Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.


  1. UK GDP rose by larger than expected 0.5% in first quarter after referendum
  2. Labour's John McDonnell warns against a "bankers' Brexit"
  3. News of the World: MPs to debate cases of Colin Myler and Tom Crone
  4. MPs to debate young people's mental health

Live Reporting

By Alex Hunt and Claire Heald

All times stated are UK

UKIP badges

Who are the contenders to succeed Diane James as UKIP leader, after her shock resignation 18 days in to the job?

Read more
David Mundell

Scotland will not get a "special deal" on Brexit, the Scottish secretary insists, but there will be "differential" arrangements for some sectors.

Read more

Thursday round-up

Here's a summary of the day's political news:

Nofit State Circus in Marseille in 2015

Music and theatre groups may have to scale back European tours after the UK leaves the EU, arts organisations warn.

Read more

Brexit hotline response took ages, says Sturgeon

The only new knowledge that the SNP has gleaned from Westminster meetings on Brexit this week is that the government has a hotline to Brexit Secretary David Davis, Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said.

"Brexit might mean Brexit, but the prime minister couldn’t tell us exactly what that platitude means in practice," she said.

“The only new information we got on Monday was that the UK government has set up what they have called a ‘hotline’ to David Davis.

"I can share with the Chamber today that (the Scottish government's Brexit minister) Michael Russell’s office called that hotline this week.

"He called it just before midday on Tuesday, it took until after 6pm yesterday to actually get David Davis on the hotline, that’s 36 hours. So yes, there is now a telephone line we can call, it’s just currently not very hot.”

Are these the worst political insults?

The Daily Politics

So what are the most cutting comments? See which have made the top five political barbs. 

We got no special deal, says Nissan exec

There's no mystery inducement behind Nissan's decision to stick with Sunderland, the firm has said. 

A senior executive at Nissan Europe, Colin Lawther, said the company had received "no special deal" from the government.

"It's just a commitment from the government to work with the whole of the automotive industry to make sure the whole automotive industry in the UK remains competitive," he told the BBC.

"We would expect nothing for us that the rest of the industry wouldn't be able to have access to. We see this as a whole industry thing, not a Nissan thing."

Mr Lawther said there was "a massive basket of unknowns" from triggering Article 50 to the end of the Brexit process so "it's not really productive for us to speculate on what could happen".

"We just trust that the government will work through diligently to make sure that, as a whole industry, we end up competitive in the final noggins."

Watch: Why don't politicians answer the question?

The Daily Politics

Dr Peter Bull on the 35 ways politicians avoid directly answering interview questions - after Business Secretary Greg Clark refused to say whether Nissan was offered a one-off inducement deal.

Tonge suspended over controversial meeting

Baroness Tonge has had her Liberal Democrat membership suspended after chairing a meeting which was criticised by the Israeli embassy as "shameful". 

The former Lib Dem MP sits as an independent in the Lords but was still a member of the party. 

She chaired the event in the Lords run by the Palestinian Return Centre and streamed on its Facebook page. 

A Liberal Democrats spokesman said: "She has been suspended. She was not a member of our group in the House of Lords, she was an independent peer, she has had her membership suspended."

"We take her comments very seriously and have acted accordingly."

The comments have sparked widespread anger among MPs.

Corbyn asks if public money is involved in Nissan deal

Any government deal with Nissan over its plans to invest in Sunderland production must be made public, Jeremy Corbyn has said. 

On a visit to Blackburn to see motor mechanic apprentices he said if there were any inducements to the firm they would come from public money, adding: "If you are offering big inducements to one industry or one manufacturer, then all the others will quite reasonably say, ‘Well, what about us?’

"We don’t know what the terms of the agreement are between Nissan and the government.

"I’m pleased there’s going to be continued investment in Sunderland that protects those jobs and obviously helps to develop manufacturing industry, but the concerns are still there. 

"We have to have market access in Europe in order to keep British engineering industries going."

Education Bill spiked, making way for grammars

Branwen Jeffreys

Education Editor

Plans for an education bill, which initially would have seen all schools in England compelled to become academies, have been dropped. 

The Cameron government announced the plans in March but backed down from them in May after widespread protests from councils.  

The current government has confirmed the withdrawal in a statement to parliament.

The move clears the way for draft plans to be brought forward including Theresa May's proposals for more grammar schools in England. 

Lord Nash, the education minister said in a statement: "Our ambition remains that all schools should benefit from the freedom and autonomy that academy status brings. 

"Our focus, however, is on building capacity in the system and encouraging schools to convert voluntarily. 

