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Live Reporting

Pippa Simm

All times stated are UK

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  1. Sunday round-up

    Before we bid farewell, here's a recap of today's political developments:

    - David Cameron has said Britain is committed to working with the US to destroy the "caliphate" set up by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria

    - Former Chief of Defence Staff Lord Richards said military leaders needed to "look again" at the strategy to defeat IS, saying the current plan "won't work in the time I think we have available"

    - Defence Committee chairman Julian Lewis said the PM was making up policy on Syria "on the hoof" and called for a coherent strategy

    - Labour's four leadership contenders  clashed over public spending , welfare cuts and the party's future, during the BBC's Sunday Politics hustings

    - Lib Dem leader Tim Farron said he was "absolutely" committed to equality  amid questions  over his Christian faith and politics

    - Culture Secretary John Whittingdale told The Andrew Marr Show  he was "surprised"  at the BBC's response to the government's consultation on the broadcaster's future

    - Liz Kendall has expressed her outrage after being  asked about her weight in an interview with the Mail on Sunday newspaper

    - Former Labour shadow chancellor Ed Ball has not ruled out a return to politics but said it's "quite unlikely".

  2. Balls: I'm out

    Ed Balls after his election defeat
    Quote Message: There are some people in politics who regardless of whether they're a minister or in government love being in the House of Commons just for its own sake. I don't think I'm one of them. I was very privileged to have been there for 10 years but I'm out and I'm not really hankering to be back in it." from Ed Balls Former Labour shadow chancellor
    Ed BallsFormer Labour shadow chancellor
  3. Blair-Brown years 'difficult'

    BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra

    Recalling the Tony Blair and Gordon Brown years - when the two were prime minister and chancellor, respectively - Ed Balls says the "fights and disputes were sometimes quite difficult, and neither they nor others around them did enough to bring them together".

  4. 'Different chapter'

    BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra

    Ed Balls says he would like to be involved in public service "but there are other ways to do that than being elected". It's a "different chapter" now, he tells Test Match Special.

  5. Balls: Political comeback 'unlikely'

    BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra

    Ed Balls

    Some more from Ed Balls's guest appearance on Test Match Special. Asked about a potential political comeback, he says "never say never" but in reality it's "quite unlikely".

    He's "not hankering" to be back in Parliament following his election defeat - but says it was a privilege to have served in government and as an MP over the past 10 years.

  6. 'Army of reliable Muslim forces'

    The World This Weekend

    BBC Radio 4

    Asked how much support the PM would have in Parliament if he sought approval for UK involvement in air strikes against IS in Syria, Julian Lewis says "a lot more than in 2013", but stresses that what Labour decides to do is key.

    Quote Message: I suspect the government might well get this through but it doesn't alter the fact that the problem won't be solved until we have an integrated military strategy, and that will be the assembly of an effective army of reliable Muslim forces from the region... If that cannot be put together the idea that air strikes alone will somehow resolve this problem is for the birds."
  7. Balls on cricket

    BBC Radio 5 Live

    Ed Balls playing football
    Image caption: Mr Balls is no stranger to sport

    Former Labour shadow chancellor Ed Balls - who was ousted from his Morley and Outwood seat at the general election - is a guest on BBC Radio's Test Match Special this lunchtime.

    Discussing his cricketing skills, the part-time wicket-keeper tells the programme: "When I was 20 I was pretty good, 25 years on my wicketkeeping skills have curtailed, so it is less Alec Stewart and more Petr Cech - I just throw myself at the ball."

  8. Cameron's 'on the hoof' Syria policy

    BBC Radio 4

    Julian Lewis

    Julian Lewis, the Conservative chairman of the Commons Defence Committee, has accused David Cameron of making up policy towards Syria "on the hoof" and says that if he wants to persuade him and other MPs to vote for UK participation in air strikes against IS militants, he will have to develop a coherent strategy.

    Mr Lewis told the The World this Weekend there were too many "half-baked theories" about how to handle dangerous opponents because the heads of the Army, Royal Navy and RAF were not directly involved in giving strategic advice to the government.

