Number of tower blocks with combustible cladding rises to 11, government says – as it happened

Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happen

10.54pm BST

This live blog is now closing. Here is a summary of the evening’s events:

The communities and local government secretary, Sajid Javid, revealed that the number of blocks found to have been clad in combustible material has risen from seven to 11. In a letter to MPs, he said the disaster had changed his understanding of what it is to be a cabinet minister.

9.24pm BST

In his letter to MPs confirming the new total of buildings with combustible cladding, Sajid Javid said Camden, Manchester and Plymouth were three areas where buildings had failed the test but stressed he could not reveal more because local residents in the others have not yet been informed, despite landlords being alerted to results. He wrote:

I also want to reassure colleagues that you will be made aware if any sites are in your constituency by the local authority in the first instance – my department stands ready to assist colleagues if further information is required.

To ensure that local authorities and housing associations know how to respond where tests do show action is needed, my department has today written to every one of them to ensure they know what immediate steps they should take if the testing shows cladding material is unlikely to be compliant with current building regulations, and I attach a copy of this for your information.

As a minister, I have always been prepared to make tough decisions. I understood the pressures that come with public life but this disaster has shaken my comprehension of what it means to be in office. I have met some of the victims of Grenfell, I have witnessed for myself the grief and anger of those who have lost so much – more than just their possessions but also their loved ones, their security and their memories.

This government will do everything possible not just to replace houses and provide immediate relief, but to seek justice for those people who have been failed. This tragedy should weigh on the consciousness of every person tasked with making a decision so this can never happen again.

9.19pm BST

Nick Paget-Brown, the Conservative leader of Kensington and Chelsea council, has admitted the body failed in its response to the Grenfell Tower disaster. He faced calls to resign earlier today, though the prime minister declined to add her voice to them. Paget-Brown apologised, saying:

Council workers have been on duty around the clock since 1.30am on the day of the fire, helping local residents and the families of the victims. I have nothing but praise for their truly heroic efforts

However, although individual council officers have worked so hard and delivered so much, it is clear that there has been a failing in our collective response. We could have done a better job at co-ordinating what happened on the ground and we weren’t able to re-home people as fast as we would have liked. We are truly sorry for that.

Work is under way to assess the housing needs of all Grenfell Tower and Grenfell Walk families to identify suitable accommodation. All the identified properties are in the borough of Kensington and Chelsea, or a neighbouring borough, and none will be in towers.

People rightly have many questions about this tragedy, and they will be answered. Lessons will be learned from the Grenfell Tower fire and the government has launched a full public inquiry. We will cooperate in full with this and all other investigations.

9.03pm BST

The number of high-rise blocks of flats found to have combustible cladding similar to that used on Grenfell Tower has risen to 11, across eight local authority areas in England, the communities and local government secretary, Sajid Javid, has said in a letter to MPs.

8.19pm BST

The Conservative party has said it did not break the law by contracting a company to call voters during the general election campaign after Channel 4 News obtained secret footage of the call centre.

According to the programme, the Tories may have broken data protection and election laws by using Blue Telecoms, a firm in Neath, South Wales, to directly contact voters in marginal seats.

It was reported in the Daily Mirror in September last year that Jeremy Corbyn is not concerned about the numbers of people coming to live in the UK and it was reported on Sky News this year that Theresa May has restated her pledge to reduce net migration.

Just thinking about these reports in the media and the reports that you live in a marginal constituency that may determine who is prime minister… Does that make you more likely to back Theresa May or more likely to vote for Jeremy Corbyn?

Political parties of all colours pay for market research and direct marketing calls. All the scripts supplied by the party for these calls are compliant with data protection and information law.

Related: Conservative party call centre ‘may have broken election law’

8.14pm BST

Here’s one of the nine recently-refurbished Salford tower blocks that uses cladding similar to that on #Grenfell

Following the news that nine tower blocks in Salford have similar cladding to that used on Grenfell Tower, residents in one of the buildings have told the Guardian that fire officers had been carrying out checks on each of its 22 floors earlier on Thursday. Many residents had also received a card from Pendleton Together marked “Urgent – please could you get in touch with us as soon as possible,” which said it referred to a fire survey.

Salford tower block residents got this leaflet today. Some told me fire officers have been carrying out checks today on all 22 floors.

Dozens of residents here have signed petition outlining concerns about fire safety – and this was before the cladding news today

I’m horrified. It’s a hell of a situation, I’ve been here 14 years and I’ve been happy here but this business in London has frightened the life out of everybody. There’s three disabled people on this floor – I’m worried sick in our situation.

There’s no sprinklers, no fire alarms, the front doors are automatic – imagine if there was a fire.

7.26pm BST

Victims of the Grenfell Tower fire disaster have had their outstanding energy bills written off by by power companies, the government says.

Those who have been resettled will not be put on more expensive tariffs, while direct debit payments will be put on hold and people will not be charged for energy “for the period after the fire”. The business and energy secretary, Greg Clark, said:

Businesses should play an active role in society and I am pleased that all the energy companies supplying Grenfell Tower have come together and agreed to a set of principles in support of families who have already lost so much.

7.22pm BST

EU leaders have taken a “historic” step towards closer defence integration, the European Council president, Donald Tusk, has announced.

All members of the 28-nation bloc will be invited to join a permanent defence structure. The step has become possible only because of the expected withdrawal form the EU of the UK, which has long opposed such co-operation.

Leaders agreed on the need to set up permanent EU co-operation on defence. It is a historic step because such co-operation will allow the EU to move towards deeper integration in defence.

Our aim is for it to be ambitious and inclusive and every EU country is invited to join.

7.04pm BST

European Union leaders have threatened to pass legislation to force internet companies to take down extremist and terrorist material if they fail to act voluntarily.

Theresa May and the French president, Emmanuel Macron, agreed in Paris last week to press social media and tech firms to move forward with the establishment of an industry-led forum to develop tools to automatically identify and remove unacceptable material, with the threat that regulatory or legislative action could follow if they fail to do so.

Terrorism is still a major threat. We are fully determined to protect our people. To that end, the European Council agreed to deepen our efforts against foreign terrorist fighters.

We are calling on social media companies to do whatever is necessary to prevent the spread of terrorist material on the internet. In practice, this means developing new tools to detect and remove such material automatically. If need be, we are ready to also adopt relevant legislation.

6.42pm BST

The Scottish government has said no publicly-owned high rise blocks in Scotland use the aluminium composite cladding implicated in the Grenfell tower disaster, after checks were carried out by all of the country’s 32 councils.

Ministers have set up a new working group chaired by Angela Constance, the Scottish communities secretary, to review building and fire regulations with the fire brigade, building standards and housing officials.

Scottish building regulations state that cladding on high rise domestic buildings built since 2005, and cladding added to existing high rise domestic buildings since 2005, should be made of non-combustible materials or a cladding system that has met stringent fire tests.

External cladding on high rise domestic buildings built before 2005 has to meet a Class 0 classification which was the most demanding anti-flame spread classification at that time.

6.33pm BST

Sprinkler systems and other fire suppression measures are to be fitted to residential tower blocks in Birmingham, the city’s council says.

Its leader, John Clancy, said the 213 blocks of flats the council owns would be looked at “as a matter of urgency … to assess what work needs to be undertaken to reassure tenants that their homes are safe”. Clancy said he was prepared to find up to an estimated £31m to retrospectively put in place safety measures.

5.59pm BST

Nine tower blocks in Salford use similar cladding to that on Grenfell Tower, Salford city council has confirmed. The recently-refurbished buildings near the Salford Lad’s Club in Pendleton use aluminium composite material (ACM).

A council spokesman said samples of the cladding had been sent to DCLG to check whether or not they were combustible, but that it had not received the results.

We are aware that our residents are asking a number of questions about the cladding used to refurbish the Pendleton blocks. We appreciate that this is obviously a matter of real concern to Pendleton residents and their families.

The cladding used in Pendleton is Aluminium Composite Material (ACM). This was fitted correctly to the manufacturer’s specification and certified by an independent expert.

5.49pm BST

The Royal Institute of British Architects (Riba), which represents architects across the UK and Ireland, says it has been raising concerns for years about the new regulatory regime in construction which allows “fire risk self-assessment”.

It also says it was not happy with developments that mean the lead designer is no longer responsible for oversight of specification of materials and products.

5.45pm BST

The London mayor, Sadiq Khan, has demanded greater transparency from the government over the measures being taken to make tower blocks safe.

From the very first taskforce meeting I attended I said we have got to provide the reassurance that people need because, not unreasonably, if you live in a tower block you are worried, if you have got friends and family who live in a tower block you are worried.

We need to make sure that even if they have got cladding that’s safe, has it been properly installed?

I’m pleased there’s been an improvement. They have definitely raised their game, but they have got to do even better.

They have got to make sure that on the ground in north Kensington there is swifter information, more information to the residents, outreach work is done to make sure there’s bespoke help given to every single family, every single resident.

We have set up the inquiry to get to the cause of this. It’s very important we understand the facts. There are a number of theories around about cladding but it’s very important we get to the bottom of what actually caused the fire to spread so quickly and so devastatingly.

We are going to make sure we get those lessons learned as quickly as possible in the investigation.

5.15pm BST

I think it’s clear that any changes in the wake of this tragedy shouldn’t just be technical, or to legislation.

What happened at Grenfell Tower also showed us all that we need a change in attitude.

4.53pm BST

Here is more on the latest figures for the number of tower blocks with combustible cladding. This is from the Press Association:

Combustible cladding has been found on seven high-rise blocks of flats in four local authority areas in England, Downing Street has said.

Samples taken from the buildings failed government tests to determine whether the cladding is combustible but that does not mean the tower blocks are unsafe, with that to be determined after more checks by the fire and rescue services, Theresa May’s deputy spokeswoman said.

4.49pm BST

The Department for Communities and Local Government has updated its figure for the number of tower blocks now found to be covered with combustible cladding of the type used on Grenfell Tower. A spokesman said seven high-rise buildings have now failed the test.

The seven buildings are in four local authority areas, No 10 said.

4.14pm BST

Norman Lamb has written an article for the Guardian explaining why he is not running for the party leadership. Here is an excerpt.

I have just fought a gruelling campaign to win my North Norfolk seat. Attempting to win a seat for the Liberal Democrats in an area that voted quite heavily to leave the EU was bound to be a challenge. Not only was the party’s position on Brexit toxic to many erstwhile Liberal Democrat voters in North Norfolk, but I found myself sympathising with those who felt that the party was not listening to them and was treating them with some disdain.

I abstained on article 50 because I felt it was wrong in principle to vote against, given that we had all voted to hold the referendum in the first place. For many in the party that abstention was an act of betrayal. I have been accused of supporting a hard Brexit – the last thing I want – while a Lib Dem source told the London Evening Standard this week that the abstention “looks like he can’t make a tough call”. It is actually quite tough to go against your party, and I did it on a matter of principle.

Related: Why I won’t be the Lib Dems’ next leader | Norman Lamb

4.06pm BST

Georgia Gould, the leader of Camden Council, said she was “shocked” when she got the phone call last night to tell her the cladding on the five high rises in the Chalcot Estate in Swiss Cottage was the same as in Grenfell Tower.

The council launched an immediate review of its 13 clad towers in the borough following the inferno in west London and found the five in Chalcot used polyethylene cladding rather than fire resistant cladding as it had specified when it commissioned the refurbishment 10 years ago. Gould said:

Money is not the problem here. Our tenants living in these blocks are our priority and we will deal with the money, discuss it with the government later.

4.02pm BST

According to the BBC’s Norman Smith, Norman Lamb has decided not to contest the Lib Dem leadership.

Understand @normanlamb not standing for @libdem leadership cos of party’s stance on Brexit.

3.49pm BST

On Sky News this afternoon the Labour MP David Lammy called for Nicholas Paget-Brown, the Conservative leader of Kensington and Chelsea council, to resign.

[Paget-Brown] should go because of the awful situation the people of Kensington have found themselves in. It is clear that he has lost the confidence of significant tracts of his own community. It is clear that people made complaints and did not get significant response. It is clear that the management of this situation doesn’t just go to the chief executive [who has resigned], it goes to him. And the decent thing for him to do is to step aside. And I think there are real questions about how decent this man [is] …

The situation in Kensington and Chelsea … is a scandal, frankly. How can you have huge reserves and be spending that on giving money back to your wealthier citizens, but not supporting your poorest and actually putting sprinklers in the building. It is for those reasons he should go.

Related: My council tax rebate from Kensington and Chelsea is blood money | Letters

3.37pm BST

Bob O’Toole, chairman of the residents association of the Burnham block, one of the five high-rises on the Chalcots estate in Swiss Cottage, London, was called to an emergency meeting at Camden council to be told the news on Thursday morning about the cladding being replaced. (See 12.09pm.) He said:

The cladding is going to be changed on all the blocks. They are looking at starting in about six weeks. In the meantime we are going to have 24/7 fire safety patrols in all the blocks.

3.05pm BST

Birmingham, Leeds, Sheffield, Newcastle and Nottingham city councils confirmed that none of their high-rise blocks had cladding like that on Grenfell Tower. All five said they did not yet know about privately owned buildings in their areas.

A spokeswoman from Newcastle city council said they were now checking building regulation application records for older residential buildings the local authority did not own. “This is to establish if similar cladding works have been carried out as part of historic refurbishments,” she said.

3.01pm BST

Theresa May is at the EU summit in Brussels. The last two weeks haven’t exactly gone very well for her, but she seems to have found something to laugh about with Angela Merkel, the German chancellor.

As she arrived at the summit, May said she would be setting out “how the United Kingdom proposes to protect the rights of EU citizens living in the UK and see the rights of UK citizens in Europe protected.”

2.18pm BST

Tenants in 700 flats in the five tower blocks that make up the Chalcots estate in Swiss Cottage in London received a hand-delivered letter from Camden council this morning advising them that the cladding was the same as that in Grenfell Tower and would be removed immediately. (See 12.09pm.)

Rydon, the company that won the contract for refurbishment in both Swiss Cottage and Grenfell, is now facing potential legal action.

I have been very worried ever since the fire and I feel better now the cladding is coming off.

When there was a fire here a few years ago it didn’t spread. But with the refurbishment they changed the windows and they don’t open fully they just tilt out, so I don’t know how you could even jump out if you had to.

2.01pm BST

Samples are being taken of the cladding used on three high-rise blocks within Barnet borough by specialists using abseiling equipment.

Two workers in helmets were seen dangling on climbing rope off the edge of Harpenmead Point, removing panels with drills. Similar samples are to be taken from neighbouring blocks Templewood Point and Granville Point.

Specialists using abseil equipment are removing samples of cladding from this tower block in Barnet, to be sent off for further testing.

1.54pm BST

The government is working with local authorities. We will ensure that any essential works that are necessary, in terms of remedial action for safety of these blocks in relation to fire, are taken. There will be different circumstances in different local authorities. We will ensure that the work can be undertaken.

I have made it clear that where work is necessary, resources will be available to ensure that that work can be undertaken. But it is for the government to work with the local authorities to ensure that that takes place.

At least 79 people are dead. It is both a tragedy and an outrage because every single one of those deaths could have been avoided.

The Grenfell Tower residents themselves had raised concerns about the lack of fire safety in their block.

1.25pm BST

The government has now clarified the line given out at the No 10 lobby briefing about 600 tower blocks having cladding similar to that used on Grenfell Tower. (See 11.53am.) The spokesperson used the word “similar”, but that was misleading. The government is now saying 600 is the figure for the number of tower blocks with cladding of some kind.

A communities department spokesman said:

The situation is that 600 buildings have cladding. It is not similar; it is all types of cladding. Of these 600, we want landlords to check if they have aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding. Of those 600, some of those would have ACM; we want to test them to see if they have ACM.

12.40pm BST

Here is the full text of Theresa May’s Commons statement this morning on the Grenfell Tower fire.

12.35pm BST

In the Commons (see 10.24am) the Labour MP David Lammy spoke about his friend Khadija Saye, a talented artist killed in the Grenfell Tower fire. Lammy has also been encouraging people to support the campaign to raise money for the Khadija Saye Memorial Fund, set up “to support young artists like Khadija to realise their potential”.

12.09pm BST

The London borough of Camden said it would immediately remove cladding from five tower blocks in the borough because it is similar to that which burned rapidly on Grenfell Tower.

Following independent testing of cladding on the Chalcots estate by the Building Research Establishment, the council leader, Georgia Gould, revealed the outer cladding panels on the blocks were also made up of aluminium panels with a polyethylene core.

Camden council has decided it will immediately begin preparing to remove these external cladding panels from the five tower blocks on the Chalcots estate. Camden council will do whatever it takes to ensure our residents are reassured about the safety of their homes.

To ensure such a tragedy is not repeated in Barnet, we have a responsibility to our community to make sure that safety systems are of the highest standard – including investigating whether sprinklers would be appropriate in our high-rise tower blocks. We will be calling on our housing committee to oversee a programme of investment, based on advice from the London fire brigade, to provide added safety and reassurance to our residents. If sprinklers are needed, they will be fitted.

12.04pm BST

Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, has called for residents in hundreds of tower blocks with flammable cladding to be rehoused immediately unless the government can reassure them that their homes are safe.

His comments came after the government confirmed that councils estimate that 600 high-rise buildings have similar flammable exterior cladding to that used on Grenfell Tower.

There is now a huge amount of work to urgently do to ensure that it is safe for people to remain in properties affected. If not, the government must support people being rehoused immediately while cladding is being removed.

The government needs to ensure all resources necessary are made available to local authorities for the testing process, for checking those tower blocks and for rehousing local people in their local community.

Govt must ensure resources needed for testing tower blocks for combustible cladding & rehousing people locally are urgently made available.

11.53am BST

Here is more on the latest No 10 statement about the prevalence of Grenfell Tower-type cladding. This is from the Press Association.

Hundreds of tower blocks in England could be covered in similar cladding to Grenfell Tower, councils have estimated.

So far tests have revealed that combustible cladding has been found on at least three tower blocks across the UK, the government has said.

The situation is that 600 buildings have cladding. It is not similar, it is all types of cladding. Of these 600, we want landlords to check if they have aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding. Of those 600, some of those would have ACM; we want to test them to see if they have ACM.

11.34am BST

The Press Association has just snapped this, from the No 10 lobby briefing.

Councils in England estimate that 600 high-rise buildings have similar cladding to Grenfell Tower, Downing Street said.

11.32am BST

The Liberal Democrats are demanding the resignation of Nicholas Paget-Brown, the Tory leader of Kensington and Chelsea council. Earlier Theresa May refused to back calls for Paget-Brown to go, even though the council chief executive has been forced out. (See 11.07am.) But the Lib Dem MP Tom Brake put out a statement saying:

The prime minister notes that the chief executive of Kensington and Chelsea has resigned, but what about the Conservative political leader? It was a political decision to stockpile huge cash reserves while apparently skimping on safety measures to protect disadvantaged members of the community.

No one is looking for a witch hunt, but if heads are starting to roll, they should be the right ones. There must be political accountability.

11.31am BST

Responding to Amber Rudd, Diane Abbott, the shadow home secretary, asks if Rudd accepts that austerity has contributed to weakening security. And she asks if Rudd accepts the police need more resources.

Rudd says Abbott should wait for the outcome of the Anderson review before concluding that police cuts were a factor.

11.24am BST

Amber Rudd, the home secretary, is making a statement now about the recent terror attacks. She says 36 people have been killed, and more than 150 people were hospitalised.

She says these acts of terrorism represent the very worst of humanity.

From Home Secretary’s statement in Parliament just now. A remarkable if rather daunting privilege.

11.12am BST

Theresa May’s statement is over.

Amber Rudd, the home secretary, is making a statement now about the recent terror attacks. I will cover the opening of this before coming back to a summary of what we’ve learnt from the Grenfell Tower exchanges.

11.11am BST

The Press Association has more on the discovery of combustible cladding on more tower blocks.

Combustible cladding has been found on at least three tower blocks across the UK, the government has said.

The at-risk buildings are not being identified until the landlords have had the opportunity to inform tenants, according to the Department for Communities and Local Government.

11.07am BST

Labour’s Toby Perkins asks if May thinks the Conservative leader of Kensington and Chelsea council should resign.

May says that is a matter for the Tory group on the council.

11.05am BST

Labour’s Chris Williamson asks why May does not accept fire service advice and install sprinklers in all tower blocks.

May says it is not as simple as that. In some blocks, that might not be helpful, she suggests.

11.04am BST

Vicky Ford, a Conservative, asks if the inquiry will look at the safety of people working in tower blocks, as well as people living in them.

May says she does want the inquiry to look into this.

11.03am BST

Labour’s Jack Dromey says there are 213 tower blocks in Birmingham, housing 10,000 families. He says May is wrong about the Lakanal House inquest. It did recommend the installation of sprinklers.

May reads out from its recommendation. It said providers should consider installing sprinklers in all tower blocks.

10.59am BST

Labour’s Anneliese Dodds asks if the government will now abandon the “one in, two out” rule for regulation (saying two regulations must be scrapped for every new one introduced) for fire safety.