"No changes to legislation are required for these purposes and therefore we do not require wider education legislation in this session to make progress on our ambitious education agenda."

Grammar schools 'close attainment gap'

Social mobility debate

House of Lords


Education Minister Lord Nash defends the government's grammar school policy, which came under attack from several speakers earlier in the debate. 

Grammars, he says, "have a track record of closing the attainment gap and adding value for disadvantaged children, even those who don't attend them".

But grammar schools currently admit too few disadvantaged pupils he says, and the government's policy is "not about a return to the binary system of old".

House of Lords

Report is 'important and timely' - minister

House of Commons


Nicola Blackwood

Health Minister Nicola Blackwood says the Youth Select Committee's mental health report is "an important and timely intervention".

She pays tribute to the young people who have spoken about their own mental health problems and who have allowed MPs to talk about them.

Ms Blackwood says NHS England has been mandated "to strive to reduce the health gap" in areas including learning disabilities and autism.

She is pressed by Labour to confirm whether there will be sanctions against clinical commissioning groups who do not allocate the extra funding. Ms Blackwood says she has been "clear" that funding needs to increase and performance "can be tracked locally".

She says she accepts the report's recommendation that work "across government" with the department for education is needed.

Watch: Were the Brexit economic forecasts correct?

The Daily Politics

Conservative peer Patience Wheatcroft, the Daily Telegraph's Liam Halligan and Labour peer Margaret Prosser look at the UK's economic figures after the Brexit vote.

Watch: Gove grades government 'A' but no 'A-star'

The Daily Politics

Former cabinet member and Brexit campaigner Michael Gove says the government is doing "well" so far in its handing of the path towards leaving the EU. 

Watch: Heathrow or Brexit - what matters in Richmond?

The Daily Politics

The Daily Politics mood box gets views on issues in the Richmond Park by-election.

Watch: Are peers plotting over referendum result?

The Daily Politics

Baroness Wheatcroft said some in the House of Lords want a Parliamentary vote on Brexit.

Pressures on young people highlighted

Social mobility debate

House of Lords


Lord Addington

Lib Dem Lord Addington raises the issue of special educational needs as a prevention for social mobility. 

He asks whether in understanding the pressure faced by young people to attain and "jump through hoops" in order to obtain the better things in life "are we identifying all the things that might slow you down?"

The Liberal Democrat peer tells the chamber that "we are not equipping our educators" with the ability to identify those with different learning patterns.

Mental health a 'priority campaign' of the Youth Parliament

Debate on young people's mental health

House of Commons


Christina Rees

"With countless witness testimonies, this report highlights where improvements need to be made," says Labour MP Christina Rees.

She pays tribute to the "vitally important work" of the Youth Select Committee and to one of her local members of the Youth Parliament.

She says the Youth Parliament has "voted to campaign on mental health services as its priority campaign" which, she says, is indicative that services "fall far short" of what should be expected.

The committee said it gathered evidence from "young people, academics, ministers and health and education professionals" in the preparation of its report.

Social mobility for adults

Social mobility debate

House of Lords


Labour peer Baroness Morris of Yardley says it is good that there is now political agreement "across the spectrum" that the issue of social mobility needs to be addressed.

She is adamant that it is not just an issue for education and young people, but argues there should be focus on adults too.

"It's an issue of skills and re-skilling," she says, urging the government to give people opportunities throughout their lives to achieve their potential, rather than focusing solely on young people and the education system. 

UKIP MEP: Daylight should be 'absolutely maximised'

Debate on daylight savings time

European Parliament


UKIP's Julie Reid says that Britain could be said to have "invented time itself" through the creation of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). 

She says that the country should "take the lead again" by adhering to a system that would "absolutely maximise" the amount of daylight available to people. 

This, she adds, could might Europe might "follow our lead again" - adding that she also hopes other EU states also follow the UK's Brexit vote. 

Julie Reid

Call for focus on younger children

Social mobility debate

House of Lords


Lord Holmes of Richmond

Lord Holmes is opening this debate on the government's plans to promote social mobility.

In his opening statement, Lord Holmes says that unless peers can hold their hands on their hearts and say that anyone from any circumstances can achieve in modern Britain, "then what is the point of politics?"

He makes the point that focusing on younger school children will "enable young minds to be sparked" in primary school, rather than waiting for secondary school before engaging with children and young people.

Lord Holmes also highlights the need for better advice to young people leaving school, as he says that many people enter higher education when an apprenticeship or other vocational route would be better.

Baroness Williams' second thoughts on retirement?