    He added that he was speaking in a personal capacity, as the committee had not yet met during this Parliament.

  9. Kendall angered by weight question

    Liz Kendall

    Speaking of Liz Kendall, she's expressed her outrage at being asked about her weight in an interview with the Mail on Sunday newspaper - saying it was "unbelievable".

    Journalist Simon Walters wrote that she "looks about the same weight as the Duchess [of Cambridge] - about 8st - though when I ask she slaps me down".

    Ms Kendall told the BBC she "cannot wait for a world when women are judged the same as men", and questioned whether the paper would ask the weight of a male politician.

    More here.

  10. Darling backs Kendall

    The Guardian

    Alistair Darling

    Former Labour chancellor Alistair Darling has come out in support of Liz Kendall as the next leader of the party.

    In a comment piece for the Guardian, the ex-MP says only Ms Kendall recognises "the scale of the challenge" the party faces and understands "that if we are not the party of change we could easily become a party of the past".

    Ms Kendall is running against Yvette Cooper, Andy Burnham and Jeremy Corbyn in the contest following Ed Miliband's resignation.

  11. Cameron's IS rhetoric

    BBC News Channel

    BBC political correspondent Iain Watson says David Cameron is toughening up his rhetoric on air strikes against IS in Syria. He says it seems very likely the PM will seek parliamentary approval in the autumn for formal UK participation. What's interesting is not just the PM's rhetoric but that he chose to make the comments on US TV,  our correspondent adds.

    Quote Message: He's trying to build this political support but I think there are limits to what he's going to ask Parliament to do. Certainly an extension of air strikes but absolutely no question of boots on the ground."
  12. Mayor plan for North East of England

    Gateshead Millennium Bridge (foreground) and the Tyne Bridge (background) at dusk

    In other news, seven local authorities in the North East of England are beginning talks with the government about having a directly elected mayor for the region.

    Chancellor George Osborne is offering councils greater control over local transport, health and housing if they accept a regional figurehead.

    Councils in Northumberland, Tyneside, Wearside and County Durham will take part in the talks.

    Sunderland City Council said "nothing was off the table" in the negotiations.

    More here.

  13. Trouble ahead?

    House of Lords
    Image caption: The Conservatives do not have a majority in the House of Lords

    Speaking to John Pienaar on BBC Radio 5 live earlier, new Lib Dem leader Tim Farron was asked whether the party would honour the convention whereby the House of Lords does not vote against measures that were in the governing party's manifesto. He replied:

    Quote Message: I'm going to argue that a party that got barely a third of the vote across the UK and not even a quarter of it north of the M25 does not have a mandate to undermine the British constitution on human rights for example. Or to undo the hard work of so many communities up and down the country to build housing association properties in the last 20 or 30 years, to undo the damage Mrs Thatcher did to our council housing stock."

    Pressed to clarify his position, he said the Lib Dems would not be a "wreckless and destructive opposition" but would work with other parties and look at what the government proposed, understanding "they have a legitimacy as the largest party". He added:

    Quote Message: We'll be very respectful. We'll be very constructive, but our job is to fight for the British people and not to nod to the establishment."
  14. Labour rivals clash in BBC debate

    Sunday Politics

    Labour leadership contenders

    Labour's four leadership contenders clashed over public spending, welfare cuts and what they would do to make the party electable in a hustings hosted by BBC's Sunday Politics.

    Here's our story of what happened.

  15. Minister backs 'admirable' Strictly

    The Andrew Marr Show

    Strictly Come Dancing

    Earlier, Culture Secretary John Whittingdale appeared on BBC One's The Andrew Marr Show, where he discussed the government's consultation paper - published this week - on the future of the BBC.

    Speaking about what types of programmes the BBC should make, he cited Strictly Come Dancing as as "admirable" example of where the corporation took a risk on a show that was not guaranteed to be a hit.

    Here's our story.

  16. Water cannon 'farce'

    Sunday Politics

    Sunday Politics panel

    Following the home secretary's decision to refuse to allow the use of water cannon in England and Wales - a year after three of them were bought by the Metropolitan Police - Tory Bob Blackman says she made the right decision.

