told a select committee the date for the Transpennine electrification would slip.

    But the source was insistent they only knew things were so bad a pause was necessary very recently.

    That account is supported by a Network Rail source.

  18. 'Pause not a stop'

    The transport minister responsible for part of the government’s so-called “Northern Powerhouse” policy has insisted the electrification of trans-Pennine and Midland Mainline rail services has been paused, rather than stopped.

    In an article for the YorkshirePost , Andrew Jones wrote: "This is a pause, not a stop, and this change to the team will strengthen it to make sure we deliver. We remain hugely ambitious and that is why the budget remains intact,"

     He said on routes between Sheffield and London, better services would be delivered before electrification. 

    “In the meantime, we will deliver faster trains and better services for passengers on that route,” wrote Mr Jones, the MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough.

  19. Labour demands answers over rail promise


    The public have a right to know if they have been deceived over rail projects, Labour shadow transport secretary Michael Dugher has said.

    In a letter to the prime minister he said ministers appeared to have decided to wait until after the election before making the extent of problems with electrification projects public.

    He wrote: "These are projects that you and your ministers repeatedly promised to deliver ahead of and throughout the general election, including in the Conservative Party manifesto."

    Read more here.

  20. Cameron sympathy after French attack

    Prime Minister David Cameron has met the French President Francois Hollande briefly this morning on the margins of the EU Summit and expressed his sympathy for the incident near the French city of Lyon

    One British government source said: "The prime minister has spoken to President Hollande and expressed his sympathy for what clearly looks like an appalling incident there. 

    Quote Message: "It looks extremely concerning and our thoughts are with all those affected by it." from Government source
    Government source
  21. Tories 'conned' public over rail upgrades

    Voters were "conned" by Conservative assurances that rail upgrades would go ahead, a former member of the transport select committee has said.

    Labour MP Graham Stringer said the transport secretary had told the committee before the election that electrification projects were safe.

    Yesterday Patrick McLoughlin told Parliament a number of modernisation projects planned for Network Rail would be delayed or cut back .

    Mr Stringer told the BBC: "Both at select committee meetings and in our reports Patrick McLaughlin was asked 'are the electrification projects under threat, will the overspend effect the cross-pennine route?'. He said it's all ok, there's no threat to it.

    "I think he conned the electorate because they said this would happen and now it's delayed indefinitely."

  22. 'Man decapitated' in French attack

    Scene outside the factory in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier

    Elsewhere, many news outlets are reporting on the breaking news that a man has been beheaded, and at least one other person injured, in a suspected Islamist attack on a factory near the French city of Lyon.

    Several small explosive devices were also set off at the Air Products factory in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier, sources said.

    The alleged attacker is said to have been carrying an Islamist flag, which was found nearby.

    A man has been arrested, officials say.

    The French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve is said to be on his way to the scene.

    For the full BBC online coverage of this story click here

  23. Burnham admits family tensions over gay rights

    Andy Burnham

    Andy Burnham - who is vying to be the next Labour leader - has admitted in an interview that his support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality has in the past damaged his relationship with parts of his own family.

    In an article for Pink News the MP, who from a Catholic background, said: "I don’t say this to elicit any sympathy but a relative of mine died last night who was a councillor on Liverpool city council for many years, and he and I were very close, but the one time we fell out massively was over same-sex marriage, and it was a real fall-out.

    “I have caused myself to change my own relationships, not just with the church but with members of my own family, in this cause…"

  24. Security fears for Dalai Lama

    Dalai Lama

    In other news, security fears have been raised over the Dalai Lama's visit to the UK as hundreds of people are expected at protests against the exiled spiritual leader. 

    The 79-year-old Tibetan is set to appear at the Glastonbury festival on Sunday before travelling to Aldershot in Hampshire, where he will open a Buddhist community centre.

    But his visit will be marked by protests by the International Shugden Community (ISC), who claim the Dalai Lama is engaged in the persecution of Shugden Buddhists in Tibetan exile.

    MP Tim Loughton, of the all-party parliamentary group on Tibet, said the Dalai Lama had been "afforded no police protection" and he has written to the Home Secretary Theresa May to request that he has some. 