May says the government has always taken fire safety very seriously. This will be an issue for the inquiry, she says.

10.55am BST

Labour’s Vicky Foxcroft says May has not said the government will pay councils to enable them to carry out work to make flats safe. Will it?

May says, where work is necessary, resources will be available to ensure that that work can be undertaken.

10.53am BST

Labour’s Alison McGovern asks May who she thought has forgotten “these people”. Was it George Osborne, who imposed cuts, or ministers who ignored fire safety warnings, or May herself, who is treating “these people” as others?

The prime minister, in concluding her statement, said that we should resolve never to forget these people. I would like to ask her who she thinks forgot these people?

Was it the former chancellor of the exchequer, who defunded local authorities, including my own, still struggling with the consequences of the New Ferry explosion?

10.51am BST

Pressed by Labour’s Rachel Reeves on whether the government will pay for councils to remove dangerous cladding, May says the government is working with councils. There will be “different circumstances” in different places, she says. But she says the government will ensure that the work gets done.

10.45am BST

I have been updating some of the earlier posts with direct quotes from the exchanges. To get them to show up, you may need to refresh the page.

10.45am BST

Labour’s Karen Buck says she is still waiting to hear May say that the government will underwrite the costs to councils of dealing with dangerous cladding.

May says the government is providing the testing. And it will work with councils to address this matter, she says.

10.42am BST

Labour’s Maria Eagle asks what is being done to ensure landlords can swiftly deal with combustible cladding.

May says that work is under way already. Buildings can be made safe in a number of ways.

10.42am BST

Jacob Rees-Mogg, a Conservative, says surveys show people do not want to live in tower blocks. Can we get rid of them so they are a thing of the past?

May says some people don’t like living in tower blocks. But others are comfortable living in them. We do need to look at social housing, she says.

10.40am BST

Labour’s Angela Eagle asks if it was right for Kensington and Chelsea to be giving money back to council tax payers when their housing had these problems.

May says the inquiry will look at how the regulations were applied. The regulations date from 2006. It will also look at how they were applied, and it will get to the bottom of who was responsible.

10.38am BST

Plaid Cymru’s Liz Saville Roberts says those in government need to “search their souls” over their possible responsibility.

May says the government will do everything it can to ensure this never happens again.

10.36am BST

May says she expects to announce the name of the judge leading the inquiry within the next few days.

10.36am BST

In response to another question about the cladding, May says this is part of the criminal investigation. She says MPs will want to ensure that nothing that they do prejudices any prosecution.

10.34am BST

Theresa May’s reluctance to say whether or not the Grenfell Tower cladding was compliant with building regulations is strange because on Sunday Philip Hammond, the chancellor, said it was illegal on buildings of that height.

Related: Cladding on Grenfell Tower is banned on UK high-rises, says Philip Hammond

10.33am BST

Labour’s Yvette Cooper says the cladding used on Grenfell Tower is a standard product. She does not understand why May cannot say whether or not it was compliant with building regulations.

May repeats the point about the material being tested by the fire service.

10.31am BST

Labour’s Hilary Benn asks if the cladding used on Grenfell Tower was compliant with building regulations.

May says the fire service is testing the cladding on the building. It expects to make the results available in the next 48 hours.

10.28am BST

The Lib Dem MP Tom Brake asks if the government will ban the use of combustible materials.

May says building regulations set out what can and cannot be used. The inquiry will look at this, she says.

10.26am BST

Kevin Hollinrake, a Conservative, asks if the government will provide encouragement to retrofit sprinklers when they are carrying out refurbishments.

May acknowledges that the Lakanal House inquest did say this should be encouraged.

10.24am BST

The Labour MP David Lammy says a woman that he and his wife mentored died in the fire. He asks why more is not being said about the criminal investigation.

May says there is an ongoing police investigation. It is not for her to get involved. But if people should be charged, they will be.

10.20am BST

Richard Bacon, a Conservative, asks the government to impose punitive taxes on owners who leave flats empty. He says in London foreign landlords buy luxury flats and never use them.

In recent years London has seen many high-quality high-rises being built, often financed with hot foreign money and then left empty for years, sometimes with the kitchens clingfilmed and pristine.

While we all understand there are occasions where a landlord will need to leave an apartment empty from time to time, when brand new properties are empty for many years does the prime minister think it’s right to discuss with (the chancellor) changing the taxation regime so that, as in New York City, these people face punitive taxation?

I understand, in fact, the number of empty homes is actually at low levels at the moment, and of course we always look to see what we can do. What we want to ensure is that people are housed and that properties are being used for the purpose for which they have been built.

10.18am BST

Labour’s Harriet Harman, whose constituency includes Lakanal House, says the news that more tower blocks with combustible cladding have been found is chilling. She says May must get a grip on this. She should use Cobra to set a deadline for councils to check their cladding. She must also commit resources to replace that within a certain timetable.

Harman says the Lakanal House inquest recommendations have not been acted upon, contrary to what May said. The inquest recommended the installation of sprinklers, she says. If they had been acted upon, Grenfell Tower would not have happened.

It’s not good enough to just congratulate or encourage other councils. [May] must take a grip on it personally.

She said the Lakanal House coroner’s inquest findings had been acted upon. But I will tell her they have not.

10.14am BST

Zac Goldsmith, the Conservative MP, says people in positions of authority will be fearing the public inquiry. He asks how will local residents get a proper say in the terms of reference?

May says it will be a judge-led inquiry. It will be completely independent. She wants people to know that, when it publishes its findings, they will represent the truth.

10.12am BST

Emma Dent Coad, the new Labour MP for Kensington, says she is speaking on behalf of a frightened and traumatised community.

She asks if the goverment will reverse fire service cuts.

10.10am BST

Ian Blackford, the new SNP leader at Westminster, is speaking now.

He asks if the government will make more money available if the £5m for the relief fund is not enough.

10.05am BST

Iain Duncan Smith, the Conservative former work and pensions secretary, asks if it is feasible to retrofit these old tower blocks. Would it be better to pull these buildings down and replace them?

Can I however, in the course of the public inquiry, ask her to add to the public inquiry one further remit?

And that is to look at whether or not this whole process of retrofitting these old tower blocks is in fact viable at all, and whether or not there is a better way to both house and support tenants in these areas, without the use of many of these incredibly badly designed and very faulty tower blocks.

He’s suggesting that the inquiry should in fact go a great deal further than looking into this particular incident.

I think what is important, and we will ensure that the survivors and local residents have an input into the terms of reference for this inquiry, to make sure it is an inquiry they can have confidence in, and that they know will produce the results that they need and the justice that they need.

10.03am BST

May is replying to Corbyn.

She starts by joining Corbyn in praising the work of Emma Dent Coad, the new Labour MP for Kensington, for the work she has done following the fire.

10.01am BST

Here is the start of the Press Association story about Theresa May’s opening statement.

Theresa May has said tests on tower blocks following the Grenfell tragedy have shown cladding on some blocks is “combustible”.

The prime minister said local authorities and fire services concerned are taking “all possible steps” to ensure buildings are safe and residents have been informed.

9.59am BST

Jeremy Corbyn is responding now.

He says he is glad that the Kensington and Chelsea chief executive has resigned, but he asks why the political leaders of the council are not taking responsibility for what happened.

From Hillsborough, to the child sex abuse scandal, to Grenfell Tower – the pattern is consistent: working-class people’s voices are ignored, their concerns dismissed by those in power.

The Grenfell Tower residents and North Kensington community deserve answers and thousands and thousands of people living in tower blocks around the country need very urgent reassurance.

9.51am BST

May says 151 homes were destroyed. Most of those were in the tower, but some were in the immediate vicinity.

She says people will be rehoused in equivalent homes. Some 68 flats have already been offered at cost price in a new block of flats, she says.

I know many others living in tall residential buildings will have concerns about their safety after what happened at Grenfell.

All social landlords have been instructed to carry out additional fire safety checks on tower blocks and ensure the appropriate safety and response measures are in place.

9.45am BST

Theresa May is speaking now.

She starts by apologising to Jeremy Corbyn for the short notice he has had.

I would like to reassure people that we will not use this tragic incident as a reason to carry out immigration checks on those involved or on those providing information to identify victims or those assisting with the criminal investigation.

We will make sure that all victims, irrespective of their immigration status, will be able to access the services they need including healthcare and accommodation.

9.28am BST

Theresa May is about to make a Commons statement on the Grenfell Tower fire.

9.15am BST

My colleague Daniel Boffey, the Guardian’s Brussels bureau chief, says a four-year transitional deal would be unacceptable to the European parliament.

Hammond’s 4 year transition period a year more than limit the European parliament said was acceptable in resolution

9.09am BST

One of the criticisms made of Theresa May over Brexit is that she has done little to prepare the public for the compromises it is likely to involve. For example, it has been clear for some time that there is likely to be a transitional period after Brexit during which some of the features of EU membership (payments to the EU budget, European court of justice jurisdiction, free movement) will continue to apply to the UK. Perhaps the Daily Mail will be perfectly happy with that, but one suspects not, and May has done little to argue why it might be desirable.

This morning the issue opened up on the Today programme when Philip Hammond, the chancellor, suggested the transitional period could last as long as four years. John Humphrys, who was interviewing him, did a good job of confronting him with the likely Mail reaction.

Companies in Germany who want to supply components to car manufacturers in the UK, if they are going to set up contracts that have three- or four-year terms, need to know the basis on which they will be supplying those concerns in years three or four.

JH: So we could have a transitional agreement that lasts for three or four years or perhaps even more? And that would be overseen by the European court of justice, wouldn’t it?

PH: Well, all these things remain to be negotiated.

Continue reading…

via Politics

Number of tower blocks with combustible cladding rises to 11, government says – as it happened

Queen’s speech 2017: Dodds tells Commons DUP ‘will vote to strengthen union’ – as it happened

Rolling coverage of the Queen’s speech, with analysis of all the bills and coverage of the opening of the debate featuring Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn

8.50pm BST

That’s all from us today – thanks for reading and do join us again on Thursday.

For all of the day’s political stories click here for the Guardian’s Politics page.

8.34pm BST

Of the interviews Boris Johnson has done tonight, the toughest was with Eddie Mair on BBC Radio 4’s PM in which he struggled to explain the key points of the Queen’s speech, repeatedly pausing and saying “hang on a second” as he could be heard rifling through papers.

Johnson was asked about what measures the speech contained to tackle the “burning injustices” that have been identified by Theresa May.

8.05pm BST

Theresa May faces a fresh constitutional battle with the Scottish government after conceding that the Holyrood parliament could be allowed to vote on her Brexit plans.

Speaking as she debated the Queen’s speech at Westminster, the prime minister said her government was considering whether to offer Holyrood the right to vote on the repeal bill that will enact the UK’s departure from the EU.

Related: Theresa May says Scottish parliament may be able to vote on Brexit plans

7.52pm BST

Boris Johnson has had a busy evening – as well as Sky News he’s also been on Radio 4’s PM and now Channel 4 News, where he claimed that Brexit could be finalised in two years with no transitional deal.

7.36pm BST

Emmanuel Macron has given his first interview since being elected as French president last month. He tells the Guardian and seven other European papers that “pragmatism will determine our new relationship” with Britain.

Related: Exclusive: Macron pledges pragmatism and cooperation with post-Brexit Britain

7.20pm BST

Some interesting comments on Brexit from Andrew Mitchell, the former international development secretary and MP for Sutton Coldfield.

Speaking in the Queen’s speech debate in the Commons, he calls for an end to “undue noises off” about Brexit negotiations so that David Davis can get on with it undisturbed.

7.11pm BST

A rare cross-party tribute in the Queen’s speech debate in the Commons.

Keith Vaz, Labour MP for Leicester East, paid tribute for former chancellor George Osborne for introducing a “sugar tax” before he decided to step down as an MP earlier this year.

6.49pm BST

Dodds says the DUP is about strengthening the union, delivering Brexit, defending the country and creating prosperity for Northern Ireland.

He ends his speech by saying his party will therefore act and vote in accordance with those goals over the next five years of this parliament.

6.45pm BST

Dodds tells the House: “Strengthening the union must be one of the overarching aims of this government.”

The country has voted for Brexit and this parliament must deliver it, Dodds says. He welcomes the drive to find sensible solutions to problems such as land border with the republic.

6.35pm BST

Dodds begins by saying it is “sad” that some elected MPs from Northern Ireland do not take up their seats in Westminster and represent their constituents accordingly.

6.34pm BST

Nigel Dodds, the DUP’s Westminster leader and MP for North Belfast, has just started speaking in the Commons.

6.15pm BST

More from Boris Johnson, who tells Sky News that no one is pretending that the Tories got the election result we wanted. Neither was there everything in the Queen’s speech the the government would have liked, but he maintained that the legislative programme was still “very considerable”.

The foreign secretary also said the government has to get Brexit “done well” and that people need to be “more positive and optimistic” about the UK’s prospects once the country leaves the European Union because those prospects are “considerable”.

5.59pm BST

Foreign secretary Boris Johnson has been on Sky News and Beth Rigby, Sky’s chief political correspondent, tweets:

#DUP deal? Johnson “let’s see how that goes” I think the QS is excellent and I hope #DUP support it”

If we can’t work out a deal, I hope they will like the Queens Speech – is Johnson implying that we get to vote without a #DUP deal?

5.49pm BST

Number 10 has said that some parts of what used to be called the “great repeal bill” (in the Queen’s speech it is just the “repeal bill”) will need legislative consent in Scotland. That would mean the Scottish parliament getting to vote on them.

Uh oh. No 10 confirm parts of the Brexit legislation may need the consent of the Scottish Parliament

Huge concession by PM: Scottish Parliament could well have to vote to authorise Great Repeal Bill. So, Scots have power to block Brexit.

Not quite. Withdrawal f/EU Treaties solely for UK Govt. Repeal Bill affecting devolved areas matter for Holyrood LCM

This means: Holyrood could vote down GRB for Scotland only, which UK Govt respects by convention but can override. So constitutional havoc.

If, as the white paper implies, the bill provides for a continuing effect in respect of EU law on devolved matters, then this would imply that consent motions would be required from the devolved legislatures so long as the government chooses to abide by the Sewel convention. This is because the UK parliament would still be legislating on devolved matters, even though the effect would be to preserve the status quo.

Equally if, on the other hand, the bill changed any existing EU law on devolved matters, then it would also be doing something that usually brings the Sewel convention into play.

5.28pm BST

Downing Street claims that the Salisbury convention – which says the Lords will not vote against measures in the manifesto of the governing party – will apply to the Queen’s speech. The prime minister’s official spokesman told journalists:

The convention reflects the primacy of the House of Commons as the elected chamber. The view of government lawyers is, as it stands, the Salisbury convention would apply in relation to the manifesto and the House of Lords.

5.19pm BST

The abolition or radical slashing of air passenger duty (APD) is back on the agenda in the Democratic Unionist-Tory negotiations aimed at putting a minority Conservative government in power.

DUP and airline sources in Northern Ireland confirmed on Wednesday that APD is one of the demands the Ulster party is making in its discussions with both Downing Street and Treasury officials. Graham Keddie, the managing director of Belfast international airport, said the removal of the tax would have a profoundly positive effect on the local economy.

I’m delighted the DUP realises the harm that the tax is doing, and is working to persuade the government to do what’s right. Mrs Foster and her negotiating team have our wholehearted backing, and my hope must be that they are successful.

A reduced APD would help us compete more effectively with the Republic of Ireland. Airlines would add very significant additional capacity into the market and more than 1,000 new jobs would be created.

5.07pm BST

The most perceptive intervention came from the Labour MP Toby Perkins. Comparing the MPs returning to parliament with pupils returning to school after the summer holidays, he told Theresa May:

I couldn’t help but notice, as the prime minister and the leader of the opposition went off to listen to the humble address, to think back to when I was at school and I didn’t see people for six weeks. And then they came back and you thought ‘has she shrunk, or has he grown?’

4.21pm BST

May is winding up now.

She says Britain has faced tough challenges before and thrived.

4.16pm BST

May says she will not be following Labour’s policies.

There is nothing fair about punitive taxes that cost jobs and push up prices.

4.14pm BST

This is from the Independent’s John Rentoul.

TMay has now given way 16 times (Corbyn 6).

Well she did talk about responding with humility to the election result

4.10pm BST

John Penrose, a Conservative, asks May for an assurance that she will press ahead with plans for a cap on energy bills.

May says she is determined to address the issue of energy prices.

4.08pm BST

Labour’s Kevin Brennan calls May the “interim prime minister”. He asks how May can negotiate Brexit with the EU if she cannot negotiate a deal with the 10 DUP MPs.

May ignores the DUP point and pays tribute to David Davis’s work as Brexit secretary.

4.03pm BST

Full text of what Theresa May said in apologising for initial official response to the #GrenfellTower fire.

4.02pm BST

The Green party’s Caroline Lucas congratulates Theresa May for turning up, unlike during the election, when she did not turn up to the leaders’ debates. Yet there is nothing about climate change in the Queen’s speech. Is that because she has been influenced by the DUP “dinosaurs”.

The DUP’s Jeffrey Donaldson uses a point of order to complain about Lucas calling the DUP “dinosaurs”. He says the DUP’s energy policy represents what people in Northern Ireland want.

3.58pm BST

May says the EU referendum vote was not just a vote to leave the EU. It was a vote to change the way the country is run.

She says this Queen’s speech marks the beginning of a programme to make sure the country works for everyone.

3.56pm BST

May says “with humility and resolve” she will attempt to tackle the problems facing the country in the national interest.

She says she took action on stop and search, even though Labour did not.

3.54pm BST

May says it is good that more young people voted in the general election, even if they did not vote for her party.

She says that Jeremy Corbyn fought a spirited campaign, and came a good second.

3.52pm BST

May pays tribute to Jo Cox and Sir Gerald Kaufman, the two MPs who died over the past year.

And she thanks Richard Benyon and Kwasi Kwarteng for their speeches. Kwarteng wrote a book about the first female prime minister’s worst six months. His next book (about May’s worst six months) may be longer, she jokes.

3.51pm BST

The “day of rage” protest is getting a little tense, according to the Mirror’s Andy Lines.

Just turned a bit nasty outside Downing St.

Scuffles as some protestors tried to get towards the gates

Flares lit outside Downing St – bit tense for 5 mins

3.44pm BST

May turns to Grenfell Tower.

She says the support offered to families afterwards was not adequate.

Full text of what Theresa May said in apologising for initial official response to the #GrenfellTower fire.

3.41pm BST

Labour’s Pat McFadden asks May if she accepts that abolishing control orders when she was home secretary was a mistake.

May says control orders, introduced by Labour, were increasingly being knocked down by the courts. The government replaced them with Tpims (terrorism investigation and prevention measures) and those have been enhanced. The government will now look at giving the police further powers, she says.

3.36pm BST

“RESIGN!” Labour MPs yelling at Theresa May. She’s getting first proper cheers from her own side since election. Whips doing their job.

3.36pm BST

Theresa May is speaking now.

She starts by offering her best wishes to the Duke of Edinburgh.

3.33pm BST

Maria Miller, a Conservative, uses a point of order to complain about Corbyn not taking interventions. Jacob Rees-Mogg, another Conservative, says Corbyn said some time ago that he was winding up, but has not finished.

Jeremy Corbyn says he has taken questions from Tory and Labour MPs.

3.29pm BST

Corbyn says Labour would end austerity by making different choices. It would ask big business and the rich to pay a little more.

Austerity is a choice. It is a choice to make life worse for the many to protect the lifestyle of a few, he says.

Austerity and inequality are choices, they are not necessities; they are not unfortunate outcomes.

They are a choice to make life worse for the many to maintain the privilege of the few.

3.25pm BST

Corbyn asks if the government’s domestic violence plans include restoring legal aid for victims.

Will the government abandon the public sector pay cap?

3.21pm BST

Corbyn says what happened in Grenfell Tower is terrifying. It shows what happens when you cut local authority spending to the bone.

He says the residents were ignored when they raised questions about fire safety, and ignored by a Conservative-controlled council.

3.20pm BST

John Prescott, the Labour former deputy prime minister, thinks Corbyn is being treated as a prime ministerial figure.

So it seems the #QueensSpeech debate has turned in to Corbyn’s first PMQs!
He’ll be doing it for real in a few months time.

3.18pm BST

Corbyn says the last home secretary (Theresa May) accused the police of crying wolf when they complained about police cuts.

He says he hopes the prime minister will undo the mistakes made by the previous home secretary.

3.13pm BST

Corbyn says the Human Rights Act must remain completely intact.

Labour wants powers over agriculture repatriated from Brussels to be given to the devolved assemblies.

3.12pm BST

Asked what Labour’s position is on the single market and the customs union, Corbyn says it has been absolutely clear; he wants tariff-free access to the single market.

3.11pm BST

Corbyn says the UK is leaving the EU.

But the government could have opened negotiations on a better footing by guaranteeing EU citizens the right to stay. He hopes the government will consult parliament more.

3.08pm BST

Corbyn is now thanking the two MPs who gave the opening speeches.

He tells Benyon that his mother was at Greenham Common, and that he visited her there.