Esther Webber

BBC News

Baroness Williams

A source in the Lords tells the BBC that Lib Dem Shirley Williams, who retired from the House in February, appeared to regret her decision to leave, after the EU referendum result. 

She was "devastated" by the Brexit result, the source says, and phoned up her old team anxious to contribute to the Lib Dems' response. 

She was told that the (newish) rules under which she retired meant she had left the Lords permanently.

Speaking to the BBC today, Baroness Williams explains she knew she couldn't really rejoin the Lords but she did feel she had been "under-used" by the Remain campaign. 

Lib Dems react to UKIP backing Zac Goldsmith in Richmond Park by-election

Tim Farron, Leader of the Liberal Democrats, said: 

Zac Goldsmith claimed Brexit has nothing to do with this by-election. The very public endorsement he has picked up from the party of Nigel Farage nails that lie. Zac Goldsmith was already the Conservative Party candidate. Now he is also the UKIP candidate. His campaign is the Nigel and Zac show. UKIP's website expressly states that it is vital for supporters of Hard Brexit to defeat the Liberal Democrats in Richmond Park, and praises Zac Goldsmith for being 'fully committed to getting Britain out of the European Union'. This by-election presents a golden opportunity to defeat one of the leading Brexiteers who is determined to even take Britain out of the Single Market."

Plane arriving at Heathrow

The co-convenor of the Scottish Greens launches a scathing attack on the Scottish government over its support for a third runway at Heathrow.

Read more

Committee seeks answers on empowering women

Wonder Woman
Getty Images/AP/Warner Bros
The UN has named Wonder Woman as an ambassador on women's rights

Eleven questions aimed at working out how to end discrimination against women and girls have been launched by the Commons Women and Equalities Committee. 

It is looking at how the government will reach a UN development goal on women's equality by 2030. 

The UN requires all member states to achieve gender equality and empowerment for women and girls by 2030. 

The committee is taking submissions until 5 December

It wants to know how the goals can be met in the UK. 

The UN recently announced Wonder Woman, a fictional superhero, as its new honorary ambassador to promote women's empowerment and fight gender-based violence, prompting a backlash beginning with its own staff.

MEP asks Commissioner to 'provide your own studies'

European Parliament


German Christian democrat Herbert Reul says the Parliament is not disputing that having different time zones would cause inconvenience. 

He says that any move to get rid of daylight saving would obviously need to be done in a harmonised way so as not to have a negative effect on the internal market. 

He adds that MEPs are asking for the Commission to justify why the current system is necessary, noting: "if our studies are false, you have to provide your own studies". 

He adds that the current regime of moving the clocks backwards and forwards at two points in the year has been shown to "have an impact on human health". 

Herbert Reul

Inpatient treatment should be 'a very last resort'

Debate on young people's mental health

House of Commons


SNP MP Lisa Cameron says around half of young people who develop mental health problems do so before the age of 14, and 75% do so before the age of 18.

Mental health problems can "destroy educational potential" and damage relationships, as well as leading potentially to suicide and self-harm.

Dr Cameron, who trained as a clinical psychologist, adds that inpatient treatment should be "a very last resort" with children treated at home if possible.

UK to become a 'champion of free trade'

Global free trade debate

House of Lords


Government minister Baroness Mobarik rises to respond to the debate, and in a broad response to the many points made, promises that the department will "examine all options available to us".

Baroness Mobarik says that the government will work to avoid short-term disruption, but tells peers that the UK leaving the EU offers an opportunity for the UK to become a "champion for free trade".

The minister says that Brexit creates opportunities to positively influence developing countries, saying that "trade with the UK can be a force for good".

Baroness Mobarik

MP confesses to her own misconceptions about mental health

Debate on young people's mental health

House of Commons


Nusrat Ghani

"Illnesses are often supposed to be feared and ridiculed and that must change," says Conservative MP Nusrat Ghani.

She confesses that she has been guilty of preconceptions, giving the example of a piece of casework she received as a new MP.

She heard about a teenager who was self-harming and suffering from an eating disorder.

"I just assumed it was a girl," Ms Ghani says. "When I met the parents, I discovered 'she' was a boy."

She goes on to discuss the high incidence of suicide amongst young men and says therapy needs to be "provided sooner".

Nigel Farage

UKIP backs Zac Goldsmith in the Richmond Park by-election and won't be fielding its own candidate.

Read more

Labour: what is international trade department actually doing?

Global free trade debate

House of Lords


Labour frontbencher Lord Mendelsohn says his party wants Britain to be seen as "a great place to do business" but that can't be about "rolling back" workers' rights.