  25. Labour 'needs more black and Asian MPs'

    Yvette Cooper

    Labour leadership contender Yvette Cooper has said the party should aim to double its tally of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) MPs at the next general election. 

    The shadow home secretary said if she wins the race to succeed Ed Miliband she would personally oversee a new taskforce to ensure a "step change" in support for BAME candidates and activists. 

    Currently 23 of the party's 232 MPs are from such communities. 

    "Labour should set a goal to double the number of BAME MPs in a Labour majority Parliament," Ms Cooper said.

  26. Too many private hire cabs?


    The former Transport for London boss has warned about the number of private hire cabs - as opposed to black cabs - driving round the city.

    Sir Peter Hendy - who has been named as the new boss of troubled Network Rail - said there should be a limit on the number of private hire licenses for cabs in London.

    "I'm worried about the scale of congestion that's causing both in people parking in the West End and the number of PHVs driving round," he said.

    Hendy's comments come in the wake of violent protests from taxi drivers in France who have recently protested about the lack of business caused to them by people using the the low-cost car-sharing service UberPOP.  

  27. Hendy has 'sympathy' for former chairman


    Sir Peter Hendy

    Sir Peter Hendy the new chairman of Network Rail - as announced by Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin yesterday - is currently on LBC Radio.

    He says he has spoken to the outgoing chairman Richard Parry-Jones and that he had "sympathy" for him.

    Hendy, a former London bus driver who rose through the ranks to run the city's entire transport network as Commissioner of TfL, said a week ago he had no idea that he would be asked to take over National Rail.

  28. Estonia's PM in listening mode

    Today Programme

    BBC Radio 4

    EU leaders were "open to listening" to David Cameron's call for reform, reckons Estonia's Prime Minister, Taavi Roivas, who was in the room for the UK PM's pitch. 

    Asked if he thought Mr Cameron's renegotiation would succeed, he said: "I hope it does. Because the EU is much better off with Britain inside ... Britain is better off while as a member of the EU." 

    Taavi Roivas
    Quote Message: "Treaty change should not be out ruled. There might be different things to be changed from other countries to be proposed as well. Treaty change would probably need referendums all around the EU and that would cause some difficulties as well." from Taavi Roivas
    Taavi Roivas
  29. Richard Branson: 'don't mess up Europe'

    BBC News Channel

    On the subject of the UK's EU membership, Virgin mogul Richard Branson has just told the BBC: "Europe has become this massive trading bloc and I don't want to see that disappear....

    "By all means get out there and negotiate and try and improve things, but don't risk messing up something that's worked very well for many years."

    Richard Branson
  30. Cameron's delight at 'reform and renegotiation'

    David Cameron

    Here's a bit more detail on the main story of the day - David Cameron's efforts to renegotiate the UK's membership of the EU.

    Mr Cameron has said he is delighted that process is now "properly under way".

    The PM was speaking in the early hours after formally setting out his aims to EU counterparts in Brussels.

    He addressed EU leaders for 10 minutes at a summit dominated by the migrant crisis and Greek debt, although his exact speech was not reported.

    The European Council's Donald Tusk said there was a will to help the UK.

    Get the full story here.

  31. Labour contenders' cash woes

    Labour leadership contenders

    Up to 20 Labour politicians are vying for various party positions, including the four leadership contenders, but who is going to pay for their campaigns?

    The BBC's Ross Hawkins has been doing some digging and found that the usual suspects, such as the trade unions and New Labour grandee Lord Sainsbury, appear reluctant to put their hands in their pockets this time.

    Read his full analysis here. 

  32. Good morning

    Hello and welcome to our rolling coverage of the day's political news. It's the final day of the EU Council meeting in Brussels. Late last night, after hours of heated discussion, European leaders have agreed to take in tens of thousands of migrants who've arrived in the EU -- but only on a voluntary basis.

    David Cameron has professed himself "delighted" with efforts to kick start reform talks. More on that as the day goes on no doubt.

     Otherwise, it's a fairly light diary. Stick with us though, because things always happen on a Friday...