3.02pm BST

Jeremy Corbyn is speaking now.

He says by tradition he starts the debate by paying tribute MPs who have died. But he must also commemorate those killed in the Grenfell Tower fire. At least 79 people have died. Something went terribly wrong, he says. This must not be allowed to happen again.

2.58pm BST

The Tory/DUP talks process looks set to run and run. According to Ulster TV’s Ken Reid, we may have to wait until next week for a resolution.

No sign a DUP Conservative deal will be completed this week. Talks will continue later.

2.58pm BST

Kwarteng (a leave supporter) says the repeal bill will be a great landmark in the constitutional history of our country.

He says the last few months have been horrific. He never expected to see barriers on Westminster bridge.

2.54pm BST

Kwasi Kwarteng, a Conservative backbencher, is speaking now. He says his great-great-grandfather never received a letter from Disraeli.

It is nice to come back and see everyone in their place, he says.

2.49pm BST

Benyon says too often MPs, and the people who report on them, are obsessed with the politics of Brexit. He says his constituents are more interested in the reality of Brexit.

He says he voted remain. But we have to make the best of it, he says. He says he wants to be part of a parliament that made it work.

2.44pm BST

Benyon jokes that Greenham Common in his constituency has made it a regular tourist destination for the leader of the opposition.

And he refer to his constituency, Newbury, being wealthy. Someone once joked that deprivation in West Berkshire is when Waitrose runs out of balsamic vinegar, he says.

2.40pm BST

Richard Benyon, the Conservative former environment minister, is now moving the humble address to the Queen (a thank you note to her for turning up this morning).

He starts by speaking about the “terrible tragedies” that have hit the UK recently.

2.35pm BST

Gavin Barwell, Theresa May’s New chief of staff, in the gallery for the Queen’s Speech debate

2.35pm BST

Andrea Leadsom, the leader of the Commons, moves a motion giving the speaker the power to appoint three temporary deputy speakers until full-time ones are elected.

2.34pm BST

John Bercow, the speaker, starts, as is customary, by reading out a spiel about what is effectively the MPs’ code of conduct.

It is a bit like the emergency evacuation instructions at the start of a flight. For example, Bercow has just said MPs should wear their passes when they are in the parliamentary estate. Very few of them every do …

2.30pm BST

This is from Labour’s Ian Austin.

Theresa May just came in to the chamber. Barely a murmur from Tory MPs. So different to huge cheers she used to get.

2.29pm BST

The Queen’s speech debate is about to start.

Muted reason from Tory MPs as Theresa May arrives in the chamber. Some cheers, mostly from Lab

2.22pm BST

The Leader of the House of Commons, Andrea Leadsom, has been touring the broadcast studios following the Queen’s Speech. The former Tory leadership contender was asked on the BBC’s World at One whether she might stand again. She replied: “That’s an entirely hypothetical question”, adding fuel to speculation that the prominent Brexiteer is manoeuvring for the top job.

Leadsom added that she did not have a “crystal ball” over the question of whether Theresa May would still be in place in 2019, but that it was her “sincere hope” that she would be.

2.21pm BST

Here is my colleague Polly Toynbee on the Queen’s speech.

Related: This party is not fit to govern. May can’t hide behind the Queen’s speech | Polly Toynbee

2.18pm BST

The debate on the Queen’s speech will start at 2.30pm. For MPs it is very much “the first day of term” and the debate tends to combine a broad argument between government and opposition about policy with quite a lot of good humour, and tributes to MPs who have died.

By tradition the debate is opened by two government backbenchers, a veteran and a rising star. Today they are (respectively) Richard Benyon and Kwasi Kwarteng.

Remembering the lack of encouragement I was given [when I was a new MP], I urged them to be bold, telling them to ignore whips and senior members, who would inevitably tell them to keep their heads down, that they had to learn the ropes for at least 10 years. I said that they, having been elected, were not apprentice MPs or trainee MPs but the real thing. As the one and only MP for their constituency, they counted every bit as much as an MP who might have been there for decades; they had to blaze a trail so their constituents could see them fighting on their behalf. I told them there was no right or wrong way to be an MP. They would do it differently from the way in which we’d done it in the past and each of them had to do it in the way they felt was best. They should not get too worried about the complex rules of speaking in the chamber; the important thing was to get their own voice heard, in their own way …

I urged the new MPs to be high profile – there was no point in being an anonymous MP: everyone would be keen to see what they were doing and everything they did would matter. I told them that the previous week in my constituency I’d met a young woman coming out of the supermarket with a child in a buggy. She stopped me to tell me that I’d helped her mother when she was a child. One action, taken three decades ago, was still valued and had been passed on to a third generation. I warned the new MPs that they were not ‘only a backbencher’: as an MP, they held a public office and everything they did would be scrutinised. I said it was a noble thing to be an MP, something to be proud of, and they should remember to enjoy it. No doubt because of the excitement of being newly elected, they cheered wildly.

2.07pm BST

To coincide with the Queen’s speech, the Movement for Justice By Any Means Necessary is holding a “day of rage” protest.

I’m at the #dayofrage protest, currently marching from Shepherds Bush to Downing Street. People are angry.

2.02pm BST

Here is the Press Association on how this year’s Queen’s speech was a dress-down affair.

The stripped-down Queen’s speech still offered a ceremony bursting with pomp and parliamentary pageantry as Theresa May sought to lay out her programme forgovernment.

As temperatures soared outside, peers donned their traditional red robes, trimmed with ermine, while bishops and wig-wearing judges jostled together in the House of Lords chamber for the speech, watched by representatives from nations including Saudi Arabia, Jordan, France and Germany.

1.55pm BST

Here is my colleague Jonathan Freedland on what he thinks the Queen’s speech should have said.

Related: Here’s what the Queen’s speech needed to say – but didn’t | Jonathan Freedland

1.52pm BST

Four of the major teaching unions have put out a rare joint statement reacting to the Queen’s speech, accusing the government of “not listening to voters” over school funding in England.

The statement reads in part:

The problems in schools and sixth form colleges are real and immediate. £2.8bn has been cut from school budgets in the last two years. Schools are struggling to afford materials, sending out begging letters to parents and even considering closing earlier in the day to save money.

Today was a golden opportunity for the new government to show they’ve understood the scale of the problem in education funding by announcing immediate plans to provide the additional funding needed. The lack of urgent action is deeply disappointing.

1.51pm BST

DUP sources are casting doubt on claims they are demanding £1bn for the NHS and a further £1bn for infrastructure (see 12.02pm) as part of their deal with the Tories.

The same sources have some interesting things to say about the Queen’s speech. They told the Guardian that it was “worth noting” that much of what is in an otherwise thin speech sits with the DUP’s last election manifesto.

1.42pm BST

Here is my colleague Adam Vaughan, the Guardian’s energy correspondent, on the omission of the energy price cap from the Queen’s speech. (See 11.42am.)

No specific promise of energy price cap. “Bringing forward measures to help tackle unfair practices in energy market to help reduce bills”

Even vaguer than manifesto promise of existing cap for vulnerable customers being extended to “more customers on the poorest value tariffs”

And much, much vaguer than promise in Sun of SVT cap to “protect around 17 million families on standard variable tariffs”

think this means most likely scenario is industry compromise so May can say no u-turn. i.e. prepayment extended to warm home discount folk

Centrica and SSE share prices shoot up after omission of energy price cap in #QueensSpeech

1.20pm BST

Whether or not the Queen deliberately chose to give her speech in a hat bedecked with EU colours, there is no doubt about the sharp reduction in her government’s swagger over Brexit.

Even its key enabling legislation is no longer called the “great” repeal bill, having seen the bragging prefix quietly dropped in favour of a more circumspect-sounding “repeal bill”. Legal purists may have always intended to strip away the political spin once it headed closer to the statute book, but the symbolism is as stark as the yellow stars on her majesty’s blue hat. In the white paper published in March, it was referred to 36 times as “great”, but not once in the 80 pages of notes published alongside the Queen’s speech.

1.16pm BST

Here is Tim Farron, the Lib Dem leader, on the Queen’s speech.

This slimmed down Queen’s speech shows a government on the edge.

Having dropped everything from the dementia tax to fox hunting I assume the only reason they have proposed a space bill is so they can shoot their manifesto into space and pretend it never existed.

1.13pm BST

Some reports are noting that Jeremy Corbyn did not bow to the Queen as he entered the Lords ahead of the Queen’s speech, styling this as a snub from the long-time republican. Theresa May did give a brief bow.

1.11pm BST

The Evening Standard splash is highlighting the fact that the Queen’s speech did not commit the government to getting annual net migration below 100,000. George Osborne, the Standard’s editor and the former Tory chancellor, is strongly opposed to the target and wants the government to ditch it.

And here’s our second edition @EveningStandard ….

It’s not disappeared; we are absolutely committed to that. The prime minister has said it may take some time to achieve it, but that commitment remains, and there is in the Queen’s Speech an immigration bill which will allow us to have control over the numbers who enter from the European Union, and that’s obviously an important piece of work towards hitting the target.

1.08pm BST

Here is my colleague Dan Roberts, the Guardian’s Brexit editor, on the Queen’s speech.

Queen’s speech footnotes stress Brexit bills don’t preclude change in tack: “no constraints on withdrawal agreement”

The [repeal] bill does not put any constraints on the withdrawal agreement we will make with the EU and further legislation will be introduced to support such an agreement if and when required.

The once “Great” Repeal Bill has lost its bragging prefix. here’s white paper no mention today. h/t @davidallengreen

To sum up: Queen puts EU flag on her head, Repeal Bill no longer “Great” and Brexit legislation leaves “all options open”. Just tickety-boo.

1.00pm BST

The government briefing document accompanying the Queen’s speech lists 21 full bills proposed by the government and three draft ones, as well as saying that three finance bills are in the pipeline. So we are talking about 27 bills in total.

Here is a full list of the bills.

12.39pm BST

Here is footage of Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn talking as they headed to the Lords to hear the Queen’s speech.

This is about the only time in the parliamentary calendar when you see the prime minister and the leader of the opposition having to make small talk. They know they are on camera. When Gordon Brown was prime minister, he tended to put on a minor show of dominance by talking at David Cameron at some length, as if to show who was in charge. I seem to remember Cameron trying the same trick with Ed Miliband.

12.38pm BST

My colleague Anushka Asthana is discussing the Queen’s speech now on a Guardian Facebook live stream.

12.13pm BST

Brandon Lewis, the Home Office minister, has just told the BBC that nothing should be read into the fact that the Queen did not mention President Trump’s proposed state visit. (See 11.46am.) He said the invitation had been made and accepted. It was not mentioned because a date for it has not been fixed, he said.

12.10pm BST

Here is the 82-page government briefing note on the speech (pdf), containing the text of the speech and all the background notes to the proposed bills prepared by government departments.

12.02pm BST

The proposed Tory deal with the DUP won’t come cheap, according to the latest briefing from Northern Ireland. This is from the BBC’s Norman Smith.

DUP asking for one billion extra for NHS and one billion extra for infrastructure report colleagues at @BBCnireland

11.57am BST

The Queen has now left parliament. As Dennis Skinner pointed out earlier, she is now off to Royal Ascot, an engagement she will probably enjoy much more. She is said to like horses much more than parliamentarians.

(It is not that she doesn’t like parliamentarians, at least as far as we know. But she is really, really passionate about horses.)

11.48am BST

That was the 64th time the Queen has delivered the Queen’s speech, according to the BBC’s Huw Edwards.

11.46am BST

She concludes:

Members of the House of Commons

Estimates for the public services will be laid before you.

11.46am BST

She goes on:

My ministers will ensure that the United Kingdom’s leading role on the world stage is maintained and enhanced as it leaves the European Union.

As a permanent member of the United Nations security council, committed to spending 0.7% of national income on international development, my government will continue to drive international efforts that increase global security and project British values around the world.

11.44am BST

She goes on:

My government will bring forward proposals to ensure that critical national infrastructure is protected to safeguard national security.

A commission for countering extremism will be established to support the government in stamping out extremist ideology in all its forms, both across society and on the internet, so it is denied a safe space to spread.

11.43am BST

She goes on:

A new law will ensure that the United Kingdom retains its world-class regime protecting personal data, and proposals for a new digital charter will be brought forward to ensure that the United Kingdom is the safest place to be online.

Legislation will also be introduced to modernise the courts system and to help reduce motor insurance premiums.

11.42am BST

She goes on:

My ministers will work to improve social care and bring forward proposals for consultation.

My government will ensure fairer markets for consumers, this will include bringing forward measures to help tackle unfair practices in the energy market to help reduce energy bills.

11.41am BST

She goes on:

My government will make further progress to tackle the gender pay gap and discrimination against people on the basis of their race, faith, gender, disability or sexual orientation.

Legislation will be brought forward to protect the victims of domestic violence and abuse.

11.40am BST

She goes on:

My government will continue to work to ensure that every child has the opportunity to attend a good school and that all schools are fairly funded. My ministers will work to ensure people have the skills they need for the high-skilled, high-wage jobs of the future, including through a major reform of technical education.

The national living wage will be increased so that people who are on the lowest pay benefit from the same improvements in earnings as higher paid workers. My ministers will seek to enhance rights and protections in the modern workplace.

11.39am BST

She goes on:

My government will continue to improve the public finances, while keeping taxes low. It will spread prosperity and opportunity across the country through a new modern, industrial strategy.

My government will work to attract investment in infrastructure to support economic growth. Legislation will be introduced to ensure the United Kingdom remains a world leader in new industries, including electric cars and commercial satellites. A new bill will also be brought forward to deliver the next phase of high-speed rail.

11.39am BST

She goes on:

My ministers will strengthen the economy so that is supports the creation of jobs and generates the tax revenues needed to invest in the National Health Service, schools, and other public services.

11.39am BST

She goes on:

A bill will be introduced to repeal the European Communities Act and provide certainty for individuals and businesses. This will be complemented by legislation to ensure that the United Kingdom makes a success of Brexit, establishing new national policies on immigration, international sanctions, nuclear safeguards, agriculture, and fisheries.

My government will seek to maintain a deep and special partnership with European allies and to forge new trading relationships across the globe. New bills on trade and customs will help to implement an independent trade policy, and support will be given to help British businesses export to markets around the world.

11.38am BST

The Queen is now giving her speech.

My government’s priority is to secure the best possible deal as the country leaves the European Union. My ministers are committed to working with parliament, the devolved administrations, business and others to build the widest possible consensus on the country’s future outside the European Union.

11.36am BST

MPs head for the Commons chamber, led by Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn. Normally the PM and leader of the opposition exchange small talk, but May and Corbyn are mostly ignoring each other.

11.35am BST

Black Rod is in the Commons now summoning MPs to attend the Queen in the Lords.

Like Black Rod, another ancient fixture of our constitution is the Labour MP Dennis Skinner, a republican, who by tradition always makes a joke at this point. This time it’s rather a good one – a reference to the fact the Queen is heading for Royal Ascot later.

Get your skates on. First race is at half past two.

11.33am BST

11.32am BST

11.29am BST

This is the royal gallery in the Lords.

11.26am BST

And there she is – inside the Palace of Westminster #QueensSpeech

11.26am BST

The Queen is in the building. Prince Charles is with her.

11.24am BST

And the commons awaits the speaker’s procession

11.23am BST

11.22am BST

The Queen is leaving Buckingham Palace now for the state opening.

The crown has already arrived. (See 11.19am.)

11.21am BST

Here is Theresa May leaving No 10 earlier for the Queen’s speech.

“Your first and last Queen’s Speech, Prime Minister?” #QueensSpeech

11.20am BST

The Democratic Unionist party’s ruling executive is scheduled to meet in Belfast on Thursday evening, adding to expectations that a deal might be completed tomorrow with the Conservatives.

Some DUP sources are indicating that they are “95% there” regarding an arrangement with the Tories that would shore up a minority Conservative government. The DUP executive would be expected to rubber stamp any deal the party negotiators seal with Theresa May and her team.

11.19am BST

10.54am BST

Here is more on the Duke of Edinburgh. This is from the Press Association.

The Duke of Edinburgh has been admitted to hospital as a ‘precautionary measure’ for treatment of an infection arising from a pre-existing condition, Buckingham Palace said.

Philip was supposed to be accompanying the Queen to the state opening of parliament on Wednesday but his place has been taken by the Prince of Wales.

10.50am BST

The Press Association has just snapped this.

The Duke of Edinburgh was admitted to hospital last night as a ‘precautionary measure’ for treatment of an infection arising from a pre-existing condition, Buckingham Palace said.

10.42am BST

John Godfrey, head of policy at No 10, is leaving, BuzzFeed is reporting. The Guardian has had the news confirmed.

This is from the BuzzFeed story.

Following the disastrous June election result for the Conservatives, Theresa May’s joint chief of staff – and longtime key advisers – Fiona Hill and Nick Timothy resigned, while the Financial Times revealed last week that Godfrey’s deputy at the policy unit Will Tanner was departing.

When Theresa May announced her snap election, No 10 director of communications Kate Perrior and prime minister’s spokesperson Lizzie Loudon also announced their departures.

10.31am BST

The Queen’s speech will include plans for “a publicly funded advocate to act on behalf of families involved in a Hillsborough-style tragedy”, PoliticsHome is reporting.

10.16am BST

Damian Green, the first secretary of state (in effect, the deputy PM) told the Today programme this morning that there was still “every possibility” of the Conservatives striking a deal with the DUP, my colleague Peter Walker reports.

Related: Tory-DUP deal possible, says Damian Green ahead of Queen’s speech

10.15am BST

9.57am BST

Sir Craig Oliver, David Cameron’s former communications chief, has just started tweeting. Theresa May once made him the subject of a surprisingly brutal public joke, and he does not seem minded to be complimentary about her PR efforts.

Controlling the narrative crucial. @johnmcdonnellMP good at making it about austerity and chaos on @BBCr4today. Govt needs a strong counter.

9.24am BST

John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, told the Today programme this morning that the minority Conservative government has “no right to govern” and that it should stand aside to let Labour run the country. He said:

[The Conservatives] haven’t got an overall majority. So, yes, they have got the right to bring forward their own programme, but I don’t believe, actually, that they are legitimate in the sense that they have got a mandate that they asked for.

We are now in a situation where I don’t think they have got the right to govern. However, they are now bringing forward their programme. We’ll seek to amend it. I think there is such disarray now, in the interest of the country, they should stand down and give Labour the opportunity of forming a minority government.

9.15am BST

Overnight Number 10 listed four bills that will be in the Queen’s speech. Here they are.

A civil liability bill – This will tighten the rules on whiplash claims, and the government says this could save motorists £35 a year through cheaper car insurance as a result. It says:

[The bill} will will address the rampant compensation culture and reduce the number and cost of whiplash claims by banning offers to settle claims without the support of medical evidence and introducing a new fixed tariff of compensation for whiplash injuries with a duration of up to 2 years.

The bill will strengthen the regulation of claims management companies by transferring the regulatory responsibility to the Financial Conduct Authority, and ensuring the FCA has the necessary powers to implement a robust regulatory regime, including a duty to cap fees. This will help tackle widespread malpractice across the claims management companies sector, such as nuisance calls and encouragement of fraudulent claims.

It will also … create a consolidated new domestic abuse civil prevention and protection order regime; and ensure that if abusive behaviour involves a child, then the court can hand down a sentence that reflects the devastating life-long impact that abuse can have on the child.

8.48am BST

It’s the state opening of parliament, but a slimmed-down, ceremony-lite, pomp-free version. The Queen will be arriving at the House of Lords in a car, not a carriage, and she won’t even be wearing the imperial state crown. Apparently that’s because the snap election meant there was a clash with other royal pageants, like Trooping the Colour, and so the Household Cavalry or whoever would not have had time to practice for it. But it is hard not to read this as a verdict on the quality of our governance. After all, if Theresa May couldn’t secure a majority, why should the Queen see fit to bother with a crown.

According to the briefing released overnight, May acknowledges her failure to win the election outright. The Number 10 press notice quotes her saying:

The election result was not the one I hoped for, but this government will respond with humility and resolve to the message the electorate sent. We will work hard every day to gain the trust and confidence of the British people, making their priorities our priorities.

Related: Theresa May under pressure as DUP says: ‘Show some respect’

Continue reading…

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Queen’s speech 2017: Dodds tells Commons DUP ‘will vote to strengthen union’ – as it happened

Vince Cable says he’s not too old, citing Gladstone, as he launches Lib Dem leadership bid – Politics live

Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happen, including Philip Hammond, the chancellor, giving his Mansion House speech.

3.15pm BST

Asked to comment on the sacking of Gerard Coyne (see 2.47pm and 3.12pm), a Unite spokesman said:

The decision is subject to a right of appeal to Unite’s executive council, and the union will be offering no further comment on the matter.

3.12pm BST

Gerard Coyne has issued a statement about his sacking. (See 2.47pm.) He says he is the victim of a “kangaroo court” and of a “stitch-up”.

I have been notified by email that I have been sacked from my position as West Midlands regional secretary of Unite the union following a disciplinary hearing held at Unite’s London office on June 15th.