He also wonders what the Department for International Trade is actually doing. He says he hopes the department is doing more than tweeting about "innovative British jam", as it did earlier this month.

View more on twitter

Lib Dems 'free trade party'

Global free trade debate

House of Lords


Baroness Kramer

Lib Dem spokesperson Baroness Kramer poses a series of questions for the government. 

She asks if the government is worried about "non tariff barriers" to trade, if tariffs are going to be "something you live with" and what the government's view is on the tide turning against free trade around the world.

She calls herself "inherently a free-trader" and says her party has always been a free trade party. She says that is the reason that they supported the expansion of the European Union's single market and will be "sad to lose it".

Real test yet to come for economy, say directors

Economic figures post-Brexit vote are positive, but the real test is to come, the Institute of Directors says. 

The 0.5% third quarter growth announced on Thursday showed greater resilience than expected but that was underpinned by the service sector, it said, while firms continued to adopt a wait-and-see approach to investment.

"The challenge to the government in the Autumn Statement will be to bolster the confidence necessary to trigger business spending and investment," it said.  

More than half of its members are "optimistic" about the UK's economic prospects, but a third worry an economic slowdown would hit their business. 

"The real test of this will be early next year when the currency impact will be more fully felt, feeding through into higher prices and causing inflation to rise towards target levels," it warned.

Kramer v McDonnell on 'Bankers' Brexit' claim

John McDonnell's claims Theresa May will protect bankers from Brexit but not small business are "exactly what is wrong with the Labour Party" the Lib Dems have said. 

Treasury spokeswoman Baroness Kramer said creating a fight between bankers and small business over Brexit was "totally unnecessary". 

"If we are going to protect our economy we must protect both," she said. 

"Theresa May's 'hard Brexit' will hit financial services just as hard as small businesses, and you don't need to be the bankers' best friend to know that will have a major impact on the prosperity of every person in our country.

"The financial services sector pays over £66bn in tax each year - that's billions for schools, hospitals and the public sector that we could lose to Brexit.

"While Labour may want to create scapegoats, Liberal Democrats will fight for every business and for every pound of our economy," she said. 

Access and prevention

Debate on young people's mental health

House of Commons


North Durham MP Kevan Jones begins his contribution by saying that the more mental health issues are talked about helps to reduce the stigma surrounding the health issues. 

Mr Jones says that the core of the report talks about a lot of the issues that affect adult mental services, but acknowledges that young people today "face pressures that were never there when we were younger".

The Labour MP says that access and prevention are the two main issues for tackling mental health issues - arguing that self-referral should be prioritised over the "medical model" of getting a referral from a GP.

UKIP not putting up candidate in Richmond Park

The UK Independence Party says it will not be putting up a candidate in the Richmond Park by-election on 1 December prompted by Conservative Zac Goldsmith's decision to resign over the expansion of Heathrow Airport.

A spokesman said: "Zac Goldsmith has resigned on a matter of principle and UKIP admire him for having the courage to do so. UKIP have always believed that Gatwick was a preferred option to Heathrow."

The party added:

Recognising Zac as a principled man, who was fully committed to helping get Britain out of the European Union, UKIP Leader Nigel Farage, in conjunction with our National Executive Committee have agreed that we will not be fielding a candidate in the upcoming by-election for Richmond Park. The Liberal Democrats are committed to overturning the result of the 2016 Referendum and ignoring the will of the British people. This must not be allowed to happen. UKIP are encouraging all of our supporters and voters to support Zac Goldsmith in his bid to become an independent MP."

Clark guarded on Nissan "assurances"

Business Secretary Greg Clark would not be drawn on the detail of the "support and assurances" Nissan says it had from government before announcing its commitment to Sunderland. 

He had provided "assurances that the Government's industrial strategy is determined to make sure Britain remains the competitive and attractive place for investment and innovation that we have been for the 30 years that Nissan has been in this country". 

But he would not say if there would be compensation to the car-maker if EU tariffs were imposed on UK exports. 

And asked if taxpayers money was going to Nissan, he said: "If they expand their production facilities, often the local enterprise partnership  would make improvements to road junctions up in Sunderland. 

"I've led quite an investment programme in the area around Nissan to make it suitable for the supply chain. That is in the normal course of business and it extends to all of the different industries."

He said the government was determined "to make sure Britain not only stays competitive but is even more attractive for investment". 

"They were persuaded of the confidence that we have in our future. They have a long, successful association with this country and their decision means it not only continues in the future but has been upgraded."