    The MP says Boris Johnson should have looked at getting permission before purchasing the equipment.

    Labour MP Clive Efford says the London mayor has "wasted" the money on "broken" water cannon. "What a complete farce," he adds.

  17. Closing statements

    Sunday Politics panel

    That brings the questioning of the candidates to an end and all four go on to deliver brief closing statements, setting out their pitch for the top job.

  18. Candidates on Syria air strikes

    Sunday Politics

    Asked about her position on possible intervention in Syria, Yvette Cooper says there would have to be clear military and moral objectives - a point echoed by Liz Kendall who also says it would have to be part of a "wider political strategy in the region".

    Andy Burnham says he wouldn't rule it out but urges caution. He says Labour would have to assess the government's case for any action before making a decision.

    Jeremy Corbyn says he would support UK air strikes but endorses "choking off" arms supplies and finances for IS miliants, and providing further support for refugees.

  19. Corbyn on 'peace talks'

    Sunday Politics

    Jeremy Corbyn

    Jeremy Corbyn defends his decision to invite representatives from Hezbollah, Hamas and the IRA to Parliament in the past.

    Quote Message: You do not bring about peace anywhere in the world without talking to people who you may not agree with."

    The MP says he doesn't agree with the groups' strategies or violence, but says it is necessary to talk to them to try to being about peace.

  20. Life outside politics

    Sunday Politics

    The leadership candidates are pressed over their career history before entering politics.

    Andy Burnham says he worked for a newspaper and publishing company for about four years. Liz Kendall is less specific, saying she's done "a few jobs" outside politics but is proud to have been a part of Labour's "achievements" in government.

    Yvette Cooper used to work on a farm, driving a tractor, apparently - and she was also a journalist. Jeremy Corybn meanwhile says he's previously been a trade union organiser.

  21. Shadow cabinet posts

    Sunday Politics

    Liz Kendall and Jeremy Corbyn disagree over the situation in Greece and its causes. The two are speaking over each other, with Mr Corbyn shouting: "Can I finish?"

    She's asked whether she'd give him a job in her shadow cabinet if she wins: "I don't think Jeremy and my politics is anything like the same," she responds diplomatically.

    Mr Burnham says he's "open" to the idea, although he says he wouldn't get the key job of shadow chancellor. Ms Cooper will not be drawn on her intentions.

    Mr Corbyn says he'd want elections to be held for shadow cabinet positions.

  22. 'Appalling idea'

    Sunday Politics

    Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall

    On to welfare now. Liz Kendall says acting leader Harriet Harman was right to say Labour could not oppose all welfare reform for opposition's sake. She says Labour could only repeal plans to limit child tax credits to two children if it showed how it could pay for it.

    Yvette Cooper follows and says she's against the plans to limit future child tax credits. "I've got three children," she says, and adds that people will be "worse off in work". Jeremy Corbyn adds that it's an "appalling" idea, while Andy Burnham is also against it (and like Ms Cooper, points out that he has children).

  23. Cooper: We shouldn't apologise

    Yvette Cooper says debt was low under Labour - but it's put to her that that's not true. She maintains debt as proportion of national income fell - which, she says, meant Labour could invest to support the economy. "We shouldn't apologise for our public spending, it didn't cause the financial crisis," she adds.

    Jeremy Corbyn says the deficit ultimately needs to be lower but that the priority is to get the economy growing by "investing". He said a Labour government should ideally restrict borrowing to funding capital investment rather than day-to-day spending.

  24. Labour's economic record

    Sunday Politics

    First question is on Labour's economic record.

    Liz Kendall says Labour should have "reined in spending" before the crash - but stresses that that was not what caused the crash. Labour's problem over the past five years was that it "didn't wake up to the fact that tough decisions had to be made", and what its alternative was, she adds.

    Andy Burnham says he thinks Labour's biggest mistake was not to defend its economic record strongly enough. "We did fix the roof while the sun was shining," he says., (Hmm, what was that about "no soundbites"...?)

  25. Opening statements

    Sunday Politics

    Sunday Politics panel

    Yvette Cooper says she wants a "stronger" economy and a "fairer, less divided" society. "We need a Labour leader who can be a Labour prime minister, not just someone who makes us feel good about the party," she says.