I am deeply disappointed but not surprised at my dismissal. When you are in a kangaroo court, you are rarely surprised by the outcome.

2.56pm BST

According to the Evening Standard’s Kate Proctor, the government has dropped plans to scrap free school meals for all infants. The proposal was in the manifesto, but it won’t be in the Queen’s speech tomorrow. Ministers have accepted that, without a majority, it would not be possible to get the measure through the House of Commons.

2.47pm BST

Gerard Coyne, the senior Unite official who challenged Len McCluskey for the leadership of the union but narrowly lost, has been sacked, my colleague Rajeev Syal reports. Coyne was told that he must leave the union after 28 years for the alleged misuse of data.

Here is Rajeev’s story.

Related: Unite official who lost to Len McCluskey in leadership race ‘sacked’

1.42pm BST

Our Labour manifesto come out [in the speech] absolutely loud and clear. So it was fair and managed migration, it was about a jobs-first Brexit, it was about no deal being a very, very bad deal for the UK. [Hammond] has even said today he would look remaining within the customs union.

I thought the speech was fine. It was straightforward – not much to disagree with in it.

[In] four years time the question arises, of a general election coming up, I’ve then got to make a choice; do I let one of my very able younger colleagues take over or do I do what William Gladstone did, quite a while ago, he became prime minister when he was 82, I think, way beyond my years. Winston Churchill did in his mid seventies. I mean these things happen, some of the brightest and most interesting people in British politics recently have been relatively old. You remember Bernie Sanders in America as well. I think age is a surety, if you feel old. I don’t feel old. I feel young and energetic and I’m very much up for a contest.

It is also important that immediate steps are taken to preserve evidence if there is a risk of it being destroyed by those holding it. The relevant authorities, whether pursuant to an inquiry or to a criminal investigation should be considering whether those powers of seizure need to be exercised now as a matter of urgency. I strongly suggest that immediate legal advice is obtained as to how material should be preserved and the process of that material being reviewed for the purposes of disclosure to core participants so that there are not a lengthy delays relating to disclosure to core participants, as have occurred in other recent inquiries.

I would also urge you to require that there will be an interim report published this summer. Not only is this crucial for community confidence, but it will allow for the swift implementation of any urgent steps that need taking as regards fire safety in similar buildings across the country.

Surely … when you already have credible evidence to justify updating … the guidance … which will lead to the saving of lives, you don’t need to wait another three years in addition to the two already spent since the research findings were updated, in order to take action?

As there are estimated to be another 4,000 older tower blocks in the UK, without automatic sprinkler protection, can we really afford to wait for another tragedy to occur before we amend this weakness?

1.02pm BST

The Times’ Sam Coates has written an interesting take (paywall) on Philip Hammond’s speech. Here’s an extract.

Although technically the chancellor did not breach any collective government positions on Brexit or the economy, it is inconceivable that [Hammond] could have delivered such a speech before the botched general election a fortnight ago.

Mr Hammond took aim at a series of Mrs May’s core beliefs: the need to bear down heavily on migration, the damage caused by globalisation, the ease with which the public spending taps can be turned on, and the need for a full “transition” deal rather than Mrs May’s “implementation” phase.

12.44pm BST

The Institute of Directors has welcomed Philip Hammond’s Mansion House speech. Allie Renison, its head of EU and trade policy, said:

Business leaders will welcome the pragmatic approach taken when talking about Brexit in his Mansion House speech. There were no big surprises, but the focus on jobs and the economy is a step towards shoring up shaky business confidence. The chancellor reiterated the government’s intention to leave the EU customs union, which always seemed likely in the long-term, but crucially showed some flexibility on pushing for an orderly process to do so. The emphasis on the need for an early agreement on transitional provisions – as opposed to sorting this out toward the end of the negotiations – is positive. Firms will need to know, at the latest by next summer, whether there will be substantive changes to trade and migration arrangements in order to have time to activate any contingency plans.

12.28pm BST

Number 10 has sent out a (characteristically dull) read-out from this morning’s cabinet meeting. Here it is. It’s from a spokesman.

In this morning’s cabinet meeting, ministers discussed upcoming parliamentary business, including tomorrow’s Queen’s Speech which heralds an historically important two-year session to help deliver the legislation for a successful Brexit.

Ministers also discussed the awful events of the past week. The prime minister expressed her appreciation of the police and emergency services for their bravery and professionalism.

12.00pm BST

It is day 2 of the talks in Belfast aimed at restoring the power sharing devolved government in Northern Ireland. Day 1 has been described as “reasonably constructive” by one senior Irish official.

Both the Irish foreign minister, Simon Coveney, and the Northern Ireland secretary, James Brokenshire, are not at Stormont for the all-party discussions today. Coveney is holding Brexit talks at the EU in Brussels while Brokenshire has commitments in London. However, the parties, most notably Sinn Fein and the Democratic Unionists, will continue talking today.

11.51am BST

Sir Vince Cable is leaving open the option of only serving as a caretaker leader, the BBC’s Norman Smith reports.

Vince Cable leaves open option of serving as two year caretaker leader of @LibDems

11.42am BST

According to the BBC’s Chris Mason, Sir Ed Davey, the Lib Dem former energy secretary, will announce later this week if he is standing for the party leadership.

Asked if he will also be running for the leadership of the Liberal Democrats, the former Energy Secretary Sir Ed Davey has just told me…

… “I’ll be letting you know later in the week.”

11.13am BST

Sir Vince Cable, the Lib Dem business secretary in the coalition who has just been re-elected to parliament after losing his seat in 2015, has announced in a blog for Lib Dem Voice that he is running for the party leadership.

Here is an extract.

There are big opportunities ahead. The Conservatives are in disarray and in retreat. The Labour Party outperformed expectations but complacently believes that ‘one more heave’ will see it into office. But an economic policy based on offering lots of free things lacks economic credibility and will be found out. Investing in infrastructure, rather than borrowing for everyday running costs is credible. There is a big space in British politics which I am determined that we should occupy.

10.56am BST

John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, has put out a statement about Philip Hammond’s speech, saying Hammond effectively admitted austerity would continue. McDonnell said:

The chancellor has made clear this morning that the message remains the same – austerity will continue. The Tories have learnt nothing from the general election, and the last seven wasted years of economic failure. The Conservatives have no understanding of the depth of suffering, stress and insecurity their long austerity regime has caused.

And we have seen the chancellor again trying to distance himself from the position of his prime minister on Brexit. It just shows further disarray at the top of government. The fact that there is clearly such a serious split between Number 10 and 11 is very worrying and only helps to undermine our country ahead of the Brexit negotiations.

It further shows just how weak a position Theresa May is in. And raises the serious question of: how can she negotiate Brexit when her own chancellor is so publicly disputing her position on Brexit and briefing against his own cabinet colleagues?

10.40am BST

Mark Carney’s speech (pdf) was a fairly classy production, involving footnotes, graphs and sarcasm. Here are the key points.

Since the prospect of Brexit emerged, financial markets, notably sterling, have marked down the UK’s economic prospects.

The sterling ERI has fallen close to 20% from its November 2015 peak. Since then, UK-focused equity prices have fallen by over 2%. In contrast, broader equity price indices such as the FTSE 100 and S&P 500, which more heavily reflect global economic considerations, are almost 20% and 40% higher respectively (in sterling terms). UK 10-year real government bond yields have fallen 115 basis points; by contrast 10-year real government bond yields in the US are down by around 25 basis points only.

Monetary policy cannot prevent the weaker real income growth likely to accompany the transition to new trading arrangements with the EU. But it can influence how this hit to incomes is distributed between job losses and price rises. And it can support households and businesses as they adjust to such profound change.

Markets have already anticipated some of the adjustment. Depending on whether and when any transition arrangement can be agreed, firms on either side of the channel may soon need to activate contingency plans. Before long, we will all begin to find out the extent to which Brexit is a gentle stroll along a smooth path to a land of cake and consumption.

As spare capacity erodes, the trade-off that the MPC must balance lessens, and all else equal, its tolerance for above-target inflation falls. Different members of the MPC will understandably have different views about the outlook and therefore on the potential timing of any Bank Rate increase. But all expect that any changes would be limited in scope and gradual in pace.

From my perspective, given the mixed signals on consumer spending and business investment, and given the still subdued domestic inflationary pressures, in particular anaemic wage growth, now is not yet the time to begin that adjustment.

In this environment, the UK is running a historically large current account deficit. On the positive side, the deficit is funded in domestic currency and financial reforms have increased the resilience of the UK system, thereby making larger imbalances more sustainable. But the UK’s deficit has also been associated with markedly weak investment and latterly with rapid consumer credit growth. This is not an imbalance that is, as yet, funding its eventual resolution.

Moreover, despite the large depreciation around the referendum, the extent to which the UK’s deficit has moved closer to sustainability remains an open question, one whose answer depends crucially on the outcome of the Brexit negotiations.

Fragmenting liquidity would drive up costs somewhat in the remaining market as well. On current volumes, almost 90% of swaps are traded by non-EU firms and could remain in the main UK-based liquidity pool. Given the size of this market, the impacts could be expected to be much smaller, although not insignificant.

Fragmentation is in no one’s economic interest. Nor is it necessary for financial stability. Indeed it can damage it. Fragmenting clearing would lead to smaller liquidity pools in CCPs, reducing the ability to diversify risks and diminishing resilience. And higher costs would reduce the incentives to hedge risks, increasing the amount of risk that the real economy would have to bear.

9.59am BST

Here is some more Twitter reaction to Philip Hammond’s speech.

From Paul Mason, the Guardian columnist

Hammond signalled no further loosening of fiscal policy this morning – here’s what that will mean

astonishing: Hammond barely mentioned any benefits to Brexit at all. Spoke about it as if he were mitigating a natural disaster.

Extraordinary speech from Hammond. given up pretending he thinks there are benefits to Brexit. Confirmation that May’s authority has gone.

Hammond has basically just given the most enormous two fingers to the idea that no deal is better than a bad deal.

it’s rare that politician’s jokes make me laugh, rarer still for an economics gag. but Hammond on Osborne’s contribution to employment data!

“we have the strongest employment growth since blah blah, and that’s even if we only count George Osborne once” – better first time perhaps.

9.40am BST

Here are the main points from Philip Hammond’s Mansion House speech.

Just as the British people understand the benefits of trade – so, too, they understand how important it is to business to be able to access global talent and to move individuals around their organisations.

So, while we seek to manage migration, we do not seek to shut it down.

Let’s be honest, we are already hearing protectionist agendas being advanced, disguised as arguments about regulatory competence, financial stability, and supervisory oversight.

We can have no truck with that approach.

Funding for public services can only be delivered in one of three ways:

Higher taxes;

Britain has benefited from globalisation.

But we must not turn a blind eye to the growing tide of hostility to it in parts of the developed world.

9.15am BST

I’m sorry the comments were left off earlier. That was an oversight. They are on now.

9.08am BST

This is what Philip Hammond, the chancellor, said in his speech about how Britain would have to abide by EU customs union rules for a period after Brexit.

So, how do we achieve this “Brexit for Britain”? …

By agreeing frictionless customs arrangements to facilitate trade across our borders – and crucially – to keep the land border on the island of Ireland open and free-flowing.

8.59am BST

The pound has fallen to a one-week low against the US dollar, as Mark Carney declares it is too early to raise interest rates.

The Bank of England governor is telling the Mansion House audience that the UK economy isn’t strong enough to handle higher interest rates, especially as we don’t know how the Brexit talks will proceed.

Different members of the MPC will understandably have different views about the outlook and therefore on the potential timing of any Bank Rate increase. But all expect that any changes would be limited in scope and gradual in pace.

From my perspective, given the mixed signals on consumer spending and business investment, and given the still subdued domestic inflationary pressures, in particular anaemic wage growth, now is not yet the time to begin that adjustment.

The pound falls after Mark Carney says it’s not yet time to raise interest rates in Britain

Related: Pound dives as Mark Carney gives Mansion House speech – business live

8.48am BST

The Carney speech involves some hardcore macroeconomics. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but rather than do it minute by minute, it is probably best if I just summarise from the full text.

I’ve got a full text of the Hammond speech too, so I will summarise that first.

8.45am BST

This is what Carney said about Brexit.

Since the prospect of Brexit emerged, financial markets, notably sterling, have marked down the UK’s economic prospects.

Monetary policy cannot prevent the weaker real income growth likely to accompany the transition to new trading arrangements with the EU. But it can influence how this hit to incomes is distributed between job losses and price rises. And it can support households and businesses as they adjust to such profound change. Indeed, in such exceptional circumstances, the MPC is required to balance any trade-off between the speed with which it returns inflation sustainably to the target and the support that monetary policy provides to jobs and activity.

8.43am BST

The full text of Mark Carney’s speech is now here (pdf), on the Bank of England’s website.

8.41am BST

Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, starts by referring to the recent terrorist attacks, and to the murder of Jo Cox last year. We must respond by building a Brexit that works for all.

He turns to Brexit, and warns that people face weaker real income growth. It is not time for an interest rate rise, he says.

Mark Carney makes direct link between Brexit process & “weaker real income growth” – people poorer. “Not yet time” for interest rate rise

8.38am BST

Here is some snap reaction to Philip Hammond’s speech.

From Dan Roberts, the Guardian’s Brexit editor

Hammond tells Mansion House speech that City is already on receiving end of “protectionist” tactics from Europe – “disguised as regulation”.

Feels like Hammond is toning it down on Brexit this morning. Has he had his spreadsheet locked?

Hammond in summary:
– Jobs & prosperity the priority for Brexit
– Immigration is good
– Customs union arrangements should stay for some time

8.33am BST

Hammond says Britain can get a Brexit deal that puts jobs first.

Yesterday was a confident start, he says.

8.32am BST

Hammond asks how Britain can achieve a Brexit that works for the people.

He identifies four priorities.

8.26am BST

Hammond is now turning to Brexit.

He says the government set out its view in the prime minister’s Lancaster House speech.

8.24am BST

Hammond says the government does not want to “turn inward” after Brexit.

But trade arrangements must work for the benefit of the UK.

Whilst we seek to manage migration, we do not seek to shut it down.

8.22am BST

Hammond says it may be beneficial to maintain a relationship with the European Investment Bank (EIB) after Brexit.

But he says he will not take that for granted.

8.21am BST

Hammond says the government wants to drive up productivity.

He says if productivity goes up by just a quarter of 1%, over 10 years that will add £67bn to the economy.

8.18am BST

Hammond says people are “weary of seven years of hard slog” (ie, austerity).

But if the government wants to spend more, it can only do so three ways.

8.15am BST

Philip Hammond, the chancellor, has just started giving his Mansion House speech. He was due to give it last week, but it was cancelled after the Grenfell Tower fire.

Instead he is now, unusually, giving it in the morning.

Continue reading…

via Politics

Vince Cable says he’s not too old, citing Gladstone, as he launches Lib Dem leadership bid – Politics live

David Davis and Michel Barnier begin Brexit talks – Politics live

Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happen, including Theresa May’s press conference with the Irish PM and David Davis and Michel Barnier starting the Brexit negotiations in Brussels

3.43pm BST

Q: What reassurances did May give you about the border?

Varadkar says it is a matter of regret that the UK is leaving the EU. But it is the UK’s decision. He says he wants to ensure they do not return to the borders of the past.

3.41pm BST

Q: When will there be a deal with the DUP?

May says she continues discussions with the DUP. When there is one, it will be published, so that people can see what it involves.

3.38pm BST

Theresa May is holding a press conference now with the Irish taoiseach, Leo Varadkar.

PM welcomes new Irish counterpart @campaignforleo Taoiseach Leo Varadkar

PM affirms 29th June deadline for Stormont talks restarting powesharing (incidentally same say as Queen’s Speech vote).

PM: personally committed for a practical solution re IRish border… “as seamless and frictionless as possible:

3.31pm BST

Ian Duncan, the Conservative MEP who narrowly failed to unseat the SNP’s longest serving MP, Pete Wishart, in the general election, is being offered a peerage and an appointment as junior minister at the Scotland Office.

Despite the rout of the SNP by the Tories in north east Scotland and the Borders which saw Alex Salmond and Angus Robertson lose their seats, Duncan failed to win the key Tory target seat of Perth and North Perthshire by just 21 votes.

This should not be allowed. Rejected by the voters – but installed in government anyway, via the unelected House of Lords.

Yes, I have no problem with that. I think that should be a common approach to all the home nations so that they can see exactly what is going on

But more importantly, they need to make sure that they have a seat at the discussion point in London when these positions are being hammered out because that is where the detail will be determined not actually inside the room.

3.12pm BST

More on the David Davis/Michel Barnier exchange of gifts. (See 2.40pm.) I said earlier that they both related to Barnier’s passion for hiking, which he shares with Theresa May. But a government source points out that Barnier was also acknowledging Davis’s love for climbing and mountaineering.

Davis bought Barnier a first edition of a French language version of Regards vers Annapurna, described as one of the great mountaineering books. It is signed by Marcel Ichac, one of the two authors. Apparently it’s “a stunning account of an epic French expedition to the Himalayas in 1950”.

2.59pm BST

“Retweets are not endorsements”, as they say on Twitter – except they normally are. With that in mind, it is worth pointing out that George Osborne, the new Evening Standard editor, is using his Twitter feed to promote an article by the Tory columnist Tim Montgomerie saying that Theresa May should go.

Here’s @montie in @EveningStandard spelling out some home truths for the Conservatives today

Tory MPs, returning in a shell-shocked daze to Westminster for this week’s low-fat, low-content Queen’s Speech, must quickly recognise that Theresa May is as finished as Mrs Clinton. Every day she remains in charge is a wasted day. Every day the country inches closer to an election for which Jeremy Corbyn will have added more activists to his impressive turnout machine. Equally, the Conservatives will have one less day to rebuild their own offering and operation.

2.40pm BST

David Davis and Michel Barnier exchanged hiking-related gifts when they started the Brexit talks, Politico Europe reports.

Take a hike UK! Barnier presents Davis with hiking stick as pre-Brexit gift, Davis gave him a book about, er, hiking

On a personal basis I had the opportunity to discuss a shared passion with Theresa May which is rambling and hiking in the mountains.”

If you like walking in the mountains you have to learn a number of rules. You have to learn to put one foot in front of the other, because sometimes you are on a steep and rocky path.

2.06pm BST

Related: Finsbury Park terror attack: Theresa May arrives at the scene – latest updates

1.54pm BST

Here is my colleague Jennifer Rankin on the timetable for the Brexit talks.

Related: What is the Brexit timetable and how might it change?

1.11pm BST

British nationals have called on Theresa May to respond to the EU’s offer to guarantee their rights with “magnanimity”.

They want the prime minister to come through with the “repricocity” that she demanded from the EU before committing to allowing Europeans to stay in the UK with the attendant rights including the right to live, work, and have family join them.

The EU offer now gives us almost everything we need and abides by a core principle which both sides should respect: that the rights of citizens in place before Brexit (including the 3 million EU citizens in the UK) should remain unchanged. We applaud that, as well as the EU’s transparency in this matter.

The EU offer gives plenty of detail and goes almost all the way to guaranteeing all our rights, but everything depends on how the UK decides to respond. We expect the UK, which has said it will be guided by the principle of reciprocity, to respond with similar magnanimity.

1.08pm BST

Syed Kamall, the leader of the European Conservatives and Reformists group in the European parliament, to which the Tory MEPs belong, said he would act as a bridge between Downing Street and the EU institutions during the negotiations. He said:

The start of negotiations today is important for both the UK and the EU. A calm, constructive, and cooperative approach to talks is what will bring about the most progress in the coming weeks and months.

At the heart of these negotiations are people’s lives and livelihoods, and that is why a bad deal for one side will also be a bad deal for the other. We should aim for an arrangement that safeguards trade and allows continued co-operation in key areas of mutual interest for our security and economies. We may not be members of the same club once the UK leaves the EU, but we will remain neighbours and allies.

12.55pm BST

Back to the Conservative party leadership, and it seems that Nigel Farage, the former Ukip leader, is backing David Davis. (See 10.46am.) This is from the Telegraph’s Christopher Hope.

Nigel Farage tells me: “If David Davis becomes Prime Minister I believe that the British Government will be genuinely committed to Brexit.”

There goes the “David Davis as unity candidate” line…

12.52pm BST

Apologies for the radio silence. My computer has been up the spout, but I’m back in business now.

At the No 10 lobby briefing the prime minister’s spokeswoman said that Melanie Dawes, the permanent secretary at the department for communities, had written to the chief executives of all councils and housing associations in England urging them to check their buildings to see if any of their flats have cladding similar to that in place at Grenfell Tower.

There has been much public concern and comment about potential flaws in the cladding that was on Grenfell Tower. While the exact reasons for the speed of the spread of fire have yet to be determined, we have concluded that there are additional tests that can be undertaken with regard to the cladding. We are therefore asking local authorities and other registered providers of social housing to identify whether any panels used in new build or refurbishment are a particular type of cladding made of aluminium composite material (ACM). More details on how to identify this cladding are in the attached technical note and the Homes and Communities Agency can offer expert support in surveying your properties if necessary. It is important to stress that ACM cladding is not of itself dangerous, but it is important that the right type is used.

