News Daily: Polls open, and UK loses song points

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European election polls open

Polls have opened across the UK as Britons vote to elect 73 members of the European Parliament. Polling takes place until 22:00, with the results announced on Sunday night once every European Union member state has finished voting.

In England's nine regions, Wales and Scotland, the number of MEPs elected is calculated using a form of proportional representation known as the D'Hondt formula, where each voter can choose one party or individual to back. In Northern Ireland the Single Transferable Vote system is used, where voters rank the parties standing in order of preference. You can see the full list of European election candidates here. And we have a handy guide to the Euro elections.

There are strict rules about what broadcasters, including the BBC, can report on polling day - and these elections are no different. You can read more about what we can and cannot say here.

Leadsom quits over Brexit policy

The Leader of the House of Commons, Andrea Leadsom, has quit the government saying she cannot support Prime Minister Theresa May's approach to Brexit. Mrs May is under pressure from MPs in her party to resign, and several cabinet ministers have told the BBC that the prime minister will have to go. Speaking to reporters on Wednesday night, Mrs Leadsom said Mrs May's new Brexit plan had "elements I cannot support, that aren't Brexit". As leader of the Commons she had been due to announce when the government's Withdrawal Agreement Bill - implementing the Brexit deal agreed between the UK and EU - will be introduced to Parliament.

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UK's Eurovision 2019 goes from bad to worse

As if finishing bottom of the heap in Tel Aviv last Saturday wasn't bad enough - the UK's entry in the Eurovision Song Contest has had a further five points deducted from its already modest total of 16. This is apparently down to how the organisers allocated points that would've been awarded by Belarus had its jury not been dismissed after their votes from the first semi-final were revealed, against the contest rules. So while the calculation error hasn't affected the contest's top four spots, it means the UK's Michael Rice is now even more in last place with 11 points. Rice himself has said despite everything he's still had an "amazing journey".

Most parents reject nearest school

By Sean Coughlan, education correspondent

Most families do not choose to send their children to their nearest school, shows the biggest ever study of state secondary school choices in England. More than 60% opt for a school that is further away - usually because it is higher achieving. "Contrary to a widely-held belief, only a minority of parents choose their local school as their first option," say researchers. It also debunks the idea that richer families are more engaged with choices.

Read the full story

What the papers say

Image copyright Daily Mirror, Metro

The number of newspaper front pages we can show you are limited by the rules covering broadcasters on polling day. However, the face of Prime Minister Theresa May, pictured in the back of her official car, makes several of them - with the Daily Mirror likening the current situation to the last days of Margaret Thatcher back in 1990. Elsewhere, the FT reports that the business secretary has a plan to rescue British Steel, which has gone into liquidation putting 5,000 jobs at risk. And the Guardian says two wild storks who have nested in West Sussex could become the first wild pair to breed in England since the early 15th Century. You can read our full review of Thursday's papers here.

Daily digest

China Country confirmed as source of CFC rise

Navy Captain flown from carrier over "car misuse"

India Epic poll battle reaches final hours

Topshop Tycoon Green to close 23 stores

If you see one thing today

'We know how brilliant Middlesbrough is'

If you listen to one thing today

What lies beneath

If you read one thing today

Image copyright Getty Images

Elton John's best movie moments

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12:30 England's 12-player squad for the Netball World Cup, which is being held in Liverpool in July, is announced.

14:30 Grime artist Ghetts, Jorja Smith and bands Arctic Monkeys and The 1975 lead the nominations at this years Ivor Novello Awards.

On this day

1998 People in Northern Ireland vote yes to the Good Friday Agreement in a referendum.

From elsewhere

Hilary Mantel's The Mirror and the Light announced for 2020 (Guardian)

How to Revisit the Ghosts of Your Past (New York Times)

The World As We Knew It Is Over. Now What? (Forbes)

Washington becomes the first state to legalise composting of humans (CNN)

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