    Liz Kendall says she's standing because she loves Labour too much to see it lose again. She says the country can have "a brighter future" and calls for a "fresh start" for the party. Revealing a bit about her music taste, she says she likes a bit of rap as well as 80s pop 

    Andy Burnham says he wants to change Labour as well as politics. People are fed up of politicians' soundbites, he adds. Mr Burnham says, if elected, he'll speak for "the whole country" and provide "hope".

    Jeremy Corbyn says Labour has lost its way, and has been "cowed and frightened" by commercial interests and the press. He wants a society where "everyone cares for everyone else", he says, adding that Labour should be at the heart of demanding these things.

  26. Labour hustings

    Time now for the Labour leadership hustings on BBC One's Sunday Politics programme. The candidates in the race - Yvette Cooper, Andy Burnham, Liz Kendall and Jeremy Corbyn - drew lots ahead of the debate to decide which order they'd make their opening statements in. First up, Yvette Cooper.

  27. Farron: I'd love Clegg in my team

    BBC Radio 5 Live

    Nick Clegg and Tim Farron hug

    Asked on Pienaar’s Politics programme a little earlier if he’d like Nick Clegg on his front bench, Tim Farron, the new Lib Dem leader, said: “I would certainly love him to."

  28. Could Corbyn be Labour's next leader?

    Iain Watson

    Political correspondent

    Jeremy Corbyn

    Veteran left-winger Jeremy Corbyn was a rank outsider in the race to be Labour's next leader but now speculation is mounting that he might just take the prize. Could it happen?

    He rails against austerity. He's happy to talk to Hamas and Hezbollah - even if he disagrees with them. He opposes the benefits cap. He's against bombing Syria. He warns of the dangers of immigration controls. He wants to scrap Trident and tuition fees in England.

    In other words, Jeremy Corbyn advocates positions which challenge the conventional wisdom of what his party needs to do to win back the voters it lost in Middle England marginals.

    Read more from Iain.

  29. Cooper on Syria air strikes

    Sky News

    RAF Tornado

    On the possibility of future UK air strikes in Syria, Yvette Cooper says Labour would need to see the PM's proposals first and what the military objectives were.

    Islamic State militants are "barbaric" and everything must be done to defeat them, she says, but cautions that as far as Syria is concerned "the objectives are not clear".

  30. Back to the 1980s?

    Sky News

    Labour leadership contender Yvette Cooper is the latest interviewee on Sky News's Murnaghan programme. Asked about Jeremy Corbyn, the veteran left-wing MP who is gaining ground in the race, Ms Cooper says the majority of the party membership wouldn't want to go back "to the 1980s".

    "It's not enough to be angry at the world, we've got to change the world," she adds - saying the party wants "an alternative Labour prime minister from the start".

  31. Kendall: Corbyn wouldn't be in my shadow cabinet

    Pienaar's politics

    BBC Radio 5 Live

    Labour leadership contenders

    Labour leadership contender Liz Kendall has been on Radio 5 live's Pienaar's Politics show. She was asked whether, if elected, she would have Jeremy Corbyn - the veteran left-wing candidate also vying for the top job - in her shadow cabinet. Leaving no room for doubt, she replies: "No." Why not? Labour needs "a serious and credible" team, she adds.

  32. Progressive co-operation?

    Sky News

    Asked about the Labour leadership, Tim Farron says he hopes the party elects someone who is not "tribal" and who puts country before party.

    He says "progressives" need to understand that "there'll be times that we need to work together" - saying that in areas where Labour "can't win", he hopes Labour or Green supporters can lend their votes to the Lib Dems to oust the Tories.

  33. Farron's concern over Syria

    Sky News

    Turning to the Lib Dems' position on Syria, Tim Farron says he's "deeply worried" by David Cameron's latest pronouncements - fearing the PM is "playing in to the IS narrative".

    Mr Cameron has said Britain is committed to working with the US to destroy the "caliphate" set up by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria.