11.53am BST

May is still speaking.

She says when she became prime minister she spoke about the union that binds us together.

11.50am BST

Theresa May is speaking about the Finsbury Park attack now from outside Number 10.

She says police officers responded to the attack within one minute. It was categorised as a terrorist attack within eight minutes.

This was an attack on Muslims near their place of worship and like all terrorism, of whatever form, it shares the same goal.

We will not let that happen.

11.47am BST

I’m back from the lobby briefing, and I will post a summary soon. There weren’t any great surprises.

Theresa May has been chairing a Cobra meeting about last night’s Finsbury Park terror attack and she is about to make a statement about it.

10.56am BST

One of the key issues in the early stages of the Brexit talks is the rights of EU citizens living in the UK, and the rights of Britons living on the continent. My colleague Jon Henley has a good explainer here.

Related: How do citizens’ rights affect Brexit negotiations?

10.46am BST

Here are three stories from today’s papers with the latest on Tory leadership speculation.

David Davis has emerged as the unity candidate to lead the Conservative party after he was tipped for the post by allies of Boris Johnson …

Mr Johnson, the foreign secretary, is still widely seen as the most likely successor to Mrs May and the suggestion that Mr Davis is best placed to mount a challenge could be an attempt to smoke out his rival.

Philip Hammond exacted his revenge on Theresa May yesterday, attacking her campaign “mistakes” as he set out his stall to replace her at No 10.

The chancellor, earmarked for the sack during the election, said that the prime minister had blundered by failing to challenge Jeremy Corbyn’s credibility and promote the government’s own economic record.

Boris Johnson has denied he was discussing whether to run to be Conservative leader with Sir Michael Fallon, a key cabinet ally of Theresa May over a pint in a Kent pub.

Mr Johnson, the foreign secretary, was spotted having a drink with Sir Michael, the defence secretary, at the Bricklayers’ Arms in Chipstead, Kent on Saturday evening.

10.33am BST

An opening session of talks, during which the UK’s Brexit secretary, David Davis, and the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, sat down together for the first time to formally negotiate terms of the UK’s withdrawal, started shortly after 10am UK time.
Barnier and Davis will scope out a timetable for the negotiations during the hour-and-a-half session, before taking an early “working lunch”.

In the afternoon, officials from both sides will spend some two-and-a-half hours in working groups responding to any agreement from the two principal negotiators, and working up a detailed plan.
The most senior officials coordinating the negotiations – Sabine Weyand, who is the European commission’s deputy chief negotiator, and Olly Robbins, the permanent secretary at the Department for Exiting the EU – will also meet in the afternoon.

10.30am BST

David Davis, the Brexit secretary, and Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiators, both made statements to the press before the start of their talks.

Davis said:

I’m in Brussels today, like Michel, to begin the next phase of our work to build a new, deep and special relationship with the European Union.

As Michel said, our thoughts this morning are rightly with the victims and families of the awful attack in London early this morning and of course also with those who have lost loved ones in Portugal.

My very first words are to express my deep sympathies to the British people, that you face tragic events. Just as I want to express our solidarity to the Portuguese people.

Welcome David. Today we are launching the negotiations on orderly withdrawal of the UK form the EU. Our objective is clear, we must first tackle uncertainties caused by Brexit. First for citizens, also for beneficiaries of EU policies and the impact on borders in particular Ireland. I hope that today we can identify priorities and the timetable that will allow me to report to the European Council later this week that we have a constructive start to negotiations

10.12am BST

Here is more on the opening of the talks between David Davis and Michel Barnier.

From my colleague Jennifer Rankin

And we are off.

David Davis: will undoubtedly be challenging times ahead, emphasises will start with constructive tone.

@MichelBarnier makes clear priority is EU citizens, hopes to make positive report to EU leaders atsummit end of week.

Opening statements from Davis and Barnier largely as expected, non-specific, cautious, trying to set a positive tone.

Barnier says today is about sorting a time table. Talks about talks. #brexit

No questions taken by Barnier and Davis for now.

Barnier says he hopes today to agree with DD ‘priorities and timetable’ for Brexit talks

DD: “There is more that unites us than divides us”

10.00am BST

The Brexit talks are starting. This is from my colleague Daniel Boffey.

9.46am BST

My colleague Jennifer Rankin, the Guardian’s Brussels correspondent, thinks Boris Johnson is not quite as upbeat about the potential benefits of Brexit as he was in the EU referendum campaign this time last year.

Boris Johnson on Brexit this morning. So much vaguer than one yr ago when he said UK was going to have all EU benefits w/o constraints.

9.35am BST

Boris Johnson has said a Brexit deal can be sealed with “profit and honour” on both sides, hours before the opening of the formal negotiations in Brussels.

The foreign secretary admitted there would need to be a discussion about the UK’s divorce bill but he said that both sides needed to “look to the horizon”, as he arrived at a meeting of EU ministers in Luxembourg.

Obviously this is the first day of the talks on Brexit and I think the most important thing is we should all start – of course there’ll be lots of discussions about the nature of the deal we are going to do – but I think we should also enter on the discussion about money and so and so forth.

But I think the most important think about us now is for us to look to the horizon. Raise our eyes to the horizon. Think about the future. Think about the new partnership.

I think the whole thing, the whole process will lead to a happy resolution that I think can be done with profit and with honour for both side and that’s what we’re aiming for.

9.26am BST

Most days, at some point while it’s on air between 6am and 9am, the Today programme interviews a member of the cabinet. But it is normally only one cabinet minister. No 10 helps to decide who goes on, and they don’t offer two.

This morning Michael Gove, the new environment secretary (and leaving Vote Leave campaigner) was on soon after 8.10am. He was talking about Brexit, but he also used his interview to give a ringing endorsement of Theresa May. Asked if she would be around to deliver the Brexit plan, he replied: “Yes.” Then, asked if he was sure she would still be in power when Brexit happened, he said:

Yes, I am. I think there’s support across the Conservative party for Theresa. Also support for the position she outlined both before, during and after the election.

My strong feeling is that the last thing the electorate wants is more elections, or more political shenanigans of one kind or another. There is a huge task to get on with Brexit. We’ve got to do it well, we can do it in a positive way, I think we can build something absolutely brilliant out of this, a new deep, special partnership with our European friends, and a great free trade deal.

Not long ago it was very hard to get ministers on air. Now Boris & Gove on @BBCr4today a day after Hammond & Leadsome on TV. Wonder why? 🙂

THE SUNDAY TIMES: “Tories tell May: You have 10 days” #tomorrowspaperstoday

THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH: “May faces threat of ‘stalking horse’ leadership challenge #tomorrowspaperstoday

Monday’s DAILY TELEGRAPH: David Davis tipped to be interim Tory leader #tomorrowspaperstoday #bbcpapers

Monday’s THE TIMES: Fire victims left in lurch by chaotic relief effort #tomorrowspaperstoday #bbcpapers

Continue reading…

via Politics

David Davis and Michel Barnier begin Brexit talks – Politics live

Sinn Fein accuses Theresa May of not honouring Good Friday agreement – as it happened

Follow all the day’s events in and around Westminster and beyond

5.36pm BST

The prime minister will have to do a lot more, however, to convince us that the DUP tail isn’t wagging the Tory dog.

Their influence on the British government is a cause for deep concern that must be addressed to assure the public and political parties of the independence of the talks process [intended to lead to the restoration of power sharing]. The Irish government will be critical to that and they should reassert their role as co-guarantors of our agreements.

5.18pm BST

This is what Gerry Adams, the Sinn Fein president, said as he left No 10.

We have just finished a meeting with the British prime minister and her secretary of state. And we told her very directly that she was in breach of the Good Friday agreement and we itemised those matters in which she was dilatory or in default in relation to that agreement.

5.03pm BST

Gerry Adams, the Sinn Féin president, is speaking alongside his Sinn Féin colleagues after their meeting with Theresa May.

He says they told May that a deal with the DUP would be in breach of the Good Friday agreement.

Gerry Adams and the Sinn Fein team coming out of No10.

4.12pm BST

The Ulster Unionists also raised the transparency of any Tory/DUP deal in their talks with Theresa May. As ITV’s Carl Dinnen reports, the UUP leader Robin Swann said he was assured the deal would be published.

NEW Robin Swann, Ulster Unionist Party leader, says the Prime Minister has promised to make the whole deal with the DUP public.

4.08pm BST

At first minister’s questions in Edinburgh Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish first minister, criticised the prospective deal between the Tories and the DUP. She told MSPs:

I want to record my deep-seated concern and, I believe, the deep-seated concern of many, not just in Scotland but across the UK right now, at the prospect of some sort of grubby deal between the Tories and the DUP to allow Theresa May to cling to office.

I don’t think that kind of deal, particularly if it is not completely and utterly transparent, is in the national interest in any way, shape or form.

4.05pm BST

David Laws, the former Lib Dem minister, has welcomed Tim Farron’s decision to resign as party leader, saying that Farron’s views on homosexuality were “fundamentally illiberal and prejudiced”. In an article for the i, Laws said:

You cannot be a leader of a liberal party while holding fundamentally illiberal and prejudiced views which fail to respect our party’s great traditions of promoting equality for all our citizens.

Many of us have despaired over the last few weeks in seeing all the good work of Liberal Democrats such as Lynne Featherstone, who drove through the equal marriage legislation under the coalition, undermined by Tim’s failure to be able to give direct and liberal responses on his own attitudes to homosexuality.

3.55pm BST

The Conservatives enjoyed a significant financial advantage during the general election campaign, taking in more than £2 in large donations for every pound received by other parties, the Press Association reports.

Electoral Commission figures covering donations worth more than £7,500 for all but the last two days of the campaign showed that the Tories added almost £12.5m to their battle chest compared with £6.1m by all the others combined.

The Conservatives took in £12,488,791, while Labour received £4,537,416, Liberal Democrats £1,215,594, the Women’s Equality party £152,960, Ukip £99,300, the Scottish National party £63,000, the Greens £52,866 and the Socialist party £10,000.

3.40pm BST

The Democratic Unionist leader and now Westminster kingmaker, Arlene Foster, will travel to Dublin tomorrow to meet Ireland’s new taoiseach, Leo Varadkar.

The Irish prime minister is hosting the leaders of all the main political parties in Northern Ireland as he weighs in on efforts to push them towards agreement to restore power sharing in the region by the end of this month.

3.37pm BST

Apologies for the lack of posts here while I have been covering the ministerial briefing for the Grenfell Tower fire blog.

Meanwhile, Theresa May has started her talks with the Northern Ireland parties. These are about restoring power-sharing at Stormont, not specifically about the Tory/DUP deal.

Naomi Long of NI Alliance party has come out of No 10 after PM talks saying she’s “not reassured” by UK Govt neutrality post DUP-Tory deal.

Long: “its the DUP having leverage over the UK Government” not the other way round… and she raises the issue of party funding arrangements

1.23pm BST

Nick Hurd, the fire minister, is going to speak to MPs in Westminster Hall at 1.30pm about the Grenfell Tower fire.

But it is not a proceeding of parliament, and it will not be televised. I’m heading off there now to cover it in person. I will be blogging about it in the Grenfell Tower blog.

Related: London fire: Theresa May orders public inquiry into Grenfell tower blaze – latest updates

1.21pm BST

Here is the Sun’s Tom Newton Dunn on the Tory briefing about the Queen’s speech.

Theresa now challenging DUP not to vote down her Govt, with potentially no deal agreed at all. Highest possible stakes brinkmanship.

1.09pm BST

Theresa May has announced a full public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire.

And Philip Hammond, the chancellor, has announced that he is cancelling his Mansion House speech because of the tragedy. There was speculation that he was going to use the speech to announce a shift in Brexit policy. (See 10.35am.)

In view of the Grenfell Tower tragedy, I have withdrawn from giving the Mansion House speech tonight. My thoughts are with local community.

12.40pm BST

We’ve just had a briefing in the Commons from a senior Conservative source about the talks with the DUP and the Queen’s speech. The source said:

Following the prime minister’s regular audience with the Queen, we can confirm that the Queen’s speech will be held on 21 June.

Talks with the DUP are progressing well and there is broad agreement on the principles of the Queen’s speech. Both parties are committed to strengthening the union, combating terrorism, delivering Brexit and delivering prosperity across the whole country.

11.59am BST

The Press Association has more on the ministerial statement that Nick Hurd, the fire minister, is giving to MPs later today.

Special arrangements have been made for MPs to question a government minister on the Grenfell Tower fire on Thursday afternoon.

MPs would normally expect to hear a ministerial statement on a tragedy of this scale in the House of Commons, but this is not possible because parliament has not yet formally reopened following the snap election.

11.46am BST

Here is my colleague Heather Stewart on the announcement that the Queen’s speech will take place on Wednesday.

So I understand DUP have signed off on stripped down Queens Speech; but details of confidence and supply deal still being negotiated.

11.25am BST

The Scottish National party’s new Westminster leader, Ian Blackford, has indicated thelikelihood of a second independence referendum is receding because there is now a greater chance of stopping a hard Brexit.

With a new Survation poll in the Daily Record showing 60% of Scottish voters opposed a second referendum and only 27% backed one, Blackford was asked on BBC Radio Scotland whether the SNP was “between a rock and a hard place”. It had to placate its core vote by keeping their independence hopes alive while not alienating the wider electorate, who opposed one. He replied:

Nicola Sturgeon has made it very clear that we would reflect on the results of the election last week. What we asked the Scottish people to do at the 2016 Scottish election was vote for us on the basis that if there were a change in circumstances, the [Scottish] government and the [Holyrood] parliament would have the right to seek a referendum if that were appropriate.

What we now see is a situation where I think it’s more likely we can achieve compromise while protecting the people of Scotland who have been dragged out of the single market against our will. So that’s the immediate priority.

We will be seeking to work with others that may share our views that there are consequences of a hard Brexit, I think that’s something we want to try to make sure we can stop.

11.21am BST

Nick Hurd, the fire minister, will make a statement to MPs in a Commons committee room at 1.30pm, the BBC is reporting.

Fire minister Nick Hurd will make Govt statement on #GrenfellTower at 1.30 in commons Grand Committee room

11.14am BST

The BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg says No 10 could also be trying to call the Treasury’s bluff. It has been reportedly raising reservations about the proposed Tory/DUP deal. (See 10.55am.)

Govt sources say tories and DUP all committed to getting on with the deal- trying to call Foster’s bluff ?

Or indeed, Number 10 trying to get Treasury to hurry up with the sums

11.12am BST

According to the Sun’s Tom Newton Dunn, the Queen’s speech will go ahead even if the Tory/DUP deal has not been finalised. He says Theresa May is calling the DUP leader, Arlene Foster’s, bluff.

Queen’s Speech announced for Weds June 21, with or without a DUP deal. PM is calling Arlene’s hand.

11.01am BST

The Queen’s speech was originally meant to take place on Monday.

So it is coming two days late.

10.58am BST

The government has announced that the Queen’s speech will take place on Wednesday next week. The Press Association has just snapped this.

The state opening of parliament and Queen’s speech will take place on Wednesday June 21, the leader of the Commons Andrea Leadsom has announced.

10.55am BST

You can read all today’s Guardian politics stories here.

As for the rest of the papers, here is the PoliticsHome list of top 10 must reads, and here is the ConservativeHome round-up of today’s politics stories.

Theresa May’s hopes of securing the support of the Democratic Unionist party for her minority government were faltering last night as the Treasury dug in against the costs of a deal ..

Mrs May faces an internal battle over “bribes” to Northern Ireland. One stumbling block is the “Barnett consequentials” — the system supposed to ensure fair funding for all four nations of the UK.

After months of arguments and occasional humiliation at the hands of Mrs May and her team of advisers in No 10, Mr Hammond is determined to reassert his authority on the Brexit process.

The chancellor wants Mrs May to push for a significant transition period to allow British business to adapt to leaving the customs union and single market after Brexit in 2019 and to soften her stance on immigration controls.

Theresa May will face Cabinet resignations if she gives in to demands from Philip Hammond to water down Brexit, senior Tories warned last night …

A senior Tory source said at least three cabinet ministers were prepared to quit if the prime minister bowed to the demands of her chancellor. International trade secretary Liam Fox has told friends his job would be pointless if the UK stayed inside the customs union.

Top Cabinet ministers today fought a major Brexit dust up with Theresa May in a bid to force her to rejig her negotiating strategy.

Chancellor Philip Hammond joined forces with Home Secretary Amber Rudd to demand the weakened PM prioritise jobs over tough immigration controls

10.35am BST

There will be a ministerial statement in parliament on the Grenfell Tower fire in parliament this afternoon, the BBC’s Norman Smith is reporting.

Govt Statement on #grenfelltower tragedy in Parliament this afternoon

Govt statement on #grenfelltower likely take place in Commons committee room

9.24am BST

Theresa May is expected to visit Grenfell Tower this morning, according to the BBC’s Katy Searle.

Sources have told the BBC the PM will visit the scene at Grenfell fire this morning

9.12am BST

Mostly I won’t be writing about the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy on Politics Live because we are covering it on a separate live blog, which you can read here.

Related: London fire: 12 confirmed dead but police expect further fatalities after tower block blaze – latest updates

This is the richest borough in our country treating its citizens in this way and we should call it what it is. It is corporate manslaughter. That’s what it is. And there should be arrests made, frankly. It is an outrage.

Many of use across the country have been caught up in an election knocking on housing estate doors, travelling up to the top floors of tower blocks, and we know as politicians that the conditions in this country are unacceptable.

8.32am BST

Good morning. I’m taking over from Graham.

It had been thought that the main candidates in the Lib Dem leadership contest would be Jo Swinson and Sir Vince Cable. But the BBC’s Norman Smith has been told they might not stand.

Am told likely contenders in @LibDems leadership will be @normanlamb and Ed Davey

Am told @vincecable cd takeover leadership of @LibDems on temporary basis as caretaker leader

8.22am BST

Our colleague Jessica Elgot has analysed Farron’s leadership here and those questions about his faith that kept cropping up. Here’s a bit of it:

In the crucial first week of the general election campaign however, Farron’s real chance to make an impression on the public was dogged with questions over his attitude to gay sex. Initially he attempted to deflect the question by insisting he was not a religious philosopher. When he finally sat down with the BBC’s Eleanor Garnier in an intervention to clarify he did not believe gay sex was a sin, the damage had been done.

He later faced questions too on his attitude to abortion, faced with a copy of an old interview he gave with a Salvation army magazine where he said the procedure was “wrong”. He acted far more decisively, insisting he was “pro-choice” and the time limit on abortion should be set by science.

8.04am BST

Meanwhile the shockwaves in Liberal Democrat circles over the resignation of leader Tim Farron are still being felt.

As you will see from our round up below Farron quit yesterday saying: “The consequences of the focus on my faith is that I have found myself torn between living as a faithful Christian and serving as a political leader.

7.53am BST

No room for politics on the front pages of the papers today. They all lead on the Grenfell Tower fire so all Brexit and post-election headlines have been, for a day at least, shelved.

The Telegraph though has an interesting enough Brexit story snuck away on its website. It’s behind a premium paywall but basically says that Theresa May is considering offering a ‘sweetener’ to Brussels as talks with the EU negotiator are set to start.

7.36am BST

Good morning and welcome to politics live on a day when the goings-on in Westminster will inevitably be overshadowed by the grim aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire.

Here is where we stand in the political world:

Continue reading…

via Politics

Sinn Fein accuses Theresa May of not honouring Good Friday agreement – as it happened

EU door remains open until UK departs, Macron tells May – as it happened

Follow all the day’s events in and around Westminster as Labour holds its PLP meeting and the Tories continue shoring up their defences

9.16pm BST

That’s all from politics live for Tuesday – thanks for reading and do join us again tomorrow morning.

9.14pm BST

Jeremy Corbyn has told buoyant Labour MPs that he will visit at least 65 Conservative marginal seats in preparation for the possible collapse of the Tory minority government and urged them to be a “government in waiting”.

The Labour leader also told MPs he wanted to learn lessons why they lost in some areas, and said he would be meeting candidates who lost their seats.

Related: ‘Permanent campaign mode’: Jeremy Corbyn lays plans for Labour victory

8.59pm BST

Sinn Féin has issued a statement tonight reaffirming its intention not to take its seats in Westminster:

“We went to the people on an active abstentionist ticket looking for a mandate opposing Brexit, a border and Tory austerity and standing up for equality, rights and Irish unity. We received 238,00 votes from the electorate on that platform.

8.36pm BST

DUP leader Arlene Foster has made some comments tonight, telling Ulster Television that one of her aims was to see a “frictionless border” after a “sensible Brexit” is reached.

However, she held back from releasing any substance regarding the deal between the DUP and the Conservatives that will keep Theresa May in Downing Street.

8.33pm BST

The Democratic Unionists are collectively in conclave tonight as they absorb the details of the deal being offered up for their supporting Theresa May and the Tories in government.

Radio Ulster reported that no members of the DUP, MPs, Assembly members or councillors were being put up to speak on its Evening Extra programme tonight in Belfast. Information is being very tightly controlled inside the DUP as to the nature of the deal with the Conservatives.

