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News Daily: Patel pledges immigration cut, and flood village faces more rain

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Patel pledges to cut 'immigration overall'

Home Secretary Priti Patel has committed the Conservatives to reduce "immigration overall" if the party wins the general election. While she did not spell out exactly how the party intends limiting the number of people coming to the UK, the Tories want to introduce a "points-based" migration system after Brexit, as well as ending freedom of movement.

Ms Patel also attacked Labour, saying there would be a "surge" of immigration if Jeremy Corbyn gets the keys to No 10. Labour has dismissed her claim, saying she was "misleading the public" about its policy on freedom of movement. The party's conference backed a motion defending the rights of EU citizens to live and work in the UK, as well as rejecting any immigration system based on caps or quotas.

Elsewhere on the campaign trail, Labour is promising to close the gender pay gap - the percentage difference between average hourly earnings for men and women - by 2030 if it wins the election.

And the Scottish National Party says it is suing ITV after it was left out of next week's debate between Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Labour's Jeremy Corbyn. SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said it was "fundamentally unfair" not to include her party, which is the third largest in the UK.

Unsure who to vote for? We've put together a handy comparison of the parties' policies. Elsewhere, Reality Check have been looking at whether the NHS needs more money.

Impeachment probe hears new Trump claim

US President Donald Trump asked directly about a Ukrainian investigation into his Democratic rival Joe Biden, members of the House of Representatives have been told. Bill Taylor, the acting US ambassador to Ukraine, was speaking at the first public hearings in the impeachment inquiry into Mr Trump. He is accused of withholding US military aid to the country in a bid to get Ukraine to investigate Mr Biden - a former vice-president who is seeking to be the Democrats' candidate for the 2020 election. Representatives were told a member of Mr Taylor's staff overheard Mr Trump asking about the "investigations" into Mr Biden during a phone call. The president has denied any knowledge of the conversation.

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Flooded village set for more rain

Forecasters say more rain is due to fall on the flood-stricken village of Fishlake near Doncaster, with a resulting risk to life. Hundreds of people have had to leave their homes since the flood waters rose last week, and roads into the village have been closed. It's thought more rain on Thursday morning has the potential to see river levels rise again. Two hundred soldiers have been brought into South Yorkshire to help the rescue effort.

Is the minimum wage enough to live on?

By Kevin Peachey, personal finance reporter

Money is everywhere in the amusement arcades on Southend's seafront: being fed into slot machines, paid out in jackpots, or hanging over the edge of penny fall games. When running a business like this, the money that really matters is staff wages. Pay is the dominant cost and, with a host of employees on the minimum wage, it is a bill that has been rising.

"There has been quite a dramatic increase [in the minimum wage] in recent years. At peak times, we can absorb the costs but it stretches us even thinner for the rest of the time," says John Remblance, manager at Star Amusements.

The arcades run by this family firm are open every day except Christmas Day. Further rises in the minimum or National Living Wage promised by all the major political parties could make this a more expensive and therefore more seasonal business, he says.

Read the full article

What the papers say

A range of stories lead Thursday's papers - although the general election is the main focus. The Times reports on splits within Labour over whether its plan to bring in a four-day working week should apply to NHS staff. Elsewhere, the Daily Telegraph leads on attempts by the Conservatives to forge an electoral pact with the Brexit Party. The paper says "11th-hour" talks failed after Nigel Farage rejected Boris Johnson's plan to put up "paper candidates" in several constituencies. And the FT says Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson has ruled out putting Jeremy Corbyn in No 10. Read more in our paper review.

Daily digest

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Lookahead

09:30 NHS England releases monthly A&E waiting time statistics for October, along with September's data for routine operations and cancer treatment.

19:45 England play their 1,000th football international, when they face Montenegro at Wembley.

On this day

1973 The wedding of the Queen's only daughter, Princess Anne, takes place at Westminster Abbey.

From elsewhere

Banned in warfare, is tear-gas too readily used to control crowds? (The Economist)

The golden quarter is here, but shoppers aren’t ready to splurge (The Grocer)

Long queue times ‘drives customers away’ (Morning Advertiser)

All that glitters: The restless perfectionism of the movie musical (Sight & Sound)