    But Mr Farron says the UK should be supporting the Muslim communities and countries within the region through diplomatic means - rather than "ramping up the rhetoric".

  34. Farron: I believe in equality for all

    Sky News

    Earlier this week, Tim Farron refused to answer the question of whether he believed homosexual sex was a sin.

    Asked on Sky News's Murnaghan programme to confirm his views, the new Lib Dem leader says he supports equality for all.

    Quote Message: I am absolutely clear... I think that you should be able to love who you love, marry who you wish. I believe in equality for all people no matter what their sexuality."
  35. Blunt: Diplomatic strategy needed

    Sky News

    However, Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Crispin Blunt tells the same programme that these reports are a "distraction" and in the scheme of defeating IS of "profound unimportance".

    The Conservative MP stresses the need for a diplomatic strategy involving Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia and others to agree a strategy against IS militants "to enable us to win this thing and deprive them of territory".

  36. Syria action 'by stealth'

    Sky News

    Sky News

    Commenting on UK pilots embedded with coalition allies' forces conducting air strikes against IS over Syria, Ben Bradshadw says it is "outrageous" that David Cameron seems to be taking action in Syria "by stealth".

    He says Labour will seek an urgent question in the Commons on Monday unless the government comes forward with a statement to explain.

  37. Bradshaw on welfare reform

    Sky News

    Sky News

    Ben Bradshaw, who is vying for the Labour deputy leadership, says he thinks he can help the party to win again, for example in seats in Middle England, because his message appeals "beyond Labour's core vote".

    So what is that message? He's pressed on his stance on welfare reform - and says he doesn't think child tax credits should be limited to two children, as the government is proposing.

    The government's welfare reforms "discincentivise" work, Mr Bradshaw claims, but he adds that Labour cannot risk being seen as the party of welfare. 

  38. 'Hysteria' around Corbyn bid

    Sky News

    Labour MP Ben Bradshaw is asked about Labour's electoral prospects if Jeremy Corbyn is elected as the new leader in September.

    He says there's a certain degree of "hysteria" around his candidacy, and cautions Labour members to think carefully about their vote.

    But he says the party membership has "common sense", noting that they voted overwhelmingly for David Miliband in 2010 (although it was his brother Ed that went on to win the contest).

  39. 'New grand strategy needed'

    Lord Richards

    Lord Richards says political leaders - both here and in the US - need to act fast to tackle Islamic State extremists. He says the reach of the militants is expanding, with the Gulf nations "under threat."

    Quote Message: This is why it needs a new grand strategy which takes into account a much broader set of requirements."
  40. 'Dribbling vs clouting'

    The Andrew Marr Show

    Using some military terms, Lord Richards says he's worried that "dribbling" - which he tells the programme we are doing at present with regards to IS - instead of "clouting" is "firing up the problem rather than dealing with it".

  41. 'Need to look again' at IS strategy

    The Andrew Marr Show

    Lord Richards says that if the objective to get rid of IS is to be successful "we need to look again at the strategy". He says the current approach - of equipping and training others to fight IS militants - is "not sufficient". But he says that doesn't necessarily mean UK troops on the ground.  

  42. Lord Richards interview

    The Andrew Marr Show

    Lord Richards, former Chief of Defence Staff, says he's not shocked by reports that UK pilots embedded with coalition allies' forces have been conducting air strikes over Syria against the Islamic State group.

    He says it's quite normal to embed UK personnel in foreign forces. But he is surprised it hadn't been explained to Parliament.

  43. Whittingdale on Syria

    The Andrew Marr Show

    Changing tack, Andrew Marr questions the culture secretary on whether there will be a debate and vote in Parliament soon on whether to authorise UK air strikes on Syria.

    John Whittingdale says that's a matter for the PM but adds that David Cameron has made it clear he will seek parliamentary approval before any action is taken.

  44. Whittingdale on BBC funding

    The Andrew Marr Show

    Questioned on the BBC's funding, John Whittingdale says a move towards a fee and subscription model is possible in the future.

    The culture secretary also confirms that the government will maintain free entry to national museums and galleries. He says it's a policy which has been "hugely successful".