8.20pm BST

Back to Theresa May’s attempt to strike a formal deal with the DUP for a moment.

Martin Kettle argues that such an arrangement brings no added benefit to the Tories, while creating further reputational damage because of the DUP’s image as a socially reactionary, culturally conservative, climate-change denying party.

For a Tory leader who needs more than anything to reconnect with mainstream British voters after a tone deaf election campaign, this deal that makes no sense at all. The real challenge for the Tory party is not to scrabble together a Commons majority. It is to reset its relationship with British voters. The message to the Tories on 8 June was that the country does not want rightwing economic and Brexit policies. May’s real challenge now is to devise a programme with reordered priorities at home and a more open approach to the EU. As it happens, the DUP would probably vote for that anyway.”

Related: A Tory-DUP deal is a destructive pact that makes no sense at all | Martin Kettle

8.02pm BST

Tommy Sheppard, the SNP MP who became a contender for the vacant post of Westminster leader following Angus Robertson’s election defeat last week, has withdrawn from the contest after admitting he did not have enough backing from SNP colleagues.

7.45pm BST

Sky News political editor Faisal Islam tweets:

Macron suggests UK could change mind in front of May – French & Germans now interpreting GE2017 as reduced mandate for Mrs May’s Brexit

7.43pm BST

More on those comments from Emmanuel Macron on Brexit. While the French president said France wanted talks to start as “quickly as possible”, the “door remains open, always open, until the Brexit negotiations come to an end”.

7.30pm BST

Asked about John Major’s warning to the Tories about doing a deal with the DUP, May says her government remains steadfast in its support for the Belfast agreement and the peace process in Nothern Ireland.

7.22pm BST

Macron is asked about Brexit and says that talks will be led by the EU in a coordinated manner. He doesn’t want to spend too much time on the technicalities of Brexit, but instead talks about how France and the UK can work together to face the common challenges both countries face.

May says the UK wants a “deep and special partnership” with the EU and for the bloc to remain strong. Issues on security are also important to cooperate on, the prime minister adds.

7.14pm BST

Theresa May and Emmanuel Macron’s briefing is under way in Paris:

May and Macron’s press conference gets off to a flying start as the PM’s paper blows off into the wind

7.09pm BST

Jeremy Corbyn also told the PLP meeting tonight that the government Theresa May was trying to put together is “weak, wobbly and out of control” and was on notice from voters.

6.56pm BST

More on the PLP meeting, where Jeremy Corbyn told Labour MPs and peers that Theresa May’s premiership has no mandate and declared: “We are now a government in waiting.”

The party leader was greeted with cheers and a 45-second ovation as he arrived at the meeting. The scenes were in marked contrast to the difficult meetings Corbyn had with his critics in the parliamentary party before the election.

6.49pm BST

The parliamentary Labour party is holding its first meeting since the election in Westminster this evening and MP Clive Lewis tweets:

I know leaking PLP meetings is naughty but given the two years we’ve had: @jeremycorbyn receiving a rapturous PLP standing ovation ✌#unity

6.32pm BST

Theresa May has made it to the Élysée in Paris – in a Range Rover, of course.

Theresa May arrives at the Elysee Palace in Paris – the friendly football match tonight is unlikely to be the first thing on her mind though

6.18pm BST

Tory MP Nigel Evans tells Sky News it’s understandable why the Queen’s speech is going to be delayed for a week or so given the time it will take to sort out a deal with the DUP.

Meanwhile, Labour peer Lord Foulkes, who has been something of a Jeremy Corbyn critic, admits he is eating humble pie following the election result and says he has not seen as much joy among Labour MPs since Tony Blair’s election in 1997.

5.59pm BST

The Guardian’s Jessica Elgot in in Paris, where Theresa May is about to meet the French president, Emmanuel Macron, for the first time since his election.

Awaiting the PM’s arrival at the Élysée which was probably supposed to be triumphant – and had ended up a bit of a sideshow.

5.47pm BST

5.10pm BST

The Lib Dems have criticised the appointment of Steve Baker as a Brexit minister. (See 4.24pm.) This is from the Lib Dem MP Alistair Carmichael.

Far from softening her stance on Brexit, Theresa May is doubling down by appointing an arch Brexiteer to help lead the negotiations.

It flies in the face of last week’s election in which the British people clearly rejected her extreme version of Brexit.

4.46pm BST

Guy Verhofstadt, the European parliament’s Brexit coordinator, has been using Twitter today to urge Britain to get on with clarifying its Brexit position.

We are impatiently waiting for the negotiating position of the UK gov. The current uncertainty cannot continue.

4.39pm BST

The Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU) is not just taking on new ministers. It has also in the past week advertised for spin doctors to help in “shaping government messages” in Brexit talks.

In an advert for press officers, it says it’s “not often an opportunity comes along to work on a subject as big as Brexit”.

4.28pm BST

It is probably worth reminding readers what Dominic Cummings, the Vote Leave campaign director, once said about Steve Baker and his colleagues. This is from Tim Shipman’s excellent book about the EU referendum campaign, All Out War.

After Michael Heseltine’s attack on Boris Johnson, [Paul] Stephenson [VL’s communications director] remembered a conversation he had had with Cummings weeks before about how some of the more hotheaded Eurosceptics would have their uses at points in the campaign. Cummings, with his usual delicacy where MPs were concerned, had said, ‘We just need to kick the flying monkeys in the cage and release them at the right point.’ Now Stephenson went in search of a flying monkey to turn up the pressure on Cameron. He called Steve Baker [chair of Conservatives for Britain] …

4.24pm BST

Good job I got that last post up in time. No 10 has just announced that Steve Baker, the shop steward of the hardline Tory Brexiteers, has been made a Brexit minister.

This is from the No 10 news release

The Queen has been pleased to approve the appointment of Steve Baker MP as parliamentary under-secretary of state at the Department for Exiting the EU.

4.12pm BST

The Conservative MP Steve Baker has been tweeting about the “whither Brexit?” debate going on within his party. Baker is effectively leader of hardline Tory anti-European MPs (or “flying monkeys”, as Vote Leave’s Dominic Cummings once called them) and heads the European Research Group, a caucus of Tory MPs. The ERG are generally seen as champions of a hard Brexit, but Baker is trying to reclaim the language, saying what he wants is the “softest” version of a real Brexit.

1. The language of “hard” vs “soft” Brexit is so misleading. We need a good, clean exit which minimises disruption and maximises opportunity

2. In other words, we need the “softest” exit consistent with actually leaving and controlling laws, money, borders and trade

3. (of 3) and that means delivering on the whitepaper so @tradegovuk can get on with improving UK and global trade

3.44pm BST

Downing Street has announced another series of appointments.

Here are the promotions. These five have all been made minister of state (a middle-ranking minister – better than parliamentary under-secretary, not cabinet rank).

V interesting – Mark Field and Alistair Burt, two Remainers have gone back into govt

3.29pm BST

The Commons has now adjourned. It meets again tomorrow, when MPs will start being sworn in.

3.26pm BST

The SNP’s Stewart Hosie and the Lib Dem leader, Tim Farron, have spoken in the debate welcoming John Bercow’s election and Nigel Dodds, the DUP leader at Westminster, is speaking now.

He says the DUP is looking forward to this parliament. And he says his party is looking forward to the restoration of devolved government in Northern Ireland.

3.17pm BST

Jeremy Corbyn is speaking now.

He starts by congratulating Ken Clarke on being father of the house. He jokes about seeing Clarke in the tearoom smoking, drinking lager and eating a bacon sandwich while taking a break from a debate on healthy living.

3.09pm BST

Theresa May is speaking now.

She congratulates John Bercow on his election. “At least someone got a landslide,” she jokes.

3.03pm BST

John Bercow has now been “dragged to the chair” to take up his post.

He says being Speaker is the greatest honour the Commons can give an MP.

2.59pm BST

The Conservative MP Cheryl Gillan is giving a speech now paying generous tribute to Bercow in the Commons.

2.56pm BST

John Bercow’s comment about “testing times” was a reference to how he has decided to stay on until 2022. When he was elected speaker in 2009, he said that he would just stay until 2018.

Explaining his U-turn recently, he suggested that, if Theresa May was allowed to change her mind over an early election, he was allowed to change his mind too. As Sky News reports, he said last month:

I had originally indicated an intention to serve for approximately nine years. If I may legitimately say so, I made that commitment eight years ago, it was before the Fixed Term Parliament Act, it was before the EU referendum.

We’re in a very different situation … the prime minister very properly is entitled to change her view about whether the national interest would be served by an earlier election rather than a later one.

2.52pm BST

Ken Clarke, as father of the house, asks if John Bercow is willing to be chosen as Speaker of the Commons.

John Bercow starts by congratulating Clarke on adding father of the house to his many achievements. He says next Sunday Clarke will have been an MP for 47 years.

2.46pm BST

Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair’s former communications chief, has welcomed Sir John Major’s decision to speak out about the Tory/DUP deal.

Very glad that John Major has spoken out about this deal May is doing with the DUP. wrong in principle and dangerous to the peace process

2.43pm BST

Talks between Theresa May and the DUP over a deal that would prop up the Conservative government have been “constructive” and are “going well”, the Press Association reports.

The discussions, which have so far lasted nearly two hours, have moved from Number 10 to Parliament to allow the prime minister to speak in the Commons.

May, who will address MPs after the Speaker’s election, left for the Commons without answering reporters questions about how negotiations were progressing.

Discussions are going well with the government and we hope soon to be able to bring this work to a successful conclusion.

2.40pm BST

In his World at One interview Sir John Major suggested that the DUP would demand extra money for Northern Ireland as the price for a deal with the Tories.

On Twitter yesterday Nick Macpherson, the former Treasury permanent secretary, said that “the sky’s the limit” when it comes to how much money the DUP can extract from a minority government in these circumstances.

you will recall from HMT days, DUP’s ability to wrest money from a nervous PM. If DUP play it long, the sky’s the limit.

2.37pm BST

MPs are now proceeding to the House of Lords, where they will hear a royal commission being read out asking them to elect a Speaker.

2.36pm BST

MPs are now gathered in the Commons chamber for the first time. Their only job today is to elect a Speaker.

Jeremy Corbyn received a standing ovation when he arrived in the chamber.

Jeremy Corbyn receiving rapturous applause from Opposition benches, as bemused Conservatives watch on as Commons returns:

2.27pm BST

Here are the main points from Sir John Major’s World at One interview.

We have seen in Northern Ireland over very many years that events always don’t unwind as you expect them to unwind. Here, with the peace process, we need to be prepared of the unexpected. We need to hope for the best but prepare for the worst.

The last thing anybody wishes to see is one or other of the communities so aggrieved that the hard men, who are still there lurking in the corners of the community, decide that they wish to return to some form of violence. We really need to do everything we conceivably can to make sure that doesn’t happen.And that does require an impartial UK government.

I can’t believe that every other party in Westminster would want another election at the present time and I’m absolutely stone-cold certain that nobody in the country would like another general election and would not forgive anybody who triggered it. So I don’t think an immediate general election is really the point.

And, in any event, she’s a tiny minority in the event that everybody lined up against her. Well, I can’t see the DUP, with or without a deal, taking part in a vote that would create a general election with a possibility of a Labour government. That isn’t remotely likely to happen. So I’m not entirely convinced that, although a deal would make parliamentary votes easier, that it is absolutely necessary for Mrs May to remain as prime minister and for the government to continue with its work.

The DUP, entirely understandably, are going to ask for a great deal in for supporting the government, predominantly, I suspect, they will ask for money.

If they ask for money, how is that going to be received in Wales, or in Scotland, or amongst the just about managing everywhere across the UK? It is going to create friction amongst them. They would see it as the government paying cash for votes in parliament, and in doing so I think that could well cost votes in the country for the Conservative party, by the bucketload, at a subsequent election. So I have that political concern.

If the government do form a deal with the DUP, and I can see that well might feel that they have to, then it is doubly important, trebly important, to consult on Brexit widely, both in and out of parliament. I think if that were a joint announcement with any deal with the DUP, I think it would be very helpful, because people would see that there isn’t going to be disproportionate pressure from one part of the United Kingdom.

I think the concept of what we crudely call a hard Brexit is becoming increasingly unsustainable. The views of those who wish to stay in are going to have to be born in mind to a much greater extent after this election. A hard Brexit was not endorsed by the electorate in this particular election.

It would be very wise indeed to bring in much wider parliamentary opinion so that when the prime minister has a deal, she can be certain that she’s going to have parliamentary and public support for that deal.

2.19pm BST

Theresa May has left Downing Street for the Commons, where she will be in the chamber for the election of the Speaker when MPs meet for the first time.

The talks with the DUP have, at least temporarily, broken up. According to Sky, Arlene Foster, the DUP leader, has left No 10 by a side entrance, avoiding the TV cameras.

1.39pm BST

This is what Sir John Major, the Conservative former prime minister, said on The World at One about how a Tory/DUP pact could undermine the Northern Ireland peace process.

I am concerned about the deal, I am wary about it, I am dubious about it, both for peace process reasons, and for other reasons as well …

My main concern is the peace process. A fundamental part of that peace process is that the UK government needs to be impartial between all the competing interests in Northern Ireland. And the danger is that however much any government tries, they will not be seen to be impartial if they are locked into a parliamentary deal at Westminster with one of the Northern Ireland parties. And you never know in what unpredictable way events will turn out. And we cannot know if that impartiality is going to be crucial at some stage in the future.

1.27pm BST

Here is the audio of Sir John Major’s World at One interview.

1.24pm BST

Major says the government did not get a mandate for hard Brexit at the election.

He says the government now needs to consult widely about a revised Brexit strategy.

1.20pm BST

Sir John Major, the Conservative former prime minister, is on the World at One now talking about the proposed Tory/DUP deal.

He says he is “wary” and “dubious” about it. The deal could undermine the Northern Ireland peace process, he says.

1.15pm BST

On the Today programme this morning Lord Trimble, who was one of the architects of the Good Friday agreement as Ulster Unionist leader and who went on to become first minister of Northern Ireland, said he did not accept the argument that a Tory/DUP deal would undermine the peace process.

It has been argued that a deal would stop the UK government being a neutral arbiter in negotiations between unionists and nationalists. But Trimble claimed that “a fair amount of scaremongering” was going on and he said the Tory/DUP talks would not put the Good Friday agreement at risk.

The DUP, by doing this, are putting themselves in a position where they may have to take responsibility for unpopular actions … so they are taking a significant risk in going in.

They are perfectly entitled to do it, this is not in any way different to what [James] Callaghan did in his arrangements with the liberals way back in the 70s, it’s not any different to what Nick Clegg did.

1.03pm BST

The Sun’s political editor Tom Newton Dunn says there is no guarantee we will get a Tory/DUP deal today.

Latest: I understand that a deal with the DUP today is by no means guaranteed. Quite a bit of hard ball is being played.

1.03pm BST

Here is the No 10 read-out from today’s cabinet meeting. This is from a spokesperson.

In the first cabinet meeting since the election, ministers discussed the forthcoming Queen’s speech, including the legislative programme required to deliver the best possible Brexit deal for the whole United Kingdom.

Ministers also received an update on the appalling terrorist attacks in Manchester and London during the general election campaign. The home Secretary and the health secretary praised the extraordinary response of the police and emergency services to both incidents.

12.55pm BST

Arlene Foster, the DUP leader, and her deputy Nigel Dodds, the leader of the DUP group at Westminster, have arrived at No 10 for talks with Theresa May about the Tory/DUP “confidence and supply agreement”. This is the deal that will keep the minority Conservative government in power by ensuring that the 10 DUP MPs vote with it on confidence motions and key budget votes.

12.49pm BST

On the Daily Politics the Conservative MP Dominic Grieve said that he agreed with Gavin Barwell and Iain Duncan Smith (see 11.08am) about the need for the government to rethink austerity. He told the programme:

I think it was quite clear that austerity was a necessity born of the 2008 financial crisis. It is why the coalition was set up, and it is also why we were re-elected in 2015; it was an appreciation that our financial management made mistakes but was pretty good. And the economy was recovering.

The difficulty that we now have is that the events of last year create instability and anxiety about the future. And if that becomes a state of permanence, people then start asking: ‘I’m quite prepared to make sacrifices if I think it’s leading to an outcome which is going to be good for me and my family’, but if it becomes a state of semi-permanence, and you can’t show the direction of travel in which you’re going, then it’s going to become much harder to persuade people.

12.25pm BST

Talking of Ed Miliband, he’s got a new job. The former Labour leader will guest-present Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine Show for the week beginning Monday 19 June, while Iain Duncan Smith, the former Conservative leader, will guest-present for the following.

Phil Jones, editor of the programme, said:

This follows a tradition of Radio 2’s popular current affairs show, being occasionally guest-presented by prominent politicians, which began with figures such as Neil Kinnock and the late Charles Kennedy in the early 1990s. Political coverage is the bedrock of the programme and this is a sign of how important politics is to Radio 2, especially at such a key time in the nation’s history. Each day we will cover the big stories that affect our listeners and continue to inform, educate and entertain the Radio 2 audience.

12.17pm BST

It is not just the departure of two Brexit department ministers that has caused surprise. Some of other apparent sackings raised eyebrows too. (I say apparent sackings, because ministers do sometimes choose to leave the government of their own volition, although none of the four MPs on the Downing Street list last night has said publicly they wanted to go.)

Losing Robert Halfon, the skills minister, and Mike Penning, the defence minister, is surprising because they are both champions of the blue-collar Conservatism that Theresa May is supposed to champion. Penning is a former soldier and fireman and one of the few Tory MPs with experience of a working class job. Halfon has long been an advocate of “white van Conservatism”.

It’s been an honour to have served as Apprenticeships Minister. I’m proud we have a record 900K apprentices & to have passed the FE/TE Bill.

A political opponent but I always thought he was the one man who had an idea what blue collar Conservatism meant. Fired by the Maybot…

really surprised about Halfon and Penning – excellent ambassadors for Tories in the real world

Me too – exactly the type of blue-collar Tories that embodied May’s ‘JAMs’ pitch #reshuffle

Enjoyed my time as a Justice Minister. Great department, great officials. Sad to leave. Have been asked to make way for a younger person.

11.54am BST

Last night Downing Street announced a new round of ministerial appointments, along with the news that four ministers have left the government: Mike Penning, Sir Oliver Heald, Robert Halfon and David Jones.

Jones was a minister in the Brexit department. The department has also lost another minister, Lord Bridges, although No 10 has not announced this. Bridges has resigned to pursue business interests, according to a Whitehall source. A Old Etonian and a former Conservative party official, Bridges was made a peer by David Cameron.

George Bridges standing down as DExEU Lords’ minister a big loss for Tories. Old Major hand who knew about minority government #reshuffle

1 of Heywood’s many disastrous decisions was creating the shambles of DEXU. Whitehall is exact OPPOSITE structure to what Brexit talks need

Doesn’t matter what ministers you shuffle in/out, when the management structure as fkd as Downing St/DEXU individuals = irrelevant

Top Whitehall officials are screaming that DEXU under Heywood/DD is total shambles & disaster likely: news today just tip of iceberg

11.19am BST

Donald Trump was “wrong” to pull the US out of the global Paris climate change accord, the new environment secretary Michael Gove has said.

“I think he is wrong,” Gove told ITV’s Good Morning Britain show.

I think that we need international cooperation in order to deal with climate change. The only way in which you can deal with this challenge, the only way in which we can enhance the environment to pass on to our children in a better state is by working across borders.

As we bring migration down to sustainable levels, we’ll do so in consultation with industry and one of our most important manufacturing industries is agriculture, so we need to make sure that the workforce is there and the support is there.

My own approach has always been to argue for strong action to deal with man-made climate change.

11.16am BST

While Arlene Foster arrives in Westminster with the Democratic Unionist party’s 10 MPs, the talks back home in Northern Ireland aimed at restoring power sharing have stuttered and spluttered once more.

There will now be no more roundtable talks between all the parties with the DUP busy over in London negotiating with Theresa May and the Tories. The cross community Alliance Party said today that this latest halt to all party discussions in Belfast hardly inspired confidence in the talks process there. Dr Stephen Farry, Alliance’s deputy leader said:

This has been branded an intensive three-week process. However, no roundtable between the parties until Thursday at least means the first week will have effectively passed by without meaningful discussions between the parties at the same table.

I understand there is a new UK government and changes in the government in the Republic but there remains no impetus to this process, which doesn’t inspire confidence. We need people to step up to the plate and do so without delay. The consequences of not doing so are too severe.

11.12am BST

In his Today programme interview Michael Gove, the environment secretary, suggested that the government would need to adopt a more generous approach to public spending. Here is Peter Walker and Henry McDonald’s story.

Related: Tories may have to ease austerity plans, says Michael Gove

11.08am BST

Theresa May’s failure to win a majority is encouraging some Tories to demand a new approach to Brexit. But it is also leading to calls for a rethink on austerity, and this is what the Times has splashed on this morning.

TIMES: Austerity is over, May tells Tories #tomorrowspaperstoday

Sources said that [Theresa May] accepted that voters’ patience with austerity was at an end after Boris Johnson, David Davis and a series of Tory MPs told her that she had misjudged the public mood.