  45. 'Distinctiveness' a key test

    The Andrew Marr Show

    John Whittingdale

    Asked about the letter signed by celebrities warning the government against diminishing the BBC, John Whittingdale says he fully agreed with the point they were making - stressing that he "admires" the BBC and does not want to "undermine" it.

    The key test for the BBC should be "distinctiveness", the culture secretary adds. He says the BBC should look at its programming and make sure it is not stepping on the toes of the commercial sector.

  46. Whittingdale 'surprised' at BBC reaction

    The Andrew Marr Show

    John Whittingdale says he was "surprised" that the BBC expressed such disappointment at the Green Paper - which lays out the issues ministers want to explore during negotiations over the BBC's future - saying it only poses questions and no answers at this stage.

  47. Whittingdale on the BBC

    The Andrew Marr Show

    The government is set to launch a "root-and-branch" review of the BBC, as the corporation heads towards charter renewal in 2016.

    John Whittingdale says he loves the organisation but says it's right to consider how it is financed and governed at the time of charter renewal.

    He hopes there'll be "a wide-ranging debate" as part of that process.

  48. Whittingdale on Queen Nazi salute pictures

    The Andrew Marr Show

    Culture Secretary John Whittingdale is the next guest to join Andrew Marr, and he's asked whether the Sun was right to publish the pictures of The Queen apparently doing a Nazi salute when she was six years old.

    "It's a matter for the Sun," he says, adding that it is a question of editorial judgement. "The British public will judge whether or not they were right," he says.

    He adds: "I can understand in this instance why the Palace were upset by it."

  49. Farron 'passionate' about LGBT rights

    The Andrew Marr Show

    Tim Farron

    Asked about his decision to abstain in a vote on the gay marriage bill, Tim Farron says he is committed to equality and "passionate" about LGBT rights. It'll be a priority for him as leader, he tells the programme.

    Pressed again to explain his voting history on gay rights legislation, the MP says it was about "protection of individual liberties".

  50. Farron on electoral system

    The Andrew Marr Show

    Tim Farron categorically rejects any suggestion that the Lib Dems would not put up candidates in certain areas where it couldn't win - in order to boost Labour chances. "That would be a good story wouldn't it, but no, not at all," he says - before going on to criticise the UK's electoral system.

  51. Farron: Country needs a liberal party

    The Andrew Marr Show

    Tim Farron - who on Friday was elected as the new Lib Dem leader - says the need for a liberal party has "never been greater".

    "But I've never been a tribalist, I've always said we should work with others... to achieve what we want," he adds, saying the Lib Dems can work with other parties to counter the "threat" he says the Conservative government poses to the country.

    But we are an independent party, he stresses - saying the Lib Dems will also take the fight to Labour on areas of disagreement.

  52. Pic: The paper review

    The Andrew Marr Show

    Andrew Marr Show
  53. Abbott on Labour leader race

    The Andrew Marr Show

    Moving the subject on to the Labour leadership contest, Diane Abbott predicts that Jeremy Corbyn won't win the race. Although she says people should take "more seriously" the arguments he is making - saying that a lot of the public don't support austerity.

  54. Cameron's 'war of choice'

    The Andrew Marr Show

    First up is the paper review, with some of the front pages leading on David Cameron saying Britain is committed to working with the US to destroy so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

    Labour MP Diane Abbott says it's David Cameron's "war of choice". "He's learned nothing" from the military intervention in Libya, she adds. Ms Abbott - who is vying to become Labour's candidate in the London mayoral elections - says she, other Labour MPs and some Conservatives won't vote in favour of UK air strikes against IS in Syria - if such a vote is put before the Commons. There's nothing IS want more than to draw Western powers into the region, she adds.

  55. Marr's sofa

    The Andrew Marr Show

    Guests on the Marr show this morning include Culture, Media and Sport Secretary John Whittingdale, the new leader of the Liberal Democrats, Tim Farron, and Lord Richards - former chief of the defence staff.

  56. Good morning

    Welcome to our live coverage of Sunday's politics. We'll be bringing you the latest lines from this morning's programmes, beginning with The Andrew Marr Show.