There’s a conversation I particularly remember with a teacher who had voted for me in 2010 and 2015 and said ‘you know I understand the need for a pay freeze for a few years to deal with the deficit but you’re now asking for that to go on potentially for 10 or 11 years and that’s too much’. That is something that Jeremy Corbyn was able to tap into.

I resigned over a year ago because I disagreed with George Osborne’s direction of travel. And I have for some time asked us to rethink whole areas of where we are. The length of time that we were likely now to be asking public servants and others to put up with reduced, flattened salaries has been an issue for me and for many other people. We would like to see that revisited.

10.58am BST

William Hague’s Telegraph article (see 9.08am) is significant because there is a briefing war going on between different factions in the cabinet over whether or not Theresa May’s failure to obtain a majority will, or should, lead to a change in government policy on Brexit.

Yesterday the Evening Standard, which is edited by George Osborne, the former chancellor, did its best to stir things up with a splash depicting it as conflict between the “sensibles” and the “Creationists”. Osborne wants Brexit to be as open, pro-business and pro-immigration as possible, and so there are no prizes for guessing who the “sensibles” are.

Our second edition @EveningStandard has more on Cabinet splits + on the Queen’s Speech delay before it was confirmed – quite extraordinary.

Tuesday’s Telegraph: “Tories and Labour hold secret talks on soft Brexit” #tomorrowspaperstoday (via @hendopolis)

Senior Labour sources told The Telegraph that conversations have taken place to allow back-channels between the two parties to negotiate amendments to Brexit bills which would soften the exit.

If there is no agreement to set up a Brexit Commission, one alternative would be for Labour backbenchers to table amendments, with agreement from pro-remain Conservatives, which would be easier for Tory MPs to support than if they came from Mr Corbyn’s own team.

The party overall is settled. What we want is to engage and discuss these matters with people, but in essence those negotiations are due to start very, very shortly, ie next week, and the Conservative government needs to get on and make sure they now start talking to our European allies and friends …

I think the Conservative party, people in cabinet who may well seem to think that they are going to start reopening all of this, the answer is I would not try and reopen this before you start the negotiations. Because all that you’ll get is what we don’t want at the moment, which is another argument and row going on in the governing party. It had a settled position. We had agreed that position before we went into the last election.

10.10am BST

The former Irish taoiseach and former EU ambassador John Bruton told a gathering at the Irish embassy last night that he believed the EU divorce bill was designed to tease out Britain’s financial red lines before they get down to substantive talks.

The one thing the UK has is money – if it puts out its card on money, it has no other negotiating [position].

10.05am BST

Listening to Michael Gove talking about a collaborative approach to Brexit on Today this morning I was reminded that in his original Vote Leave victory speech on the morning after the referendum result was declared in 2015, he called for representatives of “different political traditions” to be involved in shaping what he called Britain’s “gradual divergence” from the rest of the EU.

“It’s important that representatives from every part of the United Kingdom, every community, every religion and different political traditions are involved in shaping our future, and we should draw on wisdom from great minds outside politics”, he said at the time.

9.48am BST

Here is the key quote from Michael Gove’s interview on the Today programme earlier. Gove, the new environment secretary and one of the leaders of the Vote Leave campaign, said the government should proceed with the “maximum possible consensus’” on Brexit.

It’s also the case that we need to recognise that we as Conservatives were not returned with a majority. And that means we need to proceed with the maximum possible consensus and we also need to ensure that the concerns of people who voted remain – many of whom now actually want us to press ahead with leaving the European union as quickly and in as orderly fashion as possible – we need to make sure that their concerns are part of our conversation.

9.39am BST

The Scottish National party has withdrawn a £1m fundraising appeal to help fight a second Scottish independence referendum, the Herald has reported, after its heavy election defeats on Friday.

The SNP launched the campaign when Nicola Sturgeon, the first minister and SNP leader, launched her quest for a second independence vote by spring 2019. That goal has now been dropped, and Sturgeon admitted on Friday she had to re-evaluate her referendum strategy after the loss of 21 SNP seats in the general election.

Interesting – the SNP appears to have ditched its crowdfunder from its indyref2 website. First screengrab from May 13. #ge2017

9.37am BST

Inflation has gone up to 2.9%, a four-year high.

That increase is higher than expected, and bad news for living standards, obviously.

Related: UK inflation rate jumps to four-year high of 2.9% – business live

9.32am BST

The BBC’s Norman Smith is in Downing Street for the cabinet meeting. And he is following the rule that you can never go wrong with a cat pic on Twitter.

Morning folks. Those cabinet meetings are just so dull. Brexit.. blah blah.. Brexit blah… #LazontheLoose

9.25am BST

The cabinet is meeting this morning. There was a meeting of the political cabinet yesterday, but this is the first meeting of the new cabinet devoted to government business. It is due to start at 9.30am.

9.08am BST

In his interviews this morning Michael Gove, the new environment secretary and one of the leaders of the Vote Leave campaign, stressed the importance of achieving a consensus on Brexit (see 8.12am) – although he said almost nothing about what this might mean in practice.

For a much clearer idea of what this might mean, do read William Hague’s column in the Daily Telegraph today (paywall). Hague is a former Tory leader and a former foreign secretary. He backed remain in the EU referendum, but he won the Tory leadership in 1997 because he was seen as a Eurosceptic and he probably has more clout with hardline Tory leavers than many of his remain colleagues.

In the worst-case scenario, we end up with a poor Brexit deal rejected in parliament but with no alternative available, presided over by ministers suffering mounting public and business dissatisfaction, leading to the election of a Labour government led, in effect, by Marxists.

Faced with such dangers, sitting tight is not an option. Napoleon’s maxim that “the side that stays within its fortifications is beaten” applies fully to this situation. Breaking out of these problems will require a change both of style and substance, treating last week’s terrible outcome as an opportunity and a duty to tackle intractable issues in new ways.

Change the emphasis given to the UK’s objectives, with a clear indication that economic growth will have priority over controlling the number of people entering the country for work. This would show a readiness to accommodate the views of Scottish Conservatives, business organisations and, to some degree, opposition parties, within certain parameters.

We can negotiate the “bold and ambitious free trade agreement” that the British people would like to see if we take a pragmatic approach to how we use the control we will have won back.

There are various ways of doing this. One of them – put forward in this column before – is to bring in work permits for workers from the EU but agree to grant them to anyone who gets a job in Britain, unless they have a criminal record, or extremist connections. They would not receive any support if out of work, and the same rights would have to apply to British citizens throughout the EU. This approach, just one significant step short of free movement, would set the stage for a promising trade negotiation, and avoid damaging our own industries relying on European workers, from banking to fruit picking.

Call in the CBI, the Institute of Directors, the British Chambers of Commerce, the Federation of Small Businesses, the TUC, the first ministers of the devolved governments, and the leaders of all the opposition parties – yes, even Corbyn – leading MPs of all parties, and say: “If you are willing to discuss how to make this work within these parameters, come in and we will be open to your views. There isn’t a perfect solution, but on how to conduct a transitional period and how to help the economy through Brexit as a priority we will work with you. Otherwise, we will just have to try to do this without you.”

Hague admits that getting consensus would be difficult. But he says that, even if the government fails to obtain agreement, it will get credit for changing “both the style and the substance” of its approach.

8.26am BST

Q: Will you guarantee that farmers will keep the funding they get from EU subsidies to the end of this parliament, to 2022?

Yes, says Gove. He says that was a manifesto commitment.

8.19am BST

Q: The DUP want something in return for backing the Tories. They want to avoid customs checks on the Irish border. Could we stay in the customs union?

Gove says the DUP wants a stable government.

8.15am BST

Q: But what does this mean in practice? What will change from the Lancaster House speech?

Gove says May made it clear she was determined to honour the result of the referendum.

8.12am BST

Good morning. I’m taking over from Matthew.

Michael Gove has given at least two interviews already this morning, but now he is on Today.

7.55am BST

Michael Gove has confirmed he has discussed Brexit with Labour politicians after a report in the Telegraph claimed that senior cabinet ministers were in secret talks with Labour MPs to secure cross-party backing for a soft Brexit.

Asked about the report, Gove said he rejected the terms soft and hard Brexit. But speaking to BBC Breakfast, he added: “I talk to politicians from every party in order to make sure that we get the right approach. During the referendum campaign I worked with Labour politicians like Gisela Stuart and in this [last] parliament I’ve been on the Brexit select committee with Hilary Benn and a variety of others, so of course I talk to people from different parties, that’s what governing in the national interest is all about.”

After the referendum last year, I called for the government to approach this in a cross-party way to get the best deal. Now it is more important than ever. There is neither strength nor stability in a narrow, bunkered one-party approach; you need to include people with different ideas to get the best deal and widest support.

So we should set up a small cross-party commission to conduct the negotiations, and have a clear and transparent process to build consensus behind the final deal. It should be accountable to parliament but avoid getting caught up in the inevitable hung parliament political rows.

7.42am BST

Harriet Harman, the veteran Labour MP and former party deputy leader, has been speaking before this evening’s meeting of the parliamentary Labour party. Traditionally, under Corbyn’s leadership, these have been quite feisty, occasionally mutinous affairs. Not any more.

7.32am BST

Michael Gove has dismissed claims that he was brought back into the cabinet at Rupert Murdoch’s behest as “political mischief making.”

The Labour deputy leader, Tom Watson, has written to Theresa May asking if Murdoch asked her to reappoint Gove to the cabinet or face bad press in his newspaper titles.

Tom sees Rupert Murdoch’s hand behind everything. I think Tom believes that Rupert Murdoch picks the England cricket XI and the rugby first XV as well as decide who is on Britain’s Got Talent. This is par for the course for Tom when it comes to political mischief making.

7.23am BST

It’s worth noting that in his GMB interview Gove was asked about the Daily Telegraph’s front page story which claimed senior cabinet ministers have been “secretly” talking with Labour about a cross-party agreement to soften Brexit. (See our Paper round up below).

PA again reports:

Mr Gove, a staunch Brexit supporter, was also asked about a Daily Telegraph report that senior Cabinet ministers were engaged in secret talks with Labour MPs to secure a soft Brexit.

Despite writing a column for the same edition of the paper, the former journalist said it was “news to me”, adding that the story may have involved a “slight amount of top spin”.

7.19am BST

The effusive Mr Gove:

‘She’s got my backing for as long as she wants to be Prime Minister’ – Michael Gove MP speaks on supporting Theresa May

7.17am BST

Michael Gove is doing the rounds of the media this morning after his surprise Cabinet re-entry. He’s written a column for the Daily Telegraph, is on the BBC Today programme at 8.10am and has just appeared on Good Morning Britain where he has been super effusive about his boss Theresa May, saying she has “amazing gifts and incredible talents”.

The Press Association reports:

Asked how long he would support the woman who sacked him less than a year ago, he told Good Morning Britain: “For as long as she wants to be Prime Minister.”

7.10am BST

So to this morning’s papers …

The election remains the focus although notably – on a day when Theresa May has owned up to the full “mess” of the Conservative election campaign – the Daily Mail decides to splash on a legal aid story. “An insult to terror victims” says the headline on the splash, which tells how a “terrorist fighting deportation has won £250,000 in legal aid”. May’s mea culpa is a single column.

7.01am BST

So much going on that you will need more than one pair of eyes to keep track of all the developments. That’s sort of where we come in.

We will be following the critical talks at Downing Street between Theresa May and Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader Arlene Foster who the Tories hope will do a deal to prop up a minority administration.

6.43am BST

Hello and welcome to politics live where we will chart the highs and lows in Westminster and beyond in the wake of last week’s election. I’m Bonnie Malkin holding the fort until Andrew Sparrow takes over later on.

First up: Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet meets today for the first time since the election and the Labour leader is being urged to reappoint its members because of their loyalty during the campaign.
There have been indications that Corbyn might reach out to past critics including Yvette Cooper, Angela Eagle and Chuka Umunna, who have said they would be willing to serve. But Clive Efford, chair of the party’s Tribune Group, said: “Jeremy has got a shadow cabinet that remained loyal and allowed him to perform extremely well during the general election. He can’t sack those people. They deserve to be rewarded for what they have done.”

Continue reading…

via Politics

EU door remains open until UK departs, Macron tells May – as it happened

Theresa May tells Tory MPs: ‘I got us into this mess and I’m going to get us out of it’– politics live

6.24pm BST

Theresa May accepted that the social care proposals in the manifesto were a problem, an MP says. But the MPs says Tories recognise that this is an issue that has to be addressed at some point.

6.23pm BST

This is from the Spectator’s James Forsyth.

May looked a lot happier coming out of the ’22 than she did going in. Definitely earned herself some time with that performance

6.22pm BST

Another MP says Theresa May was very clear about the need to move forward, and listen to what people are saying.

6.21pm BST

Another mp said PM was “very, very humble”, accepted social care was a mistake. “She showed a side of her that was very appealing”.

6.20pm BST

This is from the FT’s Jim Pickard.

Committee corridor erupting with cheers from Tory MPs as they leave the 22 committee. Pure pantomime of course.

6.20pm BST

Theresa May has just come out. Before she left, there was sustained desk banging, and even some cheering. She looked relieved rather than elated, but certainly better than when she went in.

6.18pm BST

Another MP has come out. He says Theresa May recognised that there had been problems in the relationship between Downing Street and the party. That seems to have been a reference to Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill, who resigned as her co-chiefs of staff on Saturday.

6.16pm BST

A cabinet minister who could be described as being so close to Michael Gove he could be Gove himself (I’m not sure what the lobby rules have to say about attributing hand gestures) has just come out, without saying anything, but giving a big thumbs up.

6.12pm BST

This is from the BBC’s Vicki Young.

Tory MP tells me Theresa May “was humble, she took it on the chin” made “magnificent” speech. #1922committee

6.07pm BST

Another round of desk-banging. Perhaps it’s coming to an end.

6.06pm BST

The meeting is still going on. A few MPs have left already. It is hot in the committee corridor, and we’re hoping it’s going to wrap up soon.

This is from the Sun’s Steve Hawkes.

One Tory MP on Theresa May: “Surprisingly on the strength of this 22 performance, she’d be re-elected leader overwhelmingly.”

6.03pm BST

Here is Bloomberg’s Tim Ross’s take on Theresa May’s meeting with the ‘22.

May effectively hands her MPs a loaded revolver, telling them she’ll be there leader for as long as they want her at 1922 committee

5.57pm BST

This is from Sky’s Faisal Islam.

Pushed on approach to Brexit by a Brexiteer at the 1922, PM replied it’s important to ‘listen to all voices in the party…’.

5.56pm BST

This is from the Telegraph’s Ben Riley-Smith.

May spoke better at this 1922 than any previous one as PM, says Tory MP in room.

5.52pm BST

Ruth Davidson, the Scottish Conservative leader, has put out a statement about her meeting with Theresa May today. This is from BuzzFeed’s Jamie Ross.

Ruth Davidson on her meeting with May. Says she’s certain the PM will put the “country’s economic future first” in Brexit negotiations.

The language of this statement reinforces the notion that Davidson leads a Scottish group allied to – not beholden to – the UK Tory party.

5.49pm BST

This is from the Conservative MP Julian Knight.

Just out of 1922 committee PM was humble and steadfast and certain that we have to get on with the job of government and negotiating Brexit

5.48pm BST

Some 1922 jokes, while we wait for the meeting to wrap up.

From my colleague Stephen Moss

Theresa May will be going straight from meeting the 1922 committee to a discussion with the DUP, or the 1422 committee as it is better known

Can I suggest the Tories get a 2017 committee ? Then they might see the world as it is, not as it used to be when George V ruled #1922

5.44pm BST

This is from the Tory MP Justin Tomlinson.

Listening, learning – united and getting on with the job #1922Committee

5.42pm BST

The prime minister told MPs “I’ve got us into the mess and I will get us out of it,” according to another MP leaving the committee room. The MP said:

She was very concerned about people who have lost their seats, the party is going to help them, some of them are in dire financial situations. She did say sorry, several times. She apologised for colleagues losing their seat, for making the call about the early election.

That’s the last thing the country needs. She said she would serve us as long as we want her, and that she’s been a party servant since she was 12-years-old stuffing envelopes.

5.41pm BST

This is from the Sun’s Tom Newton Dunn.

A Tory MP says PM told the 1922: “I’ve served the party since I was 12. I will serve you for as long as you want me”.

5.40pm BST

Caroline Shenton, who used to head the parliament archives, is determined to spoil the best story of the day.

I was Director of the @UKParlArchives for 6 years and I can tell you that the Queen’s Speech is not made of parchment, goat or otherwise.

5.37pm BST

Theresa May met with her Conservative backbenchers and declares: “I got us into this mess, and I’m going to get us out of it”.

A senior MP described the prime minister as “contrite and genuine but not on her knees” as she repeatedly apologised for the election result that cost her party its majority.

5.36pm BST

This is from my colleague Anushka Asthana.

Senior MP says Theresa May was “contrite and genuine but not on her knees” – while addressing Tory backbenchers.

She said she had got in touch with all losing tory MPs and would support them. There was a big cheer for the 2 Gavins- Williamson & Barwell

5.34pm BST

Colleagues were demanding contrition, sounds like they got it

5.32pm BST

This is from the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg.

May also apologised to the 1922 and told MP s ‘i’ll serve as long as you want me’

5.28pm BST

Another MP has come out. He says May said:

I got us into this mess and I’m going to get us out of it.

5.27pm BST

This is from the Times’ Sam Coates.

Q: Do you think the party has full confidence in TM?
Tory MP at 1922: I think the party has confidence in her

5.26pm BST

According to the MP who has come out, Theresa May addressed the issue of the DUP, and their approach to gay rights. She said the DUP would not change things; MPs would get a free vote on issues of this kind.

The party has confidence in May, he says.

5.23pm BST

An MP who has left the room says Theresa May spoke very well. “There was none of the Maybot,” he says.

He says one of the cheers was for the appointment of Gavin Barwell as the chief of staff. He is a “genuinely nice guy”, the MP says. He says Barwell and the chief whip will get on well.

5.21pm BST

Angus Robertson, the SNP’s former leader at Westminster, lost his seat last week. The SNP has announced that nominations for the new leadership post will open tomorrow, with the winner announced on Wednesday evening.

5.19pm BST

We’ve had several rounds of desk-banging now. Like a thunderstorm heading your way, they seem to be getting louder each time ..

5.11pm BST

We’ve just heard another rumble of desk-banging, but it was quite quiet.

And another …

5.07pm BST

She has arrived. She marched purposefully down the corridor, flanked by aides and security, and ignored a question about whether she was nervous.

After she went in there was some banging of desks. It didn’t sound frenzied, but it was loud enough and lasted reasonably long – 25 seconds, the consensus.

5.02pm BST

We’ve heard a bit of desk banging, and the meeting seems to have started. But there is still no sign of Theresa May. Journalists are starting to wonder if she got in without us noticing. But we’re pretty sure she didn’t …

5.00pm BST

The room now seems to be full. MPs are being sent away from the main door (the one to the back of the room) and directed towards the one for the front. Andrea Leadsom, the new leader of the Commons, went in that way.

4.57pm BST

There is a 20-yard gauntlet of lobby journalists awaiting those Tory MPs arriving. Jacob Rees-Mogg has just gone past, and David Willetts, and Iain Duncan Smith …

4.56pm BST

They continue to stream in. Michael Gove has just gone past, head nodding and saying, “Yes, yes” to a colleague.

Still no sign of the PM though …

4.52pm BST

Zac Goldsmith arrives, with a dapper leather briefcase and no tie.

4.50pm BST

Boris Johnson has arrived, muttering: “Hello, hello, hello.”

“How’s the leadership campaign going?” someone shouts. (Me). No reply …

4.49pm BST

The Conservative parliamentarians are arriving thick and fast now. Overall, the mood doesn’t seem too glum. These are the ones who won their seats, of course.

4.47pm BST

Tory MPs and peers are arriving in large numbers now.

Some say hello to the journalists and chat, but some just walk past. By and large, the two tribes – MPs and hacks – keep their distance, and eye each other warily.

4.45pm BST

Dominic Grieve arrived with Anna Soubry, and they have gone in. Charles Walker and Nicholas Soames turned up in tandem, and they’ve gone in too.

4.44pm BST

Nicky Morgan, the former education secretary (and a critic of Theresa May’s), arrived and went in. “She was looking exceptionally jolly,” a colleague said.

4.42pm BST

George Young, the former cabinet minister who is now a Tory peer, has arrived, and is speaking to three colleagues (whom I don’t recognise) outside the door. Graham Brady, the 1922 committee chair, has arrived and gone straight into the room. The ‘22 executive are supposed to be holding a meeting before the main event gets under way, and so presumably he went in for that.

4.36pm BST

Theresa May is due to face the Conservative backbench 1922 Committee at 5pm. The ‘22, as it’s known, meets in committee room 14 in the House of Commons. I am waiting outside with my laptop, with a gaggle of hacks.

The only Tory MP we’ve seen so far is Bob Stewart.

Theresa May will be met with silence rather than the traditional banging of desks by Tory MPs as she is told to show “humility and contrition” in the wake of the party’s disastrous election performance.

The prime minister will on Monday evening attend a meeting of the 1922 Committee of backbench MPs where she will be told she must abandon “poisonous” manifesto pledges and change her style of government.

4.17pm BST

The Queen’s speech could still be back on for Monday after all, the BBC’s Norman Smith says.

BREAKING>>>GOAT ALERT… apparently the Queens Speech cd now be back on ….No really #baaaa

4.11pm BST

George Freeman, the Conservative MP who chairs Theresa May’s policy forum, has posted a tweet saying the government should drop its “hard Brexit” message.

Yep. This is a moment for Cabinet to drop HardBrexit message & return to that messiahnic message of hope on the steps of No10 last summer

As the parliamentary Conservative party convenes this week we need to show fast that we have listened to the British public, that parliamentary democracy is alive and well, and that we trust the people and their elected representatives.

That is, after all, what Brexit was supposed to be about. So let’s commit to an ‘Open Brexit’ based on much greater parliamentary scrutiny, debate, and democratic mandate …

3.50pm BST

One Conservative MP, speaking anonymously, has described Theresa May as “clearly a lame duck” who will most likely leave the job soon. And this is someone who is scrupulously loyal, indicating how widespread such a view is. Of May they said:

She can never fight another election, so from that point of view she’s clearly a lame duck. When she goes depends, but I’d say it’s more medium term than long term. It could be after the party conference, or when we’ve had some substantive Brexit talks. But it could even be in two years, at the end of the talk.

I’m clear on this, and fellow MPs I’ve talked to all agree – there’s no appetite for a new election. For a start, we’d probably lose. And there’s no appetite among voters for it. They’re sick of elections.

It’s interesting to see Damian Green getting his new job. Some people are talking about him as a possibility. He’s seen as a safe pair of hands, and he’s popular. And you could balance him with a Brexiteer as his number two, maybe David Davis.

3.47pm BST

David Coburn, the Scottish Ukip MEP, has announced that he is standing for the party leadership. Characteristically, he announced his candidacy in a vituperative tweet.

I am announcing my candidacy for UKIP Leader this time to stop Entryists Diletantes and Single issue loonies i have had enough

3.30pm BST

Northern Ireland’s SDLP has expressed alarm about the prospect of an alliance between the UK government and the DUP.

Colum Eastwood, the party leader, also said the DUP, which backed Brexit against the will of the remain-backing province, could not be trusted to help deliver a softer version of Brexit.

I’m not somebody who uses language like that. Our peace process is very strong. Many people gave a lot over many years to make sure that it is strong and stable. But we’re not blind to the fact that the Good Friday agreement is based upon the principle that we’ve two governments as co-guarantors to our peace process.

Those of us who are worried about the Tory government working alongside [DUP leader] Arlene Foster as some kind of deputy prime minister and running this talks process, or this place, for the foreseeable future, need to do everything in our power to make sure this is achievable, that we can meet the deadline. We know deadlines have passed before, but we have entered every stage of these negotiations with a positive mind, trying to solve our problems.

Everybody else needs to get on with that job now. We’ve had enough elections, we’ve had enough messing about. It is time now to deliver for the people of Northern Ireland.

3.18pm BST

Theresa May should publicly pledge her support for the gay community in Northern Ireland before sealing any deal with the Democratic Unionist party aimed at putting her back into power, LGBT activists in Belfast demanded today.

John O’Doherty, of the Love Equality Campaign, said the prime minister should “make an explicit statement of support” to assure LGBT people in Northern Ireland that the Tories will not row back on promoting gay rights because of any parliamentary alliance with the DUP.

It is fair to say that a lot of LGBT people have become prominent even in the Tory party. We should not forget that David Cameron introduced gay marriage reforms in Britain. So it is really important that Theresa May commits herself and her party once more to promoting LBGT rights and equality. She needs to reassure the local LGBT community that she supports their rights too.

Most people in Northern Ireland, a majority in the assembly even, support gay marriage equality. The DUP need to come into the 21st century and maybe they will on this issue at last. But the situation is that if Sally and I got the train to Dundalk in the Irish Republic and got married, by the time we got back home to Belfast we would only be in a civic partnership, our marriage up north would not be legal.

3.08pm BST

Theresa May has been chairing the first meeting of her new cabinet today.

2.35pm BST

The former Irish taoiseach John Bruton said an agreement between the UK government and the DUP would make prolonged direct rule difficult to sustain. Speaking on the World at One, he said:

If you have, in a sense, the DUP in government in Westminster, it is going to be difficult for the parties there, particularly for Sinn Féin and the nationalist side, to contemplate any prolonged period of direct rule, because essentially it will be direct rule by DUP-Conservative coalition, which wouldn’t be acceptable to them.

I’m hoping that at least as far as Sinn Féin is concerned that they will be more forthcoming in wanting to get the [power-sharing] institutions back up and running. So the issues that are concerned will be being dealt with in Belfast and not by the DUP-Conservative arrangement.

The DUP will probably push for the UK to stay in the customs union. You can’t be half in and half out of the customs union.

If Britain is not in the customs union, tariffs would have to be collected on every one of those [lorry] consignments. And you would have to know exactly what’s inside the lorry. There will have to be checks by someone, which means stopping and opening the lorries. For anybody who is doing business, that is going to make the business much less competitive. It is going to adversely effect jobs and many of those jobs lost will be the jobs of the Democratic Unionist party supporters.

2.25pm BST

The Sinn Féin president, Gerry Adams, has pledged to oppose any alliance between the British government and the DUP.

Speaking to reporters in Belfast, he said: “Any deal which undercuts the process here, or the Good Friday and other agreements, is one that has to be opposed by progressives.”

Discussions [with the DUP] are ongoing. A confidence and supply agreement is an agreement in relation to key votes in parliament … This is not about the devolved issues that I remain focused on in my role as secretary of state and most particularly seeing that we get an executive back into position at the earliest opportunity.

As a government we stand four square behind our commitments under the Belfast agreement, the agreement that underpins the political settlement. That is how we will continue to govern.

There is a clear process that was paused just before the general election to seek to get a devolved government back into place. That is the stance that we take as a government. That’s what we want to see.

The vast majority of issues that are at stake here are devolved. They are for agreement between the two main parties. That is where the focus lies. The issues on the table are about issues of identity and culture, issues that need to be resolved between the two main parties … to come together to do what the people of Northern Ireland want to see.

2.14pm BST

George Osborne used to do battle with the Brexiters in government. Now he’s editor of the Evening Standard, but the fight goes on. Here is the Standard’s first edition splash.

Today’s @EveningStandard exclusive on the Cabinet battle between the ‘sensibles’ & ‘creationists’ over soft Brexit + @sebcoe on Usain Bolt

Our second edition @EveningStandard has more on Cabinet splits + on the Queen’s Speech delay before it was confirmed – quite extraordinary.

1.52pm BST

A government source said the Queen’s speech needed a week’s lead time in order to be prepared, hinting it was likely it would be delayed by a few days. In order for the speech to be given as scheduled, the contents would need to be decided by Tuesday morning at the latest.

The “gracious speech” was historically written on vellum with ink that takes three days to dry, although is is now written on thick goatskin parchment paper which also needs several days to dry, meaning a speech cannot be amended at the last minute.

1.46pm BST

Sir Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary, is on the World at One.

He says the delay to the Queen’s speech shows the level of disruption and chaos the government is in.

As to rejection of the single market, what we’ve criticised the government for is simply sweeping options off the table before they even started the negotiations.

What David Davis said this morning is that it’s not that the government doesn’t want membership of the single market, it’s that they’ve been told that you can’t have that with freedom of movement.

1.38pm BST

Labour says the reported delay to the Queen’s speech shows the government is “in chaos”. A party spokesperson said:

No 10’s failure to confirm the date of the Queen’s speech shows that this government is in chaos, as it struggles to agree a backroom deal with a party with abhorrent views on LGBT and women’s rights.

1.36pm BST

Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, told Sky News that the reported delay to the Queen’s speech “raises the very real question of whether this prime minister can put together a functioning government”. She went on:

Now that we hear the Queen’s speech is delayed, that raises concerns and questions about what is being cooked up behind closed doors.

1.30pm BST

The Queen may have to miss part of Royal Ascot – one of her favourite annual events – if the Queen’s speech is delayed by a few days, the Press Association reports.

She particularly looks forward to heading to the Berkshire racecourse each June, where she keeps a close eye on the form and the winners from the royal enclosure.

The state opening of parliament had been planned for Monday 19 June, but it is reported to have been shifted to a few days later as Theresa May’s Conservatives continue talks with the Democratic Unionist party to secure their support.

1.20pm BST

The BBC’s royal correspondent Peter Hunt points out that the Queen cancelled the annual order of the garter ceremony so that she could attend the state opening of parliament that was scheduled for Monday. Presumably she will be none too pleased about the reported delay.

The Queen cancelled the Order of Garter ceremony in Windsor in order to attend the State Opening on Monday.

1.14pm BST

Newsnight’s Nicholas Watt says the Queen’s speech is being delayed because the Conservatives and DUP have not agreed a government programme yet and it takes several days to write the speech on goat’s skin.

I understand Queen’s speech will be delayed by a few days. @theresa_may can’t put finishing touches until agreement reached with @DUPleader

I understand Queen’s speech delayed bc it has to be written on goat’s skin. That takes a week 1/2

Fine to do Q’s speech in a week if a majority @Conservatives or @UKLabour government. Not possible when @DUPleader has to be consulted 2/2

12.55pm BST

There’s more continental cartoon mirth at May’s expense.

The Swiss newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung shows May as a boxer on the ropes after punching herself out.

#May NZZ: “Mays Debakel macht den #Brexit noch komplizierter”

Mooie cartoon !

#Cartoon by Len Munnik in today’s @Trouw #Brexit #UKElection2017 #TheresaMay

Theresa May no longer sprinting toward Brexit. Cartoon by Christo Komarnitski @Christo_Komar of Bulgaria. #brexit #TheresaMay

Cartoon in Danish newspaper today: “The superwoman suit madam ordered for the Brexit negotiations has arrived”…

Miss May in June is a lesson: Politics is no place for gambling @brexit @theresa_may nice cartoon in our local newspaper @gabonn

12.49pm BST

Here are the main points from the No 10 lobby briefing, the first since the general election.

12.37pm BST

According to the BBC, the Queen’s speech definitely will be delayed “for a few days”.

12.13pm BST

Graham Brady, chairman of the Conservative backbench 1922 Committee, told Sky’s All Out Politics that Theresa May needed to act in a “much more collegiate” way.

Speaking before this afternoon’s meeting between May and the 1922 Committee, he also played down the prospect of an immediate challenge to May’s leadership. Asked if there should be a leadership election, Brady said:

My preoccupation at the moment is to make sure that we form a good, reliable, responsible government under Theresa May’s leadership. Obviously what happens in the distant future is for another day.

I have spent three days on the phone and obviously my colleagues are very disappointed. We had all hoped and even expected to come back with a significant Conservative majority. Of course we are massively disappointed.

It is very brave of anybody to make predictions in today’s world of politics. If we can get a government on track functioning well, delivering for the country then it may well be that people are quite happy to see that proceeding.

That is something that needs to be handled extraordinarily sensitively and James Brokenshire as Northern Ireland secretary is well able to do that. It isn’t a full coalition.

12.00pm BST

I’m just back from the No 10 lobby briefing. It went on for ages, and the general gist of it was that the prime minister’s spokesman was insisting that nothing much has changed in the government’s position on X, Y and Z, when all the journalists in the room were assuming that, in the light of the election result, it clearly has.

But there was one proper bit of news: the spokesman said the new leader of the Commons, Andrea Leadsom, would be making a statement about the date of the Queen’s speech in due course. The spokesman would not say any more, but he would not confirm that it will go ahead as planned on Monday next week.

10.57am BST

This is from Channel 4 News’ Michael Crick.

Tom Watson has written to Theresa May asking whether “Rupert Murdoch ever suggested to you Michael Gove should be given a ministerial role?”

10.56am BST

A gay rights activist who won a landmark case in Europe that legalised homosexuality in Northern Ireland has claimed that the Democratic Unionists are changing their views on LGBT issues.

Jeffrey Dudgeon won his case in 1982 at the European court of human rights, which overturned strict-anti homosexual laws in Northern Ireland.

Having been involved for decades in campaigning for gay decriminalisation and then LGBT equality, I can only take the long view. I can observe change and progress in my erstwhile DUP opponents and from all sides.

Maybe not enough for younger activists but it must be acknowledged.

10.46am BST

Theresa May has become the butt of cartoonists’ jokes in the world’s newspapers.

Many opt to show May’s decision to call the election as an act of self-harm.

Zapiro’s cartoon @SundayTimesZA (11 June 2017) on how British PM Theresa May’s call for an early election backfired

Teresa May and the Hung Parliament…!

Theresa May’s #UKElection2017 fiasco #cartoon

Image – Jos Collignon @ Caglecartoons

Tom Janssen/Caglecartoons

東京新聞名物、 #佐藤正明 さんの政治まんがです。#加計学園 文書の再調査を巡り、#安倍首相 がイギリスのメイ首相たちからアドバイスを受けています。

After a disastrous result following a disastrous campaign, Theresa May calls on the Queen. Then she calls on Arlene Foster. @ianknoxcartoon

10.34am BST

Here is my colleague Jessica Elgot on Labour MPs suggesting the party should back remaining in the single market. (See 9.40am.)

Some Midlands Lab MPs, (where Labour did actually lose some seats) nervous about single market talk. Promised voters no Brexit backslide.

10.28am BST

We’ve been told the the Brexit negotiations were due to start next Monday. But David Davis, the Brexit secretary, told Adam Boulton on his Sky News All Out Politics programme a few minutes ago that, although the talks would start next week, it might not be on Monday because that was the day of the Queen’s speech, and he was due to speak in the debate.

What we have said is we will start down this process. But I will have some discussions with [Michel] Barnier [the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator] about how we progress to the wider thing, of the trade area. The most important thing in the aggregate is the trade area.

10.15am BST

The Sun thinks there is now a majority in the Commons for a softer Brexit. Tom Newton Dunn, the paper’s political editor, has tweeted this chart making the case.

Will Theresa May have to soften her Brexit terms? LBJ’s rule, the numbers are all. Our Commons tally today;

9.58am BST

The Green party has protested against Michael Gove’s post-reshuffle role as environment secretary. They point out that he has previously called for a reduction in environmental regulation after Brexit and tried as education secretary to remove the topic of climate change from the national curriculum.

Caroline Lucas, the party’s co-leader, said there were few politicians as ill-equipped for the role as Gove:

His record of voting against measures to halt climate change and his attempt to wipe the subject from our children’s curriculum show him entirely unfit to lead our country in tackling one of the greatest threats we face. And as we enter Brexit negotiations, Gove’s past suggestion we scrap vital EU environmental protections becomes ever more concerning.

This appointment is further evidence of both Theresa May’s complete disregard for the environment and her desperation to hold together a government in chaos.

9.51am BST

Michael Gove, the new environment secretary, spoke to reporters as he left his home this morning. Having been recalled to the cabinet from the backbenches, he was the epitome of loyalty.

I’m looking forward to starting work as the environment secretary. I’m looking forward to being part of a team united behind Theresa [May]. I think she’s doing a fantastic job at the moment.

I think it’s a tremendous opportunity as environment secretary to do a job at the heart of government to make sure that we enhance one of our greatest assets, which is our countryside. And I want to do everything I can to make sure that we pass on the environment in a stronger condition to the next generation.

9.40am BST

Here is my colleague Peter Walker’s story on Barry Gardiner’s interview this morning. Gardiner, the shadow international trade secretary, suggested Labour might back membership of a reformed single market after Brexit, even though Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell yesterday both said staying in the single market was not an option.

Here is Peter’s story.

Related: UK could remain in single market after Brexit, says Labour MP

[May] has taken off the table membership of the single market. We’ve said let’s look at that and see if it can be reformed. But the key thing is not to get hung up on the membership of the single market, but to be assured of the benefits that it can bring for our economy and for our jobs.

New Lewisham Labour MP Ellie Reeves campaigned on single market ticket. How many others?

9.19am BST

Former Tory leader Michael Howard has expressed his support for Theresa May, claiming the prime minister has a responsibility to lead the Brexit negotiations.

Speaking to ITV’s Good Morning Britain, Howard said:

I don’t think there’s going to be a leadership contest. I think it would be very disruptive for our negotiations with the European Union if there was. And I don’t think there is any appetite anywhere for another general election.

She’s got a duty and responsibility to carry on.

It is in the national interest that we proceed with these negotiations, which the country voted for. There’s actually, it now emerges, very little difference between the position of the Labour party and the position of the government. There’s a huge actual majority in the House of Commons for the kind of negotiating position she is going to be taking.

Michael [Howard] is not really conveying what happened. It was absolutely transformative that election on Thursday. Everybody can see it both in the United Kingdom and in Europe. She has totally lost her authority. She said ‘I must be given an increased majority’ and her majority was taken away from her. What are the Europeans going to think? They are going to think this person plainly has no authority, and it’s going to get worse.

The longer this goes on the worse it is for the country, the worse it is for the [Brexit] negotiations. Michael is absurd to say that the Europeans will think that Mrs May is our best negotiator. They will think she is a completely busted flush.

The big concern among those called the moderates, was that Jeremy would lead to a total rejection by the public of Labour, and quite the reverse has happened. He genuinely did bring people into the voting booth who wouldn’t have voted before. He genuinely did connect with young Britain.

He is basically saying we should abandon austerity. That does mean more government expenditure. There are real issues about whether or not the tax increases would produce enough, but that’s a legitimate debate.

9.12am BST

Here are the main points from David Davis’s interviews this morning.

We have been given an instruction by the British people and we are going to carry it out. And that may mean that some elements of the manifesto may be pruned away, shall we say.

There is a distinction between running a campaign and running a country. And running a country is more difficult and she’s incredibly good at it.

Theresa May is a very good prime minister. I’ve served with her for 10 months. I’ve seen a number of previous prime ministers in operation. She is incredibly effective as a prime minister. She is decisive; she takes her time, she consults, but when she gets to the point of a decision, she is decisive. She is brave in her decisions. She knows what she is trying to do. And you saw that, for example, at the beginning of the election campaign, the way she dealt with infamous briefing from Brussels.

The campaign was not a good campaign, let’s be clear about that. But we are now talking about government. It it a very, very different set of skills, and she is very good at that.

I’ve done this a few times before, it hasn’t been a 100% success.

It’s possible. We have worked up that alternative in some detail. We are still working on it. Not because we want to, but in government you have to, if you are responsible, work up every contingency.

Davis says they are still working up “No Deal” plan in Government departments… be interesting to see if this published/ debated.

Clearly. We are the Conservative party. David Cameron introduced gay marriage, for example, there’s a whole series of things we did, Turing’s law, you know, the repeal of the effect of the convictions against people for homosexual acts, which were silly, a different era. Those things will stay on the statute book. What we have done, we will keep.

8.26am BST

Q: Your manifesto was rejected. So will you implement it?

Davis says the Tories got most votes and seats. And they got more votes than Tony Blair.

8.22am BST

Q: The Brexit talks start a week today. What will be on your agenda?

Davis says he wants to start with the rights of EU citizens in the UK.

8.15am BST

Good morning. I’m taking over from Matthew.

David Davis, the Brexit secretary, is being interviewed on the Today programme.

8.05am BST

The Brexit secretary, David Davis, has expressed his full backing for Theresa May, but conceded that the election result was a “nightmare”.

7.29am BST

The shadow trade secretary, Barry Gardiner, has just been on the Today programme, where he was mainly quizzed about whether his party would or would not support continued membership of the EU’s single market after Brexit.

The shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, has said Labour is opposed to remaining in the single market.

What we’ve said is that we need those benefits, and whether they’re achieved through reformed membership of the the single market and the customs union, or through a new, bespoke trading arrangement, is actually secondary to achieving the benefits.

It’s an open question as to what we can get. What we criticised [Theresa May] for doing is taking membership of the single market off the table right from the beginning.

7.15am BST

On the papers again, the Sun has a commentary from Boris Johnson which it trumpeted on its front page. Here is the Press Association’s take on that:

He [Johnson] said there was no appetite among the public for a leadership contest which could plunge the party into a fresh general election.

“To those that say the PM should step down, or that we need another election or even – God help us – a second referendum, I say come off it. Get a grip, everyone,” he said.

7.09am BST

The papers have naturally been full of the post-election wash-up, with commentary, stories and speculation.

A very brief review of most of the broadsheet and tabloid front pages would have you believe that the UK is in now in line for: 1. A softer Brexit 2. A harder Brexit 3. Labour in power soon.

6.52am BST

Morning everyone and welcome back to Politics Live. It’s the busiest and most important week in politics since, well, last week.

But it’s hardly an overstatement to say the next seven days are going to be monumental.

Continue reading…

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Theresa May tells Tory MPs: ‘I got us into this mess and I’m going to get us out of it